After three successful days of practice for the 2013 Florida Winter Tour, the Rotax Max Challenge groups finally hit the track on to set their grid positions for both Saturday and Sunday’s race days. Completing the day with two rounds of intense qualifying, the FWT has once again attracted some of the worlds best Rotax competition, with many drivers who competed recently at the 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal, competing in West Palm Beach, Florida, host of round #1 of the FWT.
Former Florida Winter Junior Rotax Champions Nick Neri (Tony Kart) and Oliver Askew (Tony Kart) claimed the Pole-positions for Saturday and Sunday’s Pre finals in Rotax Senior after qualifying today.
With Sunday qualifying up first, Askew showed that he belonged in the Senior ranks taking the pole-position by four-hundredths of a second over reigning Rotax Senior Grand Finals Champion Charlie Eastwood of Ireland, (Tony Kart). The Netherlands Sam Schippers qualified third aboard an OK1 Chassis driving for the IPK North America outfit. Advanced Karting’s Daniel Formal (Tony Kart) was fourth, while Sam Beasley (Tony Kart) who is making his first start for the Ocala Gran Prix outfit this weekend qualified fifth. KMS North America’s Tadasuke Makino (Birel) was sixth, ahead of AJ Myers (Kosmic) and Nick Neri (Tony Kart), who was the only driver to make the top ten from the “B” group in qualifying. Nascar Camping World Trucks series driver Nelson Piquet (Tony Kart) qualified ninth in his DFR Prepared entry followed by Luke Varley (Birel) who completed the top ten.
After being bumped up to the fast group for Saturday’s qualifying session, Nick Neri claimed the top spot, ahead of Eastwood who just missed out on first for the second session of the day. Sunday pole sitter Askew was third ahead of Makino and Schippers. Formal was only good for sixth, trailed closely by Daniel Roeper (TonyKart), Myers, Jose Zanella (Kosmic) and Beasley.
With 55 entries in Rotax Senior, Saturday morning will feature a Last Chance Qualifier for drivers qualified 29th on back, with sixth drivers advancing to the pre final.