Daily Report by: ROK Cup USA
Photos by: Canadian Karting News
From Around the Paddock
The third and final round of the 2023 ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour is now upon us with final-round victories and championships on the line. Taking on the Orlando Kart Center (OKC), once again more than 200 ROKKERs descended on the Central Florida facility in a busy month for national-level racing both in Florida and at OKC.
Entry numbers once again crested the 200 mark for the second consecutive Florida Winter Tour event in a row. With the lowest entry count at the first race in St. Petersburg, numbers rose for rounds two and three due to the influx of Canadians that flocked south to prepare for the start of their karting season. With a total of 208 entries, the largest class this weekend will be the ROK Micro class with 37 entries.
Historically, the Orlando Kart Center paddock has been one the drivers, and teams, have high on their list of dislikes, but for 2023, the feelings had changed. With a huge effort to get the OKC facility ready for three national-level races, Track Owner Andre Martins held true to his word as the complete paddock was paved earlier this month. Much to the delight of teams who spent countless hours cleaning trailers and equipment when arriving back home, a fresh coat of blacktop kept dust to a minimum and allowed mechanics to easily maneuver their kart stands to the grid, tech, and scale areas.
33% More Points
Unique to the Florida Winter Tour, the round three format will see a point increase of 33% from round two and a total of 66% from round one. Successful in years past, the additional points allow for more drivers to stay in the championship chase as the Tour continues, but also will reward drivers who can remain consistently at the front of the field in their respective classes. Entering the final round at the Orlando Kart Center this weekend, all class championships are still mathematically in contention. With points awarded after the heat races, the prefinal, and again in the main event, competitors will need to fight for every on-track position to ensure they receive every point possible toward the end of the year championship battle. Visit www.ROKCupUSA.com to view the current point standings following round two.
As it seems every time ROK Cup USA comes to the Orlando Kart Center, the weather could play a major factor in the class championships this weekend. With high winds, hail, and torrential downpours with rain more than 1.25 inches, forecasted earlier in the week for Saturday, the forecast steadily improved, and at the time of publishing temperatures from Friday to Saturday were set to drop about 20 degrees as a cold front moved in but both rain chances and the amount of rain decreased to 60% and .55. Either way, Sunday’s results may be a determined by who can master the weather on Saturday.
Kart Chaser is back at the Orlando Kart Center this weekend and will provide video coverage trackside. With Live Stream coverage available on the Kart Chaser YouTube channel, ROK followers can also visit the ROK Cup USA social media pages for direct links once the official competition begins as well as the ROK Cup app and website for Live Timing options.
Media Packages Available
Cody Schindel of CanadianKartingNews.com, the official ROK Cup USA Photographer Cody Schindel has made the trip south to the Sunshine State. With event photos available, please click HERE to order your media package. Pre-orders must be placed by Friday, March 17.
ROKKERs will return to the Orlando Kart Center tomorrow for two practice sessions, qualifying and the first heat race of the Florida Winter Tour finale.