Qualifying for the final round of the Florida Winter Tour concluded Friday afternoon under perfect conditions at Ocala Gran Prix. Just five points were up for grabs for the pole winners, so not a lot moved the needle today, but we did notice the amount of laps some drivers were doing in their sessions. Most of the junior and cadet categories stayed out on track for the entire allotted time, putting in up to 18 laps, despite the majority turning their fast lap before lap six. The senior categories were a bit more cognizant of the laps they put in, keeping it around six to eight.
The Junior MAX Qualifying session could not have been any closer as the top five were within one tenth of a second. Eduardo Barrichello scooped the top spot ahead of surging rookie, Tyler Maxson by a mere .005. Tyler Gonzalez, current point leader, slotted into third ahead of former teammates Dylan Gennaro and Zachary Hollingshead.
PSL Karting locked down the front row in Senior MAX with a pair of Ryans. Ryan Norberg edged out incoming rookie and teammate Ryan MacDermid by .041. Mathiras Ramirez, another Birel ART driver for Andersen Racing, put the #341 in third. Action Jackson and last weekend’s runner up Logan Cusson ran fourth and fifth.
Jeff Kingsley is not setting it in cruise control, despite running away with the DD2 championship, placing another Birel ART on pole. Gary Carlton had second place wrapped up on lap four, just edging out Marco Signoretti. Ethan Simioni and Davide Greco placed fourth and fifth.
The one big movement in qualifying this weekend was Dale Curran grabbing five extra points in Mini MAX to pass Justin Arseneau in the standings, as the two were just four points apart heading into the week. Compkart’s Aidan Fox ran in second, sitting between Curran and championship rival Arseneau in third. Kyffin Simpson and Ethan Donkers had locked down fourth and fifth on laps 12 and 13.
Miguel Costa, with an outside shot at the Micro MAX championship, grabbed some crucial points after he took the pole over Alex Powell. James Egozi, the current championship leader, ran third ahead of Paul Bocuse and Nikita Johnson.
In Masters, Michel Aboissa placed his Tony Kart where it typically has been all season, on top of the standings ahead of Pete Fritsche and championship adversary Scott Roberts.
On Saturday, we’ll see the heat racing conclude in the afternoon, followed by pre-finals ran the same day, which differs from previous rounds where they ran on Sunday. With the new schedule, we’ll have a great idea of what exactly needs to be done on Sunday for these drivers to either maintain their lead or leap to the top.