Daily Report by: ROK Cup USA
Photos by: Canadian Karting News
From Around the Paddock
While several teams and competitors took to the Piquet Entertainment & Race Park yesterday, more than 200 ROKKERs were on track today for four rounds of practice that will kick start their event weekend. With qualifying and the first of three heat races slated for Friday afternoon, heat two, three, and the prefinal will take place on Saturday before Sunday’s main events. While the tight paddock space and twisty racetrack provided challenges for some drivers, the feeling in the paddock is that the race action will be hot and heavy despite the rumblings of the lack of grip on the slicker-than-average surface.
With round two entry numbers surpassing round one in St. Petersburg, 204 total ROKKERs have descended on Loxahatchee, Florida this weekend for the second round of the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour. Competing across ten different classes, the largest contingent of drivers comes from the Micro ROK class with a total of 34 entries proving that the future of karting looks bright with so many youngsters competing on that national stage.
33% More Points
Unique to the Florida Winter Tour, the round two format will see a point increase of 33% from round one. Proving to be 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. 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 one.
New Location and Layout
The Piquet Entertainment & Race Park poses a new challenge for teams and competitors as it is the first trip to the new facility for many ROKKERs. With a tight .73-mile layout, close racing is anticipated and if anything comes from practice today, teams and drivers will need to be on their game come qualifying. With times at the top of the charts and throughout the mid-pack in most classes tight, a slight slip-up in qualifying could set you back countless rows for the heat races. With additional points on the line, every tenth of a second could make a huge difference on a driver’s weekend.
The weather may play a factor this weekend with temperatures today in the mid-80s and tomorrow’s forecast to be upper 80s, potentially 90F. With very few rain chances in the forecast, the temperature drops to the low 70s on Saturday before climbing back to 80+ on Sunday. While rain is not in the forecast, nothing can be overruled on the East Coast of Florida.
In the attempt to bring live stream coverage to the Florida Winter Tour in 2023, ROK Cup Promotions has partnered with Kart Chaser to provide video coverage trackside in Loxahatchee. 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, February 17.
Round Three Information
While today was the first on-track day for the second round of the Florida Winter Tour, teams and competitors are urged to look forward to March and begin or complete their travel plans. With hotels available through our hotel partner, Eventure, please click HERE to see available hotels and when the room blocks will close. Additionally, the Orlando Kart Center paddock has just gone through an extensive repaving process and all teams and competitors will be required to have floor coverings to protect the new asphalt throughout the event weekend. Finally, like round two, the Orlando Kart Center will be offering practice Tuesday through Thursday of race week.
Stay tuned to the ROK Cup USA social media pages for news, information, photos, results, and daily reports from the second round of the Florida Winter Tour at Piquet Entertainment & Race Park.