CHAMPION RACING/INTREPID USA MAKES SUCCESSFUL 2008 DEBUT AT FLORIDA WINTER TOUR Five podiums including two main event wins highlight solid weekend HOMESTEAD, FL (January 24, 2008) -- Champion Racing/Intrepid USA made its 2008 debut at...
CHAMPION RACING/INTREPID USA MAKES SUCCESSFUL 2008 DEBUT AT FLORIDA WINTER TOUR
Five podiums including two main event wins highlight solid weekend
HOMESTEAD, FL (January 24, 2008) -- Champion Racing/Intrepid USA made its 2008 debut at the second leg of the opening doubleheader of the Florida Winter Tour this past weekend, racing at the karting facility at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Nine drivers ran aboard Intrepid chassis, collecting a total of five podium finishes including two victories by Stock Moto driver Bryan Eady.
The NorCal driver - running under the Intrepid USA banner with Leading Edge Motorsports, the Northern California Intrepid distributer - made the long journey from California to Florida to make his Winter Tour debut. After just missing the pole position in qualifying on Saturday, Eady was unstoppable, leading all of the racing laps in the Prefinal and Final. Sunday was no different, except Eady this time put the Intrepid machine on pole en-route to sweeping the day's racing action.
The three other podiums on the weekend came from Oregon's Joey Wimsett. Running both Spec Racer and the new KF2 class, Wimsett had a busy but successful weekend. In KF2, Wimsett ran the new Parilla engine and recorded a runner-up result on both days. Spec Racer was not as easy though. After qualifying seventh on Saturday, carburetion problems took him out of the Prefinal early. Wimsett put the hammer down in the Final, working from 26th to 11th in 20 laps.
After making a switch from the Parilla Leopard engine to the Vortex Rok TT on Saturday night, Sunday's results showed better. Qualifying third, Wimsett grabbed the lead early in the Prefinal and drove away with the win. It seemed as a carbon copy in the main event until second place was able to close the gap. Over the last few laps, they swapped for position with Wimsett settling for second as they crossed the line.
Three other Champion Racing drivers joined Wimsett in the Spec Racer division - Ben Searcy, Blake Teeter, and Zane Heathcott. Coming off a top-10 performance during the FWT Rotax weekend (top United States finisher on Saturday), Searcy was 10th on Saturday followed by an 11th on Sunday after starting at the tail end of the 35-kart field. Teeter recorded finishes of 13th and 18th, while Heathcott was 18th on Saturday and 19th on Sunday.
The team's two Cadet drivers - Mason Chelootz and Broc Yocom -- were both aboard the new Intrepid Maky model and were each running in the lead pack all weekend long. Qualifying fifth and sixth, respectively on Saturday, Yocom came out on top with the Prefinal victory. As most Cadet races are, the field in the Final was never set for more than one lap as Yocom was shuffled back to finish eighth while Chelootz crossed the line sixth. On Sunday, the duo was again inside the top-10, Chelootz ran to a third in the Prefinal while Yocom had spark plug issues, recording a disappointing DNF. After assessing the problems before the Final, Yocom powered his way up to a sixth place run from 20th, while Chelootz saw the checkered flag one spot back in seventh.
The headline class of the weekend - Pro Shifter - saw a lone Intrepid driver take to the track, former ICA National Champion Jordy Vorrath. After recording the most wins on the national scene in 2006, last season was filled with ups and downs for Vorrath. Looking to start the new season off right, the Canadian put his Intrepid on the outside of row one during Saturday's Qualifying. Leading the opening nine laps of the Prefinal, Vorrath was shuffled back to fourth, where he would finish. Getting ready to grid for the Final, Jordy immediately jumped from his ride as he found that the airbox cradle was blocking the shifter lever. With the start of the race aborted, Jordy got his kart going but was forced to start from the rear of the field. By lap four, Vorrath was up to 13th after starting 28th. When the checkered fell, he worked himself into the sixth spot. It was a very impressive performance.
Sunday would see rain setups for Qualifying with Vorrath ending the session in ninth. Starting the Prefinal on wets, Vorrath drove to sixth as the track began drying toward the end of the 15-lap race. In the Final, Jordy was settling in the fourth spot when, on lap six, another driver made contact with him heading into turn one. The result put Vorrath on the sidelines for the remainder of the race.
The Champion Racing/Intrepid USA team will now begin to prepare for round two of the Florida Winter Tour, set for February 15-17 at the Moroso Motorsports Park karting facility.