Championship Sunday. The final day of the 2013 Florida Winter Tour is in the books as series hit the track at Ocala Gran Prix under a wide mixture of weather, including very heavy winds and even an intense downpour, and heated action on track. Seven class champions were crowned, with six tickets awarded to the Rotax Grand Finals, held this November in New Orleans, USA.
As the field started the Pre final, pole-sitter Tadasuke Makino (Birel) would lose the lead at the end on lap one to Oliver Askew (TonyKart). The Rain would prove to be the great equalizer as Bryce Choquer (Birel) would drive up to the third position in the pre final. The top six drivers would run equivalent lap times as the top drivers would run competitive lap times throughout as Askew went on to take the Pre final win followed by Makino, Choquer, Nick Neri (TonyKart) and Charlie Eastwood (TonyKart).
In terms of the Championship there would be drama before the green flag of the final as Daniel Formal (Tony Kart) had and issue on the grid and his kart wouldn’t start as the rest of the field rolled off the grid. Eventually Formal’s kart would get going but it would mean he would need to start at the rear of the grid. Makino took an early one-second lead at start ahead of teammate Luke Varley (Birel) as everyone elected for slicks on the fast-drying track. Neri worked into third as he would battle with Eastwood and Jesus Rios Jr. (CRG) in the opening stages of the Final. Rios was on a charge as he would get by Neri and Eastwood for third on lap four with some great aggressive passes. Unfortunatley for the PSL Karting pilot, Neri would try and take third back from Rios in turn three, but contact between both drivers would send Rios off the track and back to eighth.
With the battles taking place behind them Varley would reel in Makino and take the lead. At the halfway point in the race Varley would gap Makino by two seconds as the Brit was into his comfort zone. Askew returned to the top five taking fourth as he was shuffled down the order after being roughed up at the start. Even though he got up to fourth the Senior Rookie fell all the way down to seventh as he would be passed by Eastwood, Beasley and Formal who had the fastest lap of the race as he drove up to the field after early trouble put him behind. In the closing stages of the race Neri’s kart came in and he was able to get by Makino for second, but he would run out of time and Varley would go on to take the win ahead of Neri, Makino, Eastwood and Beasley.
The Championship would go to Eastwood as the reigning Rotax Max Grand Finals Champion Senior Max Champion quickly earns his ticket to defend his Championship. After a tough day Formal would settle for second in the championship ahead of his main competitor for majority of their karting careers, Nick Neri. Askew had an great Senior debut senior as he took fourth in the championship ahead of the Japanese driver Makino.