With rain overnight and the threat of more rain in the forecast throughout the day, RMC Winter Trophy competitors descended on the Orlando Kart Center (OKC) for the final time in 2024. With race wins, championships, and tickets to the RMC Grand Finals on the line, the wheel-to-wheel action commenced with prefinals for all classes with grids set from Friday’s qualifying session before the afternoon made way for the main events on Championship Sunday.
Junior MAX - Prefinal
Junior MAX - Final
It was a Speed Concepts Racing lockout of the front two rows in Junior MAX as yesterday’s winner Turner Brown would lead the field to green courtesy of his prefinal win in the wet. Jackson Wolny lined up second, with Saturday podium winner Nathan Dupuis third, Felipe Jesus Benito in fourth, and Victor De Alencar fifth. With a drying track and no rain in the forecast, the Junior competitors were split on tire choice with the four SCR drivers on treaded tires while the choice was split behind them. A lot of contact in the first corner but emerging as the leader was Davin Roberts ahead of Dupuis and Charlie Smith. Salvador Della Vecchia also made it through the melee in P4 with Antoine Lemieux in fifth. Turner Brown, your pole sitter, ended the first lap in 21st. On wet tires, Roberts and Dupuis drew away from the field behind them as they led by almost three seconds at the end of three laps, but the track was drying fast as the sun emerged and the wind picked up. Lap four saw Lemieux clock the quickest lap thus far as he began to close the gap to the lead duo up front. Lap five saw both Lemieux and Dupuis sneak by Dupuis pushing him to fourth as the fastest kart on track was Della Vecchia in fifth. Della Vecchia fell to eighth a lap later as Roberts continued to lead from Smith, Lemieux, Dupuis and Victor De Alencar who rounded out the top-five. Ty Fisher moved to fifth on lap seven as Chace Gassiot-Lee was into seventh and now the quickest driver. Charlie Smith took over the lead on lap eight disposing of Roberts as Turner Brown tried to work his way back forward and was up to 14th. Lemieux moved to the point on lap nine as De Alencar and Fisher were by Dupuis and into the top-five. With three to go it was still anyone’s race up front as Lemieux led Roberts, Smith, De Alencar, and Fisher as the front five were within 1.1 seconds of one another. Lemieux and Roberts broke away from third and fourth after they battled and slowed their momentum as it was a two-driver race when the last lap board was displayed. Lemieux started the final circuit at the front with Roberts locked to his rear bumper and Fisher moving to fourth. The leaders would make contact in the final corner as Roberts was able to take the win, getting by Lemieux. De Alencar was on the podium in third, just ahead of Fisher and Gassiot-Lee. Dupuis would end his day in ninth with Turner Brown battling his way back up to P14. Following the race and penalties, Roberts was deemed the winner ahead of Lemieux, Fisher, Gassiot-Lee and Charlie Smith.
The RMC Winter Trophy Junior MAX champion is Turner Brown.
Micro MAX - Prefinal
It was a Sodi Kart USA 1-2-3 finish in the prefinal as Zayne Burgess scored the win and pole position for Sunday’s final. Teammates Bernardo Gubert and Joshua Bergman lined up to his left and rear in second and third with Marina Brandao starting the main event from P4 on the grid. Nolan Goulart slotted into the fifth position on the grid as the field took the green flag, all on the slick Mojo Tires as the track had completely dried. Burgess led early with Bergman hot in pursuit. Goulart was able to move forward to third ahead of Kimo Ahmad in fourth. P4 was short-lived for Ahmad as Alonso Gonzalez was by for fourth on lap two of the 12-lap main event. Burgess continued to lead at quarter race distance as Goulart disposed of Bergman for second as Gonzalez had major issues letting Cristobal Ricci, Ahmad, and Marina Brandao by. Burgess had opened a nearly two-second gap on the now second-place competitor of Bergman as he and Goulart ran nose to tail. Goulart was not comfortable running third and moved back by Bergman at mid-race distance, but it was all Burgess up front. The gap was nearly three seconds now as Bergman and Gouart continued to duke it out behind Burgess allowing him to pull away. Bernardo Gubert was into fourth and turning the fastest laps of the race as he looked to join the fight in front of him and on lap nine, was able to push Goulart by Bergman and follow him through to take over the third position. With two laps to go, Gubert had pushed passed Goulart bringing Bergman and Ricci with him. All Burgess had to do on the final circuit was bring it home and did so with ease taking the Micro MAX win by 2.392 over teammate Gubert in a SodiKart USA 1-2 finish. Cristobal Ricci was third to stand on the podium ahead of Bergman and Goulart. Following the race, Gubert was given a push back bumper penalty and relegated to seventh with the new top-five Burgess, Ricci, Bergman, Goulart, and Brandao.
