The 8h of FKI is an absolute classic in the Belgian indoor karting world.
This year I was not at the start with Mats de Jong, but with young star Guillermo van Pamelen. Guillermo is only 15, but has been active in the indoor karting world for several years. For example, he also participated in the Kart World Championship in Szczecin last summer.
During free practice and qualification it soon became clear that our kart was not too great. I could eventually qualify on P8 (on 23 teams), never an ideal starting position, even in an endurance race. My fear became reality when less experienced drivers started competing for position in the first hour of the race. I tried to keep myself out of it as much as possible, but despite my effort we still lost too much time. Again proof that starting in the front in an endurance is a much greater benefit than often thought.
Our second kart turned out to be two tenths faster, so we moved to P3!
Guillermo had a hard time with his first kart in his first stint. He could get fast times out of it, but was not always consistent. With his second kart he was a lot more consistent, so we stayed between P3 and P5. Unfortunately, at the end of his stint, Guillermo was pushed into the tyre wall. We lost about 20 seconds.
After 4 stints in total I took over again. Unfortunately, Guillermo forgot the button during the driver change (which starts a timer of 30s) so we lost about 10s. It must be said here that I also realized too late that the lamp was not on. A shame because those two things caused us to lose more than half a lap on our closest competitors.
I drove one more stint myself before coming in with hands full of blisters. Guillermo drove two more stints while I had my hands patched up at the first aid. At the end of the race I took over again and we got a very fast kart in the last stint. Since we were unable to win or lose any more positions at that time, I decided to do some hot laps and take a shot at the fastest race. That finally succeeded three laps from the end for which we were eventually rewarded with a beautiful cup!