2021 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour: Ocala Gran Prix – Sunday Report
Nash Motorsports VLR Senior
Blake Nash (Nash Motorsportz) took advantage of his pole position as he jumped to the lead entering the first complex of corners, but it was short lived as Cole Schroeder (Syntech) was able to go wheel-to-wheel and sneak by before the exit of the bus stop to lead lap one. Nash moved back to the point on lap two as the front two drivers ran nose to tail and opened a gap on the third-place competitor of Lucas Fecury (Piquet Sports). By lap eight, Nash had opened a half of a second gap on the rest of the field as he looked to drive to victory. Nash continued to turn fast lap after fast lap to stretch his lead and by the midway point, had opened a one second lead and stretched that to two seconds by lap fifteen. Jed Perkins (Margay) was comfortable in the fourth position as he led Hallie Schroeder (Syntech) in the late stages of the race.
Nash would take the win over Cole Schroeder by a commanding 3.667 as Fecury, Perkins and Hallie Schroeder rounded out the top-five. Blake Nash also claimed the fastest lap of the race turning a lap time of 38.310.
Following post-race penalties and technical inspection Nash was penalized for a start line infraction while Cole Schroeder was found to be illegal in tech, handing the win to the third-place finisher Lucas Fecury as Perkins would be elevated to the second step of the podium ahead of Nash.
Utah Motorsports Campus VLR Master
It was Cristian Vomir (Tecno Kart USA) who looked in control of the VLR Master category until he made contact with a fellow competitor and fell down the running order. Laurentiu Mardan (Tecno Kart USA) assumed the point and never looked back opening a gap on the rest of the field. Juan Basco (SLA Kart) slotted into the second position and looked to challenge Mardan for the win. Decreasing the gap as the race went on, Mardan led Basco through the halfway point as David Morris (Nadie) ran in the third position.
With six laps remaining, Basco had closed to the bumper of Mardan and made the move to the point on lap seventeen to take the lead. Defending immediately and maintaining the position, Basco was in control over the final two circuits to take the win as he outpaced Mardan to the flag. Francisco Marques (Orsolon Racing) would finish third on track ahead of Morris and Galo Barros (GB Motorsports).
Following post-race penalties and technical inspection Mardan was awarded the win ahead of David Morris and Gala Barros.
REM VLR Junior
It was Chase Hand (Rolison Performance Group) that opened a one second gap on the opening lap as he was ahead of the battles and carnage that happened behind him. Paul Bocuse (Speed Concepts Racing) slotted into the second position as Beckham Jacir (JC Karting) spun on the exit of the first corner and fell to the tail of the field. With Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing) locked to the bumper of Bocuse, the pair of Speed Concepts Racing drivers looked to work together to see if they could close the gap to Hand. Danny Dyszelski (Ryan Perry Motorsports) would run in fourth as Sebastian Wheldon (JC Karting) fell one position to fifth. Hand was able to maintain the gap for the first five circuits, but Bocuse and Ingratta matched his pace as Dyszelski turned fast lap after fast lap. On lap seven, Bocuse’s transponder stopped working as the ROK Cup USA staff took over hand scoring. Continuing to run in the second position, Hand maintained his one second gap but in the latter stages of the race, the Speed Concepts Racing duo began to close the gap and were able to get within seven tenths, but Hand and his RPG entry showed their true strength scoring the fastest lap of the race on lap 14 to reestablish his lead.
Hand would go on to take the win as Bocuse was able to shake Ingratta as the Canadian was forced to defend from Dyszelski who was able to sneak by on lap eighteen. Hand drove unchallenged to the win with Bocuse in second. Ingratta made a bold move around the outside of the showcase corner to claim the final step of the podium with Dyszelski in fourth and Jacob Luther (REM) in fifth.
