Jan 29

Lazare won both prefinals and was on the podium

Locsamandi was impressive in his first American action

Jesse Lazare 2011-01-28Stefan Locsmandi 2011-01-28The opening round of the 2011 Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge was a very special occasion for the Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada race team as it hit the Orlando Kart Center with its largest international lineup ever and one that was realistically aimed at the podium in a number of classes.

Added to the environment was a new Intrepid race rig, a 28-foot Freightliner Argosy that is custom catered for karting and ensured all team members had the comforts of racing at home.”

“It was a great start to what will surely be Intrepid Canada’s most successful season yet,” said Marco Di Leo, Senior driver and Race Team Manager.

“The new 2011 Intrepid chassis is very fast and set-up friendly, and our driver lineup is compiled of many talented and dedicated drivers from around the globe. The atmosphere under our tent and around the new rig was great and drivers were working together to achieve the best results possible while making new friends and having fun in Florida.”

The stated facts can not be denied as Intrepid Canada karts were front and centre from opening practice onward, especially in Junior and Senior.

Poles, wins and podiums followed, and by the close of Sunday Intrepid Canada had fourteen top-ten finishes. Di Leo himself had stood atop the Rotax Senior rostrum, but his run to a pair of podiums was not the first off his lips when asked to summarize the weekend on track.

“We had several great drives over the weekend,” Di Leo said when looking back at the opening effort of the Orange Order.

Jesse Lazare 2011-01-28
Lazare won both prefinals and was on the podium

 “Jesse Lazare and Carlo Rinaldi had great drives that produced two podiums and they could have had even more. Jesse drove his heart out all weekend and meshed great with his new mechanic Steven Chapman. They looked to be a lock for two podium finishes, and would have been but for contact on Saturday that took him out after he started from pole.”

”His drive back to fifth was simply heroic, and he’s sure to be a standout all season. Stefan Locsamandi also had a great run Saturday after he had to come through the Last Chance race. He ended up tenth, and it was one of Stefan’s first races in Senior and his first race in America, which only adds to his outstanding performance.”

Stefan Locsmandi 2011-01-28 

Locsamandi was impressive in his first American action

The young Austrian driver certainly enjoyed his time in America, and confirmed as much via email after returning home. “My first trip to America was just amazing,” he wrote last week.

“I really like the land and the culture, and I was happy with my work and working with my mechanic. I knew the chassis, so that was okay, it’s just different to Europe and everything was new for me. Friday was just awful. I was then unlucky in the prefinal, otherwise it could have been even better for me. Sunday was much better but in the final things changed again and twice I got pushed out by the same kart. Still, I really enjoyed the week.”
Locsamandi had qualified tenth for race two, and started the final in eighth before contact quickly ended his run. Di Leo himself was one of the karts to move up after the retirement as the team manager had advanced to tenth in the prefinal and was continuing forward in the main. The charge ran all the way to the podium, his second of the weekend after a brilliant win on Saturday in race one.

“I was very satisfied with my results in Orlando and it was fantastic to kick off the 2011 season with a victory,” Di Leo said of his own effort. “The Rotax Senior field is very competitive, and to bring home a first and a third-place finish is great for me and the entire Intrepid Canada team. It was one of the biggest Rotax events in history with over 280 drivers, and we just couldn’t be more proud of our showing and our start to the year.”

The Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge continues February 25-27 at Palm Beach International Raceway and concludes March 25-27 at Ocala Gran Prix. For Arrive-and-Drive information, please visit www.goodwoodkartways.com.

Goodwood Kartways/Intrepid Canada Driver Results

Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge – Event 1, Orlando, Florida

Rotax Micro-Max

Leonardo Rinaldi, Venezuela – 17th, 17th

Rotax Mini-Max

Karter Hickling, Canada – 30th, 15th
Jordan Slipacoff, Canada – 22nd, 28th

Rotax Max Junior
Jesse Lazare, Canada – 7th, 2nd
Mateo Fernandez, Ecuador – 21st, 53rd
Momo Okuda, Japan – 40th, 31st

Rotax Max Senior

Marco Di Leo, Canada – 1st, 3rd
Stefan Locsamandi, Austria – 10th, 32nd
Dalton Kellett, Canada – 27th
Gabby Chaves, Colombia – 14th, 14th

Rotax Max Masters

Carlo Rinaldi, Venezuela – 3rd, 16th
Alexander Mankovski, Canada – 17th, 12th
Alexi Mankovski, Canada – 6th, 28th
John Cariati, Canada – 12th, 11th

Rotax DD2

Luis Schiavo, Venezuela – 5th, 9th
Diego Ferreira, Venezuela – 8th, 7th
Enrico Menotti, Canada – 7th, 10th
Dalton Kellett, Canada – 26th
Julio Moreno, Ecuador – 12th, 14th

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

source: Autosports Media Group