Johnny Johnson

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: 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.

Race Results - Top Five

2018 Florida Winter Tour Orlando Junior ROK Final
Rnk # Driver Gap Best Time
242 NEPVEU THOMAS 54.696
262 MORGATTO MATHEUS 1.852 54.737
200 DEUKMEDJIAN ARIAS 2.996 54.787
201 UGOCHUKWU UGO 6.071 55.026
257 GONZALEZ TYLER 8.112 55.079
Full standings
Rnk # Driver Gap Best Time
272 ZILISCH CONNOR 12.128 55.035
289 NAZARIO JULIAN 15.495 55.08
243 ATANASIO JOEY 18.376 55.238
222 WILEY TRAVIS 21.053 55.09
288 MARS LUCA 23.513 55.429
219 PANICCIA MARCELLO 21.013 55.227
225 BENOIT AARON 24.4 55.424
224 BARTZ FELIPE 28.047 55.52
226 CLARK MACKENZIE 23.575 54.931
220 DE TULLIO ALESSANDRO 30.101 55.008
208 DENMARK-GESSEL JACE 24.401 55.022
209 CERRILLO ALEJANDRO 30.918 55.88
299 ABDULALI RAFE 31.118 55.529
231 GARCIA ALEJANDRO 31.28 55.625
235 SAVOIE GABRIEL 31.66 55.765
253 ISAMBARD ALAN 34.293 55.787
223 BOWER NOLAN 43.718 55.871
221 BLANCO CONSTANZA 5 Laps 56.877
202 OPALSKI MAXIMILIAN 40.782 55.451
268 HO ETHAN 7 Laps 55.37
270 MATOS JOAO 14 Laps 56.582
251 PERRA GRANGER 16 Laps 58.095
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