Vemme Kart
Vemme Kart Represented on the Podium at FWT Homestead Round
Continuing the development of their Italian-made chassis brand, Vemme Kart was again seen at the recent round of the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT) Rotax Max Challenge weekend. Three championship-caliber drivers took to the Homestead Karting Complex just south of Miami, Florida for the second round of the prestigious series. Lorenzo Mandarino and Derek Wang took on the Rotax DD2 class while Stepanova Nekeel was seen in the ultra-competitive Rotax Senior category. Despite a challenging weekend for the team, Mandarino was able to represent the Vemme Kart brand during podium presentations after a charge through the field on Sunday.

Taking to the track Friday for the two qualifying sessions, Mandarino started his Homestead campaign off with a fourth place run for Sunday’s events, but then fell to seventh during the second session which set the prefinal grid for Saturday. In his first weekend on the Vemme Kart, Derek Wang would go tenth quick during Sunday’s session and then up the ante later in the afternoon to lay down the sixth fastest flyer.

Saturday’s wheel-to-wheel action would see Wang maintain his sixth place position during the prefinal race, while Mandarino crossed the stripe in fourth. Post race technical inspection would see Mandarino assessed a penalty for an accidental carburetor error, which moved him to the back of the grid for the final. Starting last for the final, Mandarino would never make it through the first complex of corners due to a multi-kart pile up, bending his Vemme chassis in the process. Wang had solid run during the race with come home with another sixth place result.

Back on track for Sunday, Mandarino had gone to work the night before to mount a completely new kart and was ready for a fresh day. Posting second quick during the morning warm-up, everything seemed to be going well for the former SKUSA SuperPro winner. Things quickly unraveled however, as Mandarino noticed his kart was shutting off around the carousel during the warm-up laps of the prefinal. Attempting to resolve the problem by playing with the wiring connection, Mandarino was unable to correct the issue and pulled in after five laps to preserve his tires for the final. Wang had a nice run in the prefinal, moving up to seventh and then improved again during the 20-lap final to add another sixth place finish on the weekend. Starting last on the grid fir the final, Mandarino’s hard work finally paid off and the tough luck ceded as he drove a brilliant race to reach the checkered flag in third.

“This was Derek’s first race on the Vemme Kart and he was very happy with it from the start,” explained Mandarino. “He made very minor changes to the set up and was right on pace all weekend. One serious problem was that he was sick all weekend, so he had a really tough time. To pull off two sixth place results and keep his times close to the lead times was impressive. We are very happy to have Derek on our team. He is a great driver and is an asset to our operation. I think next race when he is feeling better he could have a good shot for a win.”

“Before the final on Sunday started I knew I had nothing to lose, so I pumped myself up for a do or die race,” noted Mandarino of his own efforts. “It ended up working out as I made it through the field to get on the podium in third and receive the ULV Hard Charger award for my efforts.”

In the stacked Rotax Senior field, Nekeel showed promise as he posted quick laps during practice. During official qualifications on Friday, the two-time Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals Team USA driver scored 23rd and 12th for Saturday and Sunday respectively. With a very tight first corner at the Homestead Karting Complex, Nekeel would fall victim to the melee in each race. Never making it through without incident, Nekeel posted two unfortunate DNFs in the finals, and was scored in 28th and 34th.

“It was very disappointing to watch the rear of the Senior field,” concluded Mandarino. “It was a disaster as people were crashing everywhere. It was unfortunate Stepanova got caught up in it every time and hopefully the next round in Ocala will be better.”

Vemme Kart will next be seen at the Florida Winter Tour finale at the Ocala Gran Prix in Ocala, Florida March 16-18.

Created in 2006, Vemme Kart is based on the principles of high technology and quality. The careful choice of materials guarantees the highest standards of construction and constant quality that results in high levels of performance and safety. With a clear vision, modern design and a streamlined organization, Vemme Kart is dedicated to the development of their chassis line to assure their customers can obtain the highest levels of achievement. Checkered Flag Racing of Chilliwack, British Columbia is the Canadian importer of the Vemme Kart chassis line, and can be reached at 604.792.5242 or online at www.gokarts.org. Extreme Karting, Inc. of Anaheim, California handles the US importer duties, and can be reached at 714.630.3655 or online at www.extreme-karting.com.

For more information on Vemme Kart, including information on importer and dealer opportunities, please visit http://www.vemmekart.it.