FWT: Luis Forteza Battles for Saturday Rotax Junior Win
There was lots of action in Rotax Junior as 40 karts hit the track on Saturday at the Orlando Kart Center. While the FWT Championship will come down to Sunday’s action, Saturday set the tone for what should be a great finale.
Mexico’s Patricio O’Ward (SH Racing/FA Kart) was very impressive in the prefinal, driving away from the field after starting on the pole. However he would be accessed a penalty for a fast start violation, moving him well down the order (10th) to start the Final. This moved Brazilian Pedro Cardoso (PSL/CRG) and Canadian Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) to the front row.
It was a very exciting opening set of laps with Cardoso leading his championship rival Austin Garrison (OGP/TonyKart) and Luis Forteza (J3/Kosmic), while Mazzaferro fell back to fifth. As Cardoso and Garrison battled hard, Forteza was able to sneak through and into the lead on lap three with Cardoso falling down the order after tangling with Nicholas Brueckner (MRP/Birel) as well as Austin Versteeg (RPG/Kosmic).
Things began to settle down near the halfway mark where Forteza had stretched a short gap over Garrison and Mazzaferro nested into third. That is until the final lap when Forteza and Garrison went hard for the win. Back and forth the two traded the lead, allowing Mazzaferro to catch entering the final sector and setting up a drag race to the finish line. Forteza held on to take the win ahead of Garrison and Mazzaferro.
Championship Sunday will see Cardoso, Garrison and Forteza duke it out for the FWT Championship and the ticket to the 2014 Rotax Grand Finals.