On Sunday at Ocala Gran Prix, Ayden Ingratta finally secured his first international victory, taking home the win in ROK Junior at the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour.
It was an intense race, which saw Ingratta fall back in the early laps. Getting back into second place after a few laps, he went in pursuit of the race leader and by halfway, he was right on the bumper of Noah Baker.
The two traded the lead a few times and even made contact with four laps to go that allowed third, fourth, and fifth place to catch up.
With the race intensifying and Ingratta barely hanging onto the lead, he went into full defensive driving mode. Stacking up the drivers behind, the four of them would eventually come together on the second last lap, allowing Ingratta to gain a huge lead.
A lap later, he rounded the final corner and celebrated the biggest win of his career thus far, and vaulted right into the FWT championship hunt.
Since the start of 2021 Ingratta has been very close to victory. He had a win taken away at the SKUSA Winter Series for start violation and came within inches of the VLR Junior race win in round one of the Florida Winter Tour. With his best performance to date, Ingratta finally got the monkey off his back today and he backed it up with a podium in the VLR Junior Final as well, finishing third.
In total, six Canadians were competing over the weekend at Ocala Gran Prix.
Thomas Nepveu was a force in ROK Senior, qualifying second and winning a heat race, but some bad luck in the PreFinal forced him to start deep in the Final. He worked forward to finish sixth place at the checkered flag.
In Micro ROK, three Canucks were in action. Rocco Simone had his best race weekend to date, showing that his dedication to competition over the winter is paying off. He finished seventh in the Final. Gabriel Balog and Justin Di Lucia weren’t too lucky in the final, with Balog finishing 20th and Di Lucia a DNF after an early race crash into the first corner barriers.
Finally, Marcello Paniccia was battling inside the top-ten during the ROK Junior Final, but ran into some trouble, spinning and falling to the tail of the field. He rebounded to finish the Final fifteenth.
The third and final round of the 2021 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour will return to Ocala Gran Prix in a month’s time. Drivers will tackle the circuit in the opposite direction as this weekend to create a new challenge as racers do battle for the ten FWT class championships.