2023 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour – Orlando Kart Center –Friday Report
Friday would be the home of qualifying and the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend as the final round of the Florida Winter Tour officially got underway. With warm temperatures, track action was fast and furious, and ROKKERs were looking to get a head start on results with rain forecasted on occasion for both Saturday and Sunday.
ROK VLR Junior
1. Emma Scarbrough (Chad Dokken Racing)
2. Steven Miller (Chad Dokken Racing)
3. Leonardo Escorpioni (Zanella Racing)
4. Salvador Della Vecchia (San Antonio Racing)
5. Anthony Martella (Speed Concepts Racing)
The first start of the weekend was a perfect one as the ROK VLR Junior drivers took the green flag led by Emma Scarbrough. It was a clean start as drivers settled into positions with Steven Miller in second before Anthony Martella moved to third on lap four as he was charging toward the front. Salvador Della Vecchia went purple on lap four as he ran in the fourth position with Leonardo Escorpioni down two positions to fifth. By mid-race distance, Christian Cameron (PSL Karting) was up 12 positions to ninth as Scarbrough went purple out front. Miller looked to mount a challenge on the female driver but could not do so as Scarborough earned the win ahead of Miller and Martella who scored the fastest race lap. Della Vecchia held on for a P4 result ahead of Escorpioni in fifth, who was the only driver in the top-12 to lose positions during the first wheel-to-wheel action on the weekend.
ROK VLR Senior
1. Weston Duchak (Rolison Performance Group)
2. Gracian Rzedzian (Tecno Kart Usa)
3. Helio Meza (Iron Rock Motorsports)
4. Aidan Shimbashi (PRO)
5. Haopeng Zhang (Supertune)
Exiting the first corner, Duchak had jumped out to a substantial lead and did not need to defend his position on the opening lap as he led by 1.058. Helio Meza slotted himself into second ahead of Gracian Rzedzian and Haopeng Zhang. Joseph Botting (Piquet Sports) was the best of the rest in fifth as he looked to chase down the front quartet. By mid-race distance, Duchak had opened his lead to nearly seventh tenths of a second but a lap later, Meza earned three of those tenths back and looked to fight for the win in the late stages. Duchak was just too strong up front with Meza looking to hold back Rzedzian. Duchak took the win ahead of Meza and Gracian Rzedzian who had a drag race to the line with Zhang and Adam Shimbashi rounding out the top-five. Following the race, the front three remained unchanged but behind them, penalties elevated Zhang to fourth and Miles Hewitt (Tesoro Raceworx) to fifth.
1. David Zhao (Goodwood Kartways)
2. Julian Rivera (AKT Racing)
3. Rocco Simone (Mottazsport)
4. Marco Romero (Team Benik)
5. Antonio Pizzonia Neto (Orsolon Racing)
While Edward Kennedy (Energy Corse Americas) was the quickest driver in qualifying, he was forced to start at the tail of the field due to a tech infraction handing the pole position to David Zhao. Zhao led early as Rocco Simone moved to second pushing Julian Rivera down to third. Kai Johnson (Team Benik) made some big advances forward in the first three laps to move from seventh to fourth ahead of Pizzonia Neto. It was a two-kart race up front as Zhao and Simone were more than a second ahead of the third-place Rivera after four of eight race laps. Kai Johnson continued to move forward slicing his way to fifth with two laps remaining as Edward Kennedy was up 14 positions to 11th. Up front, Zhao took the win ahead of Simone, Rivera, Johnson who moved to fourth on the final lap, and Max Cristea (Mottazsport). Following the race, Rivera was penalized two positions for on track contact dropping him to fifth on the result sheets.
ROK Shifter Master
1. Antonio Pizzonia Jr. (Orsolon Racing)
2. Daniel Dibos (International Motorsports)
3. Andre Martins (Orlando Kart Center)
4. Luis Gautier (PSL Karting)
5. Alex Mueller (Privateer)
Antonio Pizzonia Jr. launched from his pole position starting spot to the lead as Dibos, Martins, and Gautier all maintained their positions in the top-four ahead of Scott Presti (Presti Racing), who gained two positions into fifth. Pizzonia was on a tear out front going purple lap after lap to open a nearly three-second gap by the end of lap four. It was a static race for the drivers up front with Pizzonia scoring the win ahead of Dibos, Martins, Gautier and Presti.
1. Matheus Morgatto (PSL Karting)
2. Diego Ramos (PSL Karting)
3. Alessandro De Tullio (Prime Powerteam)
4. Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing)
5. Blake Nash (Nash Motorsportz)
With the Championship point lead heading into the weekend and the pole position for heat one, Matheus Morgatto led the opening lap, but things got heated on lap two. Blake Nash made a bid for the lead in turn three to fall short as he, Morgatto and Ayden Ingratta went three wide into turn four with Ingratta the benefactor and to the lead. Behind them Zachary Claman DeMelo (International Motorsports) was up seven spots to fourth ahead of Ramos in fifth. Ingratta led handily at the end of lap four as Nolan Bower (Prime Powerteam) moved into fifth. Ingratta went purple on lap five to stretch his lead to nearly one second and gained another two-tenths of a second the next lap. With more than a 1.5 second lead on the final lap, Ingratta drove to the win ahead of Morgatto, Nash, DeMelo, and Ramos.
