Tag 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!

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!


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!









Double podium at the 2x 5h Cup in Szczecin!

During the weekend of the 16th and 17th of June, a 2x 5 hour race took place on the Silverhotel track in Szczecin (Poland). Since the Kart World Championship is being organized here in 5 weeks, this was an excellent opportunity to start training on this track.

Together with my Traxxis teammates Ward Maenhout and Christophe Verhoeven I went to Poland for this 2x 5h race. The first was held on Saturday afternoon, the second one on Sunday morning. This made it possible for us to return home Sunday evening.

On Saturday Christophe took the start from second place. He was able to hold on to that for a long time and even managed to attack Rico Haarbosch (Dutch Value) in first place. Ward took over from Christophe after 1h20 and brought us in at P3. After our pit stop we were back on P2 so I had the task not to lose time and try to maintain our position. We succeeded which meant we immediately grabbed our first podium of the weekend!

The race on Sunday was a copy of the one on Saturday, with the difference that I was allowed to leave on pole just before Dutch Value. Giovanni, who started for them, was just a little bit more consistent, he eventually passed me after a few laps. I was able to stay in his bumper until the end of my stint, making us comfortable on P2. Ward and Christophe both drove sublime stints, which meant we also finished at P2 in the second race!

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.



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 …