Vorrath, Cabrera, Neri score headline wins West Palm Beach, FL (February 16, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida rolled forward with its tenth season on Saturday at the Moroso Motorsports Park in...
Vorrath, Cabrera, Neri score headline wins
West Palm Beach, FL (February 16, 2008) - The Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour presented by Tony Kart Florida rolled forward with its tenth season on Saturday at the Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, FL. Round 3 boasted over 140 karters in attendance to compete in a full slate of shifter, spec racer, and junior classes.
PSL Karting.com Pro Shifter
Paddock prognostications were heavy that the Pro Shifter pole would require a lap in the 56 second range, and for once, the prognosticators were correct. For the second FWT event in a row, visiting Californian Fritz Leesmann (PSL Karting/CRG) threw down the fastest lap with a 56.968, just enough to secure the pole from Danilo Durani (Tony Kart Florida). A surging Josh Schreiber (Birel/MRP Motorsport) locked down third before a mechanical problem stopped him out on the track, while Jordy Vorrath (Champion Racing/Intrepid) and Cody Jolly (CRG/Cameron Motorsports) rounded out the fast five.
Leesmann got the hole shot in the pre-final while Durani slotted in neatly behind, with Schreiber settling into third. By the end of Lap 1, Josh had surrendered that position to Vorrath, who made short work of the two other karts in front of him and soon was well and away into the lead, nothing but clear track in front of him.
Durani also got the better of Leesmann, the polesitter now in third, while Schreiber wasn't going anywhere as he hung onto the lead trio. They would cross the stripe that way, with Vorrath looking mighty comfortable out front.
And so it would be in the main. While Durani managed to lead the first lap, Vorrath replaced him and was never challenged from there. Keith Spicer, who'd started the pre-final in last, continued his charge forward in the main and ended up in second spot, less than two seconds behind Jordy. Durani, the points leader, rounded out the podium. Jordy pocketed almost $1500 for his day's efforts.
Daniel Formal continued his romp through the Moroso countryside, as the Florida racer dominated on his home track with a pole position run in the JICA class. His Advanced Karting/Tony Kart was almost two tenths quicker than Nick Neri (Maranello), while super girl Alex Madrigal (Tony Kart Florida) locked down third.
The pre-final result implied that this would again be Formal's day, as his 1.2 second win over Neri gave the impression that there wouldn't be much drama in the final. That impression was wrong.
The early going was as expected, with Formal at the point while Neri, Madrigal, Phil De La O and Brendan Phinny in high speed pursuit. De La O and Phinny would both later retire.
Halfway and the top three were the same, while Miles Maroney (Firstkart.com) had joined the lead group. One lap past the crossed flags and Neri got a brief glimpse of the lead for a single corner before Formal snatched it right back. Lap 10 of 18 and Neri took the lead again, and this time it was for good.
Formal had hopes of launching a counter-attack, but his own hands were full with Madrigal's advances from behind. Neri went on to win by a half second over Daniel, with Madrigal only two tenths in arrears.
MRP/Birel America Spec Racer
After a development season throughout 2007 in which the Vortex Rok TT was very fast but woefully finicky, 2008 has dawned with the teams having sorted out this motor, and it is now officially the class steamroller. Its obvious advantage has led to almost every frontrunner in the class having purchased a shiny new Vortex. At this rate, it will soon be a spec class.. with just the one dominant motor.
It's not often that racers visit a kart track that takes almost a minute to navigate, but such is the case at Moroso Motorsports Park. It tends to amplify the gap between the competitors, often by as much as 33%. Still, that was scarce reason for the Spec Racer field to get so thoroughly pummeled by Victor Cabrera (J3 Competition/Kosmic), who was the only driver to break into the 60 second bracket with a 60.995, which he then backed up with a 60.794. Second was Champion Racing/Intrepid's Ben Searcy, while Juan Valderrama (RDD Motorsports/Birel) picked up the pace to qualify third.
But Cabrera wouldn't get off so lightly in the pre-final. Valderrama leaped out into the lead, points leader Andy Lee snuck into second, while Cabrera ever-so-temporarily slipped to third. Lap 2, Turn 1 and they were almost three wide, with Valderrama holding onto the lead, Victor back into second, and then a few corners later, Victor was into the lead.
Searcy, having slipped at the start, was recovering quickly, now running second while Valderrama and Lee were third and fourth, respectively. The top three ran close, but Searcy made his point by taking the lead just past halfway. Cabrera took it back, the two went side by side into Turn 5, but Victor held his ground. That's how they would finish, but in the scale line, Cabrera and Searcy eyeballed each other, unofficially marking one another as their chief rival heading into the afternoon's final.
