Race day has finally come in Ocala, Florida as the 2013 Florida Winter Tour inches closer to completion. Saturday was round number five of the six race championship, and although the weather was in question all day long, the skies never opened up and every race was completed under dry conditions. The action was intense through every category as drivers looked to lock up or advance forward in their championship chases.
In the DD2 Masters Alan Rudolph (CRG) would take the lead from the second row of the grid at the start of the Pre final ahead of pole sitter Scott Campbell (CRG) and second place starter Alessandro Manetti (Praga). On lap two the 2013 Gatorz champion would lose the lead as both Campbell and Manetti would get by the American going into the first corner. Reigning World Finals Champion Cristiano Morgado (CRG) took the third position away from Rudolph at the closing stages of the race, as Campbell and Manetti put quite a big gap on the two drivers. Campbell went on to take the pre final win ahead of Manetti as both drivers looked strong heading into the Final.
Campbell, Morgado and Rudolph made it a CRG 1-2-3 at the start of the DD2 Masters Final as Manetti would have a pour start falling back to the fifth position. Manetti however would not let his start bring him down as he started to put down fast lap times and began catch the leading trio ahead of him. Within the first five laps Manetti was able to get by Rudolph for the third position and would go by unchallenged as Rudolph new he didn’t have the pace to hold back the IPK North America pilot. Two laps later the Italian would get by Morgado as the South African made a mistake going into the tree turn putting Manetti on the hunt for the lead. After getting into second there was no stopping Manetti as he was instantly on the back bumper of Campbell and went through for the lead of the race.
With Manetti in the lead he would drive to a 1.5 second gap over Campbell who would have his hands full with Morgado in the second position. Even though Morgado was all over rear the bumper of Campbell he wouldn’t have enough to pass the fast Canadian. Manetti would go on to take the win ahead of Campbell, Morgado, Rudolph and Juan Font (Kosmic) completing the top five.
Looking at the points table its seems that Morgado and Campbell will remain first and second in the championship as they both are separated by a great margin. Third position could change hands as Stuart Clark (Maranello) is sidelined with a rib injury and isn’t competing in Ocala allowing Juan Font the chance to move into third in the standing.
Jason Bell (Tony Kart) was able to convert his pole position to an early lead in the Rotax Masters pre final. This would be short lived as Scott Falcone (Arrow) and Derek Wang (FA Kart) would go by the leader on the first lap. Wang tried to make a move for the lead going into the third corner but minor contact between him and Falcone would allow Patricio Larrea (TonyKart) to take the second position ahead of Bell, Wang, and Bobby Greene (Maranello) creating a four kart battle for second position. Wang would be able to make his way to second position ahead of Larrea and Bell as Greene who was lurking the background took fourth away from Bell.
Falcone pulled away at the start of the Rotax Masters final ahead of Larrea who continued to show improvement during the final. Falcone had a two-second lead over the battle for second at the half way distance, as Wang and Bell would try to get by Larrea in order to catch up to the leader Falcone. On lap thirteen of the eighteen lap Final both Wang and Bell would eventually get by Larrea, but it was too late for the two to try and catch the leader. Falcone would go on to take his first FWT win of the year by nearly three seconds ahead of Wang and Bell. Larrea would finish the race in fourth ahead of Greene in fifth.
Wang continues to lead the Championship and should have not problem winning the championship on Sunday. Falcone and Bell are both separated by only fifty points but with Falcone only having to drop a 58 points and bell dropping 115, it will be hard for Bell to beat Falcone especially with the way the are currently running.