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March 27, 2012
Driver News: Parker Thompson Battles Hard in Ocala

Parker Thompson leads a tough field of Rotax Junior drivers in Ocala (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)
Parker Thompson leads a tough field of Rotax Junior drivers in Ocala
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media)

Starting the 2012 racing season off strong, Canadian Tony Kart driver Parker Thompson would see action in both the Gatorz Challenge of the Americas and the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT). With impressive opening outings on both coasts of the United States, Thompson would head back to sunny Florida for the fifth and sixth rounds of the internationally attended FWT Rotax Max Challenge program.

Taking place at the pristine Ocala Gran Prix facility in North Central Florida, Thompson would arrive a few days earlier to take part in some extra test sessions. Working with tuner Mike Speed, Thompson would see action in the ultra-competitive Rotax Junior class, as he would take on regional and international race winners as well as a former world champion.

With Friday providing the backdrop for the rest of the weekend's action, two morning test sessions would set groups for the afternoon qualifying efforts. With the first qualifying session setting the grid for Sunday's wheel-to-wheel action, the final session of the day would provide Saturday's prefinal starting positions.

Taking the top spot in both qualifying sessions early in his run, Thompson's laps would not hold him on the point as he eventually fell to the second position. Narrowly missing the pole position for both days of racing, the former Team Canada pilot would garner a front row starting spot and would look to challenge for the win.

"Starting from the outside is tough in Ocala," explained Thompson after the event weekend had concluded. "I fell back on the starts almost every time and I had to work my way forward the entire race. In the end, my results don't show my true speed but the Florida Winter Tour is one of the most competitive series I have ever run in."

After falling back to fifth on the start of Saturday's prefinal, Thompson worked his way forward to claim the second position and another dreadful outside starting spot for the main event. Looking to get a jump on the field at the start of the main event, Thompson held station in the second position for the first complex of corners and momentarily worked his way to the lead. In a fierce battle that would see five drivers battle for the win, Thompson would be involved in a minor incident that sent him spiraling down the running order. Working his way forward in the remaining few circuits, the Tony Kart driver claimed a tenth place result when the final checkered flag had flown and would still be in the hunt for the overall series title.

Back to the track on Sunday, it was a similar set of results and circumstances for Thompson. After starting the prefinal from the second position and falling back to fourth, the talented Canadian worked his way forward to claim the second position at the end of the heat. Working hard for the victory in the main event, Thompson would be the victim of circumstances as he was shoved off the racing line and well down the running order. Closing the first lap in the 31st position, Thompson Showed his true grit and determination as the Canadian pilot drove forward to a solid and very impressive sixth place result.

Though not seen in the event day top three, Parker Thompson would be seen on the championship podium. On the strength two podium results and multiple top-five finishes, Thompson would claim the third place in the overall Rotax Junior points battle. Still looking for a ticket to the 2012 Rotax Grand Finals later this year in Portugal, Thompson will compete at the Western Canadian Championships and Canadian National Championships as he looks to return to Team Canada for the second consecutive year.

Parker would like to thank his current supporters and sponsors: BRK Engines, Tony Kart, Courtney Concepts, OMP RLV, Sylvan Lake RV and tuner Mike Speed for all their hard work and continued support.

For more information on Parker Thompson including press release and media information, please contact Mike Maurini and Race Tech Development at 317.270.8723 or via e-mail at Mike@RaceTechDevelopment.com.
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