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January 12, 2012 News
Event News: Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour - Palm Beach Rotax Max Challenge Preview

After an extremely successful launch to the 2012 Florida Winter Tour last weekend, the Tour gets set to host another full round of races this weekend at Palm Beach International Raceway. This weekend will feature another record number as over 570 FWT RMC entries will take center stage for the first of three events that make up the MAX Challenge portion of Formula Kart Productionís Florida Winter Tour presented by SPORTALITY.

The Florida Winter Tour is much more than a race, itís a full blown program of events that showcases the very best our sport has to offer. After 14 years, the program keeps growing in size, geographic diversity, stature and technical innovation. This yearís fields are stacked with Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals world champions, national karting champions and marquee names from IndyCar, NASCAR and Formula One.

Some entry highlights this year include current Grand Finals Champions Ben Cooper (UK) and Pier-Luc Ouellette (Canada), both of whom won their second Grand Finals last November in Al Ain, UAE. Joining these two in the Goodwood Kartways / Intrepid North America sponsored Senior MAX class is fellow double Grand Finals champion Caleb Williams all the way from South Africa. Car racing is well represented in Senior MAX with up and comers Gustavo Yacaman and Gustavo Menezes and IndyCars Jay Howard racing.

Other Grand Finals Champions fill the grids as well with 2010 DD2 and Junior MAX World Champions Daniel Morad (Canada) and Jordy Van Morsel (Holland). Daniel Morad will be back to compete in the SH Karting sponsored DD2 class alongside returning FWT Champion Michael Vincec and former Renault Formula One and Nascar driver Nelson Piquet Jr. Van Morsel will race the Ocala Gran Prix sponsored Junior MAX class and will be facing serious competition from the likes of Zachary Claman Demelo (Canada) and Thomas Issa (Jamaica).

Rysa Racing sponsored Mini MAX class will also feature a World Champion of its own as 2011 Mini Rok World Champion Logan Sargeant (USA) will be looking to take home the big FWT/ Rotax hardware. This would be quite an accomplishment as the Florida Winter Tourís Mini and Micro MAX classes are known around the world for having the biggest and toughest competition in these categories.

One of the most interesting battles will go down in Keane Racing sponsored DD2 Masters as IndyCar star Alex Tagliani (Canada) goes head-to-head with King of the Streets Champion Alan Rudolph (USA). This class has its largest field ever at the FWT and includes 2011 Pan American Challenge Champion Stuart Clark (Canada) and 2011 FWT Rotax Masters Champion Carlo Rinaldi (Venezuela).

Rotax World Champions Ben Cooper and Pier-Luc Ouellette with their Number 1 plates (Photo: Ken Johnson - Studio52.com)
Rotax World Champions Ben Cooper and Pier-Luc Ouellette with their Number 1 plates
(Photo: Ken Johnson - Studio52.com)

New for 2012 will be FWT points championships for both nationality and chassis manufacturers. The Nation's Cup and Manufacturer's Cup Championships will be earned through a system that awards points in the finals of each event to the top two drivers from each nation and the top two chassis from each major brand. These separate championships will be just some of the highlights we'll be discussing throughout the 2012 season on FWT LIVE!, Formula kart Production's live webcasts. FWT LIVE! is the karting world's first and still only live streaming media production that includes live video, audio, timing and audience interactivity, all on one page.

FWT LIVE! is just one of the many innovations Formula Kart Productions has brought to the sport of karting through the years. For the past two years Formula Kart Productions FWT events have utilized a dedicated video marshaling system that monitors virtually the entire track at all times. FKP is happy to report that for this weekendís FWT RMC event they have partnered with Direct View Video Systems to increase the number and quality of the cameras used for the marshaling and FWT LIVE broadcast. A minimum of 16 cameras, recording in HD quality 60 fps resolution, will be used. The system gives FWT officials the ability to review every camera in real time and provides immediate review material during protests of official calls. For more about Direct View contact FWT competitor Roger Ralston and see http://www.directviewinc.com http://www.directviewsecurity.com .

Complementing the video marshaling is the squadron of brilliant LED wireless safety lights from the Norwegian company Tracksa. Tracksa wireless lights offer many safety advantages over traditional light and flag systems, and currently are only seen in North America at Formula Kart Production events. For more information about the Tracksa Light Marshaling System see http://www.saferacesystems.com .

Last weekendís Formula Kart program was a tremendous success with record entries and exciting races from start to finish. This weekendís MAX Challenge competition is set to offer even more so donít miss a minute of the action. Log onto FWT LIVE! at http://www.FloridaWinterTour.com or, better yet, come visit in person at the Palm Beach International Raceway to experience the speed, the sights and sound of the Americas biggest and best karting program.
Ken Johnson and Bill Wright
United States Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia New Brunswick Nova Scotia

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