Just two turns into the main and Cabrera made a mistake, forcing Searcy to take evasive action in order to avoid a shunt. His gallantry was punished as he slipped down to seventh; ahead of him, Matt Lee and Valderrama held a heavy dispute over second as they made their way through the technical infield section.
Meanwhile, Searcy was responding brilliantly. He carved his way forward like a man possessed and blew through Larson, Lee, Will Martindale, and was now back into third. Up front, Cabrera enjoyed a six kart lead over Juan who in turn had a similar lead over Searcy.
Now onto Lap 12 and Ben had caught up to Valderrama; on the final hairpin corner, Juan threw a violent block and there was tire smoke as the two karts touched when Searcy tried to go past. For the second time this race and through pretty much no fault of his own, Searcy lost a heap of ground (this time ten kart lengths).
Sill, the Champion Intrepid driver was unruffled and showed exceptional professionalism. He gathered himself together and ran down Valderrama again, this time making his move in Turn 3. Juan had no response. By this point, Cabrera was too far out front and crossed the stripe with four seconds in hand. Searcy had to settle for a runner-up result, but expectations are high that Ben will take the fight to Victor during Sunday's action.
Points leader Andy Lee got involved in some battles and suffered a bent axle that led to a DNF; he'll look to rebound on Sunday.
FA Kart Masters Shifter / CMW Stock Moto
Tim Roberts (Zanardi/Sharing Success), after having nabbed the pole in Masters Shifter, looked all set to come good on his pre-final win after he dashed off into the distance in the main event. But a pair of 360 degree spins dashed his hopes of a triumph on the day.
When Roberts dropped from the lead, it opened up a can of beans for some real action, as Gustavo Vidal, John DeLoca and Eduardo Martins were engrossed in a three kart, nose to tail battle for second that suddenly became the battle for the lead.
Vidal looked to have the matter well in hand until a bobble through the infield section cost him dearly; DeLoca snuck past and took the checkered by less than a second, with Gustavo holding on for second while Martins came home just three tenths behind. Points leader Jason Lee was not in the fight for the win, but he played it smart and safe with his fourth place finish.
Stock Moto was once again the sole domain of Champion Racing/Intrepid driver Bryan Eady, as his Leading Edge Motorsport-tuned mount was unstoppable on this day. Eady romped to the pole over Matt Mair (Capricorn Racing/Tony Kart) and Jose Zanella (FA Kart).
Pre-final action and those three remained unchanged, as Mair and Zanella had no answers to Eady's blistering pace. The final held no surprises either, as Bryan galloped away from the field, at times enjoying a five second lead. While Mair would close up when Eady backed off, the final result seemed inevitable. At the stripe, Bryan was almost two seconds clear of Mair, with Zanella a very distant third.
J3 Competition KF2 / Rysa Racing KF3
The future of global karting forged ahead at the FWT as the KF2 and KF3 classes continued with their inaugural North American season. Qualifying in the KF2 category was especially close; Fabio Orsolon (Tony Kart Florida) and Joey Wimsett (Champion/Intrepid) were separated by one-one thousandth of a second in the early going, yet Orsolon sealed the deal with a 59.035 that was a tenth faster than Wimsett's best. Alex Wikell (Tony Kart Florida) was third and Christopher Grektorp was fourth. In KF3, it was Daniel Formal (Advanced Karting) who set fast time, just two seconds slower than the KF2 pole.
While the pre-final was short on drama, the final wasn't. Orsolon and Wimsett battled fiercely in the opening laps, as did Grektorp and Wikell, who tangled and fell far behind. Fabio retired on Lap 4 and Wimsett took over.
Yet in the final few laps, Wimsett lost his motor mount and began to slow dramatically, holding his motor in place with one hand while steering with the other. Wikell was closing fast, but Joey limped across the line to take the win. until he came up one pound short on the scales. Amazingly, Wikell was also light, and that left Grektorp to inherit the win. Formal cruised to a decisive win in KF3, followed by Michael Silva (Tony Kart) and Ricardo Duenas (Speedsouth Racing).
Once again of note, the KF2 fast lap of the race (set by Orsolon) was quicker than all other classes save the Pro Shifter; Fabio's 59.333 was well clear of Stock Moto, Spec Racer, and Masters Shifter.
S1 Racing Kart Cadet
Santino Ferrucci grabbed the pole in the Cadet class, but it was a razor thin difference between the second fast man Austin Self and Logan Bearden; just one thousandth of a second separated the duo. Those three would dominate throughout the day.
Ferrucci won the pre-final with Self and Bearden only three tenths behind, but it was the main that provided the best racing of the day. While Santino led most of the way, it was Bearden who pulled a fast one on the final lap, and both he and Austin went through. Fantastic last lap action as the three swapped places time and again, but it was Logan who won the war by just two tenths of a second over Self, while Ferrucci had to settle for third.