Driver News: Mazzaferro Caps Junior Rotax Debut with Stellar Run in Sunday Final
Despite a stacked field of local and international talent, Mazzaferro wheels to a gutsy performance to grab a fourth place finish in first Junior Rotax weekend
Gianfranco Mazzaferro, a member of the Ferrolati Corse Karting Team, showed the pace and performance he displayed throughout his stellar 2012 season as he ran wheel-to-wheel, pacing with some of the top Junior drivers in the world. The weekend didn’t kick off as planned and Saturday was a struggle, but showing his champion’s determination, the 12-year-old racer gutted out a really nice run to cross the line in the Sunday final in fourth place. GF and tuner Nick Cosco decided to field a Tony Kart for the Rotax weekend, a decision that delivered the expected results.
“The race on Sunday was fantastic,” comments Mazzaferro. “We knew the field at the Florida Winter Tour would be tough and we struggled in the changing conditions on Saturday. It was great to bounce back and put in a great run down to close out the weekend.”
Friday saw double qualifying sessions to set the grid for Saturday and Sunday run under sunny skies. GF would go 16th in the first session to set the grid for Sunday, but would be handed a two-place penalty for using his tires in the wrong session order, so when combined he would sit 18th overall in the qualifying order. Mazzaferro would then go 32nd in the second session to set the grid for Saturday as he struggled to find an opening for a quick run.
On Saturday unstable weather was the story of the day as the field dealt with light drizzle, sun showers and heavy rains. GF would need to use the LCQ to move onto the balance of the days races and he finished third to transfer to the prefinal. Early in the prefinal Mazzaferro lost his chain due to contact on lap three to finish 33rd in the final order. Starting from the last row for the final, again a lost the chain on lap two would put GF on the sidelines. The race went red on lap six as the rains came in and drivers needed to change to wets. GF was not allowed to re-start as he was not on the track when the red flag came out, leaving him with a disappointing result.
Sunday was a new day and with a solid qualifying run, GF would straight to the prefinal where he finished in the 11th place. In the final, GF would get it right making up several spots with a great start and battled forward through the race. Going wheel-to-wheel and making passes in to the challenging front straight chicane, GF closed in on the chase pack. With the strong run, Mazzaferro claimed fourth place in the closing laps as he continued to run solid laps.
“I can’t wait to get back in the kart for the next round Homestead Karting,” smiles Mazzaferro. “It’s a track I know well and like to run. The finish on Sunday was a huge boost for the team. I want to thank Nick (Cosco), Alex (Vincent) and Garett (Grist) for all their help through out the weekend.”
GF and the Ferrolati Corse Karting Team head south to the permanent parking lot track located on the grounds of the Miami/Homestead facility. The Homestead Karting Complex will play host to rounds three and four of the FWT Formula Kart weekend followed by a double-header weekend of Rotax racing action.
For more information about Gianfranco, visit his website at gianfrancomazzaferro.com. For more information about the Ferrolati Corse Racing team, visit their website at ferrolaticorse.com