Photo By: Cody Schindel, Autosports Media Group
Goodwood Kartways / Intrepid Canada returned to Florida in February as thirteen team members were in Rotax action when the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge contested the second of its three race weekends. Once again a force to be reckoned with in international competition, Intrepid Canada repeated in the win column, added another pair of podiums and had nine top-five finishes altogether. The team has now generated twenty-five top-ten results from two Winter Tour starts, and as it prepares for the Ocala finale, things only look to get better.
Intrepid Canada drivers have been on the podium in Junior, Senior, Masters, and now DD2 as both Diego Ferreira and Enrico Menotti finished third at Palm Beach International Raceway in the paddle-shifting class. Ferreira was especially impressive, as the senior-level rookie from Venezuela raced among the biggest of names in the class, and produced the fastest lap in the field during both the Saturday prefinal and the Sunday final. He qualified fifth on the first day, moved to fourth in the prefinal, and reached the podium after an incredible dice at the front.
“I felt so great with the kart all weekend,” he said upon his return home. “I knew it was the fastest, and I only had to do my job on the track. I have to thank the whole team at Intrepid Canada for supporting me, and especially my mechanic Stefano. I’m very happy with the team. It’s my second year racing with them, and it was my second time on the FWT podium.”
The words of speed ring true, as his prefinal lap of 49.118 was better than pole and fastest of the day for Saturday, and his best final lap of 49.220 was the fastest in the field on Sunday when it nearly led to second. Setting quick time from any session of the Florida Winter Tour is no easy task, and the Palm Beach pair certainly elicited pride in the Intrepid Canada rising star.
“I think the FWT is one of the most important world championships of Rotax,” he said in concluding. “The level of competition is very high, and I’m very happy to be always at top-five in only my first year of DD2. The team gave me the fastest kart and I just did my best. I think it could have been better, but that’s racing. It felt so great to bring one more podium for Venezuela.”
Menotti matched the podium performance on Sunday, as after qualifying fifth and being battered back to P12 in the prefinal, he charged back through the field in the final, crossing fourth and taking third after post-race penalties. Menotti never took a backward step in working to fourth through fourteen, and showed his veteran poise once fighting in a line that ran from fourth to tenth. Knocked back to seventh through fifteen, he re-grouped to stand tall once the dust had cleared in a battle royale. Ferreira was in the same line, as was Reid Arnold, who finished fourth in his first weekend with Intrepid Canada.
The DD2 crew ran very strong at Palm Beach, but none in the Intrepid camp topped the performance of Rotax Masters driver Carlo Rinaldi. After a storming drive from deep in the field to fourth on Saturday, the Venezuelan topped the blocks on Sunday after a thrilling final. Holding his P3 starting position into the race line at the wave of the green, Rinaldi patiently ran third in a five-kart train through the opening before moving to second just prior to half distance. He then took the lead just past it, and after swapping the spot for a lap or two, sealed the win in the closing laps before just hanging on at the line.
Adding to the top-five finishes of Ferreira, Menotti, Arnold and Rinaldi: Marco Di Leo was fourth in Rotax Senior, keeping his championship hopes alive with a dropped result on Sunday, and Jesse Lazare was fourth, though his orange Intrepid continues to catch the eye of officials. All team results are noted below. The Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge concludes March 25-27 at Ocala Gran Prix. For Arrive-and-Drive information, please visit goodwoodkartways.com.
Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada Driver Results
Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge - Event 2, Palm Beach, Florida
Diego Ferreira, Venezuela - 3rd, 8th
Enrico Menotti, Canada - 5th, 3rd
Reid Arnold, Canada - 12th, 4th
Dalton Kellett, Canada - 16th, 27th
Rotax Max Masters
Carlo Rinaldi, Venezuela - 4th, 1st
John Cariati, Canada - 15th, 14th
Rotax Max Senior
Marco Di Leo, Canada - 4th, 28th
Dalton Kellett, Canada - 21st, 24th
Dan Bender, Canada - 39th, 43rd
Rotax Max Junior
Jesse Lazare, Canada - 31st, 4th
Karter Hickling, Canada - 23rd, 18th
Leonardo Rinaldi, Venezuela - 17th, 26th
Victor Prato, Venezuela - 23rd, 28th
*Team Facts: Intrepid Canada is based at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada, where drivers can progress from turning rental kart laps to world championships. Home to the Arrive & Drive Canadian Rookie Karting Championship and the Toronto Racing Association of Karters club program, the Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada race team represents the facility at National and International Championships like the Florida Winter Tour, Pan-American Rotax Max Challenge, Eastern Canadian Karting Championship and Canadian National Championships.
It has also had drivers contest the SuperKarts! USA SuperNationals, the World Karting Association Manufacturer’s Cup, the Rotax European Championship, the Rotax International Open Championship and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada operates in conjunction with Intrepid Kart Technology, HRS Racing Engines, IMAF Racing Seats, VPD, Chapman Racing Services and Intremax. For more information, please visit www.goodwoodkartways.com