Florida Winter Tour Orlando ROK Weekend Wrap-Up
Another race weekend is complete at the Cold Stone Creamery Florida Winter Tour ROK Cup wrapped up their second of three events at the Orlando Kart Center this past weekend. It was a cold start to the weekend but by Sunday the sun was beating down on the competition with hot temperatures and great racing action. The ROK Cup programme continues to impress in the Florida region with a great turnout of drivers.
Here is our wrap up of the weekends races.
AJ Myers Holds off Rubens Barrichello on Sunday in ROK Shifter
After struggling to get off the start line all weekend long, former formula 1 star Rubens Barrichello finally got the launch he wanted in Sunday’s Final. Jumping out the early lead from the pole-position Barrichello was immediately under threat from hot shoe AJ Myers (Checkered Flag/PCR). The pressure would be too much for Barrichello as the Saturday winner surrendered the lead early and Myers broke free.
Barrichello did all he could to close the gap in the final laps to have a shot at victory by Myers managed to keep a safe 3-kart length lead to claim the victory. Nelson Piquet Jr. fell one step on the podium from his finish the day earlier and claimed the third spot, while Milan Dontje (PSL/CRG) and Austin Garrison (OGP/TonyKart) were fourth and fifth.
Click here for Saturday race report.
Felipe Bartz Unstoppable in Micro-ROK
25 of the youngest of the drivers in Orlando this weekend competed in the Micro-ROK category but only one stood on the top of the podium as local driver Felipe Bartz (TonyKart) swept the weekends races.
On Saturday Bartz and Chase Heffner (BENIK Kart) broke free from the rest and waged a great battle until a lap kart got in the way on the final lap, allowed Bartz to take the win without a final challenge.
But on Sunday Bartz had his hands full with another BENIK Kart, but this time it was the UK’s Oliver Denny. Once again the two broke away early and exchanged the lead back and forth. But Bartz opened up a two-length lead in the final laps to clean sweep the weekend and take home his second FWT winner trophy in as many days.
Diego Borras (TonyKart) completed the podium on Saturday while it was Lucas Rodriguez (TonyKart) on Sunday who finished third.
Kirkwood Remains Perfect in ROK Senior
Four-for-four. Kyle Kirkwood has been on fire so far in ROK Senior and on Sunday it was no different as the Florida driver from Ocala Gran Prix continued his perfect streak with only two races remaining.
After a lengthy red-flag to attend to Christian Munoz, who suffered a broken collar bone, the racing resumed with Kirkwood leading the way.
Ryan Norberg (Checkered Flag/PCR) launched an early attack on Kirkwood, taking the lead for the opening few laps. But Kirkwood remained calm and made his move back to the lead on lap four and went unchallenged from there to the checkers.
Norberg held on for second with Morgan Healey (OGP/TonyKart) standing on the podium for the second straight day.
Malukas and Peixoto Win in ROK Junior
Hosting the second round of the 2015 Florida Winter Tour ROK Cup, the Orlando Kart Center provided the racing that most anticipated as the fast and flowing track catered to many different driving styles and in many of the races the fans were delivered a great show.
On Saturday in ROK Junior Brazilian Gulherme Peixoto (RPG/Kosmic) took advantage of early battling by his competitors behind and jumped out to an early lead. Never looking back and hitting his marks every lap, Peixoto scored a 1.6 second victory over Homestead double-winner Mathias Ramirez (OGP/TonyKart) and Arthur Leist (Techspeed). Michael d’Orlando (KoeneUSA/TonyKart) and Anthony Gangi Jr. (GT7/TonyKart) rounded out the top-five after some hectic battling throughout the race.
d’Orlando Delivers Two More Wins in Mini-ROK at Orlando
By far the most competitive class of the Vortex ROK program at the 2015 Florida Winter Tour, the Mini-ROK category has delivered heart-wrenching races every time the young drivers have hit the track so far this year. Once again it had the largest turnout with more than 40 drivers entered, and once again it was nearly impossible to predict the winner until the checkered flags flew.
The BENIK Kart programme continues to grow and show its strength in the category as Saturday qualifying featured six of their drivers in the top-ten, lead by Jonny Edgar of the UK on the pole-position.
Masters Winners Continue to Dominate
A pair of Masters drivers continue to dominate their respective categories.
In ROK Masters, Brazilian driver Eduardo Dieter (Techspeed) claimed two more victories to remain unbeaten this season while Richard Heistand (OGP/TonyKart) has done the same in ROK Masters Shifter.
Both drivers are in a level above their competition and are well on their way the championship in their categories.