Big wins for Leesmann, Cabrera, De La O West Palm Beach, FL (February 17, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida continued with its tenth season on Sunday at the Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, FL.
Big wins for Leesmann, Cabrera, De La O
West Palm Beach, FL (February 17, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida continued with its tenth season on Sunday at the Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, FL. Over 140 karters attended Round 4 as they contested a full schedule of shifter, spec racer, and junior classes.
PSL Karting.com Pro Shifter
In a repeat from Saturday's qualifying sessions, once again it was Fritz Leesmann who topped the time sheets as he pedaled his PSL Karting/CRG around the .9 mile Moroso track in 57.241. Also similarly to yesterday, Danilo Dirani (Tony Kart Florida) was second quickest, while Richard Benitez surprised to snatch third aboard his J3 Competition/Kosmic.
The start of the pre-final also had a sense of déjà vu, as Dirani grabbed the hole shot and led into the first turn. Leesmann again struggled with his start and slipped down a few positions.
Fritz was quick to recover though, as he went back around Gary Carlton (CRG SpA) on the ensuing lap; indeed, Carlton was in trouble and losing positions quickly. Keith Spicer moved into third, yesterday's winner Jordy Vorrath (Champion/Intrepid) held down fourth.
Leesmann now closed in on Dirani, and on Lap 8 Fritz was back in front. Danilo could do no better than second for now, while Keith Spicer (DL Racing/CRG) was again showing his worth. Vorrath finished at the back of the lead quartet as they crossed the stripe.
Continuing a trend dating back to Round 1 at Homestead, the green flew for the final and Leesmann again struggled with his start. His pole suddenly became a fourth place by the end of Lap 1, with Dirani, Vorrath and Carlton all having gone past, in that order.
Undaunted, Fritz went to work. He got around Gary on Lap 2, but then lost a position to Benitez on the following lap. Lap 5 and Vorrath retired with a broken throttle cable, a harsh disappointment for the Saturday victor.
On the seventh lap, Fritz made his move on Benitez and was cleanly into second, though Dirani was well up the road. Still, Leesmann continued to focus and chiseled away at the gap, until Lap 10 (of 18) and he was firmly back in the game and on Danilo's bumper. The following lap and the comeback was complete; Leesmann was into the lead and never looked back.
Behind him, Dirani would have to be content with second, Benitez capped off a strong day with his third, Alex Speed (Birel/MRP Motorsport) had a quiet run to fourth, and Carlton came home fifth. As part of the FWT $20,000 guaranteed series purse, Leesmann walked away with a cool $1480 for his win.
The Tony Karts of Daniel Formal (Advanced Karting) and Phil De La O (Tony Kart Florida) went one-two in qualifying, while Jarvis Gennari made his best showing since joining the SSC East/CRG operation by clocking the third fastest time.
Pre-final action and Formal danced away, but Gennari was well and truly back to his '07 form and was getting his first whiff of a lead since the season began. Turn 1 Lap 3 and Jarvis nailed it, making a clean move into the front. Formal tucked in behind, while behind them it was De La O in close quarters, and then a small gap to Spencer Pigot (Firstkart.com) and Taylor Miinch (Top Kart).
Final corner, Lap 5, and Formal convincingly retook the lead. The battle for fourth was close; Miinch got ahead of Pigot, but now it was Bijon Spinazzola (Juncos Racing), Miles Maroney (Firstkart.com) and Nick Neri (Maranello) in a solid fight for fourth.
Three to go and no changes at the front, as the leading trio seemed content to run bumper to bumper while that battle for fourth was a distant four seconds in arrears. Two to go and De La O made his move for second, and it was again Tony Kart one-two as Jarvis slipped to third. Last lap and De La O decided he'd had enough of Formal's exhaust fumes; Phil dove into Turn 1 and made it stick, holding it until the checkered.
Formal and Gennari tried to be overly clever as they approached the checkered flag; neither wanted to finish second and be on the outside of Row 1 for the main, so they played a braking game within sight of the stripe. Given the stack of karts bearing down on them from behind, it was a silly unsafe move by the both of them, and everyone had to scatter in order to avoid the nonsense. Both Danny and Jarvis earned a ten position penalty for their troubles.
Come the main and it was madness at the front. De La O went from the pole to fourth by the end of Lap 1; Pigot led early until De La O gained one spot on Lap 3, only to go from third to first in a superb move just a few corners later. Phil immediately began to pull away.
Lap 7 and it was now a logjam behind Pigot, as Neri, Spinazzola, and Maroney were covered by a blanket. Neri settled the issue with a move past Spencer in the Turn 13 hairpin. Meanwhile, the two penalized karts from the pre-final were experiencing mixed fortunes. Jarvis was up to sixth, while Formal seemed to have developed a real problem this time and retired on Lap 7.
Neri had some breathing space to the battle for third, but was making no in- roads on the leader, as De La O had opened up his lead to 3.1 seconds by the end of Lap 11, Phil picking up about three tenths each time around. Behind them, Pigot was holding down third but was feeling the heat from his First Kart teammate Maroney.
Lap 16 and Gennari went around Spinazzola for fifth. Same lap and Maroney took fourth from Pigot with a late braking move into the final corner. Next lap, Gennari made a mistake that allowed Spinazzola to snatch back fifth. It was great racing in these closing moments.
De La O claimed the win with five seconds in hand, Neri grabbed valuable championship points while rival Formal watched from the sidelines, and Maroney made a last corner pass to grab the final podium position.
