Sun, rain, sun, drizzle ... The drivers of the IAME International Open have seen all the colors on the occasion of one of the flagship events of the 2018 IAME International Series, back to Karting des Fagnes in Mariembourg (Belgium) after three years of absence. Capricious weather conditions that did not cool the Warriors engaged in this great karting party very "international" with 20 countries represented.
After cutting the Castelletto asphalt three seasons in a row, it was time for the IAME International Open, previously the X30 Challenge Europa, to return to Wallonia for a pascal week-end in the name of quality and diversity. With twenty nationalities on the grid, the peloton could proudly claim its "international" status, something to delight the organizers of the event: "It's always very special to set up the Open. We had the cream of European drivers and it was on the track with very tight sleeves and weather conditions muddled the cards at the outset. In the end, the atmosphere was excellent all weekend, I had feedback from many drivers and stable owners who congratulated us on the quality of the organization. Everything was perfect, except perhaps the weather, rather contrasted, but we are in Belgium, after all! "
After a brief passage of rain on Friday, history to upset the qualifying, the sun was in the game for Saturday before the return of the drops on Sunday morning, and a thinning in the afternoon. Changing conditions that did not prevent sumptuous debates on the track.
X30 Mini: Lecertua pulls out of the game
As is often the case, the X30 Mini (8-12 years old) category has offered a great fair of podiums with several drivers who are candidates for the title of International Open Champion. From Friday, Kimmy Abraham (DimoKart), the Belgian Mini 2017 champion, took pole position in the wet before dominating the three qualifying heats the following day. Race 1, however, saw Estonian Ruben Volt (Dan Holland Racing) take the lead after a fierce duel. Lorens Lecertua (Ravet Racing), discreet on Saturday, was on the podium in front of an unlucky Amaury Meertens (MGR Racing) early in the race. The Race 2 was even more indecisive with a surprise guest, the Luxembourger Maxime Furon-Castelain (VDK Racing), who snatched his first success of the weekend against Lecertua and Simon Lacroix (Ravet Racing), author of a solid up from tenth place on the grid. After a course almost without fault, Kimmy Abraham missed his flight to finish at the foot of the podium in front of Volt. After a difficult Race 1, Amaury Meertens was unlucky again, clinging to the tumult of the first turns. With his double-podium (2nd and 3rd), Lorens Lecertua won the international title of the category ahead of Ruben Volt and Maxime Furon-Castelain.
X30 Junior: The flawless of Balota
In the category reserved for drivers aged between 12 and 14, Sam Balota has left only crumbs to opponents from all walks of life (nine nationalities!). Despite the strong opposition displayed by Alessandro Tudisca (Tys Racing) and the Estonians of Aix Racing, Ken Oska Algre and Rimmo
Kapadik on Saturday, the Eurokarting boarder took pole position at home. three qualifying heats before transforming the test during the races, first on the wet then on the dry. Tudisca didn’t demerit by climbing on the second step of the final podium in front of Canadian Jason Leung (PDB Racing), third in Race 2, Ken Oskar Algre and Loïs Delbart (3DK), at the foot of the podium in Race 1. Despite a premature abandonment of mechanical trouble during Race 1, Sita Van Meert (P1 Racing), thirteenth overall, received the trophy for the Best Lady of the weekend, ahead of the Dutch Summer Webb (PG Motorsport).
X30 Senior: Van Splunteren as a sovereign
With 67 entrants (for 14 nationalities!), The X30 Senior category (accessible from 14 years old) was the focus of attention this weekend Pascal. At the end of the six qualifying heats (3 for each driver) played on the dry track on Saturday, Frenchman Franck Chappard (VDK) emerged at the top of the hierarchy with two successes, as much as Elie Goldstein (VDK) and Joey Van Splunteren ( Evolution Super-B). The Dutