WSK Euro Round #4 – Karting Genk International Circuit: Thursday, May 30, 2013 – Sunday, June 02, 2013
The Track: Karting Genk International Circuit
Length: 1350 m Width: 8.5/12 m
The Karting Genk International Circuit was absolutely fantastic from a driver’s perspective! It was an extremely fun layout to drive. The layout created a lot of passing, which is great for both driver and spectator no matter the circumstances. The track design and structure is in my opinion one of, if not the best in Europe. It had Formula One style run off, and it was a classy facility. Very modern, for a karting facility. The one big downside to the track though was the location. The weather was absolutely crazy. Sunny, then cloudy at the snap of a finger! I don’t like this, because it puts a lot of stress not only on the driver but the mechanic. And Genk, Belgium is known worldwide for this. Also, the track is located right next to a Motocross track. This is really annoying, because with all the dust the track would change a huge amount from session to session. You never knew what the track conditions we’re going to be, which is very difficult as a driving always having to adapt to the conditions given but still being on the absolute limit.
Track Facility: 10/10
Track Layout: 9.5/10
Track Location: 6/10
Crazy weather in Belgium!
No one was ever kidding if they told you Belgium has the most unusual weather! It’s not like anything I’ve seen before! One minute it’s pouring, the next minute it’s crystal clear and beautiful. This irritates me more than anything, because as a driver you prepare yourself for the conditions. But when they constantly change you have to stay on the edge of your seat, never settling yourself into the condition because it constantly is changing! One thing to make up for the stress the weather caused though was the beautiful hotel Energy Corse stayed in. It was a Golf Resort, fit with a pool, sauna and snookers table. After a long day at the track I would hit the pool and sauna with my teammates to relax! I don’t know how I would have made it through the week if it wasn’t for the pool and sauna!
Another extremely impressive Qualifying result!
In qualifying I managed to take the Pole position overall out of a field of 80 drivers in KFJ! In my session I had two-tenths gap to the next best qualifier. That was plenty enough for me to move onto SuperPole. SuperPole we just didn’t put it all together. We missed the setup just a bit in the chassis, and my best lap wasn’t absolutely perfect. We missed a tenth to the best, and took home fourth overall in SuperPole. Disappointed that we couldn’t have made it three SuperPole wins in a row, but still a great result against the worlds best.
Two heat wins, ranked fifth overall after the heats!
After a 3 strong heats, two of which wins and another top five I was ranked fifth overall. I made a mistake though in my very first heat, which lead to a 12th place finish. This is why with our very good finishes I would only be ranked as best as fifth in the field. This would give me an excellent starting position of third in Pre Final A.
Disappointing Pre Final showing for me
What was looking as a possible front row starting position in the Final went all wrong in the Pre Final where I ended up fourth. I was in second position the whole race until the closing laps where we fell off a bit compared to our competitors. It definitely wasn’t my best drive either by any means. I should have got aggressive and fended them off in the closing laps. They took advantage of it and I came home fourth. This would start me seventh for the Final due to two Pre Finals in KFJ.
Add another podium to an already fantastic debut season!
In the Final the chassis was nothing but the norm, very fast! The engine was spot on and if it wasn’t for the mad scramble battling in the opening lap I think I would have had a fair chance to win the race! It’s too bad that first and second were a straightaway ahead of me in third but that’s European racing for you, we battle to the breaking point. On the first lap I advanced to third but was overtaken aggressively and dropped back to ninth. At that point all the drivers we’re pushing each other over the limit in a panic attack situation trying to make up ground. We we’re making it five wide into corners that are tricky to just place a singlewide pass. Through all the madness I quickly made it up to third knowing what was going on so that I could break away from the battling group. My plan worked out perfect, and even though we had enough for a win I’m glad I recovered and took a well-deserved podium finish!
This all could not be possible without the partners of Parker Thompson Racing. Thank you very much Sylvan Lake RV, RLV, Bell Racing Helmets, Tillett Racing Seats, CanadianKartingNews.com, Racing Against Cancer, Panigada European Transport, GFR Engines, TM Racing Engines, Douglas Wheels, Tillotson Carburetors and Energy Corse Factory. For more information check out www.parkerthompsonracing.com or Parker Thompson Racing on Facebook and Twitter @parkertracing.