Weekend two of the 2014 Florida Winter Tour is officially underway with the Rotax classes getting their chance to hit the asphalt at Homestead-Miami Speedway. What started off as a cool day, heated up just as the Qualifying action hit the track. Friday’s action set the grids for both Saturday and Sunday’s prefinals with two separate qualifying sessions.
46 drivers strong, Rotax Junior is the largest class on tap this weekend in Homestead. Many new faces join the class after moving up from Mini-Max, giving some of the class veterans a real run for their money. With only 34 drivers able to start the Final, the Last Chance Races will be great on both days.
Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) kicked off his second year on Junior with a stellar pole-position for Saturday. With the top-six drivers all in the 48.5 range, it is very tight up front, and all the way down the order with 39 karts within a second of Mazzaferro. Mauricio Baiz (Kosmic) was the second quickest with Augusto Soto-Schirripa (Birel) only 0.001 seconds from starting on the front row. Luis Forteza (Kosmic) and Javier Gonzalez (TonyKart) completed the top five with all five drivers representing a different nationality (Canada, Venezuela, USA, Puerto Rico and Mexico).
Pedro Cardoso (PSL/CRG) added Brazile to the mix in sixth with Christian Munoz (TonyKart) of Columbia seventh. Austin Versteeg (RPG/Kosmic), David Ilavia (J3/Kosmic) and Austin Garrison (OGP/TonyKart) rounded out the top-ten, all from the USA.
Our remaining Canadians see Roman DeAngelis (Koene/TonyKart) 16th, Clay Van Eerd (TonyKart) 23rd, Cedrik Lupien (SH Racing/FA Kart) 31st, Samuel Lupien (SH Racing/FA Kart) 33rd and Austin Riley (Energy Kart) 46th.
Posting the fastest Junior time of the day, Cardoso topped the charts for Sunday’s qualifying with Garrison joining him on the front row. Mazzaferro was third ahead of Forteza and Versteeg. Gonzalez, Ryan Norberg (AM Kart), Munoz, Baiz and DeAngelis completed the top-ten.
Van Eerd was 12th, Cedrik Lupien 14th, Samuel Lupien 20th, and Riley 40th.
On Saturday Both Lupiens and Riley will need the Last Chance Race while only Riley will need it on Sunday, but we hope to see all the Canadians start the Final on both days.