|Sage Karam and his father|
Ocala, Florida – Sage Karam’s shocking win in the Florida Winter Tour’s JICA class, was way ahead of schedule! Sage’s constant improvement, was a key component to the victory over the many seasoned teams/drivers in the JICA category.
IRL team owner, Michael Andretti, was quick to say, "Sage's quick adaptation to the JICA class wasn't surprising to me. I know his talent level and expected him to rise to the occasion. It should be a challenging and exciting year for him. I am following Sage’s season closely and continue to enjoy working with him."
The junior driver was very excited and had a lot to say. “ It was only my third race in JICA and I knew we were getting faster each time out. My dad, Chris (Lobaugh) and Marc (Zartarian of Hi Rev Engineering engines) worked very hard for me. My dad and Chris really made a lot of progress with the new chassis". Karam is no stranger to chassis development.
Jody, Sage’s dad, was a bit more analytical, “Sage and I understand our role in the MRP program. I think our effectiveness in chassis development was clear in the cadet and Junior Sportsman. The JICA program is a whole new animal. Our intent was to arrive and just make serious progress throughout the weekend. I never expected Sage to win. Sage was competing against his Florida friends that have intense JICA testing time, age and home track advantages over him. It’s tough with Sage only weighing 80 pounds. He’s the smallest and lightest in the class. But, we’re not regretting moving him up early. Michael (Andretti) urged me to move him up early, and I’m not about to second guess Michael".
Sage’s engine program utilizes Marc Zartarian, of Hi Rev Engineering. “Marc’s engines were great all weekend long. I lost one engine on Saturday, due to our mistake, but, Marc just dropped off another one that was just as good", said Sage.
“I was impressed with the consistency and race craft that Sage demonstrated throughout the weekend", added Zartarian. “The Karam’s are amongst the hardest working and committed people in karting. The results are showing reflecting their efforts."
" I like the fact that Marc is always at the events and isn’t afraid to turn a wrench. Marc is as competitive as us. I also admire that Marc thrives on winning, and detests losing, as much as we do", said Jody.
On Sunday, Sage turned 5 consecutive identical laps times during the prefinal. “Sage simplified the chassis tuning with the consistency he developed" added Jody. “The chassis is new and I think we got a great read on the situation over the weekend. Obviously, there is room for improvement from the driver and chassis, but things couldn’t have gone much better".
“I knew it would be a good weekend. We found two Waffle Houses in the Ocala area and we ate there every morning. Things always go well when we eat at Waffle House", said Sage.
Sage would like to thank the following partners and supporters: Michael Andretti, MRP Motorsports, Garry Lobaugh and Family, Marc Zartarian of HRE, Orwig Property Management, Grand Products, Noonan Pedal system, Bell Helmets, Alpinestars, SmitHahn and Strober Building Supplies.
Check out www.Sagekaram.com for more info. Sage is always looking for new partners and teammates to join his team.