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What we Learned: 2015 Cold Stone US Open of Las Vegas

MAXSpeed's new hire, the champions, and Nicastro is a beast

Photo Credit: Kart360

The 2015 US Open of Las Vegas is now in the books and it was a successful debut. There was intense racing, championship battles coming down to the wire, and great atmosphere. Of course everyone would want a few more karts in each category, but that did not mean there was a lack of talent, far from it. Look for this event and series to grow in 2016.

For full results, race reports, photos, and more visit our On Location Page presented by Rolison Performance Group.

We have been shooting at every event this year along with Erickson Media and will be releasing a full season review video around Thanksgiving.

Exciting and Safe Racing

The track design was well liked by a majority of the drivers. It featured a very fast straightaway along with a good mixture of hairpins, 90’s, and sweepers. In some parts of the track it was nearly fifty feet wide, which allowed for some very exciting racing, but also safe racing. There were no red flags until Sunday and no major injuries. Lance Lehrman suffered a broken leg in DD2 Masters in an incident exiting turn three.

Andre Nicastro is a Beast

If you are a karting history buff like we are then you know the name Andre Nicastro and some of his impressive results in Europe in the mid-to-late 90’s. Nicastro has spent pretty much is whole life racing direct drive karts on soft tires and his style is evident of that. In recent years he has shown this style in North America most notably at the SuperNats with his late braking and backing the kart into the corner. For anyone that has ever driven a Rotax on MOJO’s they know this is the antithesis of how you need to drive.

Photo Credit: Kart360

Nicastro and his Italian Motors team had not spent more than one day testing before the event, and with every session they got faster and faster. After a few poor heat race results Nicastro started in 10th position in the final. With a great start he quickly jumped to the lead on lap six and slowly built a gap to take home the win in his and Italian Motor’s Rotax debut. Nicastro has started his own team and will be competing in the Florida Winter Tour in 2016, which we really look forward to.

MAXSpeed’s New Hire

If you missed the PR over the weekend, MAXSpeed has brought on Andrew Campbell as their head of Sales and Marketing. Campbell has been in the sport since a young age and for the past few years has been PSL Karting’s team manager and managed their marketing and advertising.  This was announced Friday at the event and we have only heard positive feedback. Maybe the most important factor in this move is that Campbell will bring some fresh new ideas to karting on the racing organizational side.

A Strong Showing For Dallas Karting Complex and Champion Racing

Jake French pulled double duty in DD2 and Shifter Elite scoring two second place finishes. At the end of the day he said he had nothing left in the tank and gave everything he had.
Photo Credit: Kart360

Two teams that do not get as much press as the Koene USA's and PSL Karting's of the karting world had a great weekend in Vegas. Dallas Karting Complex and Sodi Kart had multiple podium finishes, most notably with Jake French finishing second in both DD2 and Shifter Elite and Austin Wilkins in second in Shifter Senior. The team from Texas has been working hard all season and it shows with these results.

Champion Racing took home two wins this weekend, one with Ryan Kinnear in Shifter Masters and another with Bryce Cornet in Shifter Senior. The Indrepid Driver Program team also had Harry Gottsacker finish in fourth position.

Photo Credit: Kart360

The Champions

Senior Max – Oliver Askew – PSL Karting/BirelART

Junior Max – Trenton Estep – Koene USA/Tony Kart

DD2 – Ferenc Kancsar – PSL Karting/BirelART

DD2 Masters – Luis Zervigon – PSL Karting/BirelART

Masters Max –Derek Wang – BBR Karting/Gillard

Mini Max – Jak Crawford – Energy Corse

Micro Max – Diego Laroque – BBR Karting/Benik

Shifter Elite – Davide Fore – CRG

Shifter Senior – Luke Shanahan – Mquared/Tony Kart

Shifter Masters – Ryan Kinnear – Champion Racing/ Intrepid

Shifter Veteran – Jet Davis – CRG USA/CRG

Shifter Junior – Carson Mueller