Benik Kart Making Marks Early in the 2014 Season
Four young drivers take on the competitive Superkarts! USA SpringNationals
BENIK Kart, a four-driver competitive race team, made their way to Dallas Karting Complex (DKC) for the past two weekends’ SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) events. The team drivers, Derek Carmenate, Lachlan DeFrancesco, Lance Fenderson and David Morales all competed in TaG Cadet during the Pro Tour opener, with DeFrancesco and Morales also competing in both TaG Cadet and Rotax Mini Max the first weekend. In very competitive fields, the drivers racked up top-tens, proving their speed, while learning the ropes of SKUSA competition.
The Superkarts! USA SpringNationals weekend would see all four BENIK Kart drivers in the TaG Cadet field. Both days, the drivers saw speed in the qualifying sessions, with three in the top-ten on Saturday and all four in the top-15 on Sunday. In the four heat races of the weekend, the crew of Cadet pilots was constantly in the top-ten. Notably, Lachlan DeFrancesco finished second and seventh in Saturday’s heats and David Morales finished third and second the same day. Lance Fenderson also made the top-ten in every heat of the weekend, with a seventh and fourth on Saturday, and a fifth and fourth on Sunday.
The SKUSA SpringNationals main events were very successful for some of BENIK Kart’s four drivers, and learning experiences for others. DeFrancesco made the top-ten in the competitive TaG Cadet class on both Saturday and Sunday, making his team proud. Finishing fourth on Saturday with the fastest lap of the final as well as one of the heat races, DeFrancesco finished just behind teammate Fenderson, who added to BENIK’s top rankings with a second place finish. Morales had an unfortunate crash in Saturday’s final while running in the third position. On Sunday, the team stayed on top with DeFrancesco and Fenderson once again finishing in the top ten. DeFrancesco drove to tenth place after a pair of unlucky heat races that saw him start the main event in 45th. Fenderson finished solidly in the fourth position and would have been in a position to win if the red flag shortened race was restarted.
Derek Carmenate, one of the youngest drivers in the field, would gain experience in his first SKUSA Pro Tour event. After qualifying 35th on Saturday, Carmenate was determined to move forward. Finishing 19th in the first heat, a setback in heat two would see a 30th place finish and starting position for the main event. Never giving up, the Floridian drove forward to a 17th place effort. Sunday would not be kind for the young BENIK Kart driver. After qualifying a solid tenth, two incidents in the heat races would leave Carmenate to start from the tail of the field for the main event. Just as his luck would have it, Derek would be involved in another incident and end his day in 40th.
“Our drivers have all the abilities to win, but with being young comes inexperience,” explained BENIK Kart’s Nick Mitchell, “Our goal is to provide these kids with all the tools for success, and they definitely take advantage. One of the most important things in racing is consistency, and we’re certainly starting to achieve that.”
BENIK Kart’s top finishes show promise for success throughout the rest of 2014. The team will continue to work with a small group of drivers to ensure individual attention with each, and to foster success throughout the season.
For more information on BENIK Kart, please contact Nick Mitchell or Ben Cruttenden via e-mail to Info@Benik-Kart.com or by phone at 754.206.4870. BENIK Kart can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BenikKart and Twitter at @kartBENIK.
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