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Changes For Roack Island Grand Prix

A number of changes have been announced for this year’s ninth running of the Superkarts! USA King of the Streets Rock Island Grand Prix on September 5-6.

The race will feature Spec Honda power plant shifter karts and follow SKUSA rules. This year’s winner will receive a US$2,000 cheque. The TaG classes have been expanded but the Junior classes have been scrapped from the program.

“The decision to switch to stock moto (also termed Spec Honda) was made jointly by the Rock Island Grand Prix and Superkarts! USA. We believe that the change will rejuvenate the King of the Streets event which has historically been one of the most coveted titles in karting,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix.

“We are excited about the addition of the Rotax. We hope this quickly becomes one of the premier one-off Rotax events in the world. The Rock Island Grand Prix was one of the early supporters of the Rotax program and we are excited to be a part of the 10th anniversary celebration in 2009,” said Ruthhart. “The early September timing of our race offers a great alternative for those who can’t commit to the time or cost necessary to compete in the Rotax Max U. S. Challenge Finals.”
Also new this year will be a Parilla Leopard class run under TAG USA rules. New and old versions of the Leopard motor will be legal, both in this class and TAG Senior and TAG Masters. Other classes returning include two 4-cycle Animal classes, two 2-cycle Sportsman classes, TAG Senior and Masters, 125 Masters, and Yamaha/HPV Pipe Heavy (with some weight adjustments for 2009).

The decision to drop the junior class from the Rock Island Grand Prix lineup was based on red-flag accidents in that race the past three years. “After two consecutive years of red flags, this class was under careful scrutiny in 2008. What happened? We had two wrecks and another red flag on the first lap,” said Ruthhart. “We do not want Juniors injured at our race. The decision will be revisited in 2010.”

According to organisers, the Rock Island Grand Prix is the world’s largest karting street race and has drawn top drivers from 34 states as well as Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Italy, Costa Rica, the Philippines and England.


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