Category Archives: Karting

P2 during the last Formula Karting race of 2018!

To make their season closing extra special, the Formula Karting organization decided to use a different race format. Three hotlaps served as qualifying format. After each hotlap, the slowest six riders dropped out. Instead of five different heats, it was decided to have one 70-minute race.

The racetook place on the always challenging track of FKI in Machelen. As an extra it had already rained heavily that day, so it looked like we would finish the race in wet conditions.

During the training sessions I felt that the track was great for me and that, despite it being a long time ago, I got on well with the wet conditions.

I did not take any risks during the first hotlap, as the fastest 14 drivers continued. I was comfortably in the top 5, a confirmation of my good shape.

In my second hotlap I noticed that my kart had considerably less grip on the wet parts. I eventually qualified on P6, the fastest 8 riders continued.

The third and final hotlap I hoped for a good kart, so that I could possibly have a shot at the pole position. Unfortunately, with one of the least karts in the pack I got no further than 6th place. That was also the kart with which I had to start the race.

During the race there were two mandatory kart changes. These had to happen at the earliest after 15 minutes and before 15 minutes of the end. I was planning to change immediately after 15 minutes to hopefully get a better kart.

At the start I lost two places, so I drove around on P8 and lost a lot of time on the leaders. After 15 minutes, I was the first one to pit for my first kart change. In my outlap I didn’t see the leaders driving very far behind me. The relief was great as I was fastest on the track from lap one in that kart. The gap with the leaders was getting smaller lap by lap, bringing me virtually closer to the lead, at that time in the hands of Dylan De Wolf. At that time he was the only one who could match my pace.

A bit after halfway I saw Dylan driving into the pits. At that moment I had the ideal track position and I was able to take over his kart. My two kart changes were done at that time and I was able to finish the race with an even faster kart. The lap after my second go-kart change, however, I got hit by Eliano De Vos when he came out of the pit. At that time he was a lap behind (he ended up 17th), so he had nothing to gain with that move. I was quite frustrated about this  incident when a few laps later, Ruben Boutens rejoins just in front of me after his second kart change. I tried to get past Ruben a few times, but I still couldn’t get the move done. Moments later we saw Dylan ahead of us who, after his second kart change, got a very slow kart. A tactical error made me and Ruben catch up with him. Ruben could pass him fairly quickly. It took a little longer for me, because Dylan knew which corners he had to defend. When I finally got past Dylan, Ruben was already too far away to still claim victory …

In the end I became second after this hugely exciting GP. Without that incident with Eliano, I would undoubtedly have stayed on the track in front of Ruben and it would have been a different race.

Because of my two podium places in Kortrijk and Machelen, I eventually climbed up to ninth place in the general classification. If I had driven a full season, I would almost certainly have finished in fourth place and possibly even in third place!

Podium at the Formula Karting race in Kortrijk!

The Formula Karting race in Kortrijk was the 7th race of the season. After I had already competed in the first three races, I was at the start again in this prestigious championship after being absent in the other races.

Kortrijk is a track where I have always felt good, so I went there with high expectations!

In the morning we had two training sessions in which I achieved two top 5 results, which for me was the confirmation of my good shape.

As usual, five heats were held, each time preceded by a hotlap qualification.

My first kart wasn’t too good, so I knew immediately that I had to limit the damage with this. All in all I was able to achieve a reasonable 10th place with this. My direct competitors did not do better with this kart.

Heat two was a lot better. I was able to qualify close behind Ruben Boutens and Mats de Jong. A sequence that we also kept until the finish. Ruben and Mats were just that little bit faster so I couldn’t go for an overtaking attempt.

The third heat was my highlight of the day. A strong hotlap was rewarded with a pole position. Opnithi Puyato qualified just behind me. He also caused the most pressure in the opening laps. However, he took his short-cut lap fairly early, which put him in traffic and lost a spot to Ricardo Vlieger, who had meanwhile closed the gap with me. I was able to defend my first place without too many problems so I won that heat!

I knew my fourth heat would be a scrape result. The kart had never been in the top 10 in the heats before, so I braced myself for a difficult race. I finally finished in 13th place. In my hotlap I made a small mistake, something that may have cost me a place or two.

At that time I was fifth in the daily classification, a podium was still possible, but then I had to finish at least second or higher in the fifth and final heat. Ruben took pole, but I managed to qualify inP2.
Ruben took his shortcut quite quickly in the race, so I decided to keep on driving to get past him. However, he managed to match my times so after my shortcut I came back behind him, although on P2. I tried a few times to overtake, but unfortunately he managed to hold his line . This second place was enough to climb to the third place in the daily classification!

