It was a great start for Carl Bennett and Gonella Racing in the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda. Qualifying third for race one, Bennett went on to secure the round one victory and added another top-ten result over the course of the weekend to start the season with two point-scoring finishes.
It was a career-best qualifying effort for Bennett as his offseason preparation proved to be successful when it counted. Missing the pole position by .479 and a front-row starting spot by a scant .013, Bennett secured the third-fastest lap of the session and would take the first green flag of the F4 season from the inside of row two.
Rocketing off the line when the lights went out for the start of race one, the Gonella Racing driver moved to the lead and stayed ahead of the carnage that ensued behind him. Managing the lead and overcoming multiple restarts, Bennett went on to secure his first career F4 victory in the first race of the 2023 season.
“What a great result after a long off-season of training and preparation,” expressed Bennett. “Ernie, the team, and I have worked so hard for this, and I am happy to end the first official day of 2023 as the point leader. Let’s do it again tomorrow.”
Starting race two from the fourth position was a hard-fought battle throughout the top-ten. Racing wheel-to-wheel with several top drivers from the F4 program, a few close calls and evasive action maneuvers caused Carl to fall down the order slightly. With a win on Saturday in race one, the Gonella Racing driver earned more points in race two with an eighth-place result.
Race three was not what Bennett had hoped for in his quest for a trio of point-scoring results. After battling in the top-ten, Bennett would be classified in the 21st position as he now shifts his focus to the next event and finding his way back to the podium.
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Photos: Gavin Baker Photography