2015 Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour Powered by MAXSpeed Entertainment ROK Cup USA Program Presented by MG Tires Kicks Off with Huge Success
Big names, large grids and perfect weather in Homestead for inaugural ROK Cup USA weekend
January 22 - In the very south of the state of Florida, MAXSpeed Entertainment kicked off their first event as the new owners of the Florida Winter Tour on January 17-18, 2015. Hosting round one of the new Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour Powered by MAXSpeed Entertainment ROK Cup USA weekend presented by MG Tires at Homestead Karting, set in the shadow of the Homestead-Miami Speedway, over 150 racers from around the world competed in seven different categories. The event featured an all-star lineup of drivers in the headline ROK Shifter class that included former Formula 1 drivers Rubens Barrichello and Nelson Piquet Jr. along with an excellent turnout of drivers in the remaining six categories.
Under sunny skies and near perfect weather, the event ran smooth from start to finish. The challenging permanent circuit on the parking lot grounds of the Homestead facility pushes drivers to their limits and provides excellent racing for those watching trackside and online.
“With this first event as new owner of the Florida Winter Tour and the first time running the new ROK Cup USA program, everyone at MAXSpeed worked some of the kinks out during this first weekend in Homestead,” explained MAXSpeed’s Race Promotion Director, Garett Potter. “Our customers were unaffected and we feel the transition has been smooth. We are optimistic for the future as the new owner of the FWT, and next month will be even better!”
Formerly known as the FWT Formula Kart weekend, the new all Vortex ROK Cup USA program featured the largest turnout of non-Rotax drivers the FWT has seen in more than five years, a very positive sign moving forward. Presenting sponsor MG Tires staff was on site all weekend long, with MAXSpeed appreciating their hard work and support.
To kickoff the event, MG Tires hosted a welcome dinner much to the delight of those on site. Dinner was served up by the MAXSpeed staff, bringing everyone together before the big races began.
Factory Praga kart driver Patrik Hajek from the Czech Republic scored double victories in the ROK Shifter category, holding off a spirited drive by Rubens Barrichello on Sunday while the youngest son of Barrichello, Fernando, was able to take home two wins of his own in the Micro ROK class, sponsored by AM Engines. Mathias Ramirez (Junior), Eduardo Dieter (Masters), Kyle Kirkwood (CKT Engines Senior) and Richard Heistand (Masters Shifter) were all able to sweep the victories in their respective classes.
The Mini ROK category provided some of the most exciting racing of the weekend where 42 drivers competed. Splitting the victories were Nicholas d'Orlando and Jonny Edgar, where both drivers pushed each other lap after lap all weekend long.
For those not in attendance, the FWT online video broadcast by KARTS broke records for viewership on both Saturday and Sunday.
With round one complete, the 2015 Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour Powered by MAXSpeed Entertainment ROK Cup USA weekend presented by MG Tires will resume in just over a month’s time at the Orlando Kart Center on February 21-22.
For more information on the MAXSpeed Group and MAXSpeed Entertainment, promoted events including the US Open, United States Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Nationals, Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, Team USA and the entire Rotax program, please visit GoRotax.com. Be sure to ‘Like’ GoRotax on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/GoRotax) and follow on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/GoRotax) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/MAXSpeedGroup).
For more information on the Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour powered by MAXSpeed Entertainment, please visit www.FloridaWinterTour.com. Be sure to ‘Like’ Florida Winter Tour on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FloridaWinterTour) and follow on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FL_Winter_Tour) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/FloridaWinterTour).
Photo credit: Cody Schindel/CKN