2020 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour – Isle Casino Saturday Report
ROK Cup Promotions is kicking off their 2020 event calendar this weekend at Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, Florida for round one of the Florida Winter Tour. Taking place on the temporary circuit on the grounds of the Isle Casino Racing Thursday, January 16th to Sunday, January 19th, 231 drivers from across the globe will be taking part in the event’s 22nd year.
On Friday, drivers took part in one qualifying session and heat one. Saturday morning kicked off with one quick warm up session for each class, followed by two heat sessions and the pre-final event. With no chance of rain and sunny skies, drivers were ready to hit the ground running.
Drivers took to the grid with their qualifying positions from Friday for the final two heat races.
Heat 2 commenced at 9:20am followed by Heat 3 at 12:35pm and the Pre-Finals starting at 2:55pm.
Heat 2 & Heat 3
In the first heat session of the day, Logan Ferguson (Prime Power House) and Adam Ali (Racing Edge Motorsports) again went head to head for the win, but it was Ferguson who came out on top this time. Filing in after them was Danny Dyszelski of Syntech in the third position and Alejandro Ramirez (SLA Karting) in fourth. Rounding out the top-five was Prime Powerteam’s Matthew Demarinis, who made a dash towards the front improving by four positions.
When Master ROKKERS took to the grid this morning, Racing Edge Motorsports’ Danilo Ramalho again made a dash to the front of the field where he continued improving his lap time, stretching the gap to 4.525 seconds between himself and Gaia Magno of Zanella Racing. However, Ramalho received a penalty at the start of the race, dropping him back into the third position for the final results. Gaia Magno took the lead. In heat one, Renato Jader-David (Orsolon Racing) was disqualified, but made a comeback in heat two earning himself a second place finish. Marc Stehle (PSL Karting) and Vatche Tatikian (Phil Giebler Racing) rounded out the top-five.
In heat three, Ramalho again positioned himself with a 4.296 second lead, but this time he was able to hold on to the win, securing himself pole position for the Pre-Final. Tatikian took the finish line in second, just 0.178 seconds ahead of Jader-David in third. Scott Falcone (Rolison Performance Group) came in fourth.
It was Salvador Dellavecchia (AM Engines) who again dominated in Heat 2, coming out victorious. Behind him, Asher Ochstein (Benik) and Jordan Di Leo (Goodwood Kartways) battled it out for second, but Ochstein was able to hold off Di Leo and came in second. Ilie Tristan-Crisan (PSL Karting) finished the race in fourth. In the first turn of lap one, polesitter Oliver Wheldon of JC Karting was involved in an incident that sent him to the back of the pack while also earning himself a penalty of two positions – he was, however able to work his way back into the fifth position.
In heat three, Dellavecchia claimed first place for the third time, also placing him on pole for the Pre-Final. Joining him at the front of the field was Wheldon in second. Kai Johnson (AKT), who had yet to finish in both heats, made up six position and came in third, followed by Di Leo and Jensen Burnett (AKT).
Again racing alongside each other, both the Junior and Senior 100CC classes took to the track for the second heat. In the junior class, Connor Zilisch (Late Apex Kartworks) captured the lead, followed closely by Westin Workman (Timmy Tech/CompKart) and Alex Stanfield (Crosslink Competition). In the Senior class, Heat 1 results were duplicated with Julia Boos (Team Felon) taking the win followed by Jenson Altzman (Ruthless Karting) and Bill McBrayer (Energy Corse USA).
Zilisch continued dominating on track, winning the third and final heat followed by Thomas Annunziata (Team Ferris/Team Felon). Chloe Chambers (Mike Doty Racing) came in third after making a dash through the field, gaining seven positions. In a déjà vu experience, the senior class had yet another matching finish with Boos leading the way followed by Altzman, McBrayer and Stephen Vajda (Kartworkz).
Shifter Master ROK
Jordan Musser (3G Kart Racing/PSL Karting) once again dominated in Heat 2, leading the race by 5.430 seconds over Daniel Dibos of JC Karting. TB Kart USA teammates Peter Licciardi and Rene Martinelli finished the race in the third and fourth positions with Michael Rivera (Rivera Racing/GFC) filling out the top-five.
Later in the day, Musser, Dibos and Licciardi repeated their 1-2-3 finish for the final heat race with Musser repeating his dominant win for the third time, this time with a 6.135 second lead over Daniel Dibos. Nicholas Bedard from PSL Karting finished fourth, his best finish of the weekend thus far.
