Florida Karting Championship Series Round Three Review
Perfect weather highlights mid-season event as championship battles begin to take shape
After a successful opening round to the Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) back in mid-March, the program would travel south to the Homestead Karting Complex on the grounds of the famed Homestead-Miami Speedway. Looking to carry the momentum of a record number of entries at round one and some fierce wheel-to-wheel action, competitors did not disappoint in South Florida.
A picturesque weekend presented itself to Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) teams, drivers and officials this past weekend for round three of the series in Ft. Myers, Florida. Competing at the tight and twisty RaceComplex facility, competitors were able to reap the benefits of sunshine as wheel-to-wheel competition came to the forefront and new winners rose to the occasion throughout the weekend.
With the series now reaching its halfway point and competitors keeping a closer eye on the point standings, battles for the championships have begun to form providing what looks to be a great second half of the season.
“I am really looking forward to continuing the rest of the FKCS calendar and close out the series strong,” expressed FKCS President Eddie Gennaro. “The series has seen tremendous growth this year with the inclusion of the Rok Cup USA program as well as teams and drivers from outside the state and country making the trek to the Sunshine State to compete. That truly says something about the competition we have here in Florida.”
The RaceComplex facility once again lived up to its characteristics, as on track action was second to none throughout the weekend. With some close finishes and some last lap desperation moves, it seemed as if every main event would go down to the wire.
Devine Design – Kid Karts
Nine Kid Kart competitors would hit the RaceComplex facility in the demonstration class with all of them receiving awards at the end of the day. Francisco Porrata, Benjamin Catiett, Miguel Di Mise, Akela Pacitto, Damien Hubert, James Egozi, Lucas Rodriguez, Jeremy Fletcher and William Leveston were all in attendance and will all be future champions in the sport.
Performance Plus – Senior Clone
Glenn Fichter would be the man to beat in the Senior Clone ranks as he was able to turn his pole position into a main event victory. Leading the way throughout the day, Fichter would pace Joey Miller, Nic Hill, Joe Vickery and Doug Moff in the main event to come out on top.
Homestead Karting – Rotax Mini Max
Eleven Rotax Mini Max drivers would enter round three of the program and none would be faster than eventual race winner Aidan Keel. Taking the top spot at the end of the day, Keel would finish just in front of Jake Knepper and fast qualifier Mathias Ramirez. Kollin Stuart would cross the stripe in fourth and Ian Keel would make two Keel brothers in the top-five as he closed his day out in fifth.
Parazhino Chassis Works – Rotax Micro Max
Jordan Heffner, daughter of a former Rotax Master Florida Winter Tour champion, came to race this past weekend and dominated the Rotax Micro Max ranks. Claiming the pole position and main event victory by just over two seconds, Heffner stole the show in the youngest Rotax division. Jeremy Fairbairn would chase Heffner across the line followed by Humberto Porrata, Tyler Gonzalez and Giano Taurino.
Connery Concrete – Rotax Senior
Some familiar faces would find themselves at the front of the Rotax Senior field as Oliver Askew and Nick Neri would battle it out for the win. Neri would get the upper hand in qualifying taking the pole position, but Askew would have the final say as he outpaced Neri in the main event. Jonathon Kotyk would come home third with Dustin Stross and Morgan Healey rounding out the top-five.
RaceComplex – TaG Junior
A strong field of nearly twenty TaG Junior drivers would enter round three with none faster than home track favorite Colin Warren. Utilizing the advantage to the best of his ability, Warren would take the pole position, heat race win and main event victory to stand atop the podium. Olivier Bellanger would battle hard all day long but come home second while Seve DePinto would claim third at the checkers. Ryan Norberg and Ben Auriemma would round out the top-five.
Orlando Kart Center – Mini Rok
2013 Florida Winter Tour race winner Mathias Ramirez would return to the top step of the podium this past weekend as he took the honors in the Mini Rok division on Saturday taking the win by a narrow .160 seconds. Pole sitter Aidan Keel would add a podium result to his race win earlier in the day while Vincenzo Sarracino would come home third. Tyler Gonzalez would cross the stripe in fourth just edging out a fantastic drive from Dylan Gennaro.
Rok Cup USA – Rok Masters
Ariel Castro continued his dominance of the Rok Masters division as he stood on the top step of the podium yet again. Taking the race win by 18.461 seconds, Castro was untouchable throughout the weekend. Francois Brun Wibaux would be the best of the rest coming home in second while Peter Pestano would claim the third step on the podium. Michael Auriemma would come home fourth with Al Duenas rounding out the top-five.
Heffner Performance – TaG Masters
Scott Roberts continued to flex his muscles in the Rotax Masters class as he turned his pole position effort into a main event victory in south Florida. Robert Maier would continue to show his constant improvement throughout 2013 as he claimed the second step on the podium while Rafael De Paoli, Ricky Brooks and Kevin Coy would round out the top-five.
Verde Speed Resource – Rok Senior
A talented field of competitors would enter the Rok Senior division on Saturday with Ashley Rogero setting the pace in the morning qualifying session. Topping the charts with the fastest lap of the session, Rogero could not hold the top spot throughout the day as AJ Myers eventually overtook her. Myers would go on to take the win just ahead of Rogero and Dominic Tesoro. Austin Jordan would have a good drive to claim the fourth position while Eddie Rodriguez would come home fifth.
NFKC – Junior Clone
When the final checkered flag had flown on the Junior Clone division, Nash Duyn would be the man on top. Outpacing pole position winner Jimmy Jackson, Duyn was able to pull away from the field and take the victory. Benjamin Withers, Jacob Howard and Hunter Fox would all finish inside the top five upon the day’s completion.