The RMC Winter Trophy Micro MAX champion is Dominic Vera.
Mini MAX - Prefinal
Mini MAX - Final
Taking a gamble on a dry track, Oliver Chasse swapped to wet tires at the last minute to be one of the only karts in the field to be on treaded rubber. With a mist picking up throughout the race, Chasse made some late race moves to charge through the field to drive to the win and earn the pole position for the main event. Behind him, Alexis Baillargeon beat Julian Rivera to start second for the final as Rivera lined up next to Saturday winner Albert Friend and just ahead of Royce Vega in fifth. Chasse dropped like a rock on the opening lap as Baillargeon led from Friend, Vega, Rivera, and Chasse. The front three remained unchanged on lap two as St-Cyr slotted himself into fourth ahead of Rivera and was the fastest driver on the track on lap three as the top-five had broken away from sixth. St-Cyr moved to third which allowed Baillargeon and Friend to sneak away down the road by seven-tenths of a second, but eight laps remained. At mid-race distance, it was Baillargeon who led Friend, St-Cyr, Vega, and Rivera. St-Cyr was the fastest kart on track and was closing the gap to the leader bringing the margin down to 0.738 with three laps remaining. Friend was also faster than Baillargeon as the battle was on for the victory. Baillargeon led with two circuits remaining, but Friend had closed to the rear bumper of the leader as St-Cyr closed to the bumper of Friend as you could throw a blanket over them. Positions remained the same at the start of the final lap as Friend made an aggressive move down the inside of turn five to take the lead after contact. A ton of aggressive moves on the final lap saw Baillargeon back to the lead and the win ahead of St-Cyr in a PSL Karting BirelART 1-2 finish with Friend in third ahead of Rivera and Vega. With a host of penalties post-race, St-Cyr was awarded the win ahead of Rivera and Vega as Baillargeon finished just ahead of Friend as both incurred five-second penalties.
The RMC Winter Trophy Mini MAX champion is Alexis Baillargeon.
Senior MAX – Prefinal A
Senior MAX – Prefinal B
Senior MAX – Final
Courtesy of having a faster prefinal race, Eduardo Barrichello earned the pole position ahead of Aidan Fox who lined up beside him in second. Row two was occupied by Frankie Mossman and Zach Claman DeMelo with Harley Keeble and Camilo Trappa in sixth. Barrichello led the first circuit as he was quickly under attack from those behind him. DeMelo ran second ahead of Mossman and Ingratta as Fox fell from second to fifth on the opening circuit. A lap later it was Ingatta to the point as was able to go from fourth to first in one lap, bringing Mossman with him to second. Fox rebounded on the second circuit to move to third ahead of Harley Keeble and DeMelo. It was a dog fight up front and Mossman was by Ingratta for the point on lap three as the top-five were battling wheel-to-wheel and not giving an inch. Mossman led lap three through six as Ryan Maxwell asserted himself in the top-five moving into fourth with ten laps remaining. With the battles behind them, Mossman and Ingratta snuck away from the rest of the field as they made it a two-kart race up front. Ingratta took the lead on lap nine as he tried to assume the pace of the race, but Mossman was back by on lap 11. Things settled down for a lap or two before Barrichello moved his way toward the front and into the fourth positions as Mossman continued to lead. Status quo up front, Keeble held on to third with Maxwell getting back by Barrichello for fourth. Ingratta led lap 15 but could not hang on as Mossman was back by on the final circuit to score the RMC Winter Trophy win. Keeble was also able to get by Ingratta for the second step on the podium pushing the Canadian to third, ahead of Saturday’s winner Austin Garrison and Barrichello. While Mossman celebrated, it quickly turned to sorrow as a push back bumper penalty took away the win handing it back to Ingratta. Garrison moved into the second position ahead of Barrichello, Maxwell, and Cameron Weinberg.
