Daily Report by: ROK Cup USA
Photos by: Canadian Karting News
With warm, sun, rain and wind present all week, ROK Cup USA opened Championship Sunday with cold temperatures but not a cloud in the sky. With all qualifying, heat races, and prefinals in the books, it was time for the main events as teams and drivers looked to close the popular winter karting program on a high. With championships on the line, racing would be split into morning and afternoon finals with the first five main events running between 9:45 and 11:45am and the final six main events between 12:45 and 3:00pm.
ROK VLR Junior – Nash Motorsportz
First up was the VLR Junior category as Caleb Gafrarar and Steven Miller would lead the field on the formation lap for the weekend’s first main event. Row two would see Charlie Smith and Jorge Ortiz while Helio Meza and Christian Cameron occupied row three. With the first start aborted due to speed, the second attempt at a green flag was a success as Gafrarar jumped to the point. Defending into turn four, the RPG driver kept the lead as Miller slotted into the second position. Ortiz was quickly up to third as he already had a gap on Cameron who was fourth. Gafrarar began to open a gap by the end of lap three and was clearly the driver to beat lapping nearly half a second faster than his closest rivals. Meza was able to get by Cameron for fourth on lap three and then by Ortiz on the next circuit bringing Cameron with him to run third and fourth. With Gafrarar well out front, the battle for the second step of the podium was between five drivers as Meza was by Miller for second on lap five with Cameron, Cooper Shipman and Ortiz rounding out the front six. Clear of the traffic, Meza was able to go purple on lap five closing the gap slightly on Gafrarar as Cameron and Shipman were able to sneak by Miller. By lap eight, Meza was the quickest kart on track as he began to close the gap to the leader slightly and by the mid-race distance had shortened that gap from 2.5 seconds to 1.68. Shipman and Cameron were also faster than the leader as they were working together to try and close the gap to the front. Emma Scarbrough (RPG) was a driver on the move deep in the field gaining nine positions in ten laps to move into the top-ten. Gafrarar and Meza were level on times for the next few laps as Cameron began to find speed going purple on lap 12 as the fastest driver on track with Shipman responding a lap later to equal his pace. The battle for second would intensify with five laps to go as Shipman was by Meza and set his sights on Gafrarar who was now only 1.28 up the road. However, Cameron put his name in the mix for the second step of the podium as the three drivers battled hard and slowed their pace considerably basically handing the win to Gafrarar. Gafrarar would take the win ahead of Cameron, who was forced to defend Meza on the final lap, as Shipman and Oscar Iliffe would round out the top-five.
Florida Winter Tour ROK VLR Junior Champion – Helio Meza
ROK VLR Senior – RTD Media
It was a nice and slow start for the VLR Senior drivers as Gia Cicero was able to control the pace and take the lead through the first complex of corners but only half a lap in, it was Jeremy Fletcher who moved to the point with Cedrik Lupien in third, and Adam Ali and Gracian Rzedzian in fourth and fifth respectively. Victor Schoma was the driver on the move and in four laps, had gained eight positions to move into the sixth position behind Danial Ali in fifth. Fletcher had built a small gap, but it was Cicero who was closing the gap and looked to put the pressure on Fletcher. Cicero was able to get by Fletcher on lap seven, but Fletcher went back on the attack and was back to the lead one corner later. By mid-race distance, the running order had changed drastically as Adam Ali was the leader ahead of Cicero, Lupien and Fletcher. Cicero would make contact in turn thirteen as her front bumper was lodged behind another driver’s rear tire as she ended up off the track and into the barrier. Victor Schoma took the lead on lap eleven as the front five ran bumper to bumper. Fletcher was back to the lead and immediately went on the defensive as Wes Duchak joined the train of five at the front to make it six. The Ali brothers of Daniel and Adam worked together as they were focused on moving forward but it was Fletcher who maintained control at the front over Lupien as the top two had opened a small gap. The battle had calmed a little at the front of the field as Fletcher was able to pull away from Lupien as Lupien was under pressure from Schoma. A pair of three kart battles would develop as Fletcher, Lupien and Schoma had pulled away from the Ali brothers and Duchak who ran fourth through sixth. Flecther was able to put together an amazing last few laps to drive to the win as Schoma and Lupien would join Fletcher on the podium. Adam Ali and Daniel Ali would round out the top-five as Duchak and Cameron Stellar would secure the sixth and seventh place results.
