iKart makes history finishing 1 – 2 in Tag Senior at Ocala in the 2014 Florida Winter Tour

iKart makes history and finishes 1 – 2 in Tag Senior at Ocala in The Florida Winter Tour with AJ Meyers and Mike Giessen behind the wheel. It was a long week for the iKart team as Ron Funkhouser (the team’s technical director) headed out of Indianapolis, IN Tuesday night Feb. 4th pulling the iKart Team trailer behind him. The going was slow at about 20mph on the highway as Indy was getting hit by another significant winter storm that dumped over 8” of snow. Sunny Ocala, Florida was the destination and after over 24 hours of being on the road phase 1 was finally complete.

Phase 2 started on Thursday with set up and getting ready for round 3 & 4 of The Florida Winter Tour. Going through the karts and making sure everything was ready to go, and getting some practice laps in was on the schedule. Most of the practice time on Friday was spent just getting things dialed in and working on different set ups for both of the drivers.

Phase 3 brought a whole new set of challenges as Saturday would bring rain to Ocala and a lot of it. AJ Meyers and Mike Giessen were both up for the challenge and Ron did his best to keep up with both karts and the ever changing conditions. It was wet and cold and the iKart chassis showed that it is just as good in the rain as it is in dry conditions. Mike started the day in P3 and AJ in P6 during the warm up. In qualifying Mike put his iKart Chassis in P4 and AJ would start from P13. Definitely not where either driver wanted to start from, but sometimes you just have to play the cards you’re dealt and make the best of it. Heat 1 saw Mike move up and finish in P2 and AJ moved up to P10. Heat 2 saw AJ and Mike get tangled up together early causing Mike to drop nearly to the back of the field. AJ ended up finishing 4th and Mike fought his way back through the field to finish 7th, in a down pour of rain, setting the stage for the final. AJ had a great drive in the rain for the final and was able to bring his iKart chassis across the finish line in 2nd place. The set up on Giessen’s iKart chassis wasn’t quite right for the cold & wet conditions and he did the best he could again with the hand he was dealt by bringing it home in 5th place. At the end of a wet and cold Saturday in Ocala, it wasn’t the results the team had hoped for but it was another respectable showing for the iKart Team.

Phase 4 brought a beautiful, sunny day in Ocala and a fresh beginning for the iKart Team. The day started out slow in the warm up session as both drivers tried to get their karts sorted out after the down pour of rain the day before. Qualifying saw a bit of an improvement, but still nowhere near the lap times that the karts and the drivers are capable of putting down. AJ would start from P6 with a fast lap at 37.683 and Mike would start from P8 with a fast lap at 37.771. Adjustments would continue on both karts, and improvements on the track would follow. Heat 1 would see Mike move up to finish 2nd and AJ would fall back to finish 10th after a few on track incidents. Both drivers knew their karts were getting faster, and the track was definitely starting to come to them. The iKart team put their heads down and got to work bringing out the best of each other and doing all they could to show that their iKart chassis could run with the best of them. Heat number 2 was an inverted start which saw AJ charge to the front and take the win by a ½ second over Colin Warren while Mike was 1.9 seconds back in 4th place. This would set the stage for the Final in Ocala, where Mike Giessen would start from P2 and AJ Meyers would be starting from P5. Both drivers would get a great start and Mike immediately took the lead. AJ would make his way up to 3rd within a couple of laps while Mike started to check out. AJ’s kart came in very quickly and his charge forward continued up to P2 as he slowly reeled his teammate in. By the half way point of the race AJ had pulled right up to his teammate’s bumper and they worked together to put over a 2 second gap on the rest of the field. AJ would quickly get around Mike and as they continued to work together – the gap continued to grow. AJ would take the win and Mike would cross the finish line .592 seconds back in 2nd. At the finish line the gap back to 3rd had grown to over 3 seconds, and for the 1st time in Florida Winter Tour history an American Kart Manufacturer would finish 1 – 2. Another successful weekend for the iKart Team and a great job done by everyone involved. Special thanks to Comet Racing Engines for the Leopard Power. It’s always nice to see hard work, and team work pay off in a 1 – 2 finish. We’ll be back in action for the last 2 rounds of The Florida Winter Tour in Orlando on March 14th – 16th, and until then we’ll be hard at work in Indianapolis building more iKarts.

