FWT: Ben Cooper Excels in DD2 on Sunday
The Florida Winter Tour wrapped up it’s 2014 championship on Sunday at the Orlando Kart Center as the popular winter karting destination let the sun set on what can be called another successful season.
The Rotax DD2 division has featured many of the worlds current top kart racers this season with four different winners through the first five races.
Saturday winner Nick Neri (OGP/TonyKart) got out front early in the Final and initially pulled out to a short lead, but as they approached the halfway point, Ben Cooper (KMS/Birel) had worked his way onto Neri’s bumper.
Trading the lead back and forth allowed Lithuanian Simas Juodviršis (Energy Kart Canada/Energy Kart) to join the action and before they knew it, there were six hungry DD2’s all fighting for the lead including American Jonathan Kotyk (OGP/TonyKart) and Canadians Jeffrey Kingsley (PSL/CRG) and Fred Woodley (Maranello).
With Cooper now leading, Juodviršis and Neri made contact for second, holding up the group and allowing Cooper to sneak away and leave the battle for second.
“The best way I can describe the racing this weekend and especially today was FUN,” smiled Cooper at the podium. “It was good to be back in DD2 and feeling competitive. The racing was tough as Nick [Neri] was very quick on the opening laps which meant I had to work hard to reel him back in. Once I was in range to make a move I went for it. We then had a good fight for the lead for three laps, swapping places and when I got the gap it was just about putting down some fast, consistent times. I hope everyone enjoyed watching the race just as much as I have enjoyed being in it.”
Neri would eventually break free but wasn’t able to track down Cooper, with English-Canadian taking the win and becoming the fifth different winner in DD2 this season with five different nationalities topping the podium. Jourdvirsis capped off his first FWT campaign with the third step on a the podium after two very tough opening rounds.
Daniel Formal (PSL/CRG) and Woodley completed the podium, while Kingsley ultimately finished ninth. Max Preston (Goodwood/Intrepid) was twelfth and Alessandro Bizzotto (PSL/CRG) thirteenth.