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!


Difficult start of the Belcar 2018 campaign

The weekend of 7 and 8 April was all about the Belcar Endurance Championship in Zolder, the official start of the new season.

The program for the entire weekend was great, highlighted by the Blancpain Sprint Series (European GT3 championship) and the European GT4 Series.

Just like last year, I am part of the Oracle Cars team, reinforced this year by Turbo Synthesis Ltd. The car had received a complete make-over during the winter (both internally and externally), which led us to the Zolder in good spirits.

However, it was a weekend to quickly forget with a broken gearbox on Friday, a broken turbo on Saturday and an engine problem on Sunday.

Next appointment is on 30/06 and 01/07 in Spa for the second race of the season where we will have a brand-new engine that has already passed a full test day. More than 100 rounds have been completed on the Donnington (UK) circuit, allowing the team to collect valuable data. The first reactions were very positive, the new engine has a lot more power, so we in Spa we should be a lot more competitive.

A disappointment avoided on the last possible moment in Essen

After a relatively good opener of my Formula Karting campaign it was already time for the second race of the season in Essen (DE).

Essen has never been my favourite track, although I had found something extra during the 12 hours last year, so I thought I would be able to stand a chance for a good day’s result. However, we had to wait and see how the kart differences were going to be, last year it turned out to be a weak point in Essen.

On Friday evening I went down to Essen together with Traxxis teammates Ward Maenhout and Nick Van Ostade to do several heats. Nick turned out to be very strong, as expected, and I expected him to be comfortable in the top five a day later. I had to try something myself, but at the end of the evening I had a good feeling.

On Saturday my race could not start worse with a second to last starting position in the first heat. in qualifying, I immediately noticed that this kart had no power. Sadly enough, I was not allowed to change before the heat started. Due to some bumping in front of me, and a well-timed shortcut, I could win a few places, which ultimately gave me one miserable point.

Since Formula Karting works with a half-scrap result (the worst result only counts half), I was in bad papers right away.

In heat two I drew a decent kart and qualified in 6th place. However, I was pushed into the tires halfway by Selina Balneger by driving me straight to a corner of the track. Unfortunately, she was not punished for that move. I eventually became 10th, while I was in 6th or 7th place before the incident.

Heat three was a bit similar, even though my kart was just a bit less and there were some drivers behind me a bit faster after I started 7th. In the final stages, I got hit by Christian Douven when he took his shortcut. I went wide and lost three places, so I only finished in 11th.

The last heat I a solid kart in which I could qualify as 8th after a medium hot lap qualification. I won a place in the final stage when Nick did an optimistic manoeuvre on Thom Van Dijk. With that 6th place I went up from P14 to P9 in the day standings.

The pace was not quite there, but with the bad luck in race 1 in combination with the actions in the next two heats I was happy to finish in the top 10. Without these things a 7th place would have been the maximum achievable.

Next appointment is the circuit of FKI Machelen, a track that suits my driving style a lot more and where I hope to gain some points on my closest competitors!

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.

P5 at the 8h of FKI

The 8h at FKI has become a tradition through the years as this race is always held at ‘carless Sunday’ in Brussels.

In comparison to other years I wasn’t driving this edition with Mats de Jong but with another Traxxis teammate. I opted to choose for Stefan Verhofsté as we have done a lot of (succesfull) races in the past which made it an easy and logical choice.

The game was preceded by a 45-minute free practice and three qualifying heats to determine the starting order.

During the free practice, Stefan was just that bit quicker than me at first, after a number of instructions the difference was almost completely eliminated at the end of the session and we drove around the same pace. We felt that we had a good kart which meant that a starting position at the front seemed possible.

Stefan took care of the first session and placed us in the top 5, which was more than enough to continue to the next session. During the second session I drove a top 10 time which allowed us to continue to the final and deciding session. I managed to squeeze out a very good lap and qualify so somewhat surprisingly on P3.


At the start, poleman Matts Breckpott almost stalled immediately so I could make a move for P2. In the lead there was a junior driver who was – because of the max. 20kg lead rule –  easily 20kg lighter which allowed him to pull a pretty big gap on me.
During my second stint I had a hard time adjusting to the new kart, a kart that totally did not fit my driving style so I lost valuable time, it took me a bit too long to adapt to this kart.


Stefan drove two solid stints after me so we stayed in the top 5, but it was difficult to predict where we would end up at that time.


I drove another two and a half stint with a couple of varying karts, I was pretty constant but still missed that bit of pace in comparison with the fastest drivers.

Stefan finished the race and ended up very close to P4 but unfortunately the race was just too short to get there. A podium place wasn’t that far away either.

P5 during the 8h of FKI is not the result I had hoped for, but sometimes there are days where you perform a bit less and you have to be satisfied with that little bit less …





Eleven Sports 24h of Zolder

The Eleven Sports 24h of Zolder was the fourth and most important meeting of the Belcar Endurance Championship 2017 which was held at the 19th and 20th of August.

The team decided to attract a fourth driver, this turned out to be Raf van Belle.

The Cosworth engine in our Radical SR5 was replaced by a Volkswagen TDI unit. Mainly to improve the reliability and autonomy of the car.

A novelty this year was the obligated parade to the city centre of Heusden-Zolder where all cars were lined up and accessible for the public.

As usual there were different training and qualifying sessions on Thursday. There were two training sessions of each one hour, followed by two qualifying sessions of each one hour as well. At the end of the day there was a three-hour night session in which each driver had to drive at least three timed laps to be allowed to start.

During the first qualifying session we ran into some small issues concerning the engine management. These were fixed quite fast however. Afterwards I got a 1’42″779 out of the car, a time which remained unbroken for the rest of the day and put us 22nd on the grid.
In the evening we found quite a few issues with turbo pressure which tended to drop under heavy load. The team remained confident as they had an entire day to find the issue and bring the car in perfect condition to the start.

On Friday I wasn’t at the track myself, but the car was modified and improved throughout the entire day by the Oracle Cars crew. The turbo issue was also found and fixed.

On Saturday morning there was foreseen a short warm-up, the ideal moment to test the car and do some last checks before the race.

Raf took the start at 4pm and remained between P20-25 until he boxed after 40 minutes when the turbo pressure started to drop again. After a long intervention I took over from Raf but sadly I drove a three-hour stint with only in and out laps until the issue was finally found. In the end it became clear that one issue was causing another one which made us lose a lot of time. After three hours of doing test laps I was forced to get out of the car to not exceed the maximum driving time. Raf took over again and could drive an almost flawless stint.

It was then time for me to get some rest. When I arrived again in the box the next morning I heard Eric and Jamie had driven almost flawless stints as well, so we were still in the running.

On Sunday morning I drove my last stint. After a little more than two hours I almost lost the rear end of the car coming out of the slow hairpin. I was able to pit, but there became clear that the rubber from the left driveshaft was burned. The grease on the driveshaft was spilled on the engine which caught fire. Luckily, I was able to get out of the car fast enough.

After a thorough check it seemed that there wasn’t too much damage to the car. However, because there was less than one hour left, we weren’t allowed to re-enter the track. We were forced to retire the car after 23 hours and 40 minutes…

I’d like to thank the whole Oracle Cars crew for their endless determination and effort during this difficult weekend. Without them, we wouldn’t have gotten that far!