FLORIDA WINTER TOUR - MOROSO PREVIEW Round 2 might eclipse stellar IRMC season-opener turnout West Palm Beach, FL (February 7, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida continues its tenth season ...
FLORIDA WINTER TOUR - MOROSO PREVIEW
Round 2 might eclipse stellar IRMC season-opener turnout
West Palm Beach, FL (February 7, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida continues its tenth season this weekend, February 8-10 at Moroso Motorsports Park in West Palm Beach, FL. After a one year hiatus, the series now returns to the Moroso facility on the heels of a record-breaking turnout (230 drivers) at the FWT opener a month ago.
Though with almost 220 pre-entries slated for this Moroso weekend, the record numbers of last month might already be under siege, further cementing the FWT's status as the largest Rotax Max series in the world. After kicking off the '08 season four weeks ago at Homestead Karting, the teams and drivers from across North, South, and central America now travel to Moroso to do battle in six Rotax classes.
No doubt the awards package of the 2008 FWT plays a large role in the numbers. Formula Kart Productions, Eastern U.S. Rotax distributor SSC East and Canadian Rotax Distributor SRA Karting, working together with BRP/Rotax, will provide fully funded rides to the 2008 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) to the points champions of the '08 FWT Rotax DD2, Rotax Senior and Rotax Junior classes. In addition, SSC East will offer FWT RMC Masters and Mini Max class Points Champions paid entry packages to the United States or Mexican Grand Nationals.
Padding the FWT awards structure are Skip Barber Racing School Three Day Competition Courses for points champions in Rotax Senior and Junior (an $8000 value), while Autosports Media will award free press releases to every Senior and Junior race winner for the entire season, along with a $1,000 web site voucher for the points champions of all FWT Rotax classes.
Cameron Motorsports Rotax DD2 is once again grabbing headlines, as the on- track duel witnessed at Homestead between reigning World Champion Pier-Luc Ouellette and three-time ICC national champion Alex Speed will continue at Moroso. Only twenty points separate Ouellette (Arrow/SRA Karting) from the MRP/Birel America driver, as they split the two Homestead rounds with a win apiece. Not to be forgotten is Kyle Herder, who trails Speed by a mere five tallies. Hoping to rebound from a tough weekend at Homestead will be the Marsell brothers (Stuart and Brandon), who finished 1-2 respectively in this class at last year's Rotax Max Grand Nationals.
Making his second appearance at the FWT in DD2 will be former F1 driver and current Red Bull ARCA pilot Scott Speed. While his ARCA duties will keep him away from FWT action on Saturday, expect Speed to return to DD2 racing action on Sunday. Scott will take on the aforementioned racers along with DD2/CRG standouts Michael Vincec (Cameron Motorsports) and Joey Collins (SSC East)
At stake in S1 Racing Karts Rotax Senior is not only a direct transfer spot to the 2008 RMCGF, but also a Three Day Competition Course at Skip Barber Racing School. Thus far, Fabio Orsolon (Max Papis Racing) has emerged as a title threat with his steady Homestead performances putting him into the early points lead. His 165 points are just ten ahead of Oliver Sirois (CRG/PSL Karting), topping an international field of 44 drivers with just six of them based in the United States.
Yet the action in Rotax Senior will likely be the hottest of the weekend, as spots three through nine in the points standings are separated by just 17 markers. Darren White, Victor Pedrosa (Sunday winner at Homestead), Australian Scott Saunders, Sergio Mata, Jose Hernandez, Massimo Scott and Jose Zanella (Homestead's Saturday winner) will all be looking to improve their positions.
RDD Motorsports Rotax Masters features the tightest points battle among all FWT IRMC classes, as Michael Riolo (Advanced Karting/Tony Kart) and Brad Smith (CRG/RH2) swapped wins and runner-up finishes at Homestead and currently sit even at 190 points each. Smith's pre-Moroso testing had revealed blistering pace, and was expecting to do double by also entering Rotax Senior on this event weekend. Unfortunately a viral infection has currently sidelined Smith and he is not expected to attend. Stay tuned to see if "Bad" Brad can make a quick recovery. Currently third in the points and certainly within striking distance is Denis LaChance, who rounded out both podiums at Round 1.
The largest class at Moroso will once again be Advanced Karting Rotax Junior, as there's no doubt that this category will feature a points battle that will go down to the last lap of the last main in Ocala next month. Courtesy of his first and second place finishes at Homestead, Daniel Formal (Advanced Karting/Tony Kart) currently reigns supreme atop the standings, though Tony Kart USA's Phil De La O's first and third earned him a five point deficit from the leader. Jesus Rios Jr., Gabriel Chaves, Tatiana Calderon, Daniel Vela, and Nick Neri are all within range of the title.
Somewhat of a surprise is the performance of defending Rotax Junior champion Jarvis Gennari, whose debut aboard a CRG/SSC East package was not without its struggles, and he comes to Moroso just eighth in the points. Look for Gennari to rally and improve his standing by Sunday evening as he'll join the 60-odd young karters looking to grab that RMCGF direct transfer spot along with a Skip Barber Racing School Three Day Competition Course.
At the Homestead opener, Kart Mini of America Rotax Mini Max and RDD Motorsports Rotax Micro Max both showcased the exemplary racing skills of these young karters. Mini Max was dominated by Dore Chaponick; he was the only double winner in any class from the Homestead weekend, and he presently has a healthy 35 point lead over Jack West and Pietro Fittipaldi da Cruz. Meanwhile, over in Micro Max, it's anyone's game as leader Juan David Bonilla leads a pack of points chasers that includes Grant Quinlan and Hanna Zellers.