Last weekend, the World Kart Championship took place in French Essay. The races were among the highlights of the year for Dutchman Martijn van Leeuwen. After a thrilling start the youngster finished the finale on the great fifth place.
The start of the young Dutchman wasn’t so sure at first. On the way to France, the Keijzer Racing Team’s van and all the equipment burned down. “That was a huge obstacle for us. Three chassis, spare parts, tools and our team tent were completely destroyed. Only due to the help of countless people were we able to start at all”, explained Martijn.
72 drivers from 23 nations started on the 1.215m long Circuit International d’Aunay Les Bois in French Essay. After the agitating journey, the team had to find the right setup for qualifying and the races during the free trainings. Martijn was confident prior to the races: “The track is very challenging; our times are right and I’m sure we’ll be able to achieve a good position during qualifying.”
Ending up on fourth place of his group, Martijn achieved a good start at qualifying. He was on 23rd place on the overall list of rankings and thereby had a good starting position for the following four heats. By achieving a sixth and two seventh places, he drove among the front field, but also had to deal with an accident that wasn’t his fault and thereby only ended up on the 22nd overall position. “Nothing’s lost yet. Despite the accident, everything went perfectly during the races. Things are now going to get exciting during the final races tomorrow”, explained Martijn.
For the pre-finale, rain caused new conditions on the track in the Normandy. Directly after the start, the Dutchman was involved in two collisions and found himself at the back of the field. He gave it his best until the finish line though and ended up on 17th place. The young driver was unstoppable during the grand finale then. Due to an impressive performance he stormed through the field and came in on the incredible fifth place. “I can’t believe it yet. After the fire, the whole team has worked really hard and now we’re on fifth place of the World Kart Championship, which is a great result. A huge thank you to all the helpers, Keijzer Racing, my sponsors and my engine partner KVS for their amazing support”, the youngster summed up the WM-weekend.
Things will get serious for the Zanardi driver once again in two weeks. In Belgian Genk, he is going to fight for the German Kart Championship title. After a falling out in Kerpen Martijn is now in the role of the pursuer and wants to attack during his home race. “I know Genk really well and am very confident about being able to win the senior title after having won at the juniors last season”, Martijn dared a slight preview.