Team world champions!

After not participating at the Kart World Championship for a number of years, I thought it would be a great challenge to be back at the start in 2018.

This year’s edition was held at the Silverhotel indoor circuit in Szczecin (Poland). As you could read earlier, I started training there together with Ward and Christophe in mid-June.

On Monday and Tuesday I had the opportunity to train a decent number of heats. The championship itself ran from Wednesday to Sunday.

The championship consisted of 8 heats with a hot lap qualification, followed by a semi-final for the best ranked 32 drivers and a final for the best ranked 20 drivers.

After the training I had a good feeling in both directions, I was very close to the fastest drivers, although it is always a matter of waiting to see how everyone performs from day to day.

My first day started relatively well. I qualified third in a reasonable kart and was able to finish in fourth place. In my second heat, I started third again in a very good kart. I was somewhat disappointed about my hot lap. Due to a strong strategy and quick pit stop, I managed to come out on top in the end, my first heat win was a fact!

The second day I started the way I finished the first. My hot lap wasn’t too good but I was able to recover by having a strong strategy and fast pit stop. Because of that I won my second heat! In the second heat that day I started from P4. Some battles in front of me in the beginning made me decide to pit early. Initially this seemed to work because I could virtually climb to second place, until a slower participant who had not yet pitted started defending. I lost too much time which caused me to fall back to P6, a pity because a third podium (and P4 overall after day 2) was almost certain.

With these four results I was 9th overall (out of 133 participants) and we were in the lead with the team championship!

On day three I was able to get a 4th place in my first heat.
The second heat initially looked good, a number of very strong drivers, but also a very fast kart. However, the disappointment was great when I could only qualify for P6, it remained my weak point in this years’ championship. During the race I decide to gamble again by going to the pit early and hopefully to be able to gain some places. Right after my pit stop I see Ruben Boutens going for an overtake on Opnithy Puyato for the lead, causing them to lose some time. Because of that incident, I almost immediately won 3-4 places. I quickly realized that it was about winning some extra time compared to Ruben. After a few laps I gained a bit of time, so I took the virtual lead. A little of halfway into the race, the belt broke on Rubens kart, which gave me a big opportunity to secure my third win!

By having another strong day, I rose to P7 overall, with the team we remained in the lead of the championship.

Day four went a lot less well. I received two moderate karts and also did not reach the level of the first three days. I had to be satisfied with a sixth and fourth place in my heats. As a result, I fell back to P11 overall, but with the team we remained in the lead due to strong performances from my teammates.

The semi-finals and final were held on the last day. I was drawn in the first semifinal where I met teammate Selina Balneger. The starting positions were determined by a shoot-out system in which drivers competed one lap with each kart. Because it had rained that morning, the outdoor track was a bit wet. I won my first shoot-out quite easily. In the second round I faced Selina. With the first kart I was a little less than 8 tenths faster than her, despite a big mistake in the first corner. I knew that my first kart was a lot faster, so I was under a lot of pressure to minimize the damage with the second. Unfortunately my mistake with the first kart turned out to be too much, because Selina was two hundredths faster than me. Afterwards it turned out that that mistake might have costed me 15 points in the general classification (Selina won the shoot-out and also won the semi-final with that kart).

I got a moderate go-kart for the semi-final, and managed to get no more than a seventh place (out of 16). I tumbled back to P21 overall, so I had to drive a shoot-out to still reach the final. Mentally I wasn’t in a very good shape anymore. In the shoot-out I immediately met Giovanni Baccelieri, probablt the most unlucky driver this championship, but very fast all week long. I finally lost with a difference of just over a tenth over two laps, so my championship was over and I was not allowed to drive the final, a huge disappointment. The good news was that my teammates did advance to the final, so that our team championship was still alive. In the individual championship, I finally finished in 23rd place, which still was a decent result, although, after such a strong start, my goal was to reach top 10!

In the final, my teammates did enough to secure the title, making us world champion in the team championship!









First points for Oracle TSL!

The Spa Euro race was the second round of the Belcar Endurance Championship 2018.

Jamie could not attend this time due to other commitments. Raf and I participated in this competition as a duo.

In the qualifying on Saturday the car was relatively reliable, but we were simply too slow compared to the rest of the prototypes. Our top speed was about 50km/h (!) lower than the fastest Norma, so the difference in lap times went as high as 24 seconds.

Since there was no time left to get the car mapped again, we decided to drive the race in this configuration to try to collect points for the championship.

