Team News: Goodwood Kartways – Florida Winter Tour Report

Goodwood Kartways ended its 2014 winter season this month after a three week stay in Florida and three consecutive events at OrlandoKartCenter. After kicking off the Rok Cup USA Championship in winning fashion, Goodwood/Intrepid followed up with the TaG Senior Championship in the Florida Winter Tour Formula Kart weekend and the DD2 Masters and Rotax Masters Championships in the FWT Rotax Max Challenge.

Luis Schiavo accounted for both titles in the Winter Tour finale, completing an absolutely incredible Florida run. Two more wins in Rotax Masters made it five in six starts en route to the class championship, and two more wins in DD2 Masters matched the five-of-six effort and led to a second class championship and a ticket to the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.

“We knew we would be strong with the new Intrepid kart but we never imagined we could be so dominant,” Schiavo said afterward. “Being confirmed for the Grand Finals is a great feeling and I can’t wait to be there. I actually wish we had more races to keep training hard for the rest of the season. Now I’m just planning to be in the best shape of my life for the event as it may be the best opportunity for me in years.”

The Venezuelan star ran perfect from poles to final in Rotax Masters, setting the fastest laps in all six sessions with his HRS Power. The wins in DD2 Masters gave him a ten-win total for the FWT, and he may well have won every start from January to March but for two mechanical problems.

“Everything ran smooth in Orlando and we had no issues,” he continued. “The team did an amazing job there and throughout the Tour and I did the best I could. The spark plug failure in Ocala was a pity, but with how it all played out we are way more than happy.”

Schiavo will stay karting sharp by racing in Florida in the coming months and add both the Pan-American Championship and South American Championship in Argentina prior to the Grand Finals. Another Goodwood/Intrepid Class Champion will be facing front line talent much sooner, as Zachary Claman DeMelo is off this week to join the Intrepid Driver Program at Race 1 of the 2014 Rotax Max Euro Challenge in Genk, Belgium.

DeMelo had a fantastic three week run in Florida as he raced KZ for the first time and stood on the Rok Cup USA podium, followed with a win and the TaG Senior Championship in his second weekend, then ended his Rotax Max Challenge with a win in Rotax Senior to cap his stay in Florida, one that definitely stood out for the Canadian.

“It felt really good to have it all come together on Saturday,” he said of race five where he started third, won the Prefinal and then followed with the Final win. “Everything just worked out the way we wanted it to. We’ve had the speed the whole series but putting it all together was the hard part. We got it done Saturday and I was really pleased.”

The effort in Rotax Senior led to third in points, and the reigning Canadian Champion added the result to the TaG Senior title he earned a weekend prior. His first career shifterkart start kicked off his time in Orlando, a weekend DeMelo said contributed to his ability to end the Winter Tour in style.

“The winter went really well in both classes,” DeMelo continued. “We had some bad luck on Rotax weekends, but that happens in racing and I’m thankful for the TaG weekends and thankful that all of our hard work paid off. Shifter was much different than Rotax, which is almost second nature to me, and I learned a lot thanks to the amazing people I had around me. It certainly made me understand the chassis a lot more and helped a lot with my feedback. The rest was then a breeze! I felt really confident on the track at Orlando after racing KZ there and the track suited me and my kart.”

That kart was an Intrepid, and much like Schiavo, DeMelo noted it was definitely a contributing factor in his success over the winter.

“The chassis is really like no other,” he concluded. “Honestly, as a driver, I feel the Intrepid is the only chassis that can better any other on the market. It’s really easy to work with and Intrepid have built a very chassis than anyone can be fast on.”

Youngsters under the tent also performed well in Orlando. Lochie Hughes topped the blocks for Goodwood Kartways, the Praga driver making good on a prediction Team Manager Marco DiLeo made following the Ocala rounds. Hughes scored pole position and a win in the opening round of Rok Cup USA, followed with two wins in the final rounds of the TaG Cadet FWT Championship, and returned to the podium for a third-straight weekend in Mini-Max when he qualified P12 and raced his way to second on Saturday. Sean Bolger made the same progress on day one after qualifying 27th and advancing ten spots to reach P17 in the Final, and Xavier Harris showed speed as he took to the track for the first time in 2014 preparing for the upcoming Canadian season. Joshua Cunha produced another pair of top tens in Micro-Max, seventh on Saturday and fourth on Sunday, leading to fourth in the Championship.

The 2014 racing season resumes in a matter of weeks for Goodwood Kartways as the persistent Canadian Winter weather is finally moving on. Canadian importer of both Intrepid and Praga racing karts, Goodwood Kartways can assist you with all your racing needs this season. To enquire about karts, parts, and dealer network opportunities, please contact Team Manager marco@goodwoodkartways.com and visit goodwoodkartways.com.

Goodwood Kartways Team Results – Orlando Kart Center

Rotax DD2 Masters
Luis Schiavo – 1st, 1st – Class Champion

Rotax Masters
Luis Schiavo – 1st, 1st – Class Champion
Derek Woodbridge – 10th, 9th

Rotax DD2
Max Preston – 15th, 12th

Rotax Senior
Zach Claman DeMelo – 1st, 24th

Rotax Mini-Max
Lochie Hughes – 2nd, 21st
Xavier Harris – 16th, 16th
Sean Bolger – 17th, 18th

Rotax Micro-Max
Joshua Cunha – 7th, 4th

TaG Senior
Zach Claman DeMelo – 1st, 2nd – Class Champion

TaG Cadet
Lochie Hughes – 1st, 1st – Vice-Champion
Xavier Harris – 13th, 18th

Briggs Senior
Christopher Proietto – 4th, 3rd

Rok Cup USA KZ
Zach Claman DeMelo: 3-3-2, 3rd

Rok Cup USA Mini-Rok
Lochie Hughes: 2-1-1, 1st – Championship Leader

*Team Facts: Goodwood Kartways is in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. The Goodwood Kartways race team annually represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, Canadian National Championships and SKUSA SuperNationals.

It has also had drivers contest the Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Goodwood Kartways operates in conjunction with Intrepid S.r.l. in Verona, Praga Kart, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats and Vega Tires.

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