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January 18, 2012 - OCALA GRAN PRIX LEAVES FLORIDA WINTER TOUR WITH FOUR WINS AND EIGHT PODIUMS

Heading to the Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), Ocala Gran Prix was determined to rebound from last year's disappointing Florida Winter Tour. When the dust had settled and the weekend finally came to a close, Ocala Gran Prix (OGP), scored three victories and seven podiums under the team tent while adding another victory with Ocala Gran Prix / Koene Racing powered driver Mason Chelootz.

Both Rotax Senior and Rotax DD2 drivers Nick Neri and Cody Hodgson scored a pair of podium results with Hodgson taking the first main event victory on Saturday. Adding a solid third place result on Sunday, the two-time United States National Champion is looking to add another Team USA invitation to his already impressive resume. Floridian driver and perennial front-runner Nick Neri was at the front of the field and came just short of a pair of victories. After losing a drag race to the line on Saturday to come home second, Neri led the majority of Sunday's main event to cross the stripe in third.

In the Rotax Junior class, all drivers managed to score satisfying results in one of the toughest fields ever assembled. After having to come from the last chance qualifier on Saturday, Parker Thompson stormed to the front of the field to score an impressive second place result. Adding a solid fourth on Sunday, Thompson is right in the thick of the championship battle.

Floridian drivers Oliver Askew and Ashley Rogero scored another four top tens for the OGP squad as Rogero came home fifth and ninth. Askew turned a disappointing tenth place result after a penalty on Saturday into a smart victory on Sunday. Breaking away from the rest of the field, Askew used the draft to perfection to slip into the lead and take the checkers, and will now look to double up on the rest of the junior drivers at rounds three and four at the Homestead Karting Complex.

Rotax Junior rookie Sebastian Sierra managed to drive to a pair of top 12 results in his debut garnering seventh and 11th in the final standings while Alex Hornborg rebounded from a frustrating Saturday to score a 22nd place finish on Sunday.

Holland's Meindert Van Buuren joined Hodgson in the Rotax DD2 field as he made the switch from his Top Kart to the Tony Kart team after his equipment was misplaced in shipping. Coming to grips with a new kart, new team and borrowed equipment, Van Buuren claimed a tenth place result on Saturday and improved on Sunday to come home sixth. Fellow DD2 pilot Bill Lester would be the lone soldier in the DD2 Masters category for the Ocala Gran Prix squad and in his debut at the Florida Winter Tour, managed a pair of solid results finishing fifth and sixth.

Ocala Gran Prix claimed another victory with Rotax Masters driver Jason Heffner. After being disqualified after Friday afternoon's qualifying session, Heffner rebounded and managed to take home a win. Standing atop the podium on Saturday, Heffner finished inside the top ten on Sunday and will be a threat for the overall series title. Fellow Floridian and Masters driver Rob Maier closed the first weekend of competition with 11th and 12th place results.

While the OGP Rotax Senior drivers had a hard fought weekend, all will be back in the team tent next round. Jonathan Kotyk qualified an impressive fourth but ran into trouble in the main events claiming 38th and tenth place finishes while Brandon Salyer came home 22nd, Andrew Evans 26th and Annie Hayden gained experience at her first ever Florida Winter Tour event.

The ultra competitive Rotax Mini Max class would see Mathias Ramirez and Oliver Bellanger do battle. While both drivers showed the speed to run in the top five, results were hard fought. Ramirez would score ninth and 12th place finishes while Bellanger would come home 14th and 30th.

Outside the Ocala Gran Prix team tent, Top Kart driver Mason Chelootz and Tony Kart pilot Zachary Claman DeMelo would utilize Ocala Gran Prix / Koene Racing power over the weekend. While DeMelo would see a pair of results in the top five, Chelootz would provide OGP with another victory as he took the honors in Saturday's Rotax Senior main event.

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.

For information on press releases or other media services offered by Race Tech Development, please contact Mike Maurini via e-mail at Info@RaceTechDevelopment.com or 317.270.8723. Race Tech Development can also be found on Twitter at @RaceTechDvlp as well as Facebook at their Race Tech Development Fan Page.

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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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