Tag Archives: FKI

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!

6th place and fastest lap at 8h FKI!

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!


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.


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 …





Win at the 4h kick-off in Bruges!

It was a last minute call to participate in the annual kick-off street race in Bruges organized by Kart-events.be, which was held on Sunday the 9th of April.

The race was a 4h endurance preceded by a 30 minutes qualifying session. The great organization behind this event and the gorgeous weather made it an amazing day!

Via FKI and Dimitri Kokken I was teamed up with Opnithi Puyato, we represented the fourth FKI team (FKI.BE 4). Initially I thought a podium belonged to the possibilities.

Opnithi drove the first 15 minutes of the qualifying session and drove the second fastest time at that moment right behind FKI.BE 2 where Philippe Kerssebeeck was driving. I took over from Opnithi and managed to stay second untill the end. We were 0,25s behind P1 and 0,3s in front of P3 were we found my Traxxis teammates. 

We decided to divide the race in two stints of two hours each and to keep our second obligated pitstop in case we got stuck in traffic. During the first and last 30 minutes of the race each team was allowed to do two short-cut laps, an extra strategic element!

During my stint I could keep up quite easy with Philippe. I decided to stay right behind him as pulling a gap was almost impossible due to the slipstream effect on the long straights. The kart changes were a bit different than we are normally used to. Your next kart was the one of the team a position ahead of you. Staying behind Philippe meant I would’ve gotten his kart after the first kart change. However, this rule was changed during the first stint so eventually, I should’ve given it a try to pull a gap on Philippe.

After the first kart change I had a small advantage on Philippe and I was able to keep pulling away. Our second kart was quite a lot slower in comparison to our first one and with Kris Cools driving for #1 Standwork in a fast kart, our advantage of over 30 seconds disappeared quickly.

In the meantime, Opnithi had taken over the wheel from me and he could keep the lead until 10 minutes before the second and last kart changes started. Johan Huygens, who had taken over from Kris Cools, passed Opnithi with a clean move but Opnithi reduced the damage to a minimum by keeping the gap quite small. When Standwork made their second kart change, Opnithi got the opportunity to keep driving for a few more laps as we had to change our kart as 27th (#27). Johan had to adapt a bit to his new kart and Opnithi managed to stay in front after he had done our last kart change. In the last hour, Opnithi managed to pull a gap on Johan to secure our victory!

It’s obvious I am very happy with this results, finally a flawless race where everything fell into place!



6h FKI night race

Saturday the 25th of February the fifth edition of the 6h of FKI was held.
I formed a team with Mats dJ where we used our usual teamname Traxxis CU@Finish.

Mats drove the qualification which was divided in three different heats of five minutes where the average of the best three laptimes counted. Mats placed us second on the grid behind DWT.

This years edition existed out of two seperate three hour races. One in normal direction and one in reverse direction. Mats was driving another race on sunday so we decided I was doing the last part of the second race.

Mats’ start kart was really good. After only five laps he could pass DWT to take the lead. He managed to build a nice advantage to our closest competitors of about 9,5s untill he accidently came in the pits too early. He lost his advantage but managed to stay in the lead. Our second and third kart were a lot less quick whilst our competitors had one kart that was faster which eventually made the difference. Mats drove the whole race and ended it on P2. His mistake in the pits hadn’t cost us any place so it didn’t really matter in the end, everyone can make a mistake.

The grid positions were swapped per two karts for the second race. P2 became P1, P1 became P2 etc,… Because Mats finished P2 in the first race I could start the second race from pole. I knew my first kart was not good so I decided to defend my position from the beginning to try and stay in the lead untill the first kart change because I also knew our second kart was a lot better. However my plan seemed to work at first, I got crashed into the wall after only five laps by Kevin Caprasse en this without any sanction. I dropped back to third and it didn’t take long before P4 and P5 passed me too. Luckily I didn’t loose too much time in comparison to the leaders although it could’ve been much closer if it wasn’t for such a scandalous action in the beginning.

With the second kart I was fastest on track quite often while our closest competitors, DWT, had my first kart. Their advantage decreased rapidly which put me back in front of them. Every race there were two mandatory driver changes. Mats and I solved this by doing these changes immediatly after each other. This gave us the possibility to drive one race each.

With the last kart I was slower than DWT and with 30 minutes to go Felipe Vieira was right behind me. The duel for second place, and more important, for the overall win, started. Even if DWT finished third in this race they would’ve won with a one point advantage over Mats and me although I saw Jeroen Vatlet, in fourth position, getting closer quite a lot so everything was still possible. I tried to defend as hard as I could without going over the limit of what was acceptable and what was not.

About 20 minutes before the end Kevin Caprasse joined the fight although he was one lap behind so he had nothing to win anymore. He managed to ‘pass’ Felipe quite easy. Wat followed next were 10 minutes of pushing and bumping untill Felipe managed to pass Kevin again. Two laps later Felipe launched himself into the side of my kart. The impact was hard enough to bend the right front of my kart. Luckily I got a spare kart and I was allowed to resume the race in front of Felipe. However I didn’t loose any time, I did expect a penalty at least for such a scandalous action. Within 5 minutes Felipe decided to push me in the back so he could pass me, again no penalty was given. Within the same lap Kevin Caprasse rammed me at the fastest part of the track causing me to crash into the wall at 40-50 km/h. Keep in mind he had nothing to win in that duel as he was already a lap down.

I eventually finished the race in third position but I couldn’t care about the result anymore. The fact that almost everyone saw those moves (including the owner of the track) but no penalties were giving still bothers me.

Mats and I eventually became second overall, not a bad result with 26 teams participating although I was pretty frustrated about the fact that such actions were allowed.