Nepveu completes his Super Sunday; Morgatto holds onto Junior ROK Championship

Canadian Thomas Nepveu ran away with the win on Sunday, while Morgatto did enough for the season championship.

Thomas Nepveu
Photo: John Johnson/Kart360

After grabbing the Junior ROK pole position on Friday, Canadian Thomas Nepveu went into heat one with his head held high. In the heat race later that day, Nepveu was collected in a wreck with Arias Deukemdjian that dropped the Birel ART pilot to 26th, and at the bottom of an uphill climb he had to make if he wanted to have a chance on Sunday.

A sixth and a first place in the next two heats on Saturday propelled Nepveu to 10th in the standings heading into Sunday. From there, Nepveu took over like no other driver this weekend, winning both the prefinal and final by very large margins.

In the 18-lap final, an opening lap crash near the front of the field collected or hindered the progress of many, leading to a strewn out front five right off the bat. The newly signed Birel ART Factory Driver grabbed the lead after starting pole, with an immediate gap over Ugo Ugochukwu, Matheus Morgatto, and Arias Deukmedjian.

Morgatto needed very much to finish ahead of Ugochukwu if he wanted to win the championship, and it only took 3 laps to overtake the young Koene USA driver. Ugochukwu had done an amazing job this weekend despite lacking long-run pace, which finally caught up to him in the final. Nepveu had now checked out in front, followed by Morgatto, Deukmedjian, and Ugochukwu. Tyler Gonzalez ran fifth.

That’s how the top five would run for the remainder of the race, a stark contrast to the excitement and abundance of overtaking throughout the weekend. With the second place result, Morgatto and the new AM Engines/Parolin crew earned the top spot in the championship, followed closely by the rising star of Ugochukwu. Nepveu would jump to third in the season standings after his great Sunday run.

2018 Florida Winter Tour Orlando Junior ROK Final

Rnk # Driver Laps Best Time
1 242 NEPVEU THOMAS 18 54.696
2 262 MORGATTO MATHEUS 18 54.737
3 200 DEUKMEDJIAN ARIAS 18 54.787
4 201 UGOCHUKWU UGO 18 55.026
5 257 GONZALEZ TYLER 18 55.079
6 241 BARRICHELLO FERNANDO 18 54.949
7 272 ZILISCH CONNOR 18 55.035
8 289 NAZARIO JULIAN 18 55.08
9 243 ATANASIO JOEY 18 55.238
10 222 WILEY TRAVIS 18 55.09
11 288 MARS LUCA 18 55.429
12 219 PANICCIA MARCELLO 18 55.227
13 225 BENOIT AARON 18 55.424
14 224 BARTZ FELIPE 18 55.52
15 226 CLARK MACKENZIE 18 54.931
16 220 DE TULLIO ALESSANDRO 18 55.008
17 208 DENMARK-GESSEL JACE 18 55.022
18 209 CERRILLO ALEJANDRO 18 55.88
19 299 ABDULALI RAFE 18 55.529
20 231 GARCIA ALEJANDRO 18 55.625
21 235 SAVOIE GABRIEL 18 55.765
22 253 ISAMBARD ALAN 18 55.787
23 223 BOWER NOLAN 18 55.871
24 221 BLANCO CONSTANZA 13 56.877
25 202 OPALSKI MAXIMILIAN 18 55.451
26 268 HO ETHAN 11 55.37
27 270 MATOS JOAO 4 56.582
28 251 PERRA GRANGER 2 58.095
29 207 NETO CELSO
30 218 DE MORAES DIAS RAFAEL