Maximilian Opalski

I started racing kid-karts at the age of 5-years old in Chicago, Illinois where I was born. I began my career in the lowest class you can be in when racing karts; kid-karts, and I did this for about 2 years. As I moved up in classes, I started to learn how to develop a racecraft and how to be fast. I remember doing race series like WKA and Route 66 which are small racing series in the Midwest. Again with not many notable wins, I had success in learning and developing as a driver. I have been told I have a coachable nature. This went on for about 3 to 4 years. A real turning point in my career was when I moved to Colorado in 2016. The main reason this was a step-up in my career was that this is when I started racing karts on a national level. My parents hired a personal driving coach who traveled the country with us. My first ever national kart race was at the Rotax US Open in Las Vegas, NV in 2016. I remember this race being super exciting but also it was a huge wake-up call because that’s when I realized that the driving talent was much much higher than I had experienced before. The next year, I participated in the Skusa Pro Tour for the first time. I spent that whole year in mini swift class with success progressing as a driver. Then, 2018 was another big year for me because that’s when I moved up classes. I primarily did the X30 Junior class. That year started in Florida with me and my coach Wes Philips. We started finishing top ten in the national races and finishing in podium places in regional races like the SKUSA Pro Kart series. The year 2019 was the year I did the most races. We raced almost every week. This helped me as a driver a lot. And the results showed. I would say that 2019 was my breakout year. This is the year that I started to get fast. What I mean by that is I started to have a good enough pace to win races. I remember the start of that year was in Florida for the SKUSA Winter Series. That race I qualified on the front row which was the first time I had ever done that in a national race. The only problem I had was that racing up front was a lot different of a dynamic, so even though I had a good pace I couldn’t race the way I wanted for myself due to needing to learn how to race with pressure behind me. Moving forward in that year we continued to have this obstacle of being fast but not staying upfront. At the end of 2019, we went to the streets of Lancaster Race in California. In that race, I entered 2 classes and won both of them by over 5 seconds. That race was really good for me because I got so much recognition and it boosted my career. In the last race of that year, I did the SuperNats in Las Vegas which is the biggest kart race in the world with many European and American drivers. In that race I finished 5th in one class,out of 50 drivers.In the other class I got 10th out of 80 drivers after starting in the last position in the race. The year 2020 was the most successful year I have had so far. That year, while I did not attend any Florida races during the winter, I did win some regional races in California for the challenge of the Americas. After that was the start of the 2020 Pro Tour. It started in NOLA motorsports park, New Orleans, LA. We were fast in practices but unfortunately, the race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unexpected racing break was continued on for 3 or 4 months. Then in August of 2020 kart racing was back on and the entire SKUSA Pro Tour series was held in New Castle, Indiana. This entire series was held within 2 weeks. Three races in the first week and three races the following week. I earned pole position 2 out of the 3 races, won the pre-final twice out of the 3 races. The race weekends ended up pretty good with a few podiums and some good point standings. The next series I did that year was the United States pro kart series. The series held 6 races and I finished top five in every race. I won twice and got second twice. Those two championships were my last races in junior and for the rest of 2021, I competed in senior classes. I participated in the ROK the Rio in Las Vegas for my first race as a senior. I qualified for the pole and finished second. The rest of the year as a senior was a bit tough for me with a few top 5 finishes and mostly top-ten finishes. What made the year hard was how close the driving was in this class and with our engine not being that great, the races relied on driving craft to stay upfront. This year was still really fun and maybe if I had some more time in that class I could start winning but we had to move on from karts to continue in my racing career. The 2021 year allowed me to do six races at a national level. Almost double that from the years before. Looking back on this whole karting journey and progression has made me think about how I couldn’t have done it without my team and especially my parents. But the team I was with really helped me out. Ryan Perry Motorsports put a huge amount of dedication into me. Every time I came off the track, we extensively looked through data trying to find how I could improve. We always watched videos of my driving and going over areas where I could go faster. A lot of good results come from the driver but without a good team, it could not be possible. On top of all the national racing I have done I also competed in racing with shifter karts. I did two races in shifter at a national level. One was on a Florida Winter Tour and the other was the Challenge of the Americas where I finished 12th out of 25 karts. In June of 2021 I attended the Allen Berg Racing School where I completed his 3 day racing school and his 2 day advanced racing school to get my SCCA license. Also later that month I began my mx5 cup car testing with over 50 laps at the Dominion Raceway. At the end of January 2022 I completed my first ever Global MX-5 Cup race at Daytona. The rest of the year consisted of me learning as it was my first year in cars. Getting a couple of top tens here and there made me feel ready for 2023. In the offseason I did a lot of training in Spec Miata and on the sim. Learning not only how to drive a car better, but how to set up a car and learning more how a car works on track. I think this all helped me a lot because in 2023 my first pro race of the year went really well, qualifying in the top 3 and finishing 5th. The race after that at the Firestone Grand Prix at St pete we also had lots of speed, driving in the top five until we had a car failure. Highlights 2019 3rd in the Pro Kart Championship Double win at Streets of Lancaster Second at Rok the Rio 5th at Supernationals 2020 First at the Challenge of the Americas 3rd at WSK Charlotte First at GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge First at USPKS rounds 3 and 5 Second at USPK rounds 4 and 6 3rd in USPKS championship Second at Pro Tour round 1 5th at Rotax Grand Nationals Second at Rok the Rio 2021 Got my SCCA license Got my NASA license 2022 Mazda Global MX5-Cup Debut. 2023 My First top three qualifying and my best finish in MX5 Cup First big sponsor Media coverage EkartingNews, Kart Chaser, Calspeed Mag, Polski Karting, Copeland Motorsports, Mazda MX5 Cup, IMSA TV, Youtube, Racer.com, Autograph signings at races.
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