First Round of Florida Winter Tour 2014

The iKart team traveled south to Homestead, Florida for their first on track activity of the New Year. Behind the wheel for the first race of 2014 were AJ Meyers and Mike Giessen competing in the Tag Senior Class. The Florida Winter Tour always brings out the best competition along with many International drivers as well. The iKart team was fast all weekend with AJ up near the top in just about every practice session, while Mike was working on different set ups and keeping his iKart machine easily in the top 10.

Saturday saw AJ qualify P3 just 4 hundredths off the pole time and Mike put his iKart in P5 just 2 hundredths back of AJ. Saturday’s feature race saw lots of action and misfortune for AJ Myers while Mike Giessen charged through the field from his P5 starting position to lead a large portion of the race. It looked like he was in control to take the win, but with just a handful of laps left he got tangled with Dan Roeper allowing Daniel Formal (the reigning FWT Champion) to get by and take the win. Mike came across the finish line in 2nd while AJ (although fast all day Friday and in qualifying) suffered through bad luck during the feature to finish back in 24th place.

Sunday morning saw AJ set fast time during the warm-up session while Mike was just 2 tenths back in P6. Qualifying saw both drivers right up at the top again with Mike putting in a lap at 47.726 and AJ right behind him at 47.735 good enough for P2 and P3 for the iKart teammates. Unfortunately the Leopard power plants on the iKarts just couldn’t quite keep up with the Rotax engines at this particular track. As the rubber continued to go down on the track as the day went on it became more and more difficult to get the drive necessary out of the tight hairpins that was needed to put them up front. Although AJ and Mike showed how fast the iKart chassis is, the Leopard engines were at a distinct disadvantage as the rubber built up on the track. Both drivers did the best they could and drove fantastic all weekend. The iKart chassis performed flawlessly and was fast all weekend. Although Sunday’s results weren’t what the team was hoping for Mike still managed to finish 4th and AJ crossed the finish line in 15th. The iKart Chassis was the only American made kart in the TAG SR. field. It was another David vs. Goliath, and David gave Goliath all he could handle.

The iKart Race Team will be back in action at the next round of the Florida Winter Tour at Ocala, Florida on Feb. 7th, 8th, and 9th. Check back here to keep up to date with all of Team iKart’s results!

Giessen takes home a win at the inaugural United States Pro Karting Series!

blog-giessen-wins-uspks-race-2013iKart debuted the TaG chassis, the CBX-RM2, at the USPKS inaugural race at the Mooresville Motorsports Complex in Pennsylvania. Battling with rainy conditions on and off throughout the weekend, driver Mike Giessen emerged victorius in Leopard Pro Sunday, scoring an additional podium finish of 4th in Saturday’s Leopard Pro class. We plan on heading back in 2014 for another solid performance.

Pole Position at RoboPong 200!

Sage Karam takes Pole Position for the RoboPong 200, and will start on the front row with teammate Gabby Chaves in the iKart. Both Sage, and Gabby are Mazda Road to Indy drivers. Joseph Newgarden held the provisional pole, until Firestone Indy Lights Champion, Sage Karam (iKart) took 15 thousands off of Newgarden’s time and claimed the pole position.

Another Podium finish for the new ikart – New Jersey

blog-podium-finish-new-jersey-2013 Brad Nyman took a well deserved 3rd place finish. After experiencing some motor issues, Brad showed he and the new ikart have what it takes and moved his way up to 3rd place for a podium finish. Congratulations Brad.

Nick Ricketts Victorious at the SIRA Brazil Event in Yamaha Senior Heavy

iKart pilot Nick Ricketts took home the win in Yamaha Senior Heavy at the Southern Indiana Racing Association’s annual Brazil street race. After a very successful 2012 within the series, winning several races and a championship, Nick and iKart once again found success in Brazil. Brazil is one of the toughest tracks on the SIRA circuit, a storied midwestern regional series that travels to some of the best street race venues in the midwest. Look for Nick to continue to be a frontrunner in the SIRA series throughout the year as he is now coming off of wins at Brazil and the Mayors Cup just last month in Anderson, Indiana.