In the first heat for the 206 Senior drivers, it was a drag race to the finish for the top three drivers, but ultimately Jordan Prior (Primepower) was victorious. Prior held onto his lead, beating out Colin Warren (VLR/TS Racing) for the win by just 0.074 seconds and Zachary Linsell (MGM) by 0.194 seconds. Jordan Bernloehr of QG3 crossed the finish line in fourth and his teammate Ian Quinn completed the top-five.
Heat three brought yet another close finish for the 206 Senior class. This time, however, Warren was victorious over Jordan Prior by 0.538 seconds. Linsell, Bernloehr and Quinn again rounded out the top-five. In both heat races of the day, no penalties were handed out to the 206 Senior class.
In yet another close finish at the Florida Winter Tour, Caleb Gafrarar (PSL Karting), Max Garcia (Kart Republic North America) and Sebastian Wheldon (JC Karting) battled it out for the win. Gafrarar had been leading a majority of the race but, in the final few turns of the final lap, Garcia had a run and took the lead with Wheldon following closely behind him. Garcia claimed the checkered flag followed by Wheldon in second and Gafrarar in third.
Moving on to heat three, Wheldon continued to improve his finishing position, this time claiming the win. Salim Hanna (Team Montoya) also had his best finish of the weekend coming in second. Filling out the top-three were Enzo Vidmontiene (U-Race), Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing) who improved by seven positions and Parker Delong (Syntech) who gained a whopping nine positions. All five drivers earned their best finishes of the weekend in Heat 3.
Heat two started off rocky for the Senior ROK class. Making their way through the tricky corners of turn one and turn eight, a multitude of drivers were involved in crashes and spins during the first two laps. Eventually, drivers settled in and drove a clean remainder of the race. In the end, it was Thomas Nepveu (PSL Karting), Diego Ramos (HR Motorsports) and Andre Nicastro (NF Motorsports) who took the first three positions. Zachary Claman (REM) and Luca Mars (Speed Concepts Racing) battled it out for the fourth position, and in the end, Claman had the advantage.
In another exciting race, drivers were determined to make their way to the front of the field. Drivers who made the biggest charges towards the front were Christian Brooks (Nash Motorsportz), who started from the back of the field and finished eighth, Justin White (Kartworkz) moved up eleven positions and Ethan Ho (APM Racing) gained nine spots. In the end it was Ramos, Nicastro and Nepveu who claimed the top three positions.
Similar to many other classes, heat two for Junior ROK had a repeat winner. Connor Zilisch from Late Apex Kartworks had a nearly one second lead over Brent Crews (Kartsport North America) at the end of the session. Towards the end of the heat, the four leading drivers began to pull away from the rest of the field. Coming in third was Sacha Maguet from PSL Karting and in fourth was Guillerme Figueredo with HR Motorsports. Also of note, Jack Jeffers (Speed Concepts Racing), made an impressive charge through the entire back half of the field, gaining eighteen positions and finishing in fourteenth.
Heat 3 brought even more excitement to the track as drivers once again charged their way through the field. Zilisch claimed his third win of the weekend, narrowly beating out Maguet, Figueredo and Jeremy Fletcher (Mike Doty Racing), who were all within one second of Zilisch.
AJ Myers (Checkered Motorsports) was again the first of the Shifter ROK drivers to take the checkered flag in Heat 2, winning from the pole position. Mathias Ramirez (GFC/Trackmagic) also held on to his starting position, finishing in second 0.526 seconds behind Myers. Andrew Bujdoso of Checkered Motorsports came in third followed by ROK the RIO Champion, Daniel Formal (ANSA Motorsports).
In Heat 3, Ramirez worked his way into the top position, narrowly beating out Myers. Bujdoso finished in third behind his Checkered Motorsports teammate. Further back in the field, father and son teammates, Rubens and Eduardo Barrichello, battled it out, but Eduardo successfully held his position over his father, finishing the race in the eighth and ninth positions.
After the culmination of the three heat races, drivers prepared for the final event of the day. In each heat, drivers gained points depending on their final results; starting positions for the Pre-Final were determined by the total number of points gained – the driver with the lowest number of points started on poll for the Pre-Final. Finishing results in the Pre-Final will be the starting position for Sunday’s main event.
In an exciting race to the finish, the first half of the field were all racing within one second of each other. In the final laps, the race for the lead was constantly changing. Coming in first was Mathieu Cousineau from Montreal Karting Club leading Adam Ali (Racing Edge Motorsports) by 0.098 seconds and Logan Ferguson (Prime Power House) by 0.448 seconds. Granger Perra finished in the fourth position and Danny Dyszelski (Syntech) rounded out the top-five.
