Anthony Gangi Jr., a member of the GT7 Motorsports kart racing team got his 2012 campaign underway with lots of speed, but only mixed results to show for the weekend. The third year racer made the trek to Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida to open up the first weekend of the 2012 Florida Winter Tour, using the opportunity to get a head start on the winter racing season. With 35 karts in the Vortex TaG Cadet class, the competition was tough and the racing action was close as everyone was looking to kick off the season with a win. The GT7 Motorsports crew had two karts in the Vortex TaG Cadet class with Gangi Jr. looking to keep his 2011 late season momentum going into 2012. The weekend offered up two very different final races, delivering a mixed bag of results and some karting karma coming into play in the Sunday feature.
"The goal was to open the season with some strong results and get off on the right foot. The switch to Tony Kart has been good and we did some preseason testing to be ready for the start of the Florida Winter Tour," comments Anthony Gangi Sr. "The speed was there this weekend, just not the luck we needed. Saturday was a racing deal and we got a bit of break on Sunday with the red flag."
In Saturday round one qualifying it was Gangi Jr. going eighth quickest overall in the timed session. In the prefinal a nice run saw Gangi Jr. get back some spots to take fifth at the line and sit on the inside row for the final. In the final a nice start had Gangi Jr. up into third spot on lap two and looking to make a move to the front. While looking to overtake another kart, contact was made as the two drivers battled for position, moving Gangi Jr. back to 27th place in the field. Anthony Jr. was able to get going again and moved up to 21st before the checkered flag flew.
Sunday was a new day and a better qualifying effort with Anthony Jr. this time going fourth quickest in the combined timed results. A fantastic drive would see Gangi Jr. cross the line first in the prefinal only to be handed a four-position penalty for passing under yellow. Starting from fifth, the final was an excellent race with Gangi Jr. leading the field in the mid section. In the closing stages Gangi Jr. lost several spots as the lead group drafted by at the end of the long straight. Anthony Jr. was able to get back several spots in the next two laps only to be spun around from behind in the last corner. The field had gone red as the checkered flew taking the final results for the race back to the previously completed lap. This gave Gangi Jr. fifth in the final results and saving his weekend.
"Saturday's crash in the final was definitely a racing deal. Both of us wanted the same spot at the same time. It was probably a bit early to get that racy," comments Gangi Jr. "Sunday was a different deal. I made my way back up to fourth in the final lap only to get dumped in the final corner. The track went red before everyone crossed the line so they used the last lap, which gave me fifth. That was a break we needed. I am really excited about this weekend and making my Mini Max debut at the Florida Winter Tour. It's going to be tough but I am really looking forward to the challenge. My younger brother Mikey will be racing this weekend and that's very cool. I will definitely be watching him all weekend long."
Anthony Jr. will return this weekend to compete in his first season of Rotax Mini Max action as he takes on the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max portion. Gangi Jr. has been stellar during the Rotax weekends at the FWT taking the Rotax Micro Max title in 2010 and then securing third in the championship in 2011. In his first attempt in Mini Max at the FWT, Gangi Jr. knows he will be in tough against a very deep field. Also under the GT7 Motorsports tent will be Dylan Tavella taking in his second season in Rotax Micro Max. Tavella will be joined in Micro Max by first year racer Michael Gangi.