ROK Cup Palmetto: The Photo Review


We put a wrap on the ROK Cup Florida Championship with photos of the top moments.

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The heat was intense in Palmetto. Drivers had to find relief from the sun by grabbing shade by the tree line.
Andersen Racing and a mariachi band
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A rolling mariachi band entertained karting teams over lunch on Saturday. Andersen Racing team members broke into dance shortly after.
Tyler Gonzalez
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Tyler Gonzalez (OGP) is trending in the right direction as he enters the Junior categories. He still competes in Mini for Rotax events, but Juniors for ROK events and has gained valuable experience in the process. He finished third this weekend as well as the championship.
Aiden Keel leads Junior
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Aiden Keel (Andersen Racing) was on a different level Saturday in heat racing. He carried that momentum into the Pre-Final Sunday, but could not stay in front of Mathias Ramirez in the Final. It was a disappointment not to finish off the perfect weekend at his home circuit, but he'll get better from the experience.
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Tom Hankinson (Zanella Racing/FA Kart) had the field of Master Shifter by the tail, with only one blemish in heat one that left him four points shy of a perfect weekend. The Zanella Racing driver wound up second in the season championship.
Raul flag dancing
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Series flagman, Raul, gets some hang time on his unconventional "flag dance."
Ryan Norberg
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Although the competition level was down in Senior, Ryan Norberg gets a boost in confidence after a mini slump in May. The Team Felon/Orlando Karting Center driver has things pointing straight ahead again as he gets into the summer stretch.
Tyler Maxson
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Tyler Maxson had the season championship all but locked-down heading into Palmetto, but made it his goal to win the Final and leave no doubt. After qualifying pole, a few misses in the heat races resulted in a 4-4-3 result. Sunday was a new day and Maxson climbed one spot in the pre-final, and another final spot in the main event to capture the win going away as well as securing another championship for Benik.
Jimmy Cabrera
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Jimmy Cabrera (KDM) did not find it easy, but he was able to win two heat races, the pre-final and final in Senior Shifter to help put a stamp on his season championship.
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Nicholas Hargraves (International Racing) was probably the fastest kart in Senior Shifter, but found it difficult to pass after relinquishing his pole position in heat two. The Tony Kart pilot finished second in the championship.
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Miguel Gransaull had no equal in Master ROK in Palmetto, picking up the season championship in the process. The TB Kart USA competitor will look forward to the biggest stage of them all this fall at the ROK Cup International Final with his fellow ROK Cup USA champions.
Zachary Hollingshead
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Junior ROK point leader, Zachary Hollingshead (OGP), had a rough weekend. It wasn't all bad though, as the Florida resident used his favorable opening two rounds to lead him to the championship in the series most competitive category.
Mathias Ramirez
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Mathias Ramirez (AKT Racing) joined in on the Junior ROK fight this weekend after exclusively racing Junior Shifter the previous three rounds. A mediocre set of heat races did not tell the whole story for Ramirez, as his times were comparable to Keel's. After slowly making his way up the field, he grabbed the lead from his outside starting spot in the Final and defended Keel to the end, earning the drive of the weekend in our book. Ramirez also picked up the Junior Shifter championship earlier in the day.
Nikita Johnson
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Fellow AKT Racing teammate, Nikita Johnson, always had his FA Kart at the front in Micro ROK. A contender for the championship coming into the weekend, he did what he needed to do to win the ultimate prize after his second place finish in the final.
Emmo Fittipaldi
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Son of racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi, Emmo Fittipaldi is starting to follow in his fathers footsteps. A masterful drive in the rain on Sunday earned him the first Micro ROK win of his short karting career.
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Guilherme Jacob ran into a bit of a problem in Sunday's Master Shifter Pre-Final. A cut tire and missing front nose late in the race meant a disqualification and a deep starting spot for the final. Jacob made it up seven spots to finish sixth in the 20-lap final, but more importantly secured his championship in the category.