Leading Edge Motorsports Mini ROK
After dominating the weekend, Enzo Vidmontiene (Team Benik) started the 16-lap Mini ROK prefinal from the pole position and was able to jump to the lead. Opening a small gap to Sebastian Garzon (Orsolon Racing) and Oliver Wheldon (JC Karting), Wheldon would make the move to P2 on lap two as Kai Johnson (PSA) and Diego Ardiles (Supertune) slipped into third and fourth. Wheldon made his move to the lead on turn one of lap three as Garzon and Vidmontiene went wheel-to-wheel and made slight contact. It was Johnson’s turn next as he moved to third on the start of lap four as Wheldon lead Vidmontiene by less than a tenth.
Vidmontiene made his bid for the lead on lap sixth slipping by Wheldon with Ardiles moving to fourth passing Garzon. Wheldon followed in the wheel tracks of Vidmontiene as Johnson was closing the gap quickly. Garzon moved back by Ardiles on lap eight. Halfway home, Wheldon was able to get back by Vidmontiene as Johnson was encouraging the on-track battle to close the gap. Closing the gap more, the top-three ran nose to tail as Salvador Della Vecchia (San Antonio Racing) made his bid to move into the top-five. Wheldon stretched to a two-kart lead on lap ten as Vidmontiene and Johnson hooked up to try and close the gap. Della Vecchia passed Garzon for P4 as they battled with Steven Miller (CDR).
With four laps remaining, Vidmontiene was being shoved by Kai Johnson as the pair closed the gap. Vidmontiene went by for the lead on lap thirteen as Johnson and Wheldon went wheel-to-wheel. Wheldon passed for the top spot one lap later and put together the perfect final lap to take the checkered flag. Johnson would cross the stripe in P2 as Vidmontiene was third. Garzon was fourth as Della Vecchia ended his weekend in fifth.
ANSA Motorsports Master Shifter ROK
Jordon Musser (PSL Karting) used his pole position to take the Master Shifter ROK lead into the first corner as Rene Martinelli (TB Kart USA) tried to be aggressive and defend around the outside. With slight contact, Martinelli went wide which opened the door for Victor Jimenez (Rolison Performance Group). Farshad Bagheri (TB Kart USA) was able to maintain his position in P4 as Patrick Otto Madsen (ANSA Karting) was fifth. The top-five were evenly spaced as Musser was able to begin to open a gap. Consistently the fastest driver in the Master Shifter ROK class for the past two seasons, Musser stretched his lead as he looked to dominate the day’s main event.
Martinelli was able to make the move to P2 on the start of lap seven, and Daniel Dibos (Dibos Racing) advanced one position from sixth to fifth on the same lap. By lap seven, Musser had opened the gap to 2.300 as he continued to put laps down that were two to three tenths quicker than any other competitor.
The top five positions and gaps remained static as the crossed halfway flags were shown as Musser looked to put it on cruise control. Dibos was slowly closing the gap on Bagheri and by lap thirteen was on the TB Kart USA driver’s bumper and took the position on lap fifteen. Musser would drive to the win beating Martinelli by 3.863 as Jimenez claimed the third and final step of the podium. Dibos hung on to P4 as Bagheri finished his weekend in the fifth position.
Rolison Performance Group Senior ROK
Connor Zilisch (Mike Doty Racing) was able to jump to the lead with an incredible start as he and Alex Stanfield (Team Crosslink) were single file by the time they made it to the apex of the first corner. Ryan Norberg (Rolison Performance Group) fell four positions as he and Diego Ramos (REM) made contact as Thomas Annunziata (Team Felon) gained two positions to third. Thomas Nepveu (PSL Karting) had an incredible opening lap gaining six positions to slot himself into P4 as Pauly Massimino (Mike Doty Racing) was putting pressure on Ramos for fifth.
In a relatively tame opening five laps for the Senior drivers, Zilisch had stretched his lead to nearly one second over Stanfield as Annunziata was the same distance back in third. Massimino was able to sneak by Ramos on lap six for the fifth position as the top-four remained unchanged. Luke Lange fell down the running order early but began his march back forward moving from 18th to 13th by lap eight. Arias Deukmedjian (Zanella Racing) was able to move back forward to his original starting position of seventh as he was just ahead of Norberg. Annunziata held on to third but a train of six karts began to close the gap. Deukmedjian made a bid to get by Ramos but lost momentum allowing Norberg to slip by as Lange passed for 12th. On lap twelve, Norberg passed Ramos for sixth as Deukmedjian put Ramos another position down on lap thirteen. Norberg then passed Massimino on lap fourteen as Deukmedjian followed him through. Norberg continued his charge forward passing Nepveu on lap sixteen as he was seemingly the only driver that could pass at will.
