After three long months of tight-knit competition, ROK champions will be crowned this weekend in Jupiter, Florida at the climax of their Florida Winter Tour. Cody Schindel previews the action.
The Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels rolls into Palm Beach Karting for the conclusive round of the ROK Cup Championship where seven drivers will stand on top of the podium on Sunday as class champions.
Six of those title-winners will also earn invitations to compete in Italy later this year as part of the prestigious Vortex ROK Cup International Final.
Increased championship points are up for grabs this weekend, too, as drivers tackle the one-mile Palm Beach Karting track, adding to the intensity of this weekend’s race and keeping many drivers still in with a chance of honors.
Kirkwood and Norberg (almost) neck and neck in ROK Senior
Kyle Kirkwood has been relatively unchallenged by his competitors so far in his defense of the ROK Senior title, but a mechanical failure in the PreFinal of Round 1 led to a thrilling Final where he got himself into penalty trouble on his way back to the front. While he swept the second round in Ocala, Kirkwood enters the final round down a mere 11 points to Ryan Norberg with round one winner Olin Galli also in the championship mix only 85 markers back.
Alan Sisdeli and Zach Holden enter the weekend inside the top-five with a handful of drivers on the outside looking in.
Ramirez en route to defend ROK Junior crown
Courtesy of a perfect weekend in Ocala, Mathias Ramirez is on top and in control of the ROK Junior category entering this weekend’s race. Hoping to successfully defend his title, Ramirez still needs a strong weekend with Round 1 winner Micheal d'Orlando 157 markers back.
Gabriel Paturle is still in the championship running but a distant third. Dropping out of fourth place after signing with the factory CRG race team to compete overseas this weekend is Antonio Serravalle, opening up the race for the final podium position to Tyler Gonzalez, Pedro Lopes and Ryan MacDermid.
Garrison and Formal set for ROK Shifter showdown
It is a winner-take-all situation this weekend in ROK Shifter as Austin Garrison and Danny Formal enter the weekend separated by only 22 points, with both drivers having a victory and a runner-up finish thus far. The two have been the class of the field and will surely take this one to the championship final on Sunday afternoon.
In the race for third, Colin Daly holds a slim margin over Mayo Livingston, AJ Myers and Don Whittington.
Anything possible in Mini ROK
The Mini ROK category has provided the best action at the Winter Tour this year by far with every on track session coming down to the wire as these young drivers attempt to build a name for themselves.
Derek Carmenate and Matheus Morgatto enter the weekend on the top of the standings courtesy of race wins, but Jak Crawford, Tyler Maxson and Reece Gold all are within 200 points of the leader.
A perfect weekend could earn a driver 947 points, opening this championship up to any driver inside the top 10, should the leaders fault. Anthony Willis and James Egozi also knocking on the championship podium doors.
Denny seeking third win in Micro ROK
Only one driver has a chance of going undefeated in this year’s Florida Winter Tour and that is Oliver Denny in Micro ROK. The young driver from the UK has delivered two standout performances to claim race victories in both Homestead and Ocala. However his rivals Connor Zilisch, Jeremy Fletcher and Lucas Rodriguez will be looking to upset the British driver and steal not only a race win but the title as well.
Honeywell and Jimenez leading Masters categories
Coming off of a perfect weekend in Ocala, Anthony Honeywell leads the ROK Masters class but Adam Pettit is only 33 points back and chomping at the bit to stand on the top of the podium. Daniel Rieger sits third and also within range of the leader duo for the title.
Meanwhile in the ROK Shifter Masters category, Victor Jimenez lies ahead of Scott Davidson and Michel Legrand.