Driver News: Two Podiums for Derek Carmenate at Florida Winter Tour in Homestead
Micro Max driver turns solid qualifying efforts into podium results in rounds three and four
After struggling to score the results desired during the opening weekend of the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT) at the Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), Rotax Micro Max pilot Derek Carmenate rebounded in rounds three and four to score a pair of podium results. Descending on the Homestead-Miami Speedway in the southern tip of Florida, Carmenate would steer his AM Engines powered Tony Kart towards the front of the field and battle hard for his chance to stand atop the podium.
After unofficial practice on Thursday, it was time for qualifying on Friday afternoon that would set the grids for Saturday and Sunday’s prefinal events. Being forced to run in the slower of the two groups due to an electrical problem in Friday morning’s official timed session, Carmenate would take it all in stride and qualified fourth for Sunday’s wheel-to-wheel competition and seventh for Saturday’s festivities running a fast time without the necessary drafting partner.
“Derek did very well in qualifying,” explained his father Jorge Carmenate. “The first session went really well as he was able to slot himself in with a group of karts and run a time to put him in fourth. In the second session that set the grid for Saturday, Derek lost the draft and drove a flawless lap to time seventh in the session.”
After starting inside row four for Saturday’s prefinal, Derek quickly showed his racing prowess moving up into the top three. With the first and second place karts utilizing the draft to perfection, they had already gapped the rest of the field and Derek would cross the stripe P3. Starting third for the all-important main event, Derek knew that the only way that he would have a chance at the win was to get up front early and stay in the draft. Making a bid for the top spot after the opening complex of corners, Derek would be forced back to the third position where he remained the entire event and eventually would claim his first Rotax Micro Max podium of the 2013 Florida Winter Tour.
Back to the track on Sunday, Derek turned his fourth place starting position in the prefinal to another third place result and inside second row starting spot for the main event. Knowing his only shot at a top two finish would be to break the teammate duo up that would start on the front row, Derek did just that as he quickly slipped into the second position on the exit of the first corner. On the leader’s rear bumper for the entire main event, Derek would push hard to open a gap on the rest of the field and wait until the final few circuits to dice it out for the victory.
Looking to take advantage of his position late in the race, the handling on Derek’s kart would go away and he could not keep the pressure on the eventual race winner. Settling for the second step on the podium, the up and coming pilot would score his second podium result in as many days and catapult himself to seventh in the overall series point standings.
Derek Carmenate would like to thank all of his sponsors and supporters for a great start to the 2013 racing season. A special thanks to Ariel Castro and AM Engines for the awesome horsepower, TNT Racing, Up 2 Speed Printing and his tuner and drive coach Juanki for a great kart all weekend long. Derek would also like to thank his teammate Matthew Thomas, Big Mike, Marlyin as well as his mom, dad and sister for all of their love and support.
Derek will enter the final event weekend of the Florida Winter Tour as he looks to improve his overall series position and challenge for race wins. With the final rounds taking place at the Ocala Gran Prix facility in central Florida, the young Carmenate is excited to get back behind the wheel in mid-March and compete in both the Vortex TaG Cadet and Rotax Micro Max divisions.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities on Derek Carmenate, please contact Jorge Carmenate via e-mail to DadePromotionsLLC@gmail.com