Fresh off their return from Europe and in preparation for the upcoming United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, DeFrancesco Racing drivers Devlin and Lachlan DeFrancesco would travel north to the Hoosier State for the annual Rotax Summer Shootout, hosted this year by Jet Karting. Taking place in North Liberty, Indiana, Lachlan, in only his second Rotax Mini Max race would run consistently in the top ten while older brother Devlin would steal the show on Sunday for a dominating victory.
Enjoying a few days off in Canada after their return from the latest WSK Euro Series event, the DeFrancesco duo would look to get back to their winning ways. Progressing through the unofficial test day without any problems, the entire team was looking to get started with qualifying and the first wheel-to-wheel sessions of the weekend.
Saturday morning would be the start of the official event weekend with qualifying setting the grid for the late morning prefinal. Looking to start his weekend off strong, Devlin clocked the third quickest lap in the session, while Lachlan would claim the fifth quickest time. Starting inside row two and three for the heat race, the Bernard Richards Manufacture sponsored pilots would look to work together to get to the front of the field.
While the main goal of the weekend was finding the necessary speed to make a bid for the national championship in early August, DeFrancesco Racing would try different chassis setups to find the best optimization for their drivers. Falling slightly in the heat race, Devlin would claim the fourth position while Lachlan would fall to seventh. With little improvement in the main event, Devlin would hold station with another fourth place effort with Lachlan crossing the stripe in the eighth position.
“Saturday was a little disappointing results wise for our drivers,” expressed Nick Mitchell, Driver Coach for both Devlin and Lachlan DeFrancesco. “We tried different chassis setups and will work hard tomorrow (Sunday) to improve on these.”
Sunday would provide a carbon copy schedule to Saturday with a morning warm-up session followed by qualifying, prefinal and main event. Looking to greatly improve from Saturday’s results, Devlin would improve on his qualifying effort to score the second quickest lap of the session and an outside front row starting position. Lachlan would turn the seventh fastest time of the session and would start the prefinal from inside row four as he looks to gain the necessary racing experience to challenge for race wins later this season.
Focusing on the afternoon’s main event, both pilots would look to secure solid heat race results that would provide them good starting spots for Sunday’s feature. Devlin would again battle near the pointy end of the field as he managed to receive the checkers in the third position. Lachlan showed great improvement in his race craft and consistency as he managed to gain positions throughout out the race. Falling slightly before the checkered flag flew, Lachlan would claim a sixth place finish.
Determined to score the race win, Devlin quickly attacked for the top spot at the drop of the green flag. Wanting to get out front and break away from the field, the elder of the DeFrancesco’s was looking to stay out of trouble. While Lachlan battled mid pack with national level front-runners, Devlin stole the show and went on to a commanding victory to top the blocks at the Jet Karting Rotax Max Challenge Summer Shootout. Lachlan would be engaged in a battle all race long as he finished in the seventh position.
Mitchell continued, “We consistently improved our chassis and engine combinations throughout the race weekend which is a great sign moving forward. This was a testing weekend for us but once the green flag drops, everyone wants to win. Devlin showed that he will be a threat to take the US National Championship later this year while Lachlan will be a contender for a podium result. The entire DeFrancesco Racing Team is looking to get back to the Jet Karting facility in August.”
Taking no time off, DeFrancesco Racing will head back north of the border this weekend to take part in charity event at Toronto’s IndyCar event dubbed the Kart Stars Grand Prix of Toronto. In a format that will see some of today’s best karters as well as Bay Street executives battle it out in front of IndyCar fans, competitors will contest on a seven corner, bullring designed course that will provide unlimited wheel-to-wheel competition.
Both French watch manufacturer B.R.M and as well as driver mentor and DFR supporter Tony Kanaan, are pleased with both Devlin and Lachlan’s results and attitude towards winning. While B.R.M is new to the DeFrancesco racing program, Tony Kanaan has been a strong supporter of the team since early in 2012 and keeps up to date with all DFR’s race results and progress. While focusing on his own racing during event weekends, Kanaan checks in via Twitter and text to see how the boys are doing and encourages them to keep working harder.
“I was very impressed by the DeFrancesco brothers since the first day we met during the winter here in Florida. They are quick and always drive a smart race, which is not something that you often see in young racers.” IndyCar star Tony Kanaan said. “In addition to that, both Devlin and Lachlan are very well spoken and they understand the importance of the sponsors in the racing business. That is extremely important if you want to pursue a true racing career,” Kanaan concluded.
For more information on Bernard Richards Manufacture, please visit them online www.brm-manufacture.com.
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 at www.DevlinDeFrancesco.com. For real time updates from DFR Racing and Devlin DeFrancesco live trackside, please follow them on Twitter at @DFR_USA and @DevlinD00.