Askew dominates DD2 qualifying, d’Orlando brothers take front row in Junior MAX
Oliver Askew dominated Friday’s Rotax DD2 qualifying session in Ocala, besting his competition by over 0.3sec in Round 2 of the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels.
Askew’s best time put him on the pole position ahead of Luke Chudleigh and Mercedes DTM ace Robert Wickens. Rubens Barrichello qualified fifth, just behind Dev Gore. Askew found no issues in the opening heat race either, cruising to an easy victory over Wickens.
A pair of brothers will lead the Rotax Junior category in all three rounds of heat races this weekend as Nicholas and Michael d’Orlando posted the quickest times in qualifying.
Eduardo Barrichello almost made it onto the front row, falling just 0.002sec shy, while Mathias Ramirez and Lachlan Defrancesco completed the top-five. The top 10 drivers were separated by only 0.2sec. In the opening heat race, Michael d’Orlando was able to break free and take the win over Ramirez.
Austin Garrison and Gianfranco Mazzaferro are on the front row in Rotax Senior with championship leader Kyle Kirkwood holding the third position qualifying. Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman DeMelo and Trenton Estep completed the top-five. In the opening heat race, Kirkwood was able to sneak through and take the win over Garrison and Jordon Lennox.
Ocala Gran Prix teammates Tyler Gonzalez, Fernando Barrichello and Jeremy Fairbairn led the way in Mini-Max qualifying with Sebastian Montoya and Jak Crawford completing the top five. This category’s times were shockingly close, P2 through P9 separated by only 0.07sec. The opening heat featured a shuffle behind winner Gonzalez as Crawford jumped up to second, Arias Deukmedjian third, Fairbairn fourth and Barrichello fifth.
Enzo Scionti is showing great pace this weekend in Micro-Max, posting the fast time in qualifying. Canadian Justin Arseneau just missed the top spot and will line up on the outside of the front row for all three heats. James Egozi, round one winner Josh Pierson and Ashton Torgerson round out the top-five in the largest category of the weekend, featuring 31 karts. In the opening heat race, Pierson took control over Arseneau and Rafael Camara.
Finally, France’s Christophe Adams was the quickest in Rotax Max Masters, nipping Michel Aboissa by 0.011 seconds and the running order remained the same in Heat 1 as Adams held off Aboissa at the line.
Saturday will feature two more rounds of heat races for all categories to set the grids for the PreFinal races, which will also run on Saturday.
Don’t forget to tune into Motorsport.com to watch live coverage of the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels.
Kirkwood and Ramirez seek Ocala FWT sweep
Askew and Kirkwood untouchable in heat races