This weekend marked the final round of the World Karting Association (WKA) Florida Winter Cup at the challenging Orlando Kart Center in Central Florida. While entry numbers may not have been what series officials were hoping, the inaugural event provided some great competition and a platform to build upon for future growth.
“This was the first time we ran such an event between Daytona and the second round of our famed Manufacturers Cup program,” explained WKA President Kevin Williams. “Wanting to provide ROK racers with an additional event in the winter months while trailers and teams were stationed in Florida, we worked with our partners at ROK Cup USA to be able to offer valuable ROK prizes as part of the WKA Mid-Season Summer Shootout program. Our ideas and platform are solid, we just need to make some tweaks in future years to elevate this event to be one of the many great karting events in the state of Florida in the winter.”
Christian Quijano scored the victory in the Mini ROK division taking a dominant victory over Kaleb Renella and Rodney Dowless, while Austin Olds claimed the win in Mini Swift. The 100cc Junior event could be classified as the best race of the weekend as it went down to the very final lap to determine a winner. Connor Zilisch and Thomas Annunziata looked to be the drivers to take the top two steps on the podium but a last corner incident going for the win caused the two to tangle. The final corner melee allowed Jorge Ortiz to squeak through for the win while Danny Dyszelski was another benefactor to finish second. Crossing the stripe in third, Annunziata was then excluded from the final results for a clutch issue elevating Camryn Reed to the final podium result.
Andrew Budjoso scored the ROK Shifter win as he outpaced Orlando Kart Center’s own and ROK Cup Superfinal competitor Andre Martins to stand on the top step of the podium. Off pole starter, Griffin Baylor had an issue before the race event got underway and was forced to retire while Annie Rhule finished third. Hugh Templeman had a race-long battle with Tim Hannen in the ROK Shifter Master class to take the checkered flag by a scant .194 and top the podium blocks.
Alessandro Truchot, who has been gaining experience at several events in the first two months of 2020, was the victor in the Micro ROK class taking the win by 3.516 over Kai Johnson and Sarah Bradley. Kaleb Johnson finished fourth as Michael Collins rounded out the top-five.
Connor Zilisch continued his winning ways in the ROK Junior class to add another win to his growing 2020 resume. Scoring the victory, Zilisch pulled away from his competitors to take the win by 2.266 over Nikita Johnson. Johnson, who finished third in the prefinal, leveled up in the main event getting by Paul Bocuse who remained on the podium in third. Jack Jeffers and Annunziata finished fourth and fifth in the largest class of the weekend.
Luca Mars continued his winning ways in WKA competition by taking a 9.452-second win to make it a perfect weekend. Sammy Ruck narrowly beat Gunnar Bischoff for the second step on the podium as Jarrett Voorhies ended his weekend in fourth and Jason Holycross in fifth.
Kid Kart competitors returned to WKA competition as Adam Wooldridge ruled the show garnering the pole position, heat race wins and main event victory. Wyatt Combs held his own in second as Camdon Clay finished third and Austin Taylor crossed the line in fourth.
Williams continued, “A big thank you to all of our supporters, teams, competitors, and families as we work through a transition year and evolve with the North American karting community. A huge shout out to the Orlando Kart Center and their staff for the hard work and support throughout the weekend as well as Speed Concepts Racing, Zanella Racing, A-Maxx Racing, ATK Racing, Checkered Racing, Ferris Racing, Oakland Valley Race Park, Late Apex Racing as well as drivers from Iron Rock Raceway and Supertune amongst others. We have a couple of great events on the horizon including our return to Charlotte Motor Speedway in April and then our back-to-back events in July with the growing ROK Cup USA ROK Fest program.”
The next event for the WKA Manufacturers Cup will be over the April 17-19th weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.
For more information on the World Karting Association Manufacturers Cup, please contact WKA at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.worldkarting.com.
About World Karting Association: The World Karting Association has been a non-profit, Membership Organization since 1971, and has provided venues for members to enjoy all aspects of Karting in the USA, from its office in Concord, NC, including the famous Daytona Kartweek and annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Karting Challenge. Providing Regulations, Instruction and Certifications, Racing Series, Insurance, and Venues for fair and safe Karting on all levels, WKA has a place for everyone in Karting. For more information, contact WKA at email@example.com or www.worldkarting.com.
Photos: World Karting Association