Polesitter Danilo Ramalho (Racing Edge Motorsports) suffered from an issue in the first turn of the race, forcing him to retire early on. At the same time, Vatche Tatikian (Phil Gerber Racing) went to work in hopes of winning the Pre-Final and sitting on pole for Sunday’s main event. With four laps to go, Tatikian began pulling away from the rest of the field, securing his win by 1.552 seconds. Coming in second was Gaia Mango from Zanella Racing, followed by Renato Jader-David (Orsolon Racing) and Marc Stehle (PSL Karting).
In the final event of the day for the Micro ROKKERS, Salvador Dellavecchia (AM Engines) was the first to take the checkers, but after receiving a two-position penalty for his start, dropped back to third on the results sheets. Benik driver Asher Ochstein finished on the top of the time sheets and will start from pole in the final event of the weekend followed by JC Karting driver Oliver Wheldon. Kai Johnson from AKT worked his way up from ninth and finished in fourth.
Shifter Master ROK
After an incident in the first turn of the race between at least five of the seventeen drivers, Jordan Musser (3G Kart Racing/PSL Karting) came out of the top of the timing sheets. Victor Jimenez from Rolison Performance Group jumped seven positions, finishing second. TB Kart USA driver Rene Martinelli finished in the third position. Daniel Dibos (JC Karting), who had finished second in the two heats of the day, finished the race in fourth.
In the Pre-Final event for the 206 Senior class, drivers near the front of the field finished in their starting positions, with the exception of Alexander Searle (MGM) who improved his position by eight, ending in fourth. Ahead of his was teammate Zachary Linsell who started and finished in third. Polesitter Colin Warren (VLR/TS Racing) maintained his lead over Jordan Prior (Primepower) by 2.645 seconds and took home the win.
The Mini ROKKERS put on a show once again for the final event of the day. Caleb Gafrarar (PSL Karting) became the third driver of the day to win in the Mini ROK class with a 5.646 second lead and will start from pole in Sunday’s Final. Enzo Vidmontiene (U-Race) jumped up five positions and finished the race in second. Salim Hanna (Team Montoya) will start from the third position in the final. Supertune’s Sebastian Garzon improved his status by nine positions during the twelve-lap stint, finishing sixth.
In the Senior ROK class, multiple drivers led hard charges through the field – Christian Brooks (Nash Motorsportz) moved into the twelfth position after making up fourteen spots. Behind him, Colin Warren (TB Kart USA) improved by a whopping seventeen positions. At the front of the field, Diego Ramos from HR Motorsports took the victory over Zachary Claman (REM). Andre Nicastro (NF Motorsports) maintained his third place position over Luca Mars (Speed Concepts Racing) in fourth and Cole Morgan (Supertune) in fifth.
Penalties played a large part in the Pre-Final event for the Junior ROK class. With a quarter of the field receiving penalties, including polesitter and race leader Guillerme Figueredo (HR Motorsports), results were not finalized once the checkered flag flew. Finishing in first was Late Apex Kartworks driver, Connor Zilisch, followed by Sacha Maguet (PSL Karting) in second, Figueredo in third, Carson Morgan (Supertune) in fourth and Jace Park (Speed Concepts Racing) in fifth. Alessandro De (AM Racing Team) worked his way into the top-ten, moving up seven positions into seventh.
The final event of the day was off to a rough start when the start was called off twice for stalled drivers. On the final formation lap, fan-favorite Rubens Barrichello was forced to retire from the race. Over the course of the race, many drivers throughout the field made big moves. Giano Taurino (Magik Kart USA) gained fourteen positions and finished third behind AJ Myers (Checkered Motorsports) in first and Jake French (PSL Karting) in second. Brandon Jarsocrak (Carblos Racing) also improved by fourteen positions, finishing seventh. Sebastian Montoya (Team Montoya) improved the greatest number of positions, moving up from 25th to tenth.
Sunday will be home to the main event as drivers in eleven classes will compete in the Florida Winter Tour Round 1 Final. With the classes divided into two groups, 206 Junior, Master ROK, Micro ROK, Junior & Senior 100cc, and Shifter Master ROK classes will complete one warm-up session followed by the main event in the morning sessions. In the afternoon, all remaining classes will have one warm up session and will end the day with their final round.
A complete set of session results as well as starting grids for Championship Saturday can be found on the easy to navigate ROK Cup USA app or by clicking here.
A constant stream of posts via the ROK Cup USA social media pages continue to put the event in front of the karting industry around the world. Stay tuned for more news, photos, information and results by following @ROKCupUSA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.