Florida Winter Tour ROK VLR Senior Champion – Jeremy Fletcher
LO206 – Briggs & Stratton
Jed Perkins was a man on the mission in the 206 Senior main event as he quickly jumped to the point setting purple sectors for the opening few laps. Opening a gap of 1.5 seconds by the end of lap three, Mike Valente ran second ahead of Nicolas Villanueva, Greg Campos and Alexander Dal Bon. Dal Bon was able to advance forward to run third by lap six as Matthew Walsh moved to fifth disposing of Greg Campos. Perkins’ gap remained unchanged up front as he continued to hold a 1.5 second lead over Valente. Valente turned up the wick late in the race as he began to close the gap on Perkins with five laps remaining, going purple sector after sector. Perkins responded with a great lap on lap 14 to extend the gap back over a second. Perkins would take the win ahead of Valente, Dal Bon, Villanueva and Walsh. Dal Bon was given a penalty post-race elevating Villanueva to the third and final step of the podium.
Barry Gilsenan was the leader after three laps in the 206 Master class as he looked to keep James Perkins and Ruben Cherres behind him. Christopher Williams and Ryan Molina ran fourth and fifth respectively. Eli Yanko was one of the fastest Masters drivers on the track and moved his way into the top-five as he ran fourth behind Cherres with ten laps remaining. Perkins would have trouble on lap seven as smoke began to billow out the back of his 206 Master kart as he was forced to retire advancing Cherres and Yanko forward to the podium positions. Cherres would get by Gilsenan for the lead on lap ten as he moved to the point, but Gilsenan was able to get back by as they had a six second lead over the third place runner. Cherres took the lead and went on the defensive with four laps remaining as it was a two horse race for the Master’s win. Cherres would take the win ahead of Gilsenan and Eli Yanko as Jason Abrams and Alex Dal Bon rounded out the top-five.
Florida Winter Tour 206 Senior Champion – Jed Perkins
Florida Winter Tour 206 Master Champion – Alex Dal Bon
ROK Mini – SpeedLab Racing
It was a 16-lap final for the Mini ROKKERs as Asher Ochstein would begin his quest for a near perfect weekend from the pole position. Leading through the opening complex of corners, it was Salvador Della Vecchia who took the lead by the end of lap one ahead of Kai Johnson and Ochstein. Johnson would take the lead on lap two as Ty Fisher was hard into the wall on the exit of turn ten after running inside the top-ten. Johnson would lead Della Vecchia, Ochstein, Oliver Wheldon and Isaac Malcuit. Wheldon was by Ochstein on lap three for third while Carson Weinberg was on a charge already gaining five positions to run seventh. Wheldon moved to second a lap later as Johnson opened a gap of half a second as Weinberg was up another spot to sixth and was one of the quickest drivers on track. Moving into fifth on lap five, Weinberg was 1.657 behind the leader with eleven laps remaining. Gianmatteo Rousseau set the fastest lap of the race on lap six as he moved into the top-ten while Sarah Bradley was up to seventh and looked to crack the top-five. Ochstein and Weinberg pushed past Della Vecchia at mid-race distance as the front two drivers had opened a one second gap on P3. Weinberg was by Ochstein and in contention for a podium result on lap nine as Wheldon took the lead from Johnson with seven laps remaining. With the front two battling, Weinberg was able to close the gap as he looked to throw his hat in the mix for the win. Della Vecchia was able to get by Ochstein who was back to fifth, but it was Wheldon and Johnson who were back in line as they looked to pull away from Weinberg. With two laps remaining, Wheldon continued to lead as Johnson was pushing hard. Johnson would send it into turn four and get by Wheldon but Wheldon would get back by in turn ten. Wheldon, Johnson and Weinberg would go wheel-to-wheel to the checkered flag with Wheldon ending up the victor over Johnson and Weinberg as Asher Ochstein would get by Sarah Bradley on the final circuit for fourth.