I took the start for my account and luckily that went very smooth. Because of some pushing and pulling I could keep up with the GT4 cars in the first few laps. Once everyone got up to speed, I had to let them go. After 40 minutes, a turbo tube popped of, which forced me to enter the pit. Raf took over from me and after the repairs he was able to continue until we had to deal with an oil leak. Once this had been fixed, he could finish his stint without problems.

I got in the car for the last 40 minutes. I tried to keep the car in one piece so we would get some points. In the end, we finished P6 in our class, which was enough for our first points!

After a year and a half of bad luck and mechanical failures, we finally managed to gather points. It turned out that our diesel engine only produced 180hp that weekend, which easily cost us 7-8 seconds per lap.

The next appointment is at the end of June in Zolder. Where the weekend is dominated by the Blancpain Sprint Series.

P5 at the Formula Karting race in FKI

On Saturday 14/04, the third round of the Formula Karting Championship 2018 took place at the track of FKI Machelen.

On Wednesday before the race I drove a club race to get to know the new karts, which went well. I left FKI with a good feeling.

On Saturday it turned out that I had three decent karts and two slower ones.

In my first heat I managed to put myself on pole during the hot lap with only two hundredths of a second margin on Ruben Boutens and five hundredths on Mats De Jong!
I took a decent start and was able to create a small gap to Ruben. I managed to maintain that gap for more than ten laps. I took my shortcut without a mistake, which meant I came back on track in front of Ruben. However, about four laps from the end Ruben came closer which made it quite exciting. On the penultimate lap, he misjudged the situation when we crossed the line for the last lap which allowed me to gain a few meters. Because of this, he had to defend himself and I had enough margin to secure the victory!

In my second heat I qualified myself on P3, again an excellent starting position for a strong result. Unfortunately, after a few laps I was by Yoan Medart, which meant I lost a place. In the end I was able to catch him again, but overtaking was unfortunately impossible, P4 it was.

Because of that strong start I was in second place in the day standings, with still three races to go, nothing was decided, so it was certainly important to score well in the other heats.

In the third heat I drew a slower kart. I could only qualify myself on P8. After two laps I was hit by Ricardo Vlieger, which made me lose three positions. I pushed hard to get back into the race, which seemed to work at first. A few laps later, I tried a new move. Sadly, the driver in front of me turned in, so I got stuck in the wall.
By spinning myself out of the race, I fell back to P17, which gave me only one point, it suddenly looked a worse with two heats to go.

In the fourth heat my kart turned out to be less than expected. I qualified P5 and by a clever tactic I moved up to P4, important points to save my race.

Because of that bad score in my third heat, my podium chances were as good as gone with a slower kart in the last heat. I qualified somewhat surprisingly on P9. In the race itself it quickly became clear that a few drivers behind me were faster. Because of some bumping in front of me I lost ‘only’ two places and I stayed in front of Opnithi who was just ahead of me in the day standings. Because of the scratch result, I came one point short on him, I finally finished fifth in the day standings. Not the result I wanted when I look back at the pace I had.

I will miss the next races in Poperinge and Nijverdal due to obligations in the Belcar championship. In September, I might be back to finish the last four rounds of the season!


And that’s two! We won the 6 hours of FKI!

The 6 hours of FKI has become a tradition through the years. This event is organized every year by Traxxis teammate Ward Maenhout at the karting track of FKI in Machelen. Every year, quite a few strong teams decide to take part, which makes this race very interesting.

This year, there were seven(!) Traxxis teams, a Bluestar team and as usual a team entered by DWT.

In comparison to last year, this year’s race was one six-hour race instead of a two times three-hour event. I decided to enter a team quite quickly. In the search for a quick teammate, I came across Mats de Jong once again. He was convinced quite quickly. I won the six hours with Mats three years ago and we ended second in the last two editions.

Qualifying was divided in three separate sessions of 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 lap respectively. Only during the first session we could swap drivers. We decided to let me start Q1. After three quick laps I came in to let Mats finish the session. On that moment, we were P1 with a margin of 0.2s on P2. Mats further improved and stayed on top during Q1. He repeated that performance during Q2 to miss out on pole by a very small margin after a small mistake in his quick lap.

Mats drove the first two hours of the race, which he did without any mistakes. He handed over the wheel to me with a 12s bonus on P2, DWT.

With two good karts I could extend our lead to just over a lap. After 20 minutes in my second kart, the front left axle broke which made me end up in the barrier. I was forced to step into a spare kart which was more than one second per lap slower than our previous one. DWT was catching us quickly. My third kart wasn’t too good either but I was able to keep the gap steady so I could hand over the wheel to Mats in P1.

