A well-established karting track in Florida has permanently closed…and racers in Canada should be concerned. This wasn’t some dusty old concession kart track with mini golf and batting cages.
Ocala Grand Prix was a a top-tier facility with national level ROK Cup USA events. Yet in these challenging times, the track is being torn down to put up… a storage facility. In his CKN article, Cody Schindel explained that the town of Ocala has become centre for equestrian sports, and the size of the track will allow it to provide ample RV parking for well-funded horse people.
One would imagine that such a well respected track would still be profitable and sustainable. Ocala Grand Prix has hosted many rounds of the Florida Winter Tour over the past two decades, and this year, the new generation of racers like New Speed Motorsports‘ Rocco Simone even competed there.
In an interview published on eKartingNews, OCP’s owner explains:
“…It is a sad day for karting but something that must happen to make a viable business. With the karting industry, both race and rental sides evolving and changing every year, it is not easy to stay ahead of the game. My team and I have worked tirelessly but have come to the conclusion that it is time for a change. This is about business, money-in versus money-out…”Jorge Arellano, OGP
When racing resumes in May, it is critical that Ontario racers head out to the track. Join a karting club and run the full schedule. Sign up for a regional series and visit tracks one may never have raced at before. Head out to a big track for a once in a lifetime experience in an Italian supercar. If motoring enthusiasts do not support tracks during these challenging times there won’t be many tracks left. Some smart race track owners might throw in the towel and transform the area into a residential subdivision. Just one big Smart Centre next to a planned community. But don’t worry, there will surely be a storage facility for all the stuff people buy at Costco.
Get out there and race!