Florida Winter Tour Mini ROK Champion – Isaac Malcuit
ROK Shifter Master – PSL Karting
It was Jordon Musser who started from pole. It was Jordon Musser who got the hole shot. It was Jordon Musser who led lap one. And it was Jordon Musser that would take his third win of the 2022 Florida Winter Tour. Musser would lead Rene Martinelli early in the ROK Shifter Master final as a four kart pileup in the opening corner eliminated multiple drivers. Musser and Martinelli had opened a two second gap by lap four as they were ahead of Danial Dibos in third, Juan Unigarro in fourth and Nico Rondet in fifth. Cole Mathewson was up ten positions in four laps as he ran eighth just behind Luis Gautier who was plus four in the final so far. The front five would remain unchanged at the mid race point but fifth through tenth saw several positions swapped. Farshad Bagheri put his TB Kart sixth ahead of a hard charging Mathewson as Patrick-Otto Madsen was up nine positions and into the top-ten, just ahead of Morne Van Taak and Francesco Vassallo. The running order would remain largely unchanged minus Mathewson getting by Bagheri on lap eighteen to move to sixth and earn the race hard charger honors gaining twelve positions. Musser would take the win ahead of Martinelli, Dibos, Unigarro and Rondet.
Florida Winter Tour ROK Shifter Master Champion – Jordon Musser
ROK Senior – Racing Edge Motorsports
Patrick Woods Toth defended brilliantly on the opening lap to keep the lead from his pole position as contact between Nolan Bower and a fellow competitors saw him drop from fourth to eighth on the opening lap. Jeremy Fletcher slotted into the second position just ahead of Marijn Kremers and Diego Ramos, who were both up a couple positions in the opening lap. Matheus Morgatto fell to fifth in the opening few laps as Fletcher was able to get by Woods Toth on lap three for the lead bringing Kremers with him to second. Jack Jeffers went purple on lap six as he moved to sixth and looked to close in on the lead quintet but on the same lap, Ramos and Morgatto would dispose of Woods Toth as they moved to third and fourth. Cameron Weinberg was another driver on the move as he was inside the top-ten to seventh early but up front it was Fletcher who paced Kremers as things seemed to settle down around lap five. The top eight drivers were separated by only 2.2 seconds after six circuits as they all remained station, biding their time for the right opportunity. Morgatto passed Ramos for third in corner five of lap eight as he set his sights on the lead duo. Woods Toth had a terrible lap losing two positions but gaining one back as Weinberg was now fourth behind Morgatto while Woods Toth maintained the P5 spot ahead of Ramos. Kremers made the move by Fletcher on lap nine as Morgatto was on the leaders and by Fletcher in turn six. Morgatto looked to be the strongest driver on track and by mid-race distance, he was on Kremers’ bumper looking for the lead. Kremers would lightly defend on lap eleven as the front two opened a gap to Fletcher and the rest of the field. Morgatto would take over the point in turn ten on lap twelve as Kremers went back down the inside of turn five to take the lead. Morgatto was back by in turn six as the Seniors put on a show up front. With the passing, the group of two was now back to eight running nose to tail with Kremers back to the lead. Weinberg would make his move to third on lap thirteen getting by Fletcher as the lead group grew to ten. Woods Toth was by Fletcher a few corners later as the race was on with six laps to go. As drivers caught their breath for one lap, the action once again heated up with five to go. Weinberg had caught the lead duo and looked to push the effort as Morgatto was able to get by Kremers for the lead. Ramos and Woods Toth would get together on lap sixteen as Ramos was eliminated and Woods Toth fell to seventh. Morgatto would lead ahead of Weinberg with two to go as Kremers was third now just ahead of Jeffers. Weinberg would get by Morgatto bringing Kremers with him with two to go. Kremers would get by Weinberg down the back straight but overshot the corner jumbling up the top of the charts. With contact on the last lap, Weinberg was able to score the win just ahead of Kremers as Jeffers and Morgatto got together in the final corner. Blake Nash would squeak by for the third step of the podium as Jeffers and Morgatto rounded out the top-five. Following the race Weinberg led Nash ahead of Morgatto, Bower and Kremers as he and Jeffers were given penalties.
