MRP-Birel AMERICA and Birel teams find success at FWT opener, Homestead Kart Track HOMESTEAD, FL (January 15, 2008) --- The Florida Winter Tour (FWT), one of the largest regional karting series in the country, held their first event of 2008...
MRP-Birel AMERICA and Birel teams find success at FWT opener, Homestead Kart Track
HOMESTEAD, FL (January 15, 2008) --- The Florida Winter Tour (FWT), one of the largest regional karting series in the country, held their first event of 2008 this past weekend at the Homestead Karting track adjacent to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The field had several Birel teams and racers in participation and the brand collected a large majority of awards throughout the weekend.
Birel drivers led the way with pole awards, with three pilots taking five out of the twelve classes over the course of the two days. Alex Speed took the pole in Sunday's DD2 event and both Dore Chaponick (MiniMax) and Grant Quinlan (MicroMax) scored two each for the MRP-Birel AMERICA team.
"We always expect to do well and do our best, but we have a lot of drivers show great speed on both days," said Tim Lobaugh, Engineer for MRP-Birel AMERICA. "We had some bad racing luck in some classes, but overall the FWT organizers have been great to work with and you can't beat the fact that we are racing in January. Our racers did a great job and pulled off some big wins and podiums this weekend."
One such driver was Alex Speed (MRP-Birel AMERICA) who entered his first RotaxMax DD2 event and brought home a 6th place on Saturday before sweeping Sunday's events with a pole, pre-final win and a feature win. His brother and teammate, Scott Speed took a break from driving the Red Bull Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing in the ARCA ReMax Series to finish 3rd in Saturday's final.
The most dominating performance of the weekend was from Dore Chaponick (MRP-Birel / FTK). The young driver simply dominated the Rotax MiniMax category, sweeping both days' pole, pre-final and final events. Pietro Fittipaldi de Cruz finished 2nd in Saturday's final for the newly formed Max Papis Racing w/ Fittipaldi Team (Birel). Sunday's final saw a strong run to 5th by Dalton Egger (Pat's Acres / Birel).
In the Rotax MicroMax class, it was Canadian, Grant Quinlan (MRP Birel), qualifying on pole both days and winning both pre-finals. The finals did not go as smoothly however, as Grant would finish 6th in Final #1 and 2nd in Final #2. Juan Manuel Correra (MRP-Birel) had a 2nd and 3rd on the weekend after qualifying 4th each day. Hanna Zellers (MRP-Birel) would improve on her qualifying performances to place 5th and 6th for the weekend.
Rotax Senior was one of the largest classes of the weekend with 42 entries. Both Fabio Orsolon (Max Papis Racing / Birel) and Australian, Scott Saunders (MRP-Birel AMERICA), showed very good pace. Orsolon would finish 2nd on Saturday with Saunders moving up to 8th in the final tally. Orsolon would also log a 5th place finish on Sunday. Saunders would start in 2nd in Sunday's final but was pushed off track by another driver and would end up 11th.
Rotax Masters saw Paul Walker (Circuit Group / MRP Birel) march his way from the 24th spot to finish a strong 5th in Saturday's final. He would finish 13th on Sunday.
"We are already preparing for the next round of the FWT," said Lobaugh. "Hopefully we can continue with the solid results."