Ocala, Florida – February 1, 2012 – Fresh off a very successful opening to the 2012 Florida Winter Tour, the Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) squad wasted no time in adding to their results this season. Competing at the Homestead Karting Complex on the grounds of the Homestead Miami Speedway, OGP drivers took the Florida Karting Championship Series by storm scoring 15 podiums, six pole positions and five main event victories.
“This was a great start to the 2012 state season as well as some invaluable testing for our drivers who compete in the Florida Winter Tour,” expressed Ocala Gran Prix Team Manager Nate Grindell. “We had a large tent of drivers but everyone worked very well with one another by sharing data and setup advice.”
The most dominating performances were in both the Rotax Senior and TaG Senior divisions where Ocala Gran Prix drivers covered the podium. In Rotax Senior, Nick Neri claimed the win after garnering the pole position earlier in the morning and was joined on the podium by Brandon Salyer and Andrew Evans. Anne Hayden had a strong race to come home sixth while Jonathon Kotyk and Mark Dismore Jr. crossed the stripe tenth and 11th respectively.
The six same drivers would compete in TaG Senior scoring similar results with Neri taking the pole position and win ahead of Evans and Kotyk, who rounded out the podium. Salyer made it four OGP drivers in the top four with Anne Hayden coming home seventh and Dismore Jr. crossing the stripe in 13th as he utilized Mojo tires while testing for the upcoming Florida Winter Tour.
Ocala Gran Prix would also enter four drivers in each of the TaG Junior and Rotax Junior divisions. Scoring both pole positions was recent Florida Winter Tour winner Oliver Askew but they turned into second and third place podium results. Female pilot Ashley Rogero rebounded from a disappointing 17th place finish in TaG Junior to score an impressive second in Sunday’s Rotax event while Alex Hornborg would place sixth in the TaG division and 11th in Rotax. Tony Kart newcomer Brian Lockwood came to grips with his new chassis and team scoring seventh and ninth place results over the weekend.
Nick Neri and John Dalton would score another two pole positions and two main event victories for the squad as Neri claimed the top spot in the Shifter category while Dalton had a clean sweep of the day in TaG Heavy. Dalton would also see action in the Rotax Masters class where he finished sixth behind OGP’s Jason Heffner in fifth and Jerry Brown, who scored his first FKCS podium result with a third. Heffner would return to the track in the TaG Masters category to take home a fourth place finish.
Young driver Olivier Bellanger was the class of the field in the TaG Cadet category taking home the pole position and heat race win. Driving away from the field in the final to cross the stripe as the winner, Bellanger would receive a post race penalty and be classified in the second position.
Florida Winter Tour participants Mathias Ramirez and Mikey Hornborg would see action in the Rotax Mini Max class as both drivers scored top ten results. Ramirez started his FKCS campaign off with a solid second place result while Hornborg improved from a disappointing qualifying effort to claim the tenth position.
Ramirez would see action in another two divisions over the weekend as he managed to take the victory in a hotly contested Yamaha Junior Sportsman class. Looking for his third podium of the series opener, Ramirez would fall to seventh in the final Cadet Junior Sportsman classifications.
Subbing for the injured Dylan Genarro, Ocala Gran Prix driver Hunter Folsom would look to score points towards the end of the year title. Competing in the Rotax Micro Max, Cadet Junior Sportsman and Yamaha Junior Sportsman divisions, Folsom managed to take home three top ten results that included a tenth, tenth and fourth in his respective classes.
Grindell added, “It was a good weekend for the team in regards to results and we have some momentum moving towards the next round of the Florida Winter Tour. I am hoping that we can continue our success there.”
Back in action in two weeks time, Ocala Gran Prix will head back south to the Homestead Karting Complex. Entering twenty-one drivers in the Florida Winter Tour Rotax weekend, Ocala Gran Prix will look to build from their eight podiums and four wins in the first round at the Palm Beach International Raceway.
For more information on Ocala Grand Prix, OGP race team opportunities and info on how to get into karting, please visit Ocala Gran Prix online at www.OcalaGranPrix.com or contact them at 352.291.0600 or via e-mail to Info@OcalaGranPrix.com.