Making the switch to a bigger chassis and faster overall package, multi-time karting champion and newly supported Alpinestars pilot Devlin DeFrancesco traveled to Las Vegas for the 16th annual Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals this past weekend. Taking place on a temporary circuit behind the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, DeFrancesco would make his debut in the TaG Junior category against a host of teams and drivers from around the world.
Taking to the challenging circuit on Wednesday afternoon, DeFrancesco would engage in two short test days leading up to Friday morning’s qualifying effort. Showing speed right out of the box, the fun loving pilot would turn a time quick enough to get himself in the faster of the two qualifying groups as well as practice groups for the rest of the week.
“You always want to be fast enough to be in the quicker of the two groups,” expressed Devlin. “From there, we are able to compare ourselves against some of the top drivers in the class. Also, track and weather conditions are the same so there is never any guess work in regards to our actual speed compared to the fastest in the class.”
Friday would see DeFrancesco hit the track for a warm-up session and then the ever important qualifying run. With 80 drivers in the TaG Junior field, qualifying in the upper half would be key to ensure a good starting spot for the three heat races that would follow. Struggling slightly on the soft MG tires, Devlin would turn a time good enough for 31st overall and would start all three heat races from the ninth row.
Utilizing the three heat race flight format, the goal was strong and consistent finishes to ensure a starting spot on Super Sunday. Devlin proved that he has what it takes to compete against some of the best junior drivers as he moved forward from his 19th place starting position to score a ninth place result in heat one. Devlin’s efforts were a good start to the week, but more would be needed in heats two and three.
Back to the track on Saturday, Devlin would take part in more wheel-to-wheel action as he continued to move forward in the field. Again starting just inside the top-20 for both heat races, the international competitor drove forward to take home 12th and 13th place results all while running lap times that would put him competitive with drivers in the top-ten. With three successful heat races, DeFrancesco would advance to Sunday’s racing action and start his first career TaG Junior main event from the 15th position.
“Devlin is proving to take to the junior field well,” explained Team Manager and Driver Coach Nick Mitchell. “A lot of kids his age would be intimidated competing against the older drivers but he is taking it all in stride and doing very well. We will continue to work with him and improve on our results as we gain more experience in the junior classes.”
With a buzz around the paddock on Championship Sunday, DeFrancesco would take to the track for the TaG Junior final. With forty of the best drivers in action, Devlin would secure a 21st place result. Falling back on the start due to a first lap incident that caused severe damage to his kart, DeFrancesco was forced to come from the 39th position. Advancing forward 18 places with a bent steering column and a kart that was not handling right due to the incident, Devlin would soldier on to finish just outside the top twenty.
DeFrancesco continued, “I learned a lot this weekend. The Junior class is really tough and I am already looking forward to my next event.”
For more information on Devlin and Lachlan DeFrancesco’s supporters, please visit them online at www.Alpinestars.com, www.BRM-Manufacture.com, www.Yogurtys.com, www.YogenFruz.com, www.SunnyBrook.ca, www.XYZLive.net and, www.Delavaco.com or follow them on Twitter at @Alpinestars, @MyWatchIs_BRM, @Yogurtys, @YogenFruz @SunnybrookHSC and @Delavaco.
For more information on DeFrancesco Racing, please contact Andy DeFrancesco via e-mail to Info@DFRUSA.com or visit them online at www.DFRUSA.com. For more information on Devlin DeFrancesco, please visit him online atwww.DevlinDeFrancesco.com. For real time updates from DFR Racing and Devlin DeFrancesco live trackside, please follow them on Twitter at @DFR_USA, @DevlinD00 and @LachlanD03.