April 7, 2012 (OCALA, Fla.) - Heading south to the RaceComplex facility in Fort Myers, Florida, Ocala Gran Prix would look to build upon their 2012 results as the Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) reached its midway point. Proving to be one of the most dominant teams in North America, Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) scored ten victories and 21 podiums in the World Karting Association (WKA) sanctioned series.
"It was another great weekend of results," explained Nate Grindell, Ocala Gran Prix Team Manager. "We have shown speed in all classes and it is great to have drivers win and podium all across the board. We will look to continue this throughout 2012."
Taking home three wins each were senior driver Nick Neri and sportsman pilot Mathias Ramirez. While Neri continued to dominate the older age classes, the multi-time champion stood atop the podium in Rotax Senior, TaG Senior as well as the Open Shifter class where he utilized a Stock Moto package. While Neri was at the front, action was fierce behind him in the Rotax division as Ocala Gran Prix drivers occupied five of the first eight positions. With a sweep of the podium, Andrew Evans and Jonathon Kotyk would cross the stripe in the second and third position respectively while Annie Hayden would come home fifth and Brandon Slayer in eighth.
All five drivers would be back on track Sunday in the multi-engine platform TaG division but their results remained similar. With Neri taking the win, the podium would remain unchanged, as Evans would come home second and Kotyk in third. Hayden would remain consistent adding another fifth place result while Slayer improved to cross the line in sixth.
Young Tony Kart pilot Mathias Ramirez would be on a tear in Fort Myers as he took three victories in his four classes of competition. Standing atop the podium in Rotax Mini Max, TaG Cadet and Yamaha Junior Sportsman, Ramirez only falter would be in the Cadet Junior Sportsman category where he would cross the line in the fifth position. Joining Ramirez on the podium in the Mini Max division would be Olivier Bellanger with a solid second place result. Competing in a pair of classes on Saturday, Bellanger would also score a top ten result in the TaG Cadet class coming home tenth.
Oliver Askew continued his winning ways in the junior ranks as the Team USA Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals member would score a pair of victories. Taking the top spot in the TaG Junior division on Saturday, Askew swept Sunday's Rotax Junior class by taking the pole position, heat race win and main event victory in dominating fashion. Joining Askew on the podium on Sunday were Ocala Gran Prix pilots Alex Hornborg, who drove a smart and consistent race to come home second and Brian Lockwood in third for an OGP podium sweep. Adding to his second place result, Hornborg would also score a solid top five finish in TaG Junior as he garnered a fourth place finish while Lockwood would claim the seventh position.
Ocala's Dylan Gennaro would have one of his best FKCS weekends of his career as the talented youngster begins to come into his own. Competing in three classes, Gennaro would run inside the top-ten consistently throughout the race weekend scoring a fourth place result in Yamaha Junior Sportsman, sixth in Rotax Micro Max and eighth in Cadet Junior Sportsman. Jake Knepper would follow Gennaro across the line in the Micro Max division to come home seventh and would claim an 11th place result in the Cadet Junior Sportsman category. Looking forward to the next event, both drivers will look to build upon the momentum gained in Fort Myers.
World Karting Association Manufacturer's Cup winner Ashley Rogero showed why she is one of the best junior drivers in the country by scoring the KPP Junior and Yamaha Junior race wins. Looking to score regional points to transfer to her national karting campaign, Rogero would be smart in her race tactics taking the lead on the final few circuits of both main events to stand on the top podium step.
The oldest drivers of the series would have strong result at the RaceComplex facility as Jason Heffner, John Dalton and Jerry Brown would do battle. TaG Masters would see Heffner score a podium result with a second place finish while Dalton would cross the line in fourth. Remaining consistent in Rotax Masters, Heffner would once again claim the second podium position, as Dalton would join him on the podium in third. Adding another podium to his resume, Dalton would claim the second position when the checkered flag flew at the end of the TaG Heavy main event. 50-year-old Jerry Brown would battle hard all weekend long coming home fourth in Rotax Masters and seventh in TaG Heavy.
Ocala Gran Prix will enjoy one weekend off before returning to their home facility for the second round of the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge program.