Red Bull Kart Fight

from Ian Black, IKD

I am at the PRI Show for the Sparco side of the business so I thought I would send through some information to you.

The Red Bull Kart Fight Powered By Rotax has been run and won (race report below). The event was held last night at the Performance and Racing Industry Trade Show and staged in the car park of the Florida Convention Centre. Featuring drivers such as NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger, all round motorsport superstar Tanner Foust and Indycar stars Alex Tagliani and Ryan Briscoe ensured that there was never going to be a dull moment.

pic - IKD

With racing being conducted on a tight and twisty track that provided lap times of less than 15 seconds per lap, the event certainly lived up to expectations.

The current stars of the karting world were also well represented with drivers like Davide Fore, Jonathon Thonon, Bas Lammers and current Champion of the Rotax World Ben Cooper from the UK, less than a week after winning the Rotax World Finals in Al Ain.

Above: All the Hoo-Haa of NASCAR for the driver intros
pic -IKD

All 50 drivers were provided a brand new Rotax engine to use. Red Bull did a fantastic job of staging the event, music was playing, commentary was real non-stop American hype, podium presentation was NASCAR style and a capacity crowd had the venue absolutely packed. Temporary grandstand seating for 3500 people was overflowing plus all other vantage points around the track were taken, so I would estimate that more than 5000 people watched the event live. Racing was also recorded live by SPEED channel and will be shown around the world plus a huge media contingent were present, so overall it was fantastic exposure for Karting.

The final was won by Belgian Indy Car driver Jan Heylen. Hard Charger award went to Rotax King Ben Cooper who came from grid 16 on a track that was very difficult to pass, to finish 3rd.

Ian Black

red bull kart fight with rotax
Above: IKD's Ian Black with Indycar racer Alex Tagliani
pic -IKD

red bull kart fight with rotax
Above: All Star winner, Belgian's Jan Heylen
pic -IKD

red bull kart fight with rotax
Above & Below: CRG team-mates in CIK karting, Davide Fore and Jonathon Thonon had quite an argument on the in-grid after an altercation on track during the heats at the Red Bull Kart Fight
pic -IKD
red bull kart fight with rotax

red bull kart fight with rotax
Above: Aussie Indycar star Ryan Briscoe
pic -IKD

press release

Before A Standing-Room-Only Crowd of 3500, Jan Heylen Wins The Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax

In an outstanding night of action-packed racing under the lights before a standing-room-only crowd of over 3,500 members of the racing industry, Jan Heylen won the 2011 All-Star division race at the Red Bull Kart Fight at PRI, Powered by Rotax. He drove a CRG kart for the CRG USA team.

Jay Howard drove an Arrow chassis for the KartSport-Arrow team to a second-place finish, while the UK's Ben Cooper, fresh off his Senior Division win in Dubai at the 2011 Rotax Max Challenge Finals, charged from P16 to claim the final spot on the podium. He drove a Praga kart, made by Intrepid, for the Praga North America team.

The Red Bull Kart Fight featured famed drivers from diverse series such as NASCAR Cup, X Games, IndyCar, ALMS, Grand-Am and the NASCAR Camping World Truck series. Heylen competed in Grand-Am in 2011, while Howard competed in IndyCar.

The race was held at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, on Thursday night, December 1, in Orlando. The PRI Trade Show is the world's largest racing trade show, with exhibits by over 1000 companies, and attendance by 40,000 racing professionals from throughout the US and over 60 countries.

"It was an unbelievable and spectacular event! With Red Bull and Rotax as sponsors, the cooperation of the WKA and IKF, and all the great drivers, this was a great kart race!" exclaimed Steve Lewis, producer of the PRI Trade Show. "We're so pleased to see karting so well presented before a standing-room-only crowd."

Red Bull Kart Fight Podium 2011

Jan Heylen, center, won the Red Bull Kart Fight. Jay Howard, left, came in second, while Ben Cooper came in third.

The grandstand seating for 2500 was packed, and another 1000 people stood at the fence all the way around the race track, sometimes three people deep.

Drivers in the All-Star race included AJ Allmendinger, Tanner Foust, Cole Whitt, Ryan Briscoe, Alex Tagliani, Townsend Bell and more.

Heylen started in the pole position, but was soon overtaken by Howard, who started P2. Late in the race, Heylen took the lead in a bump-and-run, and kept it for the checkered flag. "I got a little lucky with the lapped traffic," said a modest Heylen, who won the last big kart race held at the PRI Trade Show. "I'll be back next year," added Heylen.

"This is a fantastic event," said Howard. "I'm looking forward to coming back next year."

In a Karters division packed with amazing talents, including the current world champion Jonathan Thonon, five-time world champion David Fore and last year's world champion Bas Lammers, the winner was Daniel Formal. He drove a Birel chassis for the MRP team.

Cooper finished second. Thonon finished third in the Karters division final, driving a CRG chassis for the CRG USA team. The top 8 finishers competed in the All-Star division, starting at the back of the grid.

Red Bull also organized a series of qualifying races for amateurs throughout the US who then raced in the Amateurs division of the Red Bull Kart Fight. It was won by Brendan Johnson, with Jason Drescher taking second and Steve Troyer finishing third.