Advanced Karting driver Daniel Formal claimed a podium result at this past weekend’s United States Rotax Max Challenge Finals and will represent Team USA at the Rotax World Finals in Italy later this year. With an up and down weekend filled with emotions, Formal overcame the adversity and the 14-year-old will enter the Rotax Senior class in La Conca.

“The whole week was very good,” expressed Daniel Formal when the event was over. “At times, we found ourselves behind the eight ball but always worked hard to get back out front. There was a lot of stress this whole week as I wanted it bad and am happy that it is finally over.”

Using the heat race flight format and after qualifying in the fifth position, Formal would start each of his three heats from the third position. Looking for strong results, Formal was fast and consistent and ended the first pair of heats with two second place results and was looking good heading to heat race three, but not after some big changes. After learning that fellow Floridian driver Nick Neri was not racing due to a broken arm, the Advanced Karting Kosmic chassis moved into the Ocala Gran Prix tent where Race Tech Development’s Mike Maurini took control of the wrenches. Working with fellow team members Martijn Koene from Koene Racing in the Netherlands and OGP Team Manager Kyle Kraus, the experience to put Formal up front, and he was ready and waiting for the challenge.

The third and final heat race produced the same sort of result for Formal but work was in progress to ensure a good setup for Saturday’s prefinal and main event. After the heat race points were tallied, Formal would improve two positions from his qualifying result and start his assault on the Rotax Senior field from the third position.

Excitement would happen at the drop of the green flag in the prefinal as the front row drivers would make contact entering the first corner opening the door for Formal and others to take charge. Formal jumped out to a lead early and would run with a quartet of drivers before asserting himself as the leader taking the heat race win and pole position for the main event.

With temperatures in the low 90’s and the humidity high, the OGP crew went to work overlooking data and making the necessary changes for the nineteen lap main event. Looking to take the win in one of the biggest races of the year, Formal took advantage of the pole position and quickly jumped out to a lead early. Taking advantage of a new set of tires, Formal opened up a ten kart length gap on his rivals before they decided to work together and chase the Kosmic driver down. By the halfway mark, Formal had company at the front as six drivers were looking to claim podium results and the opportunity to represent the United States at the Rotax World Finals. After losing the lead, Formal got it back a lap later only to get passed again as the racing and intensity level increased. With a brake issue developing, Formal quickly fell into the clutches of the third place driver as they all battled hard to move forward. Running as low as fifth on the start of the white flag lap, Formal managed to avoid the carnage between a pair of front runners and advanced forward to a third place finish.

“That was one of the toughest races that I have ever run,” stated Formal after crossing the scales and celebrating with his family. “I had an issue with the brakes in the middle of the race and they felt like they were dragging. I struggled to get out of the corners with speed but after five laps or so, the problem cured itself. I really need to thank Advanced Karting, J3 Competition and Mike Maurini and Martijn Koene from Ocala Gran Prix for all of their hard work.”

For sponsorship opportunities and more information on Advanced Karting and Daniel Formal, please contact Donald Formal at 561.718.6840 or visit them online at www.AdvancedKarting.com.

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