Florida Winter Tour ROK Senior Champion – Matheus Morgatto
ROK Master – Orsolon Racing
Antonio Pizzonia looked to convert his main event pole position to a race win and was well on his way by the end of lap two opening a gap on his nearest competitor by more than a second. Renato David ran in the second position and William Isaias was third as the front three remained unchanged. Behind them Danillo Ramalho was up two positions to fourth while Scott Roberts had gained four to run fourth. Mike Jones returned to the Florida Winter Tour and was in the sixth position while Rob Maier, Adriano Pizzonia, Danny Robertson and David Laplante rounded out the top-ten after the first four laps. Ramalho was one of the fastest drivers on the track and was up to third by lap six, disposing of Isaias as Scot Carapellatti moved into the top-ten. Ramalho was by David a lap later as he looked to close the half a second gap to the current leader, and it only took a lap before the two were engaged in contact. Pizzonia and Ramalho would make contact and slow their progress as the top-five was reset giving the lead to David ahead of Isaias, Ramalho, Roberts and Pizzonia. Ramalho was back into the second position by the end of lap eleven and went purple on lap twelve as he closed the gap to David. Ramalho took the lead on lap fourteen pushing David back to second. With five laps to go, the front five were within two seconds as it was still any drivers’ race to win. Ramalho looked comfortable out front as he began to open a small gap on David who was forced to defend from Isaias as Pizzonia was able to get by Roberts for fourth. Ramalho stretched his gap to nearly one second with two laps remaining as he asserted himself as the driver to beat in the late stages. David was now worried about Isaias behind him more than chasing Ramalho and his speed showed that. Ramalho would drive to an easy victory over David and Isaias, Antonio Pizzonia, Roberts, Adriano Pizzonia, Rob Maier and Danny Robertson.
Florida Winter Tour ROK Master Champion – Renato David
ROK Micro – Mosport Kart Centre
After two failed attempts at a start, third time was a charm for the ROK Micro field as they all raced wheel-to-wheel through the first complex of corners. The Canadian Rocco Simone was out front as he kept Matheus Ramalho and Tyrone Kemper Jr. behind him for the first lap. Drew Walz was able to run fourth ahead of Antonio Pizonnia who gained three positions in the opening lap. Kemper was able to get by Ramalho on lap two for second as he locked on to Simone’s rear bumper as the pair looked to push away. Ramalho was able to close the gap on lap four as the top-three ran nose to tail. Ramalho would get by Simone for the second position as the lead trio was three seconds ahead of the fourth-place runner. Ramalho would take the lead one lap later as Pizonnia and David Zhao were able to jump Walz for fourth. By lap six, Ramalho would lead ahead of Simone and Kemper as Zhao led Pizonnia in the second group on track. Kemper was able to get back by Simone in turn five as they both jumped Ramalho, pushing him to third. Simone was back to the point by lap nine as Kemper responded two laps later to move to the front but was instantly overtaken by Ramalho. With four laps to go, it was anyone’s race in the top-three but their hard battling was allowing the fourth and fifth place runners of Zhao and Pizonnia back into the mix. With three to go it got even racier with Kemper back to the front in turn five as Zhao moved forward to second. Zhao moved to the lead on the start of lap fourteen as he put his Goodwood Kartways machine up front. Contact between the second and third place drivers allowed Zhao to get away and drive to an easy win. It was a pair of Canadians in the top two as Simone followed Zhao across the line as Pizonnia made a big move on the last lap to finish third ahead of Kemper and Ramalho.
