Johnny Johnson

FWT Round 2 Miami: Qualifying Report

Under perfect conditions, fields are set for a full day of heat racing on Saturday.

The second round of the 2019 Florida Winter Tour by ROK Cup Promotions got underway officially on Friday under the bright sunny skies in Miami Gardens, Florida. Three morning practice sessions allowed for final tune-ups before leading into the all-important qualifying practice, which set the grids for the heat races to come.

Like the first round, the Hard Rock Stadium overlooked the 1-million-plus square foot venue, but this time cast its shadows over a 13-turn circuit emulating the late X-Plex facility in Las Vegas. Running clockwise, the opening corners of the .77-mile long course wind you up, turning into itself, before unwinding in a string of left hand corners which ultimately lead you to the turn 11 and 12 hairpins. After that, a quick run down to the the fast final 90-degree corner and you’re back onto the main straight.

After the mid-day break, drivers slapped on brand new Bridgestone YLR and YLP rubber for their eight minute qualifying run. Here are the breakdowns for each division:

Danny Formal
Danny Formal. Photo: Cody Schindel for Kart360

Shifter ROK

In the highly competitive Shifter ROK category, Costa Rican Danny Formal (Leading Edge / Formula K) secured his second consecutive pole position in the Florida Winter Tour, with a top time of 55.304. Mathias Ramirez (PSL Karting / Birel ART), looking for redemption after a disappointing end to round one, ran just off the pace in second. Round one winner, AJ Myers (Croc Promotions USA /Mad Croc), continues to impress in the Mad Croc in third. Canadian Davide Greco (PSL Karting / Birel ART) and former Brazilian Formula 1 driver, Antonio Pizzonia (HR Motorsport / Tony Kart) were three and four tenths off, respectively.

Shifter ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Danny Formal - 55.304
  2. Mathias Ramirez
  3. AJ Myers
  4. Davide Greco
  5. Antonio Pizzonia
  6. Dominic LeGrand
  7. Rubens Barrichello
  8. Henry Cubides
  9. Vincenzo Sarracino
  10. Collin Daley

Senior ROK

Repeating his performance from round one, Californian Christian Brooks (Orsolon Racing / OTK) took the top honors in a field of 25 in Senior ROK with a time of 57.018. Eduardo Barrichello (NF Sports / Kosmic Kart) missed the mark by .090 to land in second. Arthur Leist (PSL Karting / Birle ART) who had briefly held the top time in the early going, eventually settled into third. Brazilians Andre Nicastro (NF Sports / Kosmic Kart) and Diego Ramos (HR Motorsports / Tony Kart) completed the fast five.

Senior ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Christian Brooks* - 57.018
  2. Eduardo Barrichello*
  3. Arthur Leist*
  4. Andre Nicastro*
  5. Diego Ramos*
  6. Axel Cabrera*
  7. Nicholas Hornbostel
  8. Arias Deukmedjian
  9. Mauricio Hernandez
  10. Jeremy Fairbairn

*Drivers in the top six are invited to compete in the Media Dash For Cash, set at the end of Saturday’s schedule.

Diego Contecha
Diego Contecha. Photo: Cody Schindel for Kart360

Junior ROK

Front-runner in round 1, Diego Contecha (Orsolon Racing / Tony Kart), has made it known he’s back for gold, as the Columbian out maneuvered the field by over two-tenths of a second in Junior ROK. After a DQ in January, the young South American turned in the only sub-58 second lap with a 57.878. The time between second and fifth place was a mere eight hundredths of a second, which included Enrico De Lucca (NF Sports / Kosmic Kart), Alessandro De Tulio (AM Racing / Exprit), and teammates Kyffin Simpson and Luca Mars (Speed Concepts / Tony Kart).

Junior ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Diego Contecha - 57.878
  2. Enrico De Lucca
  3. Alessandro De Tulio
  4. Kyffin Simpson
  5. Luca Mars
  6. Brent Crews
  7. Justin Arseneau
  8. Mackenzie Clark
  9. Ryan Shehan
  10. Dale Curran

Mini ROK

Looking to redeem himself from an underwhelming round one, young Nikita Johnson (AKT / Energy) has come out of Friday as the driver to beat, grabbing pole position over Kai Sorensen (Supertune USA / Tony Kart). With the fast time, it was a welcomed five bonus points for the Floridian as he looks to catch up to Sorensen who swept the racing action in January. Jack Jeffers (Orsolon Racing / Benik) was deemed to have impeded faster karts in qualifying, negating his provisional pole position and dropping him to third officially. Jorge Ortiz (ORT / Energy) and Cameron Weinberg (Supertune USA / Tony Kart) concluded the fast five.