With a fast and average kart, Mats could extend our lead to 50 seconds to P2.

I got in for the last stint. When all kart changes were done, the gap with DWT was a little over 30 seconds, with 40 minutes remaining. With an average kart, I lost some time to DWT, but not enough to bring our lead in danger. With a little under twenty minutes left, I decided not to take any more risks. DWT gained a bit more time from then on, but they finished about nine seconds behind us, which meant we won the six hours of FKI for the second time! Bluestar completed the podium after a strong comeback.


Strong comeback in my Formula Karting debut

On the 10th of February, the start of the third season of the Formula Karting championship took place at the track of Dolhain.

For me, this was a step in the dark as this will be my first season in this high-level championship. Given the strong field of participants, I’ll be aiming for a top 5 spot overall.

On Friday evening I did some training together with my Traxxis teammates Ward Maenhout and Nick Van Ostade. We drove two 30-minute heats which was more than welcome for me. The last time I drove in Dolhain was in April last year.

On Saturday, there were five heats of each 17 laps preceded by a one-lap qualifying to determine the starting order of each heat. In each heat, you could take one short-cut but you were also obligated to do one (timed) pitstop. This was done to create more overtaking abilities.

With a 5th, 8th, 10th and two 3rd places, I eventually ended up in sixth overall. I wasn’t too unhappy about that result as I climbed up four places in the overall ranking with my last two heats.

My first few hot laps were a bit too conservative. My last ones were much better, mostly by taking more risk. A better overall result seemed quite impossible as I lacked that tiny bit of pace to the fastest drivers that day. All in all, very happy with the points scored for the championship!

The next race takes place in Essen on the 10th of March, a track I never really liked although I seemed to have found some pace during last year’s 12h race we drove over there. The format of that race will be four heats of 18 minutes each preceded by a one lap qualifying.

Next appointment is the 6h of FKI in two weeks where I will team up with Mats de Jong. After our win in 2015 and a second place in 2016 and 2017, we will do our best to bring home the victory for the second time.



Started the season with a podium!

The first appointment of the season was the 555 laps at Kart Centre Roosendaal on Saturday, January 13th.

I formed a Traxxis team together with Peter Neefs, Detlef Pahl and Nico van Ostade. I saw this race as a good opportunity to gain some more race rhythm after a long winter and a few months of inactivity.

Before the race we drove one heat as a preparation where I felt comfortable quite fast. I must admit I had a good kart but even then, my lap times were good.

The qualifying consisted of two hot laps. One at 80kg and one at 95kg. I drove the one at 80kg and Detlef did the one at 95kg.

My hot lap was with quite a margin the worst part (luckily) of the whole evening. It became immediately clear why I wanted to do that training heat. The sharpness to put down a fast lap right away was missing which resulted in a horrible seventh place (11 teams participating). Rarely had I been so dissatisfied about my hot lap. Detlef managed to do quite a lot better than me with a P5 in his hot lap. That performance confirmed my suspicion that our qualifying kart wasn’t the best there was.

We decided that I would take the start. Having started from P6 I managed to climb my way up to P5 and a bit later to P4. Later, I felt that I had lost a little too much in the opening stages of the race, the lack of race rhythm surely had its role in that.

Detlef, Nick and Peter all drove quite solid stints and we could find ourselves at P3-4 during those stints.
In my second stint we all expected a slower kart which turned out to be a lot quicker. After two laps I was fastest on track and during the rest of that stint I remained quickest together with Danny (who went on to win the race with Rico).

After my second stint my teammates put in some good stints what gave us the confidence to fully go for P3. Three stints from the end it became exciting when our nearest competitors started closing in quite quickly. Shortly after that stint their comeback ended.

I got to drive the last stint of the race. With a good kart I was second fastest on track being only 0,05-0,1s/lap slower than Danny. We eventually took the chequered flag in P3 with a bonus of about 30s on P4.

19th overall at the British Rental Kart Championship

During the weekend of January 20th and 21st, the British Rental Kart Championship was held at the track of Formula Fast in Milton Keynes.

Even though this championship has been organized for several years, this was only my first participation. Previous years I missed the event due to exams.

We left on Friday morning to Milton Keynes, so we could do some training heats in the evening. These heats were more than welcome for me as this was a complete new track for me.

