Florida Winter Tour: J3 continues its winning ways
Published by Bas Kaligis 28 februari 2009 00:11 - Print
|J3 Competition continued its 2009 Florida Winter Tour program at the newly repaved Homestead Karting facility over the past weekend. The team made great strides with its operations as well as its technical knowledge of its existing and newly homologated equipment.|
Junior drivers Tristan DeGrand and Alessandra Madrigal once again proved to be in top form early in the 2009 season. DeGrand secured a solid win in Saturdayís TaG Jr. final by methodically taking the lead early on and stretching it into a 1.5 second margin of victory. Adding to the win was teammate and pointís leader Alessandra Madrigal finishing second, thus giving J3 the perfect 1-2 finish.
Sundayís TaG Jr. efforts were hindered with a couple unforeseen mechanical failures during qualifying which put the J3 squad at an early disadvantage. Tristan and Alessandra fought through the adversity to end Sunday with solid points, which have placed Madrigal leading the championship and DeGrand in fourth moving into the final round.
The junior squad also competed with success in the KF 3 category. During Saturdayís final Madrigal took command of the lead early on and lead for several laps before a battle began with Jesus Rios that would ensue until the checkered flag was waved.
At the line Madrigal was classified second while DeGrand would not be as fortunate finishing in tenth. At the start of Sundayís final a turn one altercation would temporarily hamper DeGrand and Madrigalís bid for victory, yet both drivers showed great poise as they worked their ways through the field with Madrigal taking third and DeGrand taking seventh.
Heading into the final round in Ocala Madrigal is atop the championship with DeGrand in fifth; both have the opportunity to capitalize.
Richard Benitez confirmed the TaG Sr. material at J3 Competition is still operating at the highest level. Benitez started the weekend with a solid fourth place in qualifying during Saturdayís timed session, which was surpassed with a second place finish in the pre-final. During Saturdayís final Benitez would finish on-track in second, however a three second penalty would move the young driver to fourth in the final rankings. Sunday was vindication for Benitez and the team at J3 Competition. At the start of the final on Sunday Benitez would be forced with the disadvantage of starting from the outside, which resulted in Benitez losing several positions on the first lap. As the final progressed Benitez settled in and disposed of the competition one at a time with the white flag flying, Benitez made a hard move on young Daniel Formal for the lead whereby, Benitez never looked back giving Kosmic/ROK TT yet another win. Like his younger counterparts, Benitez will head to the final round in Ocala with the championship squarely insight.
The weekend concluded with Benitez and Shin Iguchiís entry in the KF 2 category. A small yet, potent field of drivers raised the bar for the weekendís events. Benitez was in position to secure a podium on Saturday when a seized engine sidelined his efforts while Iguchi had a successful outing with a solid fifth place finish. The team was able to secure additional speed for its KF 2 drivers on Sunday, which proved successful as the gap against the competition was diminished. Benitez highlighted the teamís efforts with a well fought fourth place, while teammate Shin Iguchi was sidelined early with a mechanical failure.
Finally, a pivotal result was gained in the Cadet category by Paragon Motorsports driver Ashley Rogero. Aboard her Kosmic/ROCKY FIK chassis the young Floridian was victorious in Saturdayís final after an incredible drive from last first.
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