Rounds three and four of the 2015 Cold Stone Florida Winter are now complete. The drivers overcame some difficult conditions on Saturday to put on great racing at the Orlando Kart Center. We learned a lot, but we have left with even more questions as the championship battles heat up going into the final round in Ocala later this month.
To see full race reports and results from the weekend visit our On Location page presented by K1 Race Gear.
Askew Reconfirms his Number one Status
2014 was a difficult year for Oliver Askew after winning the Florida Winter Tour title as he battled a back injury. He entered 2015 as one of the favorites and was quick in Homestead, but lacked the speed on the long run. This past weekend Askew reconfirmed his number one spot in Rotax Senior competition by winning both finals in the wet and the dry. Sunday’s race could have ended differently if Kirkwood and Brand did not get together, but that is the advantage of being out front. With the two wins the BirelART driver heads into Ocala as the points leader tide with Kirkwood. Ed Brand sits in third just 18 out of the lead followed by Roeper 28 out, and Garrison 48 out. This makes it five drivers that have a real shot at the title, which is the most we have seen in a few years.
The one twist heading into Ocala may be that Askew and Brand will miss the event, as the Euro Challenge kicks off the following weekend and testing starts on Monday. So how much does this title mean to BirelART and CRG?
Still no Favorite in Junior
Going into this past weekend’s event we thought one driver would stamp their authority on the Junior Max category, but that did not happen. Thanks to two podium finishes in Orlando Sting Ray Robb leaves the event with a 67 point lead over Mathias Ramirez and Nick Brueckner who are tied for second. Both of these drivers won a final in Orlando, but finished off the podium in the other race. Behind them you have Roman DeAngelis, Javier Gonzalez, Anthony Gangi Jr., and Darren Keane all within 102 points of the leader. Gangi is the one we really need to keep an eye on in Ocala. He seems to finally be hitting his stride and could spoil the party for the top three if any one of them were to slip up in Ocala.
Lennox is Human
The streak has finally come to end for Jordon Lennox-Lamb. Throughout practice and qualifying he looked poised to continue his winning streak, but this all changed when the rain came on Saturday. Lennox started the prefinal in seventh due to a flat tire in qualifying and finished in that same position. In the final Lennox was the eighth fastest and finished in that exact position. Danny Formal had an impressive race showing off his rains skills batteling it out with Rubens Barrichello. Formal made a very impressive pass in turn three that forced a misake by the Brazilian and giving him a solid gap to take the win. On Sunday he cruised to the prefinal win over Ruben Barrichello and Davide Fore. In the final he got out to an early lead, but Douglas Lundberg was able to chase him down, pass him on lap four and slowly build an eight tenths of second lead to win the rave of Lennox.
Now Lennox heads into Ocala with the points lead, but this is Neri’s playground. The Floridian is only 41 points back and a win in Ocala could put him in a strong position to win the title.
The Smaller Drivers get Stronger in Mini Max
We spoke about it after Homestead, but it looked like the smaller drivers had some trouble adapting to the larger chassis. This does not seem to be the case anymore after Matthew Latifi took pole both days and Dylan Tavella won on Saturday. Sebastian Alvarez still leads the points, but Nicholas d’Orlando, Matthew Latifi, and Dylan Tavella are all within striking distance.