Race day has finally come in Ocala, Florida as the 2013 Florida Winter Tour inches closer to completion. Saturday was round number five of the six race championship, and although the weather was in question all day long, the skies never opened up and every race was completed under dry conditions. The action was intense through every category as drivers looked to lock up or advance forward in their championship chases.
Nick Neri (TonyKart) took the lead of the Rotax Senior Pre final ahead of Charlie Eastwood (TonyKart), Oliver Askew (TonyKart), Tadasuke Makino (Birel) and Sam Beasley (TonyKart). The top ten karts were all separated by two kart lengths as throughout the race drivers would put in lap times under a tenth of each other making it difficult for each driver to close the gap to one another. Neri won the race followed by Eastwood, Makino, Beasley and Daniel Formal (Tony Kart). Askew who looked to be in contention for the win in the final was given a three second penalty after a violation at the start of the Prefinal.
Eastwood took the lead from Neri at the start as he looks to seal the deal on his Rotax Senior championship. Eastwood and Neri would have company however as KMS North America’s Makino was in third right behind the two leaders before Neri took the lead on lap eight. Next lap by Beasley tried to take the third position away from Makino but the Japanese pilot would fight back and make an aggressive move on Beasley to take the spot back as he eagerly wanted to be on the podium.
Up front Neri would drive away from Eastwood in second as the Irishmen would come under pressure by both Makino and Beasley behind him. Unfortunately for Makino his pace through to the front of the field evened out and the top drivers were all evenly separated. Neri would go on the take the win ahead of Eastwood, Makino, Beasley, and Formal as TonyKarts would take four of the top-five positions.
When drops are added to the points standing Eastwood leads the championship by only fifteen points ahead of Formal. the two leaders are not the only two in the championship as both Neri and Askew can pick up the pieces if the two leaders drop the ball on championship Sunday.