Out front it was Zilisch and Stanfield who drove to the top two positions of the podium as Annunziata finished third. Norberg secured the fourth position on track as Arias Deukmedjian was able to slip by late in the race for fifth.
Orsolon Racing Master ROK
Danillo Ramalho (REM) would start the Master ROK main event from the pole position as he was challenged around the outside from Renato Jader-David (Orsolon Racing). Making a bid for the top spot, Jader-David left the door open for Scott Roberts (Speed Concepts Racing), who slipped through to second and eventually took the top spot before the end of the first lap. Jader-David was able to move to second on lap two as he made his move around Ramalho and allowed Roberts to stretch his lead by nearly one second after lap three. Miguel Mier (Team Crosslink) gained one position to third while Magno Gaia (Orsolon Racing) advanced three to fourth by the end of the lap before Ramalho challenged and regained the fourth position one circuit later.
Roberts turned five straight laps faster than the rest of the field to stretch his gap to 1.2 seconds by the conclusion of lap six as Mario Barrios (Team Crosslink) was the man on the move gaining seven positions in the first six laps. Barrios gained one more position on lap seven as Roberts continued to push on in the lead and opened the gap to 1.418 at mid-race distance.
Ramalho suffered a mechanical issue on lap eleven advancing the rest of the field forward one position. Gaia and Barrios now ran in fourth and fifth as the top-three remained unchanged. Roberts went on to score a commanding race win as Jader-David added another podium result to his karting resume. Mier finished third on track but a start line infraction penalty relegated him to fifth in the end. Barrios made the move on the start of the final lap to move to fourth but failed to make it to the checkered flag as he was forced to the sidelines. Gaia finished fourth on track but was elevated to P3 before his own push back bumper penalty that relegated him fifth. Pete Fritsche (OGP) was then elevated to a third-place result just ahead of Rob Maier and a penalized Miguel Mier.
Zanella Racing Micro ROK
Gianmatteo Rousseau (Nitro Kart) rocketed to the front of the Micro ROK field by the end of lap one but prefinal winner Marco Romero (Zanella Racing) found his way to the top of the results sheet by the end of lap two. Rousseau settled into the second position as Alessandro Truchot (Parolin USA) and Max Cristea (Magik Kart USA) made it a four-kart breakaway. Aleksandr Ratushnyy (U Race) moved into the top-five only to be relegated one lap later as the group of four turned into five up front.
Truchot made a bid for the lead on the start of lap six but unfortunately passed Rousseau under yellow. A lap later, Rousseau went to the front as Romero came with him pushing Truchot back to P3. In a racy main event, Romero waited less than a lap to go back to the front as Truchot would go with him to take over the top two spots. Rousseau was pushed back to third, just ahead of Cristea and Matheus Ramalho at the halfway mark.
Truchot took the lead from Romero on the start of lap ten as the top position changed nearly every single lap. The top-five turned to four as Cristea would lose the draft and lose some time. Romero took the lead as Truchot ended up in the barriers in turn seven as Rousseau moved to second and Isaac Malcuit (AKT Racing) slotted into P3. Malcuit quickly moved to the point on lap thirteen as he pushed his way forward before Rousseau made a move a lap later to take the lead. Marco Romero went on the offensive and took the lead on the start of lap fifteen as he then quickly went to defend when the white flag flew. Rousseau found a way by Romero into turn one, but the pair went side by side through the tight section giving Rousseau the advantage as he drove to the win to score his first career Florida Winter Tour win.
With a handful of penalties, it took a while for officials to figure out the final results. In the end Malcuit would take the win ahead of Romero and Cristea. Ramalho finished fourth, just ahead of Augustus Toniolo.
