The Rock Island Grand Prix is proud to be the first karting race in North America sponsored by LeCont tyres. LeCont,
imported exclusively to North America by WR Motorsports, will sponsor this year's King of the Streets shifter kart race.
King of the Streets is one of the most coveted titles that can be won in North American karting and is always one of the
main races at the Xtreme Rock Island Grand Prix powered by Mediacom. As previously announced, this year's race will be
run in memory of the former drivers! US leader Jim Murley who died earlier this year and played a pivotal role in
developing gearshift kart racing in the US on Rock Island.
The King of the Streets race, as with most other classes at Rock Island, will follow the tyre and compound brand rules. Founded by two brothers, Sergio (chemical engineer) and Valter Cont (mechanical engineer), passionate about motorsport and technology, LeCont is a company from Trentino in northern Italy that produces competition tyres and high-performance compounds for karts and racing cars.
Begun in 1993 with a successful debut with motorcycles, LeCont positioned itself as one of the leading companies in the karting industry before moving on to racing cars. LeCont raced as All tyres, then Cont Sport tyres and since 2004 as LeCont.
The other key man on this incredible team is Paolo Bombara. He is the director of marketing, export sales and sports at LeCont. Paolo has been a former F1 reporter for 20 years and is more familiar with motorsports than anyone else. The latest member of this dream team is Nelson Piquet, three-time F1 World Champion, who is collaborating with WR Motorsport and for the construction of a LeCont factory in Brazil which will start operations by July 2017. Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix, said he was delighted to see the proud tradition of King of Streets continue with the support of LeCont tyres and WR Motorsports. "We are delighted to be working with Wagner Rossi and his company to introduce LeCont tyres in North America".
"Our event has changed over time, but it has always been a challenge for the best drivers in the sport. No practice required. Just show up, learn the route and race. The road route challenges drivers in unpredictable ways", he said. Only 10 drivers wore the cape and crown as King of the Streets champions. It was originally created as an event that circulates between various temporary venues. The 1998 event at the Oklahoma City Grand Prix was won by Joe Janowski. In 1999 Alan Rudolph won at Quincy in the Park. Since that time, the race has had a permanent home at the Rock Island Grand Prix and is one of the most coveted titles in kart racing. Alan Rudolph has won the crown five times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2007) and Jordon Musser has won four times (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013). It was also won by Scott Speed (2002), Bobby Wilson (2003), Kyle Wiegand (2004 and 2005), Alex Speed (2008), Derek Crockett (2011), Connor Iseli (2014) and Josh Lane (2015).