The third and final round of the Championship Karting International Florida Cup presented by Supertune USA and DeFrancesco Racing will kick off this weekend at the Homestead Karting Complex. Just the same as the first two events, the Florida Cup will take place on the grounds of the famed Homestead-Miami Speedway as teams and drivers will look to solidify championships and more than $130,000 in cash and prizes. While some competitors will be chasing cash awards, others will be vying for the opportunity to compete in a car racing series while the champion of Rotax Senior will walk away with a brand new Mazda 3.
With only seven classes on the docket, racers from around the world will do battle in KF2, KF3, CKI TaG Senior, TaG Masters and the Rotax divisions of Rotax Senior, Junior, Mini Max and Masters. With big awards for all class champions as well as unique team and individual awards throughout the series, the CKI Florida Cup presented by Supertune USA and DeFrancesco Racing has been one of the most hotly contested series that North America has to offer.
“The inaugural CKI Florida Cup has been a huge success,” expressed CKI Director of Operations Kevin Williams. “We have had two weekends of great racing action and will look to close out the series this weekend with another. The momentum that we have gained towards the WSK North American Series is incredible and the buzz around the pits is nothing but good.”
Taking a look at the senior divisions, Tony Kart’s Alex Speed looks to have a strangle hold on the KF2 title. The Californian driver has been unbeatable in the class and leads J3 Competition’s Phillip Orcic by 74 markers. SSC East’s Arie Ouimet currently sits third in the title chase while Energy’s Nicolas Moller Madesan is fourth. Showing speed at the first two rounds is Top Kart’s Phil De La O. The talented pilot from Arizona will look to turn that speed into a race win at the final round and advance forward from his current fifth place in points. The 2010 CKI Florida Cup KF2 champion will receive a free entry to the WSK World Series event at New Jersey Motorsports Park as well as a free race weekend in the Bondurant Formula Mazda Series later this season courtesy of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.
The Rotax Senior class has come down to a two horse race between two young talents. Currently leading the championship point standings is Kosmic’s Richard Benitez. The talented Puerto Rican has claimed all four pole positions and all four prefinal wins but has only managed to stand atop the podium in the main event once. Hot on his heels and only eight points back is CRG’s Arie Ouimet. Ouimet all but swept the first weekend of action but trouble in Saturday’s final on the second weekend hindered his overall weekend results. Ouimet and Benitez look to be the top two for the title and the brand new Mazda 3, but mathematically, Top Kart’s Taylor Miinch and Tony Kart’s Alex Speed are still in the hunt. Miinch is coming off a winning weekend as he claimed Saturday’s main event while Speed has shown his true ‘speed’ all series long but bad racing luck has placed him fourth in the standings. Joey Wimsett currently sits fifth in the title chase while De La O is back in seventh with a chance to move forward.
Looking to throw a wrench in the Rotax Senior mix is multi-time national champion Gary Carlton. The CRG pilot has traded in his gearbox machine for a Rotax powerplant and has shown great success in prior races. Carlton will make his CKI Florida Cup debut at the final weekend aboard and Homestead Karting/Playthings Racing CRG machine as he looks to score another victory.
Also making his Florida Cup Rotax Senior debut will be Grand Products and Team Top Kart USA driver Chris Wehrheim. The runner up in the CKI KF2 title in 2009 is set to throw down with some of the top Rotax drivers in the country as he will work with team drivers Taylor Miinch and Phil De La O as they shoot for a sweep of the podium.
NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger will be competing this weekend with J3 Competition aboard a Kosmic chassis in the Rotax Senior division. The former karting star recorded his best finish of the season in last week's NASCAR event in Atlanta (sixth).
The CKI TaG Senior class has been a one man show all series long. Californian Taylor Miinch has claimed two victories and backed them up with two second place results to take the overall point lead. The only two drivers that were able to out do Miinch all season long were IndyCar star Dan Wheldon and local Floridian hot shoe Hunter Short. Though Miinch is well on the way to the championship that includes a free season of entries at the WSK North American Series by CKI, he will still need to battle through the final weekend of competition.
