Culminating their winter season at the final round of the Florida Winter Tour in West Palm Beach, Florida Maranello North America entered the Rotax Max round with six drivers including championships points leader Robert Wickens in Rotax DD2.
Battling every possible condition a race weekend can feature, from hot and dry to very wet and cold, all team drivers were challenged but still put forth their best efforts with their Maranello chassis exceeding expectations.
In Rotax DD2, Robert Wickens was robbed of the championship title after some spectacular racing was ultimately decided off the track. Leading the first half of the Final and racing hard, Wickens and his championship rival made contact that damaged his kart, breaking off a piece of his rear bumper, costing him the race lead and ultimately the race win, eventually crossing the finish line in second place.
However the winning driver received a penalty for a jump start. That should have earned Wickens the championship. But the damaged piece on Roberts kart was deemed incomplete and enough for officials to disqualify him in post race tech. Eliminating him from the championship race, ultimately ranking sixth overall after finishing in the top-two positions in every race.
Also in that Rotax DD2 race, Luke Chudleigh and Ethan Simioni finished sixth and seventh on a track with fast changing conditions. Chudleigh’s hard work all winter earned him the third place in the championship while Simioni ranked tenth in his first full FWT season.
Racing with the regular DD2’s, John Cariati steered his Maranello to the third step of the championship podium in Rotax DD2 Masters, a great feat after only completing two of the three races.
As the youngest driver in the Rotax Micro-Max category, Marcello Paniccia finished an impressive eighth overall in the championship courtesy of a sixth place finish in West Palm Beach. He showed improvement in every race he attended and the determination to develop into a race winning contender when he returns to Canada for the summer season.
Another driver to show progression at each race was Rotax Senior driver Justin Ovejero. Competing in the most competitive class on the tour proved a major challenge, but Ovejero gained plenty of knowledge in his first races with Maranello North America and is poised for the season back home in Canada.
Maranello North America will focus their racing efforts this summer on the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Karting Championships for both Rotax Max and Briggs & Stratton platforms. Positions are still open for interested drivers who want to join the race team for any major race this year.
Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the team race shop in Hamilton, Ontario.
Trevor Wickens, Maranello North America Team Manager:
“What a fantastic winter of racing. I’m proud to say that our Maranello North America team redefines the definition of teamwork. It’s something that I am extremely proud and thankful for. Thank you to all the Drivers, Mechanics and parents for their efforts and faith in my program.”