Our kart correspondent Cody Schindel reports from a packed day of Rotax Max action at Homestead in MaxSpeed Entertainment's Florida Winter Tour.
Rotax Max action resumed at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels continued following Friday’s weather-influenced postponements.
Changes in the schedule meant driver’s mental and physical strengths were put to the test with a day full of action, including qualifying and three rounds of heat races for all categories.
A complete switch in weather saw the return of the Florida sunshine but severe wind – in excess of 40mph – played a major factor, especially in qualifying.
Some drivers mastered the dry conditions and it showed. Kyle Kirkwood was unstoppable in Rotax Max Senior, qualifying on the pole-position by just over a tenth of a second and easily cruising home in all three heats. Zach Holden will line up beside Kirkwood on Sunday courtesy of two finishes inside the top-three. Jordon Lennox showed pace to keep up with Kirkwood in Heat 2, but he didn’t get close enough to make a pass. Lennox will start third on Sunday after finding trouble in the first heat.
Another driver to sweep the day was Oliver Askew in Rotax DD2. Making his debut in the class, Askew wasted no time getting up to speed and easily took control of the heat races. Mercedes DTM driver Robert Wickens struggled on the starts, often falling back a couple positions, forcing him to work his way back up to the second position in all three heats. Luke Chudleigh advanced well and will start third on Sunday.
Rotax Junior saw a new face on pole position as Canadian Ryan MacDermid shocked everyone in Qualifying with fast time. He backed up his speed winning the first heat race, but fell back to third in the second and third heats that were won by Michael d’Orlando. However d’Orlando was excluded from heat three for a technical violation. MacDermid will lead the way on Sunday with Spanish driver Killian Meyer alongside, followed by Harry Coulton, Aidan Keel and Arthur Leist. D’Orlando will start 10th.
Other drivers who will lead their respective classes on Sunday are Jeremy Fairbairn in Mini-Max, Christophe Adams in Max Masters, Christian Cornejo in DD2 Masters and Rafael Camara in Micro-Max.
All classes will complete a PreFinal and Final race on Sunday to determine the first round of FWT Rotax Max winners.
The event will broadcast for free online, available on Motorsport.com at http://bit.ly/1mDVTsQ.