The 3rd annual Florida Karting Championship Series Charity Kart Race was held the weekend of September 25 and 26. Hosted by Ocala Grand Prix, who donated the use of the track and concession karts, the event raised over $10,000 for Victory Junction (www.victoryjunction.org). The weekend of kart racing and related activities continues to grow in popularity with all of Saturday concession kart races having been sold out, a full day of regular kart racing on Sunday with 86 entries in 8 classes, a car show, and live / silent auction.
The weekend was a great opportunity for karting and motorsports enthusiasts of all ages to participate in giving back to a great organization that provides children with serious medical conditions an experience of a lifetime. Special thanks goes to the corporate sponsors who stepped up to help make the event a success:
Ocala Gran Prix
Ignite Your Life
Florida Winter Tour
AAA Sod & Supply
Engage Technology Solutions
Saturday brought with it great weather racing in the OGP concession karts. The Dads race was a highly competitive group split into 2 heats with the top 5 from each advancing to the final. With many of the top FKCS drivers’ Dads on the track it was a highly contested race, all the way to the checkered. The Moms had an equally tough battle with the same format but they ran on the OGP oval for a grueling 15 laps of wheel to wheel action. In addition to these very popular events there were races held for the Race against Austin Petty, Mechanics, a Young Marines vs. Navy Sea Cadets battle, and the ultimate challenge of attempting one lap on the oval in a kart rigged with backwards steering. The backwards steering lap is much more difficult than it sounds since you are DQ’d if the kart touches the grass. Out of 10 entries only 2 drivers were able to make around the oval!
In addition to the kart races, open laps were available to everyone wishing to take the concession karts around the OGP circuit with all the proceeds going to the charity. Austin Petty was on-hand to race against other drivers in the concession karts, sign autographs, and take photos alongside the Victory Junction #45 Car. Additionally a car show with a good variety from new to old and street to race vehicles provided spectators with an opportunity to vote for their favorite. The winning car, a new yellow Chevy Camaro took home the $200 first prize, 2nd place going to Chevy race car, and 3rd to a 1971 Chevelle SS giving a clean sweep to the Chevrolet brand!
Sunday started early for the kart racers with engine break-in and 2 rounds of practice. Concluding the drivers meeting Young Marines and Navy Sea Cadets provided Color Guard to kick-off the first 10 lap heat. Position in the heat was determined by draw and the first group to take the track were the kid karters. Each successive class ran through their heats with great racing provided for the spectators and competitors alike. Austin Petty even got into the action, jumping into an OGP prepped Tony Kart to give the track a shot in the TaG class. Lunch break provided opportunities for everyone to bid on a variety of signed guitars and racing memorabilia. With the schedule running on the long side racers decided to forego the 2nd heat and proceed straight into the finals with larger classes running a total of 18 laps and others at 15 laps.
Close racing dominated the afternoon with plenty of wheel to wheel action in all the classes including Cadet Sportsman, Rotax Mini-Max, and Box Stock Senior. The highlight of the day was the LeMans start in the TaG, TaG Masters and TaG Junior classes. Lining up along the front straight of OGP the drivers had to run across the racing surface to their karts, jump in, start and go. The start brought everyone to the fence and it was quite the spectacle in TaG with 20 drivers lined up on the track. Fortunately the drivers in every class started without incident with Jacob Duvall taking the win in TaG, Oliver Askew in TaG Junior, and Jason Bell in TaG Masters.
Other winners included Michael Elliot, Shifters; Ian Keel, TaG Sportsman; AJ McKinney, Box Stock Jr-1; Oliver Bellanger, Rotax Mini-Max; Mayo Livingston, Cadet Sportsman; Oliver Askew, Yamaha Junior; Patrick O’Neal, Box Stock Senior. Full results are posted to MyLaps on the FKCS event page.
Top 3 finishers in each class all received a good round of applause on the podium and winners will have a Fan Walk brick donated to Victory Junction in their honor with a message that will be seen by VJ campers for many years to come.
FKCS continues to be one of the longest and oldest running regional karting series in the country. Our mission is to provide a series that is competitive and testing of all drivers’ skills for a reasonable fee, while continuing to offer a fun, family environment. The organization is membership owned and run by an elected board of directors. More information is available at www.flwkasprintseries.com