DUNDAS, ONT. Over the course of the last 15 years, the First Kart chassis brand has been a major player in the North American karting community, winning countless races and championships. Victories have come at the SKUSA SuperNationals and the storied ProMoto Tour, in Florida Winter Tour action and in regional and club races all over the continent. The chassis line announced a new importer in October of last year, as Jeff Smith and his JDL Distributing operation have taken the reigns of the importing and distributing of the brand. The program’s racing efforts will look to continue the success of the past by maintaining their participation in the sport’s biggest events.
The company’s focus on stabilizing its home region of competition in Ontario has been successful, and with the Canadian season closing in on its traditional season finales, the First Kart team is now looking forward to this fall’s SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas for its next challenge. After this trek to Las Vegas, a serious return to the Florida Winter Tour is in store for the team, as they will take on the popular Rotax weekends.
“When he took over the importing of the First Kart brand, I knew that we needed to firm up our foundation here in Ontario before doing anything else,” offers Smith, who has been in motorsports for over 30 years and has spent more than 10 years campaigning and servicing the Italian chassis line. “We’re just five minutes away from one of the biggest clubs in the province and supporting them has given us the platform to expand from our base. First Kart has always enjoyed great success in both SKUSA and Florida Winter Tour competition, so that’s where we’re heading next.”
The JDL / First Kart squad is anchored by veteran mechanic and crew chief Terry Ventresca, who was Shifter Kart Illustrated’s Tuner of the Year in 2002. Ventresca knows the First Kart product intimately and is extremely adept at working with young drivers. Terry worked very closely with champions and race winners like Bobby Wilson, Brendan Langlois and Spencer Pigot during his time as the Technical Engineer for the First Kart North America team. Smith and Ventresca are very much looking forward to the big events during the upcoming ‘off-season’.
“We’ve got a great squad of young drivers who will be under our tent at both the SuperNats and the Florida Winter Tour, and we’re also hoping to re-connect with former First Kart North America customers as well as every First Kart owner in North America to make them aware of our services,” Smith continued. “If they need parts and support, Terry and I are here for them as we want to make certain that they remain on our brand. I understand customer service and that’s what we want to get put there. First Kart is alive and well, and in fact, we’ve got some exciting announcements coming out very shortly!”
While the team can most definitely handle additional drivers in the program for the SuperNationals and the Florida Winter Tour Rotax weekends, their current line-up will see Kevin Monteith and Stefan Yasin in the Senior classes, with both drivers running TaG Senior in Las Vegas aboard the First Kart FX8 chassis. In Florida, Monteith will contest the Rotax Senior class while Yasin will be back in his DD2 machine. The team also has a pair of emerging young Junior drivers in Brayden Seberras and Jamie Lockwood, who will run Rotax Junior in the new First Kart FX8 Junior. Anyone interested in being part of the team for these events should contact Jeff Smith directly at JDL headquarters.
“We have focused on steady growth and development since taking over control of the First Kart brand here in North America” Smith offers. “And as the team continues growing, we’ll also be focusing our development of a dealer network that we want to see stretch to all corners of the continent. Things are great here in our backyard, so now it’s time to venture out and spread the word.”
Those interested in learning more about JDL / First Kart are asked to visit their website www.jdldistributing.ca or phone 905-627-1112.
About JDL Distributing:
Headed by Jeff Smith, JDL Distributing is the North American importer and distributor of the First Kart product line. The Smith family has a long history in motorsport, competing in karts and cars for many years both Canada and in the United States. JDL represents Smith's full commitment to the sport as he looks to make an impact quickly with a new facility located just five minutes south of Flamboro Speedway, home of the Waterloo Regional Kart Club. The new 3,000 square foot facility has everything you can need in a full service kart shop. From the spacious showroom to the fully stocked warehouse, customers can expect fast and friendly service. For the hard core racer, there is a complete dyno room, machine shop, surface plate and scales to make sure your program is right on the mark. JDL is also a Rotax Max Service Center and stocks Rotax Max engine parts. 2002 Super Kart Illustrated 'Tuner of the Year' Terry Ventresca heads the engine program. In addition to First Kart and Rotax, JDL will be working with KG Plastics, Douglas Wheels, Aimsports My-Chron, MG, Mojo and many other top line karting products.