The championship consisted of four qualifying heats, a semi-final for the best 30 drivers and a final for the top 10. With 100 high level drivers and no drop result, it was therefore important to score strongly in the qualifying heats. During each race there was one mandatory pitstop to improve overtaking.

My first race was immediately a very strong heat with Ruben Boutens, Thom Van Dijk, Oliver Bayani, Bjorn Vermeulen, etc… I got a good kart (16) but a slightly too conservative hot lap only resulted in P7, although 0.13 from pole. Half a tenth quicker would have resulted in P3… The lack of training had its consequences. Luckily, I drove a relatively strong race and I could still climb my way up to P5. A podium would have been possible with a better hot lap.

In the second heat I got a slower kart, but I managed to put myself on pole with a margin of one tenth of a second on my Traxxis teammate Sander De baets and local hero Ed White. Both were quicker during the race which forced me to defend quite quickly. That seemed to work well until Ed tried to pass with me with optimistic moves. We lost quite a lot of time and with his second move at the end he managed to pass me. A bigger issue for me was Johnny Elliot who started from 4th but did his pitstop in the penultimate lap. Because Ed passed me, the gap to Johnny was too big to stay in front after his pitstop. P3 was the result, a bit disappointed with that result after a very strong hot lap.

In the third heat, it soon became clear to me that a victory was not going to happen. I got kart 17, one of the slower karts in the pack. Eventually, I qualified myself quite surprisingly at P4, a position I could hold until the end.

I got a decent kart in the fourth and last regular heat. I qualified in third behind Chris Daines and Thomas Zels. In the race it soon became clear that I was faster than both guys in front of me. Overtaking them seemed impossible with a kart that lacked a bit of power. Thomas decided to pit early allowing me to close the gap to Chris. Whatever I tried, passing Chris was impossible so I decided to pit earlier than I planned. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out as well as I hoped as Chris re-joined right in front of me after his pitstop which meant I had to settle for P2.

After the qualifying heats I was P24 overall, so it became clear that a final was out of the question.

In the semi-final, I wanted to show that I was worth more than a top 25 overall. However, those ambitions were quickly tempered when I drew the second slowest kart out of the pack. Despite all the setbacks, I decided to go for it one more time, which led to a surprising fourth place after the hot lap qualification.

During the race it became clear really fast that a few guys behind me were quicker. Traxxis teammate Yoeri VdG was the first to arrive in my bumper, I decided to let him through to not lose more time by defending. Later, this turned out to be a good move as I re-joined in 6th after my pitstop, which meant I only lost one more place. I managed to keep P7 and 8 behind me until the end of the race. P6 was surely not enough to get into the top 10, but it gave me enough point to get into the top 20.

In the final ranking, I eventually climbed up to 19th overall. Certainly not the result that I aimed for but considering the circumstances not bad at all!

Convincing win in the 3h endurance Marc Goossens

Every year, the fan club of Marc Goossens organizes a 3-hour endurance race besides their annual ‘GP Marc Goossens’.

This sympathetic race was held on Sunday 21/10 and was driven at indoor karting Antwerp.

Moreover, there were very nice prizes to win for the top 3 of the race. The winners were given an initiation of Rotax Max on Venray, the second and third place each received an initiation of DFK Formula Honda on Venray, all offered by DFK De Feyter!

16 teams eventually signed up for this race, there were forced to reject a team because the race was full. A nice turnout for the first edition at Indoor Karting Antwerp.

The format was simple. The qualification lasted 15 minutes, followed by a 3-hour race. It turns out that a simple set-up can also provide an afternoon of fun!

Together with Yoeri Van der Gucht and Stefan Verhofsté – both Traxxis teammates – I appeared at the start under the (logical) name “Traxxis”. For us it was an excellent opportunity to ride on another track in a relaxed atmosphere with the chance to take home a nice prize.

Yoeri took the first 5 minutes of qualifying and could easily place us on P1. I took over from him for the last 10 minutes – I had not driven on the new track in Antwerp – and could eventually improve our time even further, which proved to be more than enough for the pole.

At the flying start I was well away and I could immediately make a gap on the rest of the field. After a good 1-hour race, I passed the wheel to Yoeri, we were a lap ahead of our closest competitors. Yoeri and Stefan were able to drive two very tight stints, which meant we never ran into problems and could steadily increase our lead.

We finally won the race with 5 laps ahead of “Speed ​​Freaks” who finished second. My Oracle Cars team-mate, Raf van Belle, finished 4th with his team (Racing for Hope).

Because of our victory we won an initiative Rotax Max on the circuit of Venray, something that will undoubtedly be a fun experience after having stopped racing for a while.