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 …