Nicholas Brueckner Scores Solid Finishes at Florida Winter Tour
Defending Mini Max champion runs top-10, earning podium finish in Homestead
Defending a championship is a tough challenge as driver, especially in one of the most competitive programs in the world. Nicholas Brueckner carries the #1 plate for the 2014 Florida Winter Tour season in the Mini Max category after securing the title last season. The Texas driver entered the opening rounds of the series this past weekend at the Homestead Karting facility in Miami, Florida – competing in both the Mini Max and making his Junior Max debut. It was a challenging but successful opening weekend in Mini, driving in the top-10 all weekend highlighted by a podium finish Sunday.
“The weekend was a challenge in both Mini Max and Junior,” stated Nicholas Brueckner while traveling to Tucson, Arizona for the opening rounds of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas. “We had some troubles in the Mini Max Prefinals, but we preserved as a team to fight our way back toward respectable results. It definitely was a character-building weekend and we will progress as the season moves forward.”
Brueckner unloaded his MRP Motorsport/Birel America entry in Miami with speed. Saturday hosted round one action with Brueckner carrying speed from the morning warm-up into qualifying, placing fifth in the session. Despite running a solid prefinal, which had Brueckner in the fifth spot when the white flag waved, the loss of his front nose cone caused Nick to receive a technical DQ putting him at the back of the pack for the start of the main event. Starting the 14-lap final in the 28th position, Brueckner was determined as ever to show his talents behind the wheel. Brueckner making up ground to the leaders when the green flag dropped, passing 10 karts on the first lap. From there, Nick continued to demonstrate superb race craft until the checkered flag fell, earning an eighth place finish and passing a total of 20 karts.
Sunday saw improvements across the board for Nick and the team starting in qualifying. He would record the second quickest lap, missing the pole position by less than two hundredths of a second. A wild start to the prefinal dropped Nick down to the 27th position on the opening lap. Refusing to give an inch, Brueckner put his head down and worked his way back up the leaderboard to 18th position. The game plan heading in to the final on Sunday would be the same as it was Saturday for Nick, get to the front. Just like the day before, Nick made the most of the opening lap as he gained a whopping nine spots by the start of lap two. From there, Brueckner continued to get the most out of his MRP Birel, gradually moving into the top five. Crossing the stripe in the fourth position, a post-race decision moved Nick onto the podium in third.
The Junior debut for Nicholas was not as hoped, but a great starting point for the young 12 year old with a bright future. Brueckner battled to break inside the top-20 all weekend, placing 21st in Saturday’s main event and 22nd on Sunday.
Nick is back at the track once again this weekend, ready to make his Rotax Challenge of the Americas debut. At the Musselman Honda Circuit, Brueckner will head west to take on the talented Junior Max field and battle for a 2014 Rotax Grand Finals ticket to the class champion.
About Nicholas Brueckner:
Racing out of Hockley, Texas, Nicholas Brueckner is a name you will be hearing more throughout the karting ranks in the coming years. At 12 years old, Nick has spent less than four years in the sport, and has racked up impressive results and experience. From winning the Micro Max class at the 2012 U.S Rotax Grand Nationals and Mini Max championship in the 2013 Florida Winter Tour – to racking up wins at home in the SKUSA Texas ProKart Challenge, Brueckner is climbing the ladder quickly. Nick’s talents are far from being limited to just behind the wheel, however, as he is excelling academically, earning straight-A along with showing great leadership and people skills. Supporting Nick in his racing endeavors is the MRP Motorsport/Birel America team, Jose Castro/CMW Engines, Oakley Sunglasses and Savage Design.