March Sunday’s in Ocala have become a special time for those involved in the karting industry. For the past few seasons, the Florida Winter Tour closes it’s two championship weekends at the Ocala Gran Prix location, with great racing, prizes, awards and excitement, and this year once again has delivered. For the Formula Kart classes, their Championships came to a close today but for some classes it went right down to the wire.
Continuing from her dominant form from Saturday, Ashley Rogero (TonyKart) took Pole in Sunday TaG Senior Qualifying as she looked to be the driver to beat. Behind Rogero would be a pair of Canadian drivers: Bryce Choquer (Birel) and Chad Campbell (GP), as both drivers would look to improve from their Saturday performances, while Nicolas Daza (TonyKart) and Sam Cate (TonyKart) completed the top-five.
In heat one, Choquer was able to take the lead from Rogero going into the tree turn on lap one with Rogero slotting into the second position. Two laps later Rogero would get the lead back from Choquer and then simply drive away from the field as she did on Saturday. Campbell who went down to fourth on the start took second place back from Choquer on lap eight. Rogero would go on to win the first heat ahead of Campbell, Choquer, Cate, and Roger Ralston Jr. (TonyKart).
Capitalizing from the inverted grid and their pour qualifying performances Ralston and Hunter Ceto (Praga) pulled a one-second gap to Bernard Cote (CRG) in third place during the second TaG senior heat. Rogero who started in the back of the grid was able to drive to the top-five at the half way marker in the race. At the finish Ralston would take the win as Rogero would drive up to the second position ahead of Ceto, Kevin Barbesino (TonyKart) and Cohen.
Rogero would once again pull out an early advantage in the TaG Senior Final ahead of Ralston and Choquer. The whole field would become static during the majority of the race as most drivers would have at least and one-second gap to the driver around them making it a very uneventful Final. That is until there was five laps to go and with a “Bang”, Rogero noticed a problem. Looking down at her right front tire, the sidewall had exploded and she was forced to make her way around with a flat. Ralston would catch her within two laps, and easily move into the lead and Rogero would retire a lap later. At the line Ralston took the victory ahead of Choquer, Cate, Thomas Radivoy (Tony Kart), and Ariel Castro (AM Kart) completing the top five.
However, Ralston would be excluded in post-tech, handing the victory to Choquer, with Cate and Radivoy joining him on the podium.
With the Championship secured on Saturday, Daniel Formal (TonyKart) elected not to race on Sunday, but was awarded his second FWT TaG Senior Championship on Sunday afternoon.