Orlando Kart Center – Rok Junior
After going upside down for the first time in his career during Friday’s practice sessions, Kyle Kirkwood would return to the top of the Rok Junior field by the end of Saturday. Taking the victory ahead of his teammates Austin Garrison and Ryan Norberg, Kirkwood showed why he is a driver to beat. Pole sitter Colin Warren would add another top-five finish coming home in fourth while Ben Auriemma would round out the top-five.
Holster Store – Rotax Masters
Making it two for two on the weekend, Scott Roberts would once again turn his pole position into a main event victory as he topped the blocks in Sunday’s Rotax Masters division. Adding a second, second place podium result of the weekend, Robert Maier would finish just behind Roberts while Kevin Coy crossed the stripe in third. Rounding out the top-five would be Mick Aichele and Jerry Brown.
RaceTechDevelopment.com – Rotax Junior
Ryan Norberg would find his way to the victory at RaceComplex as he went on to take the Rotax Junior win ahead of Olivier Bellanger and Austin Garrison, both drivers that stood on the podium on Saturday. Ben Auriemma would add another top-five finish coming home fourth while Andrew Fountain would round out the top-five. Pole position winner would be Olivier Bellanger.
Verde Speed Resources – Rok Senior
With AJ Myers taking the Rok Senior win on Saturday and Ashley Rogero taking the pole positions, the two drivers would swap roles for Sunday. Myers would be the quicker of the two in the morning to pace the field while Rogero would come out on top at the end of the day. While the two would remain stagnate at the front of the field, Dominic Tesoro would add his second third place result of the weekend. Dan Roeper would and Brandon Salyer complete the top-five.
Cadet Junior Sportsman
Jake Knepper would show the speed in the Cadet Junior Sportsman qualifying session as he went on to take the pole position. Looking to remain in the top spot for the day, Knepper would fall back one position to finish second to Mathias Ramirez. Devin Boutot, fresh off his World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup podium, would finish third while Hunter Padilla would finish fourth. Dylan Gennaro would add his second top-five result of the weekend as he managed to take the fifth position at the checkers.
Rok Cup USA – Rok Masters
Already claiming the victory in Saturday’s Rok Masters division, Ariel Castro would repeat on Sunday taking the victory by just over 17 seconds, really flexing his muscles and showing why he is one of the fastest Masters drivers in the country. Michael Auriemma would garner a second place podium result while Ben Hankinson would be third. Rounding out the top-five would be Thomas Hankinson and Al Duenas. Fast time would be awarded to Ariel Castro.
Harvest Motorsports and Ocala Gran Prix – Shifters (ALL)
With Oliver Askew getting the best of Nick Neri in Saturday’s Rotax Senior category, the positions would be swapped in the Shifter ranks as Neri would dominate the day. Taking the pole position, heat race win and main event victory, Neri has gone unbeaten in the gearbox class in FKCS competition in 2013. Askew would cross the line in second just ahead of Jonathon Kotyk, Don Whittington and AJ Myers.
Rok Cup USA – Rok Junior
Local Colin Warren would be the driver to beat in Sunday’s Rok Junior field as he claimed the morning’s pole position and then the afternoon’s main event victory. Having to work for the win, Warren passed second place finisher Austin Garrison with a few circuits remaining to top the blocks. Ryan Norberg would claim the third position while Ben Auriemma and Sasha Brun-Wibaux would complete the top-five.
RYSA Racing – TaG Senior
Brandon Salyer would benefit from a late race mistake by Jonathon Kotyk to take the win in the TaG Senior category. With lapped traffic coming into play and Kotyk in the lead, the eventual second place finisher would make contact with the lapper and lose the point. With Salyer taking the lead and never looking back, he would go on to take the win. Kotyk would recover to finish second while Dustin Stross would show his speed to advance forward from his mid-pack starting position to claim the third position. Sven Nicolas Schele and Zeb Davis would round out the top-five. Pole position would go to Jonathon Kotyk.
Orlando Kart Center – Mini Rok
Mathias Ramirez would add yet another victory to his growing resume, as he took the top honors in Sunday’s Mini Rok division. Pacing the field in morning qualifying and the main event, Ramirez was the driver to beat. Aidan Keel and Vincenzo Sarracino would finish in second and third respectively while Ruben Grillet and Kollin Stuart would complete the top-five.
Ocala Gran Prix – Junior Shifter
Austin Garrison would score the win in the Junior Shifter division as he went on to turn his pole position into a main event victory. Olivier Bellanger would claim the second step on the podium while Seve DePinto would add another top five result, coming home third. Justin Gordon and Ryan Norberg would round out the top-five.
“With only three races remaining, the 2013 FKCS program is now on the down stroke as we look to close the season strong,” expressed Vito Depinto, FKCS Vice-President. “There is a lot of racing left and a lot of championship points available so it will be interesting to see how things take shape. We encourage all teams and drivers to invite their friends and fellow racers to future FKCS events so they can see what it is all about.”
For more information on the series point standings and information on the Florida Karting Championship Series, please visit http://www.FLWKASprintSeries.com
The next event of the 2013 Florida Karting Championship Series will take place at the Monticello Karting facility in Monticello, Florida over the June 14-16 weekend. Please check the FKCS website in the coming weeks for registration, pit spot and hotel information
2013 Florida Karting Championship Series Schedule:
Race 4: June 14-16 – Monticello – Monticello, Florida
Race 5: July 5-7 – Ocala Gran Prix – Ocala, Florida
Race 6: August 23-25 – 103rd Street Sports Complex – Jacksonville, Florida