Coming off a record turnout of “ROKKERs” at the 2022 ROK Vegas and the Return to the RIO, ROK Cup USA is excited to announce a leadership change beginning with the 25th annual Florida Winter Tour in January. Longtime series director, Garett Potter, expressed his interest to pursue other career paths that would allow him more time at home with his family. Honoring Potter’s wishes, OTK and ROK Cup USA are excited to announce long-time karter Mike Burrell as the new Director of ROK Cup USA Operations.
Potter has been with ROK Cup USA since January 2017 and has built the events, competition and Vortex brand into one of the most popular platforms in the United States. Under Potter’s watch, the ROK Cup USA program has grown with a variety of permanent and temporary circuits including the ROK the Rio in Las Vegas, the Florida Winter Tour, and ROK Fest East and West events. Potter has also assembled one of the top crews of karting officials in the nation, all of whom will be returning in 2023 if they so desire.
“November 1998 when it all started for me, coming from the motorcycle road race world never did I think purchasing a go kart would lead me here. It has been a whirlwind few seasons with a COVID ROK Vegas event that nobody thought could happen and the growth of the program through the past few years in both the United States and Canada, but in the wake of the biggest ROK Vegas event ever, it’s time to shift my focus on life to spend more time with family, and additional motorsports projects as well as just a change of pace in life and a decrease in overall stress. I leave with a huge sense of pride in what my team and I have been able to do. I couldn’t have done without several important people, and I say thank you to them.”
Potter continued, “A huge thank you to Ursula Ustariz who has done more for ROK Cup in North America than anybody even knows, she is the glue that holds everything together, my sidekick and right-hand man Robbie Poupart for his hard work both in the forefront and behind the scenes, Chuck Yoder, Dave Davies, Rob Yardley and the entire ROK CUP team. Thank you to Andy Seesemann for the support to tackle the Western half of the United States and to Richard Boake for the help to really kickstart the Canadian program. Both of you are karting legends. A big thank you to Mike and Elena Maurini from RTD Media for the continuous met deadlines and the countless hours of work you guys do as well. To Mr. Robazzi with Vortex Italy and ROK Cup without his vision there would have been no ROK Cup North America. Mario Pazos from Vortex for trusting me to take the brand and run. Thank you, Fernanda, Alessandro, all the OTK Kart USA and Vortex USA staff. Lastly and most important my wife Becky for all the support and our kids for understanding all the long days and time away. To all the racers, dealers and teams, thank you for all the always showing up. ROK Cup USA is here because of you, and I hope to see you all at a track somewhere soon.”
Stepping away from the program two months before the annual Florida Winter Tour commences, OTK and ROK Cup USA will introduce a new Director of Operations to follow in the footsteps of Garrett. Mike Burrell brings a variety of karting, motorsports, and professional experience to the ROK Cup program. Burrell was editor of National Kart News magazine between 2004-2011. He is most recently known for producing karting events for USAC at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Elkhart Grand Prix between 2017-2022. Burrell was an OTK dealer between 2010-2012 in the Indianapolis area.
“This is an exciting opportunity to work with OTK again! I’m looking forward to making ROK Cup USA events the best balance of fun and competition in the United States karting scene. Garett, OTK, and the whole ROK team have done a great job over the past few years. This series is on a solid foundation; I don’t need to ‘re-invent the wheel’, just keep polishing it.”
Burrell continued, “Garett and I will be working together throughout the remainder of the year to assure ROK Cup USA’s leadership change is as seamless as possible. When competitors arrive in Florida for the 25th Florida Winter Tour in January, our goal is for them to feel as welcomed and comfortable as when they left Las Vegas.”
Regarding the transition, Luis Ruibal, of OTK USA said, “This is a moment of mixed feelings to me. Both Garett and Mike are guys that I met right after starting my previous job in karting; some 20+ years ago. With each, I developed a respect and relationship that I highly rate. I wish Garett all the best in whatever path he chooses to take and I’m pretty sure we’ll see each other soon at the track. I welcome Mike personally and on behalf of the OTK Kart family; we look forward to the future.”
2023 Rok Cup USA events will kick off with the 25th anniversary of the Florida Winter Tour on January 19-22, 2023. Details will be announced soon, but the “Serious Fun” FWT has built a reputation on is sure to return. For more information and registration, visit www.rokcupusa.com.