“30 top five championship results among all classes”
Ocala, Florida – July 3, 2012 – With the goal of race wins, podium results and championships for Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) drivers heading into the 2012 Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) season, the feat was met after the final event weekend with multiple titles. With multiple drivers claiming thirty top five results in the overall title chase, Ocala Gran Prix also walked away with nine championships including three to multi-time champion Nick Neri, two to national level front runner Ashley Rogero and 2012 Florida Winter Tour Rotax Junior champion Oliver Askew as well one to both Mathias Ramirez and John Dalton.
“When you go to the track, you always want to leave a winner,” expressed Ocala Gran Prix President Jorge Arellano. “There weren’t that many times that we left an FKCS event without smiling faces. The entire team had a very successful regional season and now we will take aim on multiple Rotax national championships.”
Leading the way in the Senior ranks, Nick Neri would score championships in the Stock Moto, TaG Senior and Rotax Senior classes. Often using his Stock Moto powerplant to compete and outrun the faster Intercontinental C (ICC) drivers in the Open Shifter class, Neri would prove his prowess as he battled hard to the final checkered flag.
Leading a quintet of drivers in the TaG and Rotax Senior classes, Ocala Gran Prix drivers would sweep the first five championship positions in both classes. While both championships painted the same picture, Neri would lead the way with Andrew Evans, Jonathon Kotyk, Brandon Salyer and Annie Hayden rounding out the top five. As it was on most race weekends, Ocala Gran Prix drivers dominated the top half of the results in multiple senior level classes.
2012 Florida Winter Tour Rotax Junior Champion and Team USA member Oliver Askew added another pair of FKCS titles to his resume. As the dominant driver in the junior division, Askew claimed the championships in both the Rotax Junior and TaG Junior division. Joining him in the top five in the junior championships was fellow Ocala Gran Prix pilot Alex Hornborg with a third place effort in Rotax Junior backed up by a fourth place run in TaG Junior.
Ashley Rogero would also top the blocks in a pair of divisions, as she was the woman to beat in Yamaha Junior and KPP Junior in every race she attended. Missing the first event of the season, Rogero nearly went unbeaten throughout the year to claim her championships.
While Mathias Ramirez was one of the hottest young drivers on the FKCS scene, some bad racing luck and unfortunate penalties took him out of championship contention. After claiming a third place result in the TaG Cadet class, Ramirez went on to end his 2012 series with a second place result in Yamaha Sportsman Junior. Not letting all championships get away from him, Ramirez would claim the Rotax Mini Max crown and is a driver who will be one to watch for in 2013.
Fellow Sportsman drivers Olivier Bellanger and Dylan Gennaro would also garner top five championship results when the series concluded last month. Bellanger, who was another one of the drivers to beat throughout the season, helped OGP to a 1-2 finish in the Rotax Mini Max championship by claiming the second position overall. Couple that result with his fifth place in the TaG Cadet championship, Bellanger will now shift his focus to the United States Rotax Grand Nationals in one month’s time. Gennaro would claim the third position in the Yamaha Junior Sportman category to add to OGP’s solid championship results.
In the Masters divisions, a trio of drivers would help Ocala Gran Prix claim another six results inside the top five of select championships. John Dalton would be the man to beat in the TaG Heavy class claiming multiple race wins as well as the end of the season title. Add his championship to his third place finish in Rotax Masters and fourth place result in TaG Masters, Dalton was at the pointy end of the field throughout the season. Jason Heffner would remain consistent throughout the season and would finish his 2012 FKCS campaign with a pair of second place results in TaG Masters and Rotax Masters. Karting rookie Jerry Brown would make the move to the regional karting scene very early in his late starting career. Learning each and every outing, Brown would claim a pair of top five championship results in Rotax Masters and TaG Heavy.