It was the second round of the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour but it ended the same as it did for round one for TB Kart USA driver Rene Martinelli. Claiming a podium result on the temporary circuit at the Isla Casino in January, Martinelli was able to secure heat race wins this weekend at Ocala Gran Prix as TB Kart USA drivers had a strong run during round two of the popular winter karting program.
After qualifying on the pole position in wet weather action, Master Shifter ROK driver Rene Martinelli scored a pair of heat race wins and a second-place result to maintain his pole position for Saturday afternoon’s prefinal. With the weather changing from wet to dry as the weekend went on, Martinelli fell one position in the prefinal to finish second as TB Kart USA teammate Farshad Bagheri turned his third-place starting spot into a fourth-place result to end Saturday after he scored fourth, fourth and seventh place results in the heat races.
Sunday would see Martinelli fall to third at the start of the main event, but he quickly moved his way back to second as he looked to chase down the leader. Showing great pace but no match for the 2020 Florida Winter Tour Champion, Martinelli scored the best result he could and stood on the second step of the podium. Bagheri was able to hold his own in the top-five to earn a fifth-place finish and put two TB Kart USA entries in the top-five.
Pete Licciardi showed great pace throughout the weekend as he scored third and fifth place results in two of three heat races but fell victim to a 15th place finish in heat two. Failing to finish the prefinal and starting from the tail of the field for the main event, Licciardi drove forward to finish tenth, adding another TB Kart USA entry in the top-ten on the results sheet.
Senior Shifter ROK pilot Zach Hollingshead scored three top-ten results in the heat races and started seventh in the prefinal courtesy of those finishes. Maintaining his top-ten pace, Hollingshead finished 4.5 seconds in arrears of the Shifter ROK race winner in the prefinal to finish eighth. Looking to move forward in the main event, Hollingshead was a victim of an on-track incident and failed to finish.
In his first Florida Winter Tour event, Nicholas Trumbull battled in Shifter Senior ROK and showed poise and persistence as he raced in the top-fifteen. Finishing the prefinal in 17th after gaining four positions, Trumbull finished just outside the top-twenty in the main event.
Shifting their focus to round three of the Florida Winter Tour, TB Kart USA will look to close the winter karting program on a high as they work to expand their dealer network and driver lineup as they move forward to the second quarter of 2021.
For more information on TBKart USA, or to take advantage of their trade-in program, please contact Farshad Bagheri at 727.204.7633 or via email to FBagheri@TBKartUSA.com. TBKart USA can also be reached online at www.TBKartUSA.com or by searching TB Kart USA on the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter social media platforms. If messaging is your preferred method of communication, please log on to Facebook and message the TB Kart USA page for a quick response.