impress as the chassis brand was recently seen on track at the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT) series opener. Two of North America’s finest contested the first round of the FWT, held at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida, with 2010 US Rotax Senior Grand National Champion Stepanova Nekeel taking on the stacked Rotax Senior field while former SKUSA SuperPro winner Lorenzo Mandarino was seen in the DD2 category. While their overall results may not have been what they had hoped for, it will be just a matter of time before the Vemme chassis is at the top of the time sheets.
Manadarino would start his 2012 campaign with a strong showing in the first qualifying session. Setting the grid for Sunday’s race, the karting standout would go fifth quick against some of the top Rotax DD2 pilots in the world. Back on track later in the afternoon, Mandarino fell slightly to the eighth spot for Saturday’s heat race. With wheel-to-wheel action kicked off for the prefinal on Saturday, Mandarino maintained his eighth place starting position throughout the 14-lap heat and improved several positions during the day’s main event to score his first top-five in 2012 with his fifth place finish.
Back on track for Sunday, Mandarino would not be able to capitalize on his top-five starting position for the prefinal, as the BC native dropped to seventh during the race. Falling one more position in the final event, Mandarino’s two top-tens finishes leave him wanting more as the tour resumes in February.
“The new Vemme chassis worked excellent,” explained Mandarino. “We were busy working on finding the optimal setup for it over the weekend but by the end it worked great. We are now very excited for the next round now knowing where it needs to be.”
Vemme Kart had a presence both on and off the track at the FWT openerTeammate Nekeel would contest the ultra-competitive Rotax Senior category on his Vemme Kart and similar to Mandarino placed well in the first qualifying session. An 11th place on the time sheets out of a staggering 69 entries started Nekeel’s season off right and that was followed by a 20th place start for Saturday’s prefinal in the afternoon qualifying session. Directly transferring to both A main events, Nekeel went on to post 15th in the pre race and 19th in the final on Saturday. The two-time Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals Team USA driver struggled slightly on Sunday, falling from his inside row six starting position to 24th in the prefinal but then recovered in the final to take 16th at the checkers.
“Overall it was a great learning experience for our team,” continued Mandarino. “We had a few problems in the engine department over the weekend, but the problems have been addressed. We should have a great chance to run up front at the next event.”
Vemme Kart will next be in action when the Florida Winter Tour resumes February 17-19 at Homestead Karting, located on the grounds of the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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.