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January 19, 2013 News
Florida Winter Tour Rotax Qualifying Sets Grids for Both Rounds at PBIR

Just a few days removed from the opening weekend of Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour, the Rotax MAX Challenge officially hit the track to set the qualifying order for this weekend’s races. After four days of practice, the Rotax competitors were eager to hit the Palm Beach International Raceway track to see who would be the fastest going into the double-race-weekend.

At stake in this year’s program are six of the coveted invitations to the 2013 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals. This is up from four last year, with the additional spots going to the DD2 and DD2 Masters classes. This move solidifies the two-speed classes as the premier classes in Rotax MAX competition.

The FWT is the largest and most geographically diverse Rotax program in the world. As such it enjoys many competitors who travel from outside the USA.

MRP Motorsports sponsored Senior Max
In each of the two rounds of qualifying, Senior Max was the first group to go out. In the first session, which set the order for Sunday’s races, the newly crowned world champion Charlie Eastwood set the pace throughout much of the session. Eastwood stood atop the time sheets until the dying moments of the session, when 2012 FWT Junior Max champion Oliver Askew took the top spot by 0.046 of a second. In the Senior Max qualifying for Saturday, it was Askew’s OGP teammate Nick Neri, who took the pole position over Eastwood.

GT7 Motorsports sponsored Micro Max
In qualifying for Saturday’s Micro MAX races, Derek Carmenate put in a fast time of 1:00.021 to qualify on pole ahead of Harry Coulton. In Sunday’s qualifying session, Mexican Emiliano Richards claimed the top spot with a time of 59.774 seconds.

Rolison Performance Group sponsored Rotax Masters
During the Masters turn to qualify for Saturday’s heat races, it was Brazilian Leonardo Nienkotter who stamped his authority on the field by turning in a fast time of 54.562 seconds. Although Scott Falcone had to settle for second behind Nienkotter for Saturday’s races, he was fastest overall in Sunday’s qualifying session with a 54.425 second lap to set pole position.

Ocala Gran Prix sponsored Junior Max
After taking the Formula Kart TaG Junior class by storm last weekend, New York’s Jack Weprin continued his speedy ways by qualifying on pole position for Saturday’s always competitive Junior Max class heat races. In Sunday’s qualifying session, it was Jamaica’s Thomas Issa, fresh off a trip to the Grand Finals, who took pole position with a quick time of 53.941 seconds. In doing so, Thomas was the only Junior Max driver to officially get under the 54 second mark on Friday.

AM Engines sponsored Mini Max
Texan Nicholas Brueckner laid down the law in both Mini MAX qualifying sessions to claim pole position for both days on the weekend. In a class that arguable features the most competitive Mini MAX grid in the world, this is quite an accomplishment. However, starting second on both days is Anthony Gangi Jr., who is coming off a very successful FWT Formula Kart Racing FWT weekend. This will definitely be a class to watch.

SH Karting sponsored DD2 Masters
With three Rotax World Champions representing five championships in the DD2 Masters field, we knew there would be fireworks. When the dust had settled from Saturday’s qualifying, it was 2007 Masters Champion Christophe Adams of Belgium setting fast time just ahead of Canada’s Stuart Clark. In Sunday’s qualifying, it was Clark that captured the top spot just ahead of 2010 Grand Finals DD2 Masters champion Scott Campbell, and 2011 and 2012 Champion Cristiano Morgado.

PSL Karting sponsored Rotax DD2
The fastest of all Rotax classes took to the track last, and it was worth the wait. Both sessions featured a fierce battle between Kevin Lüdi, Ben Cooper, Xen De Ruwe, and Darren White. Although the top spot traded hands several times in both sessions, when the music stopped it was the Swiss driver Ludi on top of the times sheets for both sessions. With triple world champion Cooper sharing the front row both days, this is one race that is a must see on FWT Live!.

If you're anywhere near South Florida you owe it to yourself to come check out the Florida Winter Tour. And if you can't make it in person, log onto FloridaWinterTour.com to watch the action live with FWT LIVE!.
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