The 2021 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour gets underway this weekend in Pompano Beach, as the parking lot of the Isle Casino in South Florida is the host of a temporary circuit built to challenge racers from Micro all the way to Shifter.
Utilizing the same location as a year ago, Rok Cup USA has swapped the lots used from a year ago, and built a longer circuit with some minor adjustments from a year ago.
16 Canadian drivers have made the trek to Florida for the race and we have some heavy hitters competing for victory. It’s a much smaller number of Canucks than we’re used to seeing, but with the current pandemic, as well as no Briggs 206 classes this year, many have opted to stay home for now.
Stepping back out of retirement to race alongside three of his academy graduates, Ben Cooper will suit up in ROK Senior, competing with Laurent Legault, Mathieu Cousineau and Lucas Pernod. They are all housed with PSL Karting, who has a packed house of racers.
Thomas Nepveu and Davide Greco will represent the BirelART colours in ROK Shifter as the two who went head-to-head in the 2019 Canadian championships are back banging gears.
The only other Canadian team in attendance is Goodwood Kartways and they have a full stable that includes six Canadians. Jordan Di Leo will take on the Mini ROK division while Rocco Simone, who has been racing all winter down here in Florida, is joined by Justin Di Lucia in Micro ROK. Anthony Simone will race in VLR Masters alongside teammate Cayden Goodridge. Jumping back in a kart since last years Florida Winter Tour, Antonio Serravalle will race in ROK Shifter aboard a CRG kart, supported by Goodwood, in what is expected to be the highlight category of the weekend.
Following some troubles getting across the border, Racing Edge Motorsports has teamed up with Nash Motorsports this weekend as a temporary home. Marcello Paniccia is the lone Canadian sporting the REM colours, competing in ROK Junior and we feel he will be in the mix for the podium.
Another ROK Junior we’re expecting to be in the hunt for the win this weekend is Ayden Ingratta. He’s back with Speed Concepts Racing and showed last weekend at the SKUSA Winter Series that he’s ready for his first international race victory. He will also race in VLR Junior, maximizing track time and doubling his opportunity of standing on the FWT podium.
The third Junior ROK competitor competing this weekend in Alex Berg. Last years Challenge of the Americas 100cc Junior Champion is racing with Ryan Perry Motorsport.
Another young driver who’s been very busy over the past month in Florida is Jensen Burnett. After competing at Daytona and Homestead, he suits up in Mini ROK and has joined Parolin USA for this weekend.
Drivers will get their first taste of the temporary circuit on Thursday with a full day of practice scheduled. Friday will feature Qualifying and the beginning of heat races, setting the tone for the weekend and all culminating with the Finals on Sunday.
Live Timing can be followed on the ROK Cup USA website, https://rokcupusa.com/live-timing/.
Canadian Drivers Competing in Florida Winter Tour Round #1
- Ben Cooper – ROK Senior – BCR/PSL Karting
- Laurent Legault – ROK Senior – BCR/PSL Karting
- Mathieu Cousineau – ROK Senior – BCR/PSL Karting
- Lucas Pernod – ROK Senior – BCR/PSL Karting
- Thomas Nepveu – ROK Shifter – PSL Karting
- Davide Greco – ROK Shifter – PSL Karting
- Ayden Ingratta – ROK Junior & VLR Junior – Speed Concepts Racing
- Jordan Di Leo – ROK Mini – Goodwood Kartways
- Rocco Simone – ROK Micro – Goodwood Kartways
- Anthony Simone – VLR Masters – Goodwood Kartways
- Cayden Goodridge – VLR Masters – Goodwood Kartways
- Justin Di Lucia – ROK Micro – Goodwood Kartways
- Jensen Burnett – ROK Mini – Parolin USA
- Marcello Paniccia – ROK Junior – Racing Edge Motorsports
- Antonio Serravalle – ROK Shifter – Goodwood Kartways/CRG
- Alex Berg – ROK Junior – Ryan Perry Motorsport
This is the first of three Florida Winter Tour rounds to take place. In February round two will be held on a temporary circuit in St. Petersburg and in March the championship will wrap up at Ocala Gran Prix in North Florida.