Speed Concepts Racing Junior ROK
Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing) held the lead through the opening lap as he managed to defend from Noah Baker (Supertune) who started on the outside of row two. Paul Bocuse (Speed Concepts Racing) advanced forward two positions to third as Sebastian Guerra (PSL) moved to fourth and Jorge Ortiz (Supertune) was fifth. Contact further down in the top-ten jumbled some positions between Logan Toke (RPM) and Jeremy Fletcher (Team Felon) as Ortiz advanced forward to fourth.
With a three-driver breakaway, Baker moved to the point pushing Ingratta to second and Bocuse to third as the Speed Concepts teammates began to work together. Bocuse slipped by Ingratta on lap five as Sebastian Wheldon (JC Karting) moved forward five positions to sixth. Baker continued to lead as the front five remained intact. Toke made the move to fifth passing Guerra on the start of lap eight as Fletcher would push him down another position the very next lap. Baker began to open a gap as Ingratta moved back to second on lap nine and Fletcher was able to go by Wheldon on lap ten. Cameron Weinberg (Gtorp Motorsports) was the biggest mover by mid-race distance gaining seventeen positions as Guerra retired from running inside the top-ten.
Ingratta began to pull away from his teammate and chip into the lead of Baker taking a few tenths out of the gap through laps eleven and twelve as it looked to become a two-kart race. Ingratta closed in on the bumper of Baker as Weinberg worked his way into the top-ten and Jack Jeffers (PSL) gained thirteen to run in P13. Ingratta made a move for the lead in turn three on lap fourteen as Baker would go back by for the lead one corner later. The loss of momentum brought Bocuse and Jorge Ortiz back into the fight as the front four were together with four laps to go. Ingratta made his move for the top spot with three laps remaining as Bocuse followed him through.
Logan Toke made it three wide on lap eighteen to move to third behind the two SCR drivers who were battling hard. Ingratta defended on Bocuse in the hopes of his first FWT win. On the second to last lap, second through fifth made contact allowing Ingratta to drive to his first career FWT win. Jeremy Fletcher was gifted a second-place result just ahead of Ortiz and Leonardo Escorpioni (Zanella Racing) and Leonardo Colavita (Mike Doty Racing). Baker ended up sixth ahead of Wheldon and Jeffers, who was the biggest mover of the race.
With a ton of penalties based on the contact on the final lap as well as start line infractions, Ingratta maintained the win with Ortiz in second ahead of Escorpioni, Fletcher and Colavita.
PSL Karting Shifter ROK
AJ Myers (Magik Kart USA) and Mathias Ramirez (Speed Concepts Racing) started on the front row of the Shifter ROK final as Myers would go to the point as fourth place starter Danny Formal (ANSA Karting) moved to second ahead of Jake French (PSL Karting) and Ramirez. Running two by two after one lap, Formal stalked the leader in the hopes of pushing him into a mistake in the twenty-lap final. Hunter Pickett (GFC) improved two positions in the opening few laps to move to fifth as Axel Cabrera (Kart Depot Motorsports) gained three to run seventh behind Jacob Gulick (Rolison Performance Group).
French moved to second on lap five as he was six kart lengths behind Myers. Ramirez began to pressure Formal as Cabrera moved to sixth. Vincenzo Sarracino (ANSA Karting) was in the top-ten but retired on lap seven as Pickett was able to close the gap to Ramirez and Formal. Myers continued to maintain his seven tenth gap as the top-ten remained unchanged.
With the short and tight layout, passing was at a premium in the Shifter ROK class as no more movement was happening by mid-race distance. On lap twelve, Pickett would have a bobble and drop to sixth as Ramirez lost a bunch of time to the top-three. Myers still led ahead of French and Formal and with five laps to go, Myers had opened the gap to nearly a second before French closed three tenths on lap sixteen. It was all for not as Myers held onto score the win, his second of the 2021 Florida Winter Tour and take a commanding point lead to round three. French secured the second step of the podium with Formal in third. Ramirez closed his weekend with a fourth-place result just ahead of Axel Cabrera.
For complete weekend results, click HERE