Race day has finally come in Ocala, Florida as the 2013 Florida Winter Tour inches closer to completion. Saturday was round number five of the six race championship, and although the weather was in question all day long, the skies never opened up and every race was completed under dry conditions. The action was intense through every category as drivers looked to lock up or advance forward in their championship chases.
From the start of the Mini Max pre final MRP teammates David Malukas (Birel) and Nicholas Brueckner (Birel) were able to gap the field early. At the halfway point in the race the two leaders were two seconds clear of the field as the chasing pack continued to battle. On the final lap Brueckner took the lead away from Malukas going into the first corner but would lose the position in the final corner to Malukas. Michael d’Orlando (Kosmic) was third ahead of Santiago Terife (TonyKart), and Neil Verhagen (Arrow).
Brueckner was able to use the push given to him by d’Orlando to take the lead of the Mini Max Final ahead of Malukas who only managed to lose one position at the start of the race. Behind the leaders d’Orlando and Verhagen were able to stay with the top two early on. Malukas took the lead in turn four from Brueckner as the teammates would once again try to gap the field as they did in the Pre final. Verhagen took third away from d’Orlando on lap seven of the race. Three laps later the Kartsport North America driver took second away from Brueckner, but would lose the position the next lap by as Brueckner went back to the third position. Mathias Rameriez (TonyKart) then took third from Verhagen with Antonio Serravalle (TonyKart) close behind in third. Malukas would take the win ahead of Brueckner, Rameriez, Verhagen, and Serravalle.
With Brueckner’s performance’s thus far on the weekend, he is one track to catch Anthony Gangi Jr. for the Championship title, but it will definitely come down to the Final race on Sunday.
Matthew Latifi (TonyKart) took the lead from Xavier Harris (OK1) at the start of the Micro Max Pre final as the young Canadian would be followed closely by Guilherme Romano Peixoto (Tony Kart) and Australian Jack Doohan (Tony Kart), who won the first race of the Winter Tour in West Palm Beach. With two laps to go in the pre final the only battle on track was between the championship leaders Giovanni Bromante (TonyKart), and Dylan Tavella (TonyKart) for the fourth position as Bromante was just able to take the spot. Heading into the final it was Latifi in first ahead of Peixoto, Doohan, Bromante, and Tavella.
Latifi led a four kart battle for the lead in the Micro Max final as he was challenged early by Peixoto, Doohan, and Bromante for the lead. Then the battle for the lead would now include another kart as Toranosuke Hamada (Birel) joined the tail end of the lead pack. At the halfway point in the race Latifi, Peixoto and Doohan left Bromante and Hamada behind as they continued to charge forward, but no changes to the running order occurred. On the final lap Peixoto took the lead ahead of Latifi, and the young Canadian would try and take the spot back into the tree turn but overshot his entry and pushed wide, allowing Peixoto to cross under him and retake the lead. This gave the win to Peixoto with Doohan getting by Latifi for second, Bromante finished third just ahead of Latifi as the GT7 driver caught the leaders as they were fighting for position. Harry Coulton (Birel) would come in fifth position after Hamada was disqualified with a technical violation.
With the win Peixoto is the only driver who has a reasonable shot at taking the title away from championship leader Bromante but luck must be on his side in order for Peixoto to take the championship.