Qualifying is in the books at the Florida Winter Tour as the Rotax Max Challenge competitors got their chance to shine on the Palm Beach Karting circuit during the second stop of the 2017 tour. While the entry count of drivers has dwindled to sub-100 for the first time in years at the FWT, there was no shortage of excitement and tight battles on track as those that are here have come seeking only the top of the podium.
Winner at round one in Homestead, Ryan Norberg and PSL Karting machine dialed in a pole-position time in Rotax Senior qualifying that saw him more than two-tenths of a second up on second place, Brazilian Arthur Leist. Canadians Samuel Lupien, Jackson Neilands and Justin Overjero were inside the top-ten taking positing six, eight and nine while Marc-Antoine Poirer and Logan Cusson were eleventh and thirteenth.
Robert Wickens and Jeffrey Kingsley will once again line up on the front row in Rotax DD2 but this time it’s Wickens on the pole-position. Ethan Simioni and Davide Greco followed suit as Canadians posted the four fastest times. Marco Signoretti was sixth fastest in his season debut while Cedrik Lupien and Alex Da Silva were tenth and twlefth.
But the slightest of margins, Tyler Gonzalez stole the pole in Rotax Junior, nipping Dylan Gennaro by 0.045 seconds and Ryan MacDermid by 0.06 seconds. Round one winner Jeremy Fairbairn was fourth while Thomas Nepveu was tenth. Mackenzie Clark is completing the double in WPB and clocked in the seventeenth quickest time while Tommy Simard was twenty fifth in the 31-kart field.
Justin Arseneau did clock in the fastest time in Rotax Mini-Max qualifying but was excluded for coming in slightly underweight at the scales, moving Elio Giovanni to the pole-position. Dale Curran was third.
A field of sixteen in Micro-Max has Alex Powell on the pole-position for the heats with Georgie Zouein putting down the fourth quickest time. Making his second start, Frankie Esposito is fifteenth.
The day was wrapped up with the first round of heat races where Norberg, Kingsley, Henri Cubides (Junior), Curren and Michel Aboissa steered their ways to victories.
Heats will resume on Saturday with two more scheduled for each class to help set the grids for Sunday. You can watch the live stream right here on CKN all weekend long!