Saturday in Homestead, Florida, USA was race day for the 2013 Florida Winter Tour. The Rotax Max classes finally competed in wheel to wheel competition after qualifying on Friday afternoon. The warm temperatures and sunny skies in south Florida put fatigue into play as drivers and everyone in the paddock needed to stay hydrated. With a Pre Final and Final for every class, things were very busy at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the racing was exciting in every division as round three of the FWT saw some new and returning winners after the opening rounds in West Palm Beach.
In Rotax Senior, Daniel Formal (TonyKart) led a swarm of green into the first corner ahead of Nick Neri (TonyKart), reigning Rotax Grand Finals Champion Charlie Eastwood (TonyKart) and Dan Roeper (TonyKart). The battle for fifth was tight as Tadasuke Makino (Birel) would be pressured by Jesus Rio Jr. (CRG), who got by the Japanese driver going into the first corner on lap two. Makino would also get passed by Oliver Askew (TonyKart) for sixth after losing momentum from battling Rios. Next lap by Askew passed Rios for fifth and pursued the top four drivers. With four laps to go in the race Roeper’s chain would fall of the gears forcing him to retire, promoting Askew to fourth and Rios to Fifth. At the end of the pre final Formal took the win ahead of Neri, Eastwood, Askew, and Rios.
Nick Neri came from the outside of the front row to take the lead coming out of the first corner ahead of Formal, with Eastwood in third and David Sera (Arrow) in the fourth Position. On lap three Jordan Lennox (CRG) moved into the fourth position taking it away from the Australian Sera. Meanwhile up front Neri Formal and Eastwood would go three wide for the lead, resulting in Neri and Eastwood making contact sending both drivers off giving the lead to formal. A few laps later, Askew would pass Lennox for second and Rios would slot into the fourth position. At the halfway point Eastwood overtook Rios for fourth. On lap eleven the top seven drivers all posted their fastest laps of the race as the Race Monitor timing screen lit up with green. With four laps to go Askew was inching closer to the rear bumper of Formal and with two to go, he finally made his move to the lead in corner five. But three corners later Formal retook the position and drove home to the checkers. Lennox would hold on to finish in the third position ahead of Eastwood and Jesus Rios Jr.
Sunday will see Askew start from the pole-position in the Pre Final, while Formal will start fourth.