The RMC Winter Trophy Senior MAX champion is Diego Ramos.
Master MAX - Prefinal
Master MAX - Final
With contact on the opening lap and falling to the tail of the field, Rubens Barrichello had to fight his way forward in the wet Master MAX prefinal as he was able to get his way back to fourth. Opening the door for the trio in front, Nicolas Picot took the win and main event pole position with Danilo Ramalho and Ariel Castro finishing just ahead of Barrichello while David Laplante rounded out the top-five. An aborted start on the first and second attempts saw the drivers take another two laps before the field was halted by the red flag for a discussion and a reorder. Ariel Castro led the opening lap of the 16-lap race with Picot in second and Laplante in third. Barrichello slotted himself into the fourth position, just ahead of Laurentiu Mardan. It was some hard racing up front as Castro did everything in his power to keep the field at bay but without success. Laplante was able to get by with Picot, Barrichello, Ramalho and Matias Bonvin following him through as Castro fell to sixth. Out front, Laplante was clear of the racing behind him and went purple on laps four and five to open a 2.194 gap over his Premier Karting teammate Picot who was trying to keep 2023 series champion Barrichello behind him. Six laps down and ten to go, Laplante’s lead was growing, now almost to three seconds. Lap eight saw Barrichello by Ramalho for P2 on track as he quickly pulled away in the hopes of hunting down Laplante. Immediately, Laplante was three-tenths of a second faster than the leader and with seven laps remaining was doing all he could to close the gap. A lap later, Barrichello had shaved another four-tenths of a second out of Laplante’s lead. From 3.0 to 1.948 in just three laps, Barrichello had five circuits remaining to catch, and pass, Laplante if he wanted to add another RMC Winter Trophy win to his resume. Behind the battle for the lead, Ramalho ran third ahead of Picot and Castro. With three laps to go, Barrichello had the gap down to 1.321 but time was running out. Looking over his shoulder, Laplante could feel the pressure from behind as a former Formula One driver was hunting him down. The gap was 0.712 with two to go as Barrichello had done it, he was now in the slipstream of Laplante and in the fight for the win. On his bumper when the white flag flew, Barrichello was just a bit too far back in turn five but was setting himself up for a shot into turn nine or ten. Laplante defended nicely into turn ten and was able to keep Barrichello there to score the win. Barrichello was second ahead of Ramalho, Picot, and Castro. After the penalties were sorted, the top-five were Laplante, Barrichello, Ramalho, Picot and Mardan.
The RMC Winter Trophy Master MAX champion is Rubens Barrichello.
DD2 – Prefinal
DD2 Master – Prefinal
DD2 and DD2 Master – Final
Dominating the wet conditions, Harley Keeble took a commanding win in the DD2 MAX prefinal beating Oliver Bedard by almost nine seconds claiming the main event pole position. Behind Keeble and Bedard were Matthew Taskinen and Leonardo Reis who occupied the third and fourth positions while Nicolas Guillaume in fifth. Keeble rocketed out to the lead and after only one lap, had a one-second gap on Taskinen, Reis, Bedard, and Guillaume. Keeble went purple on lap three to open the gap to 1.558 over Reis while Bedard needed to finish third or better to win the title and ran in that position with 13 laps remaining. Laps four and five saw Reis slightly faster than the leader as the gap shrunk to 1.362 with ten laps remaining and just two laps later, the gap was reduced to 0.875. Bedard was comfortably in third and in the position he needed to win a ticket to the Grand Finals but the battle up front was soon to heat up with Reis now within .491 with six laps to go. Reis was now on the rear bumper of Keeble as he was pushing hard for the win but was unable to make a clean move by for the lead. With two laps to go, Keeble was under the most pressure he had been since the drop of the green flag as he looked to add another win for the SodiKart brand this weekend. Still at the point when the last lap board was displayed, Keeble defended into turn five, and then again into turn nine with success. However, Reis got a better run out of nine and was able to get by on the entry to ten to take the win ahead of Keeble, Bedard, Guillaume, and Taskinen. Michael McLean won DD2 MAX Master to go four for four at the RMC Winter Trophy.
The RMC Winter Trophy DD2 champion is Oliver Bedard.
The RMC Winter Trophy DD2 Masters champion is Michael McLean.