Mini ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Nikita Johnson - 1:02.992
  2. Kai Sorensen
  3. Jack Jeffers
  4. Jorge Ortiz
  5. Cameron Weinberg
  6. Anderson Leonard
  7. Matias Orjuela
  8. Paul Bocuse
  9. Miguel Costa
  10. Caleb Gafarar
Victor Jimenez
Victor Jimenez. Photo: Cody Schindel for Kart360

Shifter ROK Master

Victor Jimenez (RPG / Kosmic Kart) started the defense of his round one victory with pole position in Shifter ROK Master. The fast time of 56.637 was more than a half-second faster than Rene Martinelli in second. Luis Schiavo (Goodwood Kartways / Kosmic) edged Patrick-Otto Madsen (Ansa Motorsports / Zanardi) for the inside of row two. Daniel Dibos (JC Karting / OTK) landed home in fifth.

Shifter ROK Master Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Victor Jimenez - 56.637
  2. Rene Martinelli
  3. Luis Schiavo
  4. Patrick-Otto Madsen
  5. Daniel Dibos
  6. Peter Licciardi
  7. Michel Legrand
  8. Farshad Bagheri
  9. Hernando Sanchez
  10. Vicki Brian

Master ROK

Renato Jader-David put in a dominating performance in Master ROK, running away with pole position and padding his championship lead. With a time of 58.240, the Brazilian ran a lap eight-tenths faster than his nearest rivals, Andres Fonseca (Leading Edge / Praga) and Steven Heffley (Tanda Racing / Praga). Christian Saa (AM Engines / OTK) and Rodrigo Ospina (Team Montoya / Tony Kart) were just over one second behind in fourth and fifth.

Master ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Renato Jader-David - 58.240
  2. Andres Fonseca
  3. Steven Heffley
  4. Christian Saa
  5. Rodrigo Ospina
  6. Francisco Marques
  7. Flavio Menezes
  8. Rod Lake
  9. Gerardo Casas
  10. Jalil Hanna

Micro ROK

Enzo Vidmontienc (International Motorsports / Benik Kart) grabbed a bonus five points with his run to the top of the charts in Micro ROK, posting a time of 1:04.844. Salim Hanna (Team Montoya / Tony Kart) trailed by a mere .022 to place second, followed by Karsyn Walters (Supertune USA / Tony Kart). A distant fourth and fifth place went to  Mario Said (Team Montoya / OTK) and Xander Reed (Supertune USA / Tony Kart).

Local standout, Beckham Jacir (JC Karting / Tony Kart), turned in a 1:04.731 qualifying lap which had given the South Floridian the provisional pole. However, a technical disqualification dropped the young driver to the tail of the field in 12th.

Micro ROK Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Enzo Vidmontiene - 1:04.844
  2. Salim Hanna
  3. Karsyn Walters
  4. Mario Said
  5. Xander Reed
  6. Kai Johnson
  7. Salvador Dellaveccia
  8. Sarah Bradley
  9. Jan Philipp-Krull
  10. Oliver Wheldon

100cc Junior

With a time of 59.816, Chloe Chambers has backed up her win from round 1 as the only driver to break the 1-minute barrier in 100cc Junior. William Cox (Team Felon / Tony Kart), Chambers’s nearest rival in the championship, landed in second ahead of Santiago Biagi (AM Engines / Exprit). Ian Aguilera (Escuderia Telmex / Exprit) and Adam Maxwell (Top Kart USA / Top Kart) start their weekend’s off in fourth and fifth.

100cc Junior Qualifying - Top 10

  1. Chloe Chambers - 59.816
  2. William Cox
  3. Sanitago Biagi
  4. Ian Alguilera
  5. Adam Maxwell
  6. Kyffin Simpson
  7. Tanner Garvin
  8. Granger Perra
  9. Camryn Reed
  10. Marcos Telle

Looking forward, Saturday brings in a full day of heat racing as drivers look to jockey for positioning for their Sunday pre-final. The day gets started with morning warm-up before the first heat of the day begin at 10:35am with Master ROK. As soon as heat racing concludes, the exciting new Media Dash For Cash event takes place, where the top six qualifiers from Senior ROK compete in an inverted Australian Pursuit race, competing for $1500 cash. 

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