The final stop of the 2021 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour has arrived as drivers and teams return to Ocala Gran Prix for the championship round.
Usually, a great location to host a large number of Canadian drivers, with the current border measures, only a limited number of Canadian racers are in attendance. Many of them have competed down south all winter and a few are in the championship hunt. With increased points available for this round, these drivers still have a chance to earn one of the more coveted titles in North American karting.
In total, it looks like six Canadian drivers will once again be in attendance.
A pair of Canadians are inside the top-ten after two rounds of competition. Possibly the busiest racer this winter, Rocco Simone (Goodwood/NSM/Exprit) stands in fifth place and is looking to end off his first full FWT on a high note. The championship podium is within sight and a solid weekend could make it happen.
Gabriel Balog (Checkered Motorsports/Magik Kart) is another driver who has stayed down in Florida between rounds two and three. He ranks eighth in the standings and has been very competitive this winter. Like Simone, he’s aiming to end his first FWT on a high.
Back for his third weekend, Justin Di Lucia (Goodwood/Exprit) continues to gain experience on the international level in anticipation of the Canadian summer season.
Only 23 points separate Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts/RedSpeed) from the championship lead in ROK Junior. Coming off an impressive win in round two, Ingratta has put all his focus on the ROK GP this weekend, opting to sit out of his 100cc Junior kart, surrendering fourth overall in that category.
For sure one of the most competitive classes at the FWT, Ingratta will have his hands full this weekend, but he has the fight in him this winter to take it to the best, and chances are, he could come out on top.
Marcello Paniccia (REM/Kosmic) will be in action this weekend. He’s endured some tough luck this winter and really should be higher up in the standings after two races. However, he’s still smiling and looks to this weekend as a chance to prove one more time that’s capable of racing with the best Rokkers.
Since he competed in ROK Shifter in round one and ROK Senior in round two, Thomas Nepveu isn’t in any championship race this weekend. However, he’s back in his Senior ROK and will surely be in the fight for the win. He scored a heat race win in round two and was in contention all weekend, so we will see what’s in store during the championship finale. It will also be one of his last kart races before he embarks on a season of USF2000 car racing.
Qualifying for this weekends race kicks off on Friday afternoon. Follow the live timing on http://rokcupusa.com.