The 2013 Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge saw it’s first race day finally hit the track today at Palm Beach International Raceway. With a mixture of weather in the forecast, drivers and mechanics were kept on their toes, doing their best to ensure they had the correct setup for the tricky conditions. The morning warm ups, Last Chance races and first few pre finals were all on a dry track, but just as the Rotax Junior division hit the track, the skies opened up and the rain came pouring down.
Lionel Nienkotter (Kosmic) was the early leader in the Rotax Masters Pre final ahead of Scott Falcone (Arrow), and Derek Wang (FA Kart). On lap four Falcone took the top spot momentarily before Nienkotter was able to counter back and take the position back. All race long both drivers were battling until Wang made a a three wide move stick to take the lead. As soon as Wang took charge of the lead he put his head down and pulled away from the two drivers behind. After the race Nienkotter and Falcone would be disqualified both due to post tech failures. This brought Jason Bell (Kosmic) up into second position and Dario Gallegher (Intrepid) up into third.
After winning the close Pre final race Wang was able to take a flag to flag victory in the Final with a smooth and consistent drive throughout the race. Gallegher was in second in the earlier stages with Franciso Marques (CRG) battling with him, but the two drivers could not hold back the hard charging Brazilian Nienkotter, who set fast lap after fast lap and grabbed second place behind Wang. Marques would eventually get third over Gallegher to claim the final step on the podium. Bobby Greene (Maranello) finished fifth in the Final after qualifying last in Friday’s qualifying session.