March 30, 2010 - Florida Winter Tour Ocala Report

Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) and Tony Kart pilot Nick Neri claimed two pole positions, two heat race wins and two main event victories in the final rounds of action at the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT) events held in Ocala, Florida. With the solid weekend results and domination in both classes earlier in the series, Neri scored both class championships and is set to travel to the Rotax World Finals in Italy later this year.

Working with Race Tech Development’s Mike Maurini, Neri headed into the final weekend of action in the Rotax Junior class and had all but locked up the title before taking the green flag for Saturday’s main event. Being extra cautious, Neri qualified in the seventh position and moved forward to claim a third place result in the heat race. With the title on the line, the Floridian driver drove to a fourth place result and would be noted as class champion after the event.

Sunday provided a lot more action for Neri as split group qualifying sessions between a damp and wet track caused a lot of top runners to be way down in the running order. Neri qualified a disappointing 18th but was ready for some fun as the rain began to fall harder all day. At the start of the prefinal, Neri utilized his skills to move to 13th by the end of the first lap and quickly picked off driver after driver to finish a solid sixth. The new champion would start outside row three for the main event and would take no prisoners on the opening lap as he blasted by his competitors. At the start of lap two, Neri was the new leader and he would never look back as he went on to score the win.

“The goal coming into the Florida Winter Tour was to win the Rotax Junior championship and get back to the World Finals,” explained an excited Neri on the podium. “The competition this season has been the toughest in previous seasons but we have been on our game from the beginning.”

With one championship already locked up, Neri would enter the second weekend of FWT action as he would move back to the Senior category and compete in Pro Rotax. With a sweep of the events at Palm Beach International Raceway, Neri had a slim point advantage heading to the final weekend of competition but was able to extend that on Saturday. After taking the pole position, heat race win and main event victory, the OGP driver swept the day and scored maximum points. Sunday would see the same sort of qualifying and heat race results for the 14-year-old but rain would play a factor in the final as Neri would score a sixth place finish but garnered enough points to claim the championship.

“We had a little trouble with Sunday’s final but it was a learning experience,” explained Neri. “We are working on improving in every area to be the best out there. You win some and sometimes you lose some, that’s the joy of motorsports.”

Next on the docket for Nick Neri will be the second rounds of the Florida Karting Championship Series. Competing in Yamaha and HPV 100cc classes, Neri will look to score race wins and championships to transfer to his WKA Manufacturer’s Cup program.

Nick Neri would like to thank his all of his 2010 supporters: Ocala Gran Prix, Tony Kart, Josh Power, High Rev Engineering, Alpinestars, SKF Bearings, Grand Products, Bridgestone, Koene Engines and Race Tech Development.

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Latest Results

Florida Winter Tour
Ocala Gran Prix, FL
March 22-24, 2013

Class - Rotax Sr.
Final 1 - 1st
Final 2 - 2nd

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