1. Danillo Ramahlo (URace)
2. David Laplante (Premier Karting)
3. Martin Stone (Racing Edge Motorsports)
4. Mario Ferrero (Rolison Performance Group)
5. Andre Nicastro (Racing Edge Motorsports)
It was Ramalho who was the class of the ROK Master field as he converted his pole position into a one-second lead after two laps. It was another static race for the Masters driver up front as Ramalho controlled the pace and took the win over Laplante by just under one second. Mario Barrios Ferrero was able to get by Martin Stone on the final lap for third as Alex Mueller crossed the line in fifth. With the same starting positions tomorrow for heats two and three, Ramahlo will look to sweep the heat races and earn the pole position for the prefinal.
1. Matheus Ramalho (URace)
2. Antonio Pizzonia Neto (Orsolon Racing)
3. Michael Collins (URace)
4. Juan Diego Garciarce Davila
5. Liam Van Beek (Mottazsport)
Just like his father in ROK Master, Matheus Ramalho jumped to the lead in ROK Micro as he looked to make it two wins on the day for the Ramalho family. While he was at the point early, it was Pizzonia who closed the first lap in the lead. Gavin Dakay (Zanella Racing) was on the move early as he was up five positions in two laps and into third as a hand full of drivers were gaining positions behind him. Before the end of lap four, Ramalho was back to the point pushing Pizzonia down to second as they had a nearly two-second gap on the third-place runner which was now Van Beek. Dakay was fourth as Maxwell Macha (SLA) had broken his way into the top five. Over the final two laps, the front five remained unchanged with Ramalho making it two-for-two in the win column for the family on the day. Josh Bergman (Piquet Sports) was the biggest mover gaining 12 positions to tenth.
1. Ernesto Rivera (Rolison Performance Group)
2. Sebastian Garzon (Orsolon Racing)
3. Teddy Musella (Rolison Performance Group)
4. Christian Cameron (PSL Karting)
5. Anthony Martella (Speed Concepts Racing)
It was Ernesto Rivera who led the Junior ROKKERs to the green flag as he went into the lead for the opening two laps. As the driver to beat throughout the FWT program to date, Rivera maintained at the point for two laps before a hard-charging Steven Miller (CDR) moved to the lead, gaining five positions in three laps. Two laps later, Rivera would lose another spot to Sebastian Garzon as the two RPG drivers, Rivera and Musella, ran third and fourth respectively ahead of Leonardo Escorpioni (Zanella Racing) who was up three positions to fifth. Miller had opened the gap to 1.1 out front after six laps, only four of which were in the lead as he looked to be in complete control. Musella went purple on lap seven in the fourth position, but it was all Miller up front. Miller took the win by just over a second ahead of Garzon, Rivera, Musella, and Escorpioni.
ROK VLR Master
1. Ariel Castro (AM Engines)
2. Laurentiu Mardan (Tecno Kart USA)
3. Daniel Costa (Orlando Kart Center)
4. Fernando Zucato (Racing Edge Motorsports)
5. Robert Vakenzano (Goodwood Kartways)
Heat one for the ROK VLR Master drivers was set up to be a Castro and Mardan show as they were the class of the field in practice and took the top two positions in qualifying. Unfortunately, Castro did not make the start leaving Mardan unchallenged up front. After only four laps, he had lead of 1.542 over Costa with Alexander Dal Bon (LFB Racing) gaining six positions to third in only four circuits. Mardan was setting purple sectors and laps at the mid-race distance stretching his lead. Dal Bon moved to second on lap seven with his gap to the front, now three seconds. Mardan drove to an easy heat one win ahead of Dal Bon, Zucato, Costa, and Luis Quinones (Rhino Kart Team).
1. Marijn Kremers (PSL Karting)
2. Hunter Pickett (PSL Karting)
3. Kyle Wick (GFC)
4. Giorgio Carrara (International Motorsports)
5. Justin White (Magik Kart USA)
PSL Karting’s Marijn Kremers rocketed off the line and quickly jumped to the lead ahead of Kyle Wick who was by Hunter Pickett for second. Carrara held on to his P4 starting spot and at mid-race distance, was holding off the advances of Karol Pasiewicz (International Motorsport). Kremers pulled away out front to open a one-second gap on his closest rival as he had his sights on the Florida Winter Tour championship. Third-place runner Hunter Pickett went purple on lap eight as he chased down Wick, and on lap nine was by him to take the spot as he reset fast lap. Half a second faster than the leader, Pickett was charging hard for the heat one win as he closed the gap to less than three-tenths of a second as the white flag flew. Kremers held on for the win by .174 over Pickett and Wick. Carrara held on for a P4 result over Pasiewicz in the fifth position.
*All results are unofficial at the time of posting.
ROKKERs will return to the track Saturday morning for heats two and three before the prefinals will run late in the day setting the grids for Sunday’s main events. For a complete set of results click HERE.
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