Florida Winter Tour Micro ROK Champion – Rocco Simone
ROK Junior – Rolison Performance Group
Steven Miller jumped to the lead of the ROK Junior final as he was by Caleb Gafrarar on the opening lap. Miller and Gafrarar were more than two seconds ahead of the third place runner by lap three as Ayden Ingratta was focused on keeping Joao Vergara and Sebastian Wheldon behind him. Teddy Musella was the big winner on lap four moving from seventh to fourth as Vergara fell back to sixth. Miller and Gafrarar were on cruise control out front with Miller leading by just over half a second by the end of lap five. Miller would continue to push and open the gap even more by setting the fastest lap of the race on lap six as Supertune’s Jorge Ortiz was up twelve positions to sixth by lap six. Musella was now the quickest driver on the track during lap seven, resetting the fastest race lap as he looked to chase down Ingratta. Gafrarar was finally able to match Miller’s pace up front, but the gap had grown to just over a second by the end of lap eight. Lap nine saw Ingratta go purple with a 53.911 as he tried to close in on Gafrarar who was losing touch with Miller. The top-ten would remain unchanged for several laps through the middle part of the race but Ingratta was on a charge to catch Gafrarar and reset the fast lap again with a 53.833. Lap thirteen saw Ingratta make the move on Gafrarar for second as Wheldon was able to get by Musella for fourth. Ingratta was running two tenths faster than Miller up front but with six laps to go, time was running out. Ingratta closed the lap to six tenths with three to go. With two to go, Ingratta was by for the lead in turn nine, but Miller was able to get back by in turn ten. The last lap saw Ingratta go by in turn five for the lead and defend nicely but Miller was too strong out of turn thirteen. After forcing Ingratta to defend, Miller perfected the over under move and won the drag race to the line to take the win. Ingratta was second ahead of Gafrarar in third, Wheldon in fourth and Musella in fifth.
Florida Winter Tour ROK Junior Champion – Steven Miller
ROK VLR Master – ROK Cup Canada
Just as he has done all weekend long, Laurentiu Mardan was out to the lead in the VLR Masters class as Charlie Fonseca and Cristian Comir ran second and third after two circuits in the main event. Fonseca was sticking with Mardan for the time, but Mardan is a master in the longer races. Fonseca tried to get by on lap three, but his unsuccessful bid opened the door for Mardan to gain a larger gap. Fonseca would not go away lightly as he closed two tenths on lap five as Cayden Goodridge and Peter Cook moved into the top-five gaining four and two positions respectively. By mid-race distance, Fonseca would move to the point as he was by Mardan for the lead as Vomir held his own in third. As the majority of the field remained constant, it was Mardan who was able to get back by Fonseca on lap fifteen for the lead as Tony Palo moved to the top-ten gaining six positions to run eighth. Battles would start to heat up in the final four laps as Vomir was under attack from Cook and Goodridge for the final step on the podium. Mardan continued to pace Fonseca at the front of the field and with two laps to go, it was a two driver race up front. Fonseca was able to get by in turn ten with two laps to go but Mardan was able to get by one corner later. Fonseca dove inside on turn ten to take the lead and held Mardan at bay to score the win. Vomir was able to finish third ahead of Goodridge, and Rob Maier who was able to get by Peter Cook on the final lap.
Florida Winter Tour ROK VLR Master Champion – Laurentiu Mardan
ROK Shifter – PSL Karting
It was Danny Formal who rocketed off the line from his pole position starting spot to lead lap one as Jake French was close, and almost made contact in turn six. AJ Myers would run third ahead of Davide Greco and Collin Daley, who was up one position in the opening lap. The front four would open a gap on the new fifth place runner of Vincenzo Sarracino as Myers was able to get by French in corner six on lap three. Formal went purple on lap four to open a gap of over one second. Rubens Barrichello was up two positions to run in seventh ahead of Michael Stevens, Nathan Nicholson and Giano Taurino. Lap six saw French cut three tenths out of Formal’s lead. The on track running order remained constant as the front quartet remained equally matched in regard to pace on track. On lap thirteen, Formal had opened his gap to French by just over a second as French was six tenths ahead of Myers in third. Formal would drive to the victory, his third in as many races with French and Myers on the podium in second and third while Greco and Sarracino rounded out the top-five.
Florida Winter Tour ROK Shifter Champion – Danny Formal
For a complete set of weekend results, click HERE.
*All results unofficial at time of posting