Three months of competition has come to a close as the 2017 Florida Winter Tour wrapped up on Sunday with the completion of their final round at the Ocala Gran Prix circuit in North Florida. A small turnout of drivers brought down the morale of the event but for those in attendance, they were rewarded with big points and championship opportunities.
Here is how the races broke down and the championships were determined.
Gonzalez Doubles Up on Junior FWT Titles
Leading off the charge of races on Sunday, Rotax Junior rolled off the grid with twenty-three karts in attendance. A spirited battle up front saw an initial lead pack of six led by Tyler Gonzalez and Dylan Gennaro. As Gennaro grabbed the lead, Tyler Maxson and Zachary Hollingshead were hounding the leaders while Hannah Greenemeier and Thomas Nepveu were also in the early running.
Some battling for fourth allowed Gennaro, Gonzalez and Maxson to break free just before halfway and making his move early, Gonzalez brought Maxson by him on lap twelve and then continued to do what he has done all year long, pull away. Maxson wasn’t able to match the leaders pace and had to settle for second with Gennaro unable to make anything work and took third.
Nepveu took fourth while Arias Duekmedjian recovered from starting a tail of the grid to finish fifth.
As for the remaining Canadians, Thomas Simard was twelfth, MacKenzie Clark fifteenth, Mark Davis Nineteenth and Robert Soroka twentieth.
With the victory and his consistency all winter, Gonzalez secured his second Florida Winter Tour title in as many weeks, an impressive feat for the young driver.
Curran Cruises to Championship as Simpson scores Mini-Max race win
All weekend long in Rotax Mini-Max, it was a battle of four for the race win while it was down to two Canadian drivers for the Championship.
Unfortunately, that championship battle came to an early end on Saturday as Justin Arseneau stalled out on the start of the PreFinal and with the DNF, championship leader Dale Curran was all but out of reach.
In the Final, Curran lead early with Aidan Fox and Kyffin Simpson all over him. Arseneau recovered from the tail of the to fourth in only a couple laps but by the time he found clear track, the lead pack had pulled a significant gap.
With the Championship on his mind, Curran played it smart and as Fox and Simpson worked by him, he let them duke it out for the race win to avoid any drama. Side-by-side coming to the last lap Simpson gained the advantage into turn one. Defending through two, three and four, Simpson delivered one of his best laps, not allowing Fox any chance go get inside and make a pass. Throwing his arms up in the air coming to the finish line, Simpson scored the biggest victory of his career while Curran celebrated his championship in third.
Arseneau was fourth, Anthony Sardelitti was fifth in his Mini-Max debut. Ryland Duesburry crossed the finish line sixth, but rolled across the scales just underweight and was scored last. Lorenzo Morsillo and Ethan Donkers were eighth and ninth.
Kingsley Perfect in DD2; Earns Ticket to Grand Finals
There really isn’t much to report from Rotax DD2 as Jeff Kingsley was perfect all weekend long, besting his competition and confirming the Championship in style, taking all three race wins in the Tour.
With the championship, Kingsley earns a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals and will represent Canada in Portugal.
Gary Carlton finished second in the race and the championship while Ethan Simioni completed the podium in the race and the championship. Davide Greco was fourth, Alex Da Silva fifth, while Marco Signoretti was a DNF.
Nikita Johnson Emerges in Mini-Max Final; Egozi Champion
There was a thrilling battle up front in Micro-Max as five drivers traded positions and rubber in the race for the win. Miguel Costa led the majority of the race, but a pass by Nikita Johnson interrupted Costa’s momentum and he fell down the order with only a couple laps left.
Johnson then hit all his marks and stormed to his first FWT victory on Sunday ahead of Alex Powell and James Egozi. Frankie Esposito was fourteenth at the line.
With two race wins and a third, Egozi was confirmed as champion.
Major Shakeup in Rotax Senior Final; Norberg Champion
There was a measly six karts in Rotax Senior at Ocala and nobody could have predicted the outcome of Sunday’s race.
Ryan Norberg led for the pole-position, but his race came to an end when Ryan MacDermid got into the side of his in turn four only five laps into the race. After MacDermid gained the lead, Mathias Ramirez tracked him down and took over control and appeared to check out. But with only three laps left, Logan Cusson was on the tail of the leader and ultimately pushed Ramirez wide in corner four to put himself in the lead. Charging back at the end, MacDermid then worked past Ramirez with two laps to go and would cross the finish line in first.
Coming into the pits, Ramirez, obviously upset with Cusson, pushed him through the barriers in the pit exit and right in front of the officials.
All of this action meant plenty of discussion in the stewards office where Ramirez was excluded for his actions, Cusson was penalized for his hit on Ramirez and MacDermid was penalized was his action on Norberg.
With the dust finally settled, Marc-Antoine Poirer was elevated to the top of the podium with Action Jackson Neilands second and Cusson third.
The championship picture didn’t change much with Norberg taking his second title in two weekends while Cusson and Neilands completed the podium.
Max Masters featured a heads up battle between Scott Roberts and Michel Aboissa where Roberts completed a dominating weekend to overtake his competitor and take home the championship.