Nepveu finishes sixth at Second Round of the 2021 ROK Cup USA Winter Tour

Monday, Feb 22 251

Thomas Nepveu's busy season continued this weekend with the second round of the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour (ROK - in the Senior ROK class) championship series presented at the Ocala Gran Prix track. After improving his times throughout the weekend, Thomas Nepveu started in tenth position for the 20-lap Final race on Sunday. Moving up to fifth place on the first lap and fourth on the second lap, the kart performed well in the first half of the race. An unfortunate drop in efficiency occurred late in the race and dropped the young driver from Oka to a well-managed sixth-place finish.

 

Weekend Summary According to Thomas Nepveu (extracts)

 

Thomas Nepveu continued to display his highly effective racing skills throughout the weekend, now back in the Senior ROK class to replace another driver from the PSL Karting team unable to attend. This return to a traditional kart with a 2-stroke engine and fixed final drive brings him back to a class of machines he knows intimately.

 

Friday (February 19)"It rained all day, harder during the afternoon qualifying session for tomorrow's Pre-Final. The kart was working better and better during the morning practice laps on a mixed wet and dry track. I was pushing hard in qualifying and ended up second quickest, a half-second behind the pole sitter. That put me second place on the grid for Heat 1. Everything was going well in that 12-lap race and I was third at the beginning of the last lap. I tried to move up to 2nd but a slight mistake left me in 6th in the end. The kart is getting better and better, but it will be dry tomorrow, and I'm starting 2nd for Heat 2. Everything is good!" concluded a driver who wants more out of the rest of the weekend.

 

Aggressiveness is essential to successful racing drivers. Legendary team owner Roger Penske once said of a young Paul Tracy, who broke so much equipment at the beginning of his career, that he preferred "A driver I have to calm down rather than one I have to light up!" In today's qualifying session, Thomas Nepveu went from first to sixth, to third and then back to first. He responded to the best efforts of the others without ever giving up. 

 

Saturday (February 20)"The warm-up got the day off to a good start and I was able to take the lead in Heat 2 and keep that advantage until the end of the race. For the second qualifying race of the day (Heat 3), I started well and led the race until a hit at the rear forced me onto the dirty part of the track and I ended up in 4th place at the finish. In the qualifying session, the kart was working well enough to allow me to set the 3rd fastest time and helped me secure a better spot on the grid for this afternoon's Pre-Final race. I started 3rd for the Pre-Final and managed to finish 6th on the track, despite a slight lack of speed. We will work on the kart tonight to do better tomorrow,” added the driver ready to go all-out on Sunday.

After three days of varying effectiveness from the kart, Thomas Nepveu demonstrated the extent of his talent during Sunday's race: his pure speed, his ability to anticipate the events around him, along with his smart management of his pace and of his tires in order to protect his position and maximize his final result. His consistently full-tilt attitude in the face of the kart's small but frustrating lack of speed, which significantly reduces his chances of winning, is a testament to his tenacity and to his total commitment to achieving his career goals.

 

Karting Championships

Participating in three championships over the summer adds up to 23 professional events over the season (13 in karts and 10 in USF2000 cars). Each weekend is composed of multiple practice/qualifying sessions, Pre-final and Final races depending on each series’ rules. The considerable amount of racing time, plus the hours spent on simulators, will certainly accelerate Thomas Nepveu’s learning process given the high level of competition in every series.

 

Driving Instructor

Thomas Nepveu's personality and technical knowledge also make him an ideal driving instructor, capable of transmitting his knowledge while making the student and the family comfortable during these important and often emotionally charged moments. Thomas Nepveu began working with novices in the spring of 2019, when he was only 14 years old, and continues to do so for the BCR (Ben Cooper Racing) race team. Last winter, with he even helped some PSL Karting drivers at a track in addition to taking care of his own machine (track walks, debrief meetings after each track session).

 

 

2021 Thomas Nepveu Karting Schedule

Date

Track

Location

Series

Event

Final 1

Final 2

Jan. 8 to 10

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 1&2

14

24

Jan. 16 to 17

Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

28

-

Feb. 9 to 14

AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex

Homestead, FL

SKUSA

Winter Series Rounds 3&4

15

7

Feb. 18 to 21

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, Fl.

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

6

-

Mar. 17 to 21

Ocala Gran Prix

Ocala, FL

ROK

Florida Winter Tour

 

 

Mar. 24 to 28

Nola Motorsport Park

New Orleans, LA

SKUSA

Winter Nationals

 

 

Apr. 29 to May i

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

USPKS

The Hoosier State Grand Prix

 

 

May 22 to 23

Utah Motorsports Campus

Utah

SKUSA

Spring Nationals

 

 

Aug. 11 to 15

New Castle Motorsports Park

New Castle, IN

SKUSA

Summer Nationals

 

 

Oct. 16 to 17

GoPro Motorplex

Mooresville, NC

USPKS

The Carolina Grand Prix

 

 

Nov. 6 to 7

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

ROK

ROK the Rio

 

 

Nov. 20 to 21

Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NE

SKUSA

Super Nationals

 

 

 

 

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship

Thomas Nepveu's plans for the 2021 season call for him to participate for the first time in the eight (8) weekends of the USF2000 series (for a total of 18 races), the first of the four steps on the Road to Indy Program on the way to a career in IndyCar, the fastest and most prestigious single-seater series in North America.

The USF2000 professional-level series uses technically advanced cars that are all identical, and feature a reinforced carbon fibre central tub, adjustable front and rear spoilers, a sealed 175 hp engine and a six-speed gearbox with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, driver-adjustable front-rear braking distribution, and adjustable suspensions. The complexity of the car's settings and the analysis of driving and track performance data allow young drivers to learn how to refine their driving skills and gain a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of such sophisticated machines.

 

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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