The Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, and MAXSpeed, the North American importer for Rotax racing engines, have announced a partnership to promote the growing Rotax Max Challenge program.


The Rock Island Grand Prix, presented by AT&T and Casey’s General Stores, has supported the Rotax program at the popular Labor Day Weekend street race since the package was first introduced. The announcement solidifies that support and commits both groups to helping to promote each other’s programs.


Competitors in the Rotax Senior and Rotax Junior classes at this year’s Rock Island Grand Prix, will have the chance to win a free entry to the 2012 U.S. Rotax Grand Nationals and the chance to compete for a coveted spot on Team USA at the Rotax Grand Final. Each package has an over $1,000 value.


Participating at the Rock Island Grand Prix will be considered one of four necessary punches needed to qualify for the 2012 US Rotax Grand Nationals. The winning drivers must simply complete three more punches at one of the 30 Rotax Max Challenge series around the country to receive their free entry.


Rotax Max Challenge rules will be used at Rock Island. Winners of the Rotax classes at Rock Island will receive $500 checks and the coveted Rock trophy, with payouts through ninth place.


The Rotax Grand Nationals crown the national Rotax champions for the U.S. and offer a chance to qualify for the Rotax Grand Final. Date and location will be announced soon.


The Rock Island Grand Prix will also be promoting the Rotax program on its web site, social media sites and email lists as well as at shows and other races that its representatives attend. All Rotax competitors at Rock Island also receive a complimentary Rotax membership. Many Rotax drivers will also compete in the popular TAG classes at the Rock Island Grand Prix, doubling the track time and chances to win. This year, the TAG Senior race will pay $5,000 to win with a total guaranteed purse of more than $8,000.


“We look forward to working with MAXSpeed to help them promote and grow one of the fastest growing kart racing programs in North America,” said Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix. “Working together throughout the year to promote the great programs under the Rotax Challenge umbrella, can’t help but provide great results that will benefit both organizations. We are excited to be able to offer these valuable packages to the Rotax winners at The Rock.”


“The Rock Island Grand Prix has always been recognized as a storied event and Rotax participation has been mixed,” said Garry Lobaugh, Rotax Max Challenge United States Director. “We are creating an incentive program we hope will bring more Rotax competitors to this great event! For some racers, this could be their best chance to become a TEAM USA member. For others, it could just mean yet another venue to race their reliable Rotax race engine.”


The Rock Island Grand Prix will be held Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-4, through the city streets of downtown Rock Island, Illinois. It will feature 15 races classes for 2-cycle, 4-cycle and gearbox karts competing for an expanded purse of more than $35,000.


For more information visit To join your local RMC, visit