The first official rendering of the ROK The Rio circuit is now available. The circuit will be made up of 12 corners and feature a straightaway nearly 800 feet long.
It may feel like you've seen this track before, and you would be correct. This layout was utilized by MAXSpeed Entertainment for their two US Open of Las Vegas events in 2015 and 2016 at the same Rio parking lot.
Although I would have a lot more fun writing this article about a new circuit, I can understand why it's being used again. After attending those US Open events, I saw firsthand how competitive it was — and not only that, but how safe it was.
The start/finish line is in between two tight corners, which restrains kart speeds out of the last corner and into the first — thus reducing the all-too common first turn pileup. Feedback from drivers at that time was positive.
Director of Race Promotion at ROK Cup USA, Garret Potter — who was with the MAXSpeed Group at that time — says he was cautious about the move to reuse the map.
ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was very worried about this. I couldn't sleep for the last month because of all the history and different tracks that have been run there,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Potter said. ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had so many people come tell me [in 2015] right after the first on-track session it was amazing, super fast, and wide with many places to pass. Both [Davide] Fore and [Jordon] Lennox came up after the race and said it's by far the best track layout ever in Vegas.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Potter took those words to heart at the time and they likely played a factor in choosing this layout despite others in the organization pushing for a new map. Potter did not rule out the possibility of a completely new circuit in 2019.
The flagship event for ROK Cup USA is booked for Halloween weekend in Las Vegas. Cash prizes will be awarded to each and every Vortex category with a total cash purse of $35,000. Registration for the event opens Friday, July 20th and more information can be found on the ROK Cup USA event page.