With the winter karting season coming to a close, Team Benik entered four drivers at the final round of the ROK Cup USA Florida Winter Tour this past weekend. Scattered across three racing classes, all four drivers had results in the top-ten throughout the weekend with Micro ROK competitor Asher Ochstein claiming the team’s best result on Championship Sunday with a ninth-place finish.
“The results on Sunday were not indicative of our drivers’ pace throughout the weekend,” explained Nick Mitchell. “With three divers in the top-nine after Saturday afternoon’s prefinal, momentum was on our side heading into Sunday but on track incidents hindered any chance of a podium finish.”
The most consistent driver on the weekend was Micro ROK competitor Asher Ochstein. After qualifying seventh on Friday, Ochstein steadily moved forward in his heats to finish sixth, fifth and third before going fourth in the prefinal. Battling for a podium result on Sunday, Ochsteain was involved in contact late in the race that was no fault of his own while in the third position. Falling down the running order, the young Benik driver managed to salvage a ninth-place effort.
ROK Junior driver and Team Benik newcomer Jeremy Fletcher made his presence at the front of the field known. Disappointed with his 12th place result in qualifying, Fletcher was able to move forward in the heats, scoring third and sixth place results in the first two wheel-to-wheel sessions. Finishing seventh in the prefinal and within striking distance for a podium in the main event, it was all for not as contact put Fletcher down to P13 after running inside the top-three.
Fellow ROK Junior driver Michael Costello had a good run in St. Pete turning his 17th place qualifying result into a solid ninth place finish in Saturday’s prefinal. Similar to Fletcher, a few positions gain in the final could have resulted in a top-five result but some overanxious driving by others pushed him back deep in the field.
Celking Wong competed in the Mini ROK category and had no luck once racing action commenced. Finishing seventh in the first of three heat races, Wong was a victim of on track incidents for the majority of the race weekend as trouble on track seemed to find her.
With the Florida Winter Tour now complete, Team Benik will travel to NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, Louisiana to compete in the opening round of the Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) Pro Tour. With the same quartet of drivers competing, Team Benik will look to turn their luck around at NOLA. Team Benik will also be on track this weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg during the opening round of the Road to Indy Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Stay tuned to the Team Benik social media pages for more news, photos, information and results from the event.
For more information on the BENIK Kart, or Team BENIK program, please contact Nick Mitchell via e-mail to Info@Benik-Kart.com or by phone at 561.348.4406.
Photos: Canadian Karting News