MRP/Birel America Spec Racer
Things looked interesting at the conclusion of Spec Racer qualifying; Champion/Intrepid ace Ben Searcy had locked down the pole, just .046 ahead of yesterday's winner Victor Cabrera, in turn less than a tenth ahead of "Best of the Parillas" man Pat Iannucci (G-Phactory/Sodi). Andy Lee (Tony Kart USA) and Joey Wimsett (Champion/Intrepid) made it four Rok TTs in the fast five.
In the pre-final, Cabrera managed to jump polesitter Searcy, while Lee was struggling to hold third, which he lost to Sean Meier (J3 Competition/Kosmic) on Lap 2. Iannucci slipped to fifth, while Joey Wimsett in sixth had a six kart train behind him, snapping at his heels.
Iannucci reeled in the leading quartet, though by Lap 5 Cabrera had begun to build himself a small cushion. Searcy now had his hands full with Meier and Lee eager to find a way past. Things settled down quickly from there, and there was little excitement save the last corner of the last lap when Lee snuck past Meier into third.
At the green for the main it was Cabrera, Searcy and Lee who jumped away from the field, the Kosmic, Intrepid, and Tony Kart clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Those three quickly distanced themselves from the balance of the 30 kart field.
And while the trio were covered by less than three tenths throughout the balance of the main, there were no changes among them all the way to the checkered. Lee took a pair of looks down the inside of Searcy, but after his DNF from a day before, Andy took no chances and opted for a third place finish. Cabrera and Searcy finished one-two for the second straight day.
CMW Stock Moto / FA Kart Masters Shifter
With a dominant Stock Moto win yesterday, Champion Racing/Intrepid's Bryan Eady was earmarked as the favorite on Sunday, and after snatching the pole by over half a second, it was with good reason. Jose Zanella (FA Kart) could only manage second, the Venezuelan struggling to match Eady's pace. Matthew Mair, with little fanfare, qualified third.
Eady stormed to the pre-final win, his Leading Edge Motorsports-tuned entry looking at ease as he won by almost six seconds. Mair got the better of Zanella; Matt's Capricorn Racing/Tony Kart looking better and better with each passing session.
Mair came into his own in the main. Eady made a poor start and was down to third before he'd barely moved, while Mair made a good start, and suddenly the Tony Kart was out front and for the first time during this FWT season, Bryan found himself with his hands full. Zanella was through into second while Ron Wheldon sat back and watched the fireworks from fourth.
Eady was back into second before the completion of Lap 1, and he resumed his place at the front on Lap 2. Problem was, Mair was unimpressed and snatched it right back on the following lap. Zanella also got back around Eady, though Bryan recovered and was soon again into second on Lap 5.
It was now a two horse race between Mair and Eady as Jose began to fall further and further back. Bryan was desperate to find a way around, but the laps began to add up and Eady couldn't find the solution. Mair refused to buckle under the pressure, and he took a triumphant win while a frustrated Bryan had to settle for a runner-up result. Zanella dutifully finished third, Wheldon ran in fourth for the duration, while Tony Roubicek completed the top five.
In Masters Shifter, Gustavo Vidal (PSL Karting/CRG) easily earned the pole by over six tenths, with Kurt Mathewson and Eduardo Martins the only ones within a second of the pole lap.
Vidal won the pre-final but was assessed a four position penalty after going through the tech tent. It didn't much matter, as Vidal made up the spots in the main and was back in the lead before long. Mathewson finished over two seconds behind in the runner-up position, with Martins wrapping up third.
J3 Competition KF2 / Rysa Racing KF3
The KF classes offered up more of the close competition that will likely become commonplace in this category of karting. KF2 qualifying was again close; Brazilian Fabio Orsolon (Tony Kart Florida) earned his fourth straight pole, though Joey Wimsett (Champion/Intrepid) was less than a tenth behind, while Alex Wikell was again third quick with Christopher Grektorp in fourth. KF3 was about Costa Rican Daniel Formal (Advanced Karting) ahead of Michael Silva and Ricardo Duenas.
In the final, Wimsett finally seemed to have the measure of Orsolon, and Joey jumped out to the lead, Fabio close behind. Wikell couldn't keep the pace of the two leaders as they vanished up the road. It was close going throughout the entire main; Wimsett would pull out two lengths, only to have Orsolon reel him back in. So it was all the way to the checkered, with Joey taking the win by just three tenths. Formal again got the win in the KF3 category.
Both KF2 and KF3 points champions will receive Three Day Competition Courses from Skip Barber Racing School, an $8000 value. Because of the late announcement of these awards, and the introductory status of the KF classes, the FWT points championship for KF2 and KF3 awards will be a best 3 of 4 points championship beginning with the Moroso rounds.
S1 Racing Kart Cadet
It was a clean sweep on the day for San Yves Motorsports entry Santino Ferrucci, as his Doug Fleming-prepped Comer/Nevoso SF-1 was the class of the field. He grabbed the pole over teammate Carlos Abreu by a scant .046 second, while the ever-present Jacques Saurino (Birel) qualified third.
Ferrucci would win the pre-final by a narrow .008 second over Saurino, but he would gallop to a big win in the main. Behind him, it was brilliantly exciting stuff, as Austin Garrison, Saurino, Bearden, and Dore Chaponick Jr. waged an all-out war for the runner-up position. They would finish in that order, separated from second to fifth by less than four tenths of a second.