Greeley Tribune Article – Brothers get ready

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    Angie MacEwen

    Brothers get ready to start their go-carts in Greeley Grand Prix

    Roxye Arellano, [email protected] May 24, 2007

    Brakes? Check.

    Helmet? Check.

    Gas? Check.

    Ready? Ready as they’ll ever be.

    Brothers J.B. and Jared Jensen of Windsor are a little nervous for this weekend. This will be the first time they’ve ever competed in a go-cart race.

    “I’m real nervous,” said J.B., 13. “I hope it goes well.”

    The brothers and about 100 more participants will race in the second Greeley Grand Prix from noon on Friday to the 4 p.m. award ceremony on Sunday at Island Grove Park Arena, 501 N. 14th Ave. in Greeley.

    J.B. said their father, John Jensen, used to go-cart race when they were younger.

    “He got me excited about it,” he said. “I’m trying to get into it and he helps me work into it.”

    J.B. said his dad has given them tips on driving, but they haven’t covered crashing.

    “We’re not talking about crashing yet,” he said with a smile.

    More than 100 go-carts will travel around the large parking lot near the arena, out to the park area in front of the event center and then lead their way back to the arena. VIP and grandstands will be located near the finish line. Racers from Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and California have registered for the race.

    New this year is the lengthened track course and more viewing spaces for spectators.

    For J.B., his view of the event will be spectacular.

    “You’re pretty low to the ground,” said J.B. “You’ll feel a lot of things in the track. … It’s like riding in the corvette. It’s low to the ground.”

    The go-carts can run up to 80 miles per hour easily, said Drew Kunter, spokesman of GPS Associates.

    J.B. will race a Margay chassis PRD Fireball engine and will compete in the TaG Junior division while Jared, 8, will compete in the Junior 1 Honda division with his Invader chassis, Honda engine.

    While the boys are just beginning to learn the basics of go-carts and racing strategies, they don’t hesitate to give other pointers.

    “If there is three racers in the front of you, and two on the sides, feather out of the puzzle,” said Jared. “If you see a gap, go through it and you might be successful.”

    The event was conceived by Greeley’s Recreation Director, Ken D’Amato, after he was stuck in a traffic jam during Labor Day in Rock Island, Ill. At that time, the town was celebrating the annual Rock Island Grand Prix.

    Kunter said he hopes this brings out more interest in northern Colorado in the sport of go-cart racing.

    “If we can get two or three people that will help promote this, that’s great,” he said. “We need people to know there is so much happening within the sport of racing.”

    Classes for the event will be broken down into categories:

    Pro/Senior 125 Shifter, Spec Moto Shifter, Masters 125 Shifter, Junior 80 Shifter, Novice 80 Shifter, Rotax DD2, TaG 4 Shifter, TaG Senior, TaG Masters, TaG Junior, Rotax MiniMax, Briggs Modified, Jr. 2 Animal, Jr. 1 Animal, Jr. 1 Honda, Jr. 1 Comer, KidKart Comer and KidKart Honda.

    Below is a tentative schedule for the Greeley Grand Prix


    Noon – Pits open to racers


    7:30 – 9 a.m. racer registration

    8 – 11 a.m. practice rotation

    1 – 2:30 p.m. practice rotation

    3 – 5 p.m. qualifying rotation

    6:30 p.m. social event


    8 – 10 a.m. warm-up rotation

    10:30 a.m. opening ceremony

    11 a.m. heat races

    1 p.m. main events

    4 p.m. awards ceremony

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