A home match awaited Martijn van Leeuwen at the third event of the CIK-FIA KF European Championship. The Dutchman hoped for a trend reversal in Belgian Genk. Even though not everything went according to plan, the Keijzer Racing team driver achieved his best result of the season so far.
After the kick-off races in Italy and Spain, the EM travelled to Belgium. The 1.360m long track in Genk made for perfect surroundings for the third race of the European Kart Championship. The field of participants was strongly manned once again, counting 62 drivers from 20 nations. Martijn van Leeuwen started highly motivated in front of his native audience: “I know this track very well. Last year we were able to win the German Championship right here, which should be a good sign for this weekend.”
The start into the racing event didn’t go all that perfect for the Zanardi driver though. Ending up on 23rd place after qualifying, he stayed far behind his own expectations and was a little disappointed: “I attacked with full force, but somehow nothing better was possible in the end. We’ll have to analyze this now.”
Martijn then proved his fighting spirit during the course of the three heats. He fought his way forward due to great maneuvers and finished the races on two fifth and one ninth place. Thereby, he improved his position on the overall list of rankings to the seventh place and had best chances regarding the final races again. “After qualifying, we worked on my kart setting some more and were able to minimize my deficit to the leading drivers”, Martijn explained on Saturday evening.
On Sunday, a breathtaking backdrop awaited the drivers. Under beaming sunshine, 10.000 kart racing fans found their ways to Genk and saw exciting races. During the pre-finale, Martijn was able to establish himself in the front field and came in 9th. The finale then started with a moment of shock though, because the 15-year-old youngster’s engine didn’t start and Martijn had to rush after the other drivers. He was able to regain his position until the starting formation though and achieved a perfect start. During the course of the 23 laps, he was able to fight his way forward to fifth position and could rejoice over his best result of the season at the European Championship so far in the evening: “Finally, the penny has dropped and we’ve had the necessary luck. I’m very content with my fifth place. Huge thanks to Willemjan Keijzer, Renato de Visser, KVS Engines and all the partners who have supported me.”
In two weeks, Martijn is going to participate in his next race in German Wackersdorf. The second event of the German Kart Championship is going to take place there. After lots of bad luck during the kick-off, he is now aiming for a place on the podium.