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!