It came as no surprise that three drivers from the Ocala Gran Prix race team topped the charts in qualifying on Friday at the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels.
Utilizing their home track knowledge, Kyle Kirkwood, Austin Garrison and Mathias Ramirez paced the Vortex ROK Senior, Shifter and Junior categories respectively and earned pole position for all three of their heat races.
Kirkwood converted that pole position into an easy heat race win over Ryan Norberg and Luis Forteza, as did Ramirez, taking a flag-to-flag heat win over Micheal d’Orlando and Matthew Latifi.
However it wasn’t so smooth for Garrison. After leading the opening laps, he surrendered the lead to Danny Formal, and Oliver Askew pounced on the opportunity to follow Formal through. Askew then worked by the new leader one lap later and took the heat win while Garrison faded from the leaders before the checkered flag.
In the Vortex Mini and Micro ROK categories, it was a pair of BENIK Karts at the top of the charts as Tyler Maxson and Englishman Oliver Denny, winner of round 1, led the way.
Both drivers were also able to turn P1 in qualifying into heat race wins. Matheus Morgatto claimed the second Mini ROK heat as the large group of 41 drivers is split up for the heat races.
Action continues on Saturday with two more rounds of heat races for all categories along with a last chance qualifier in Mini ROK.