The Rotax Master class point standings is similar to that of KF2 as Playthings Racing pilot Todd Ullman has a commanding 65 point lead over his nearest rival. The CRG pilot has shown consistency all series long and has been awarded with the championship lead heading to the final weekend of competition. Second in points is Tony Kart Florida’s Eduardo Martins while Rico Campos sits third. JDL Distributing/First Kart driver Jamie Zuleta sits fourth in the title chase while Fabian Valencia is fifth.
J3 Competition has been the team of the series to date as they lead the Rotax Senior championship and currently sit second in KF2. The same can be said for the KF3 title chase as Kosmic’s Alessandra Madrigal has a 35 point lead over CRG’s Camden Geise. Madrigal has been one of the most consistent drivers in the series and has run at the front of the pack in two different classes. The female from the Philippians has made her mark on the series and will look to wrap up the title this weekend. PSL Karting’s Jesse Lazare sits third in the championship as he continues to hone his skills in KF3.
The Rotax Junior class has provided some of the best racing action of the series and that is reflected in the current championship chase. Florida boys Sebastian Ordonez (Kart Mini) and Jesus Rios Jr. (CRG) currently sit one two in the title chase and are only separated by a mere 16 points. With points awarded for both the prefinal and finals, the championship chase is still anybody’s to lose. Thirty five points back from the current championship leader is Kosmic’s Alessandra Madrigal. Pulling double duty in both the KF3 and Rotax Junior classes, Alessandra will look to have a good weekend and make a run at both titles.
Kart Mini’s Dalton Sargeant leads the Rotax Mini Max championship heading into the final weekend but is in hot pursuit from Jordan Perry who is only 32 points back. Kyle Kirkwood sits third in the championship while another Sargeant, Logan, sits fourth. Rounding out the top five heading into the final weekend of action is Sebastian Coulsen who will look to have a strong run during the final weekend of racing action.
Williams added, “On behalf of myself and the entire CKI crew, we would like to thank all teams and competitors for their participation in the series and wish all title contenders good luck on the final weekend. As always, the entire CKI crew will be available all weekend long to discuss racing opportunities for the WSK North American Series or answer any questions that may arise.”
At the end of the racing weekend, series officials will be working overtime to calculate the final point standings and award the championship prizes. The CKI Florida Cup will also present the team awards, $7500 to the team with the most podium finishes as well as $2500 to the team with the most entrants. Another $2500 will be awarded to the driver that has scored the most podium results throughout the three race weekends. Other prizes that will be awarded at the end of the third weekend will be:
Rotax Mini Max Champion – US Rotax Grand Nationals Entry for US Residents
(non-US Residents will receive $1,000 Cash)
Rotax Junior Champion - US Rotax Grand Nationals Entry for US Residents
(non-US Residents will receive $1,000 Cash)
Rotax Senior Champion – 2010 Mazda 3 as well as US Rotax Grand Nationals Entry for US Residents
Rotax Master Champion - US Rotax Grand Nationals Entry for US Residents
(non-US Residents will receive $1,000 Cash)
KF3 Champion – Entry into the WSK World Series Round 2 at Millville, NJ
KF2 Champion – Entry into the WSK World Series Round 2 at Millville, NJ
TaG Senior Champion – Entry into the 2010 WSK North American Series by CKI
The Championship Karting International program and WSK North America Series by CKI will next see action with their third event in the first annual CKI Florida Cup presented by Supertune USA and DeFrancesco Racing. With the program taking place at the Homestead Karting Center just south of Miami, Florida, the Florida Cup Series will award more than $130,000.00 in cash and prizes including a brand new Mazda 3. For more information on the series, photos, results, news and up-to-date information, please visit www.ChampionshipKartRacing.com