Saturday in Homestead, Florida, USA was race day for the 2013 Florida Winter Tour. The Rotax Max classes finally competed in wheel to wheel competition after qualifying on Friday afternoon. The warm temperatures and sunny skies in south Florida put fatigue into play as drivers and everyone in the paddock needed to stay hydrated. With a Pre Final and Final for every class, things were very busy at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the racing was exciting in every division as round three of the FWT saw some new and returning winners after the opening rounds in West Palm Beach.
There was drama in the early going of the Rotax DD2 Pre Final as the Reigning Grand Finals Champion Ben Cooper (Birel) would not make it off the grid in time due to a mechanical issue forcing him to start from the pit lane. Xen De Ruwe (Formula K) took the hole shot into the first corner followed by Jesse Lazare (CRG). Pearce Herder (LH Kart) and James Hinchcliffe (Tony Kart) would make it a four kart lead pack as further behind Collin Daley Jr. (CRG) overtook Marco Di Leo (Praga) for fifth after having a pour start from second on the grid. Four Laps in to the race De Ruwe would gap the trio of Canadians battling for the second position as Herder would take second away from Lazare. Doing all he could to catch up, Cooper posted continuous fast laps and was able to catch the rear of the field by the halfway point. Up front De Ruwe put a five-second gap to to the karts behind and with two laps togo Lazare would pass Herder for second ahead of Hinchcliffe and Daley Jr. Cooper was able to recover to a ninth place finish.
Xen De Ruwe once again would pull away in the opening laps of the DD2 final as Jesse Lazare, slotted into the second position with Herder in the third. Daley Jr. would then get by the Karts & Parts driver for third with Ben Cooper who started the final in ninth drove up to the fourth position shuffling Herder back. On lap sixth the front six had spread apart as each of the top six were two-seconds apart. Hinchcliffe would pass Herder for the fifth position as he would come back from a poor start in the final. From there. nobody would challenge the Belgian at the front as he put a six-second gap to Lazare. Daley Jr. would take the final spot on the podium ahead of Cooper and Hinchcliffe who rounded out the top five.