The 2013 Florida Winter Tour was back on track at Palm Beach International Raceway for race #2 of the FWT Rotax Max Challenge. After Mother Nature rolled through heavy rain and winds for Saturdays racing, Sunday featured sunshine and hot action on and off the track.
Saturday winner Jack Weprin (FA Kart) was forced to earn his way into Sunday’s main event after a being excused in Friday’s qualifying session. Starting last in the Last Chance race, Weprin advanced to fourth in a race won by Dominic Tesoro (TonyKart), good enough to make the final and a shot at doubling up his victory total on the weekend.
A wild start to the pre final saw karts flying everywhere in corner one, disposing of many contenders early on. Juan Manuel Correa took advantage of this action and moved from fifth to first, while Thomas Issa (Kosmic) and Oliver Bellanger (TonyKart) slotted into second and third. Issa moved to the lead on lap three, but Correa regained the position only a couple corners later. While the leaders battled, Kyle Kirkwood (TonyKart) moved into third just past halfway, while Weprin had worked all the way to fourth place!
With Issa now in control up front, Kirkwood overtook Correa for second, allowing Weprin to catch and move past Correa as well. Issa scored the win, with Kirkwood, Weprin, Correa and Bellanger completing the top-five.
Kirkwood moved into the lead exiting corner one as the Rotax Junior Final rolled down the fast straights of PBIR. But his lead wouldn’t last long, as Issa moved into the lead on lap three. Kirkwood resumed the lead on lap four, but would again surrender it a lap later, this time to Weprin, who had now successfully passed the entire Rotax Junior field.
Issa and Weprin continued to trade the lead up front and would actually pull away in the process, until Kirkwood received help from his OGP teammate Austin Garrison (TonyKart). Working together two were able to track back down the leaders and make it a four-kart race. But it wasn’t enough, as the two ran out of time. Weprin held on to take his second victory of the weekend followed by Issa, while Dominic Tesoro moved to third on third on the final lap as Issa and Kirkwood tangled. Gianfranco Mazzaferro (TonyKart) drove a great race to finish fourth, with Devlin Defrancesco (CRG) finishing fifth, after starting 25th.
Weprin and Defrancesco leave West Palm Beach in the top two positions in the Championship standings, while Issa sits third, just ahead of Correa and Gavin Reichelt. Next up, the Florida Winter Tour will travel to Homestead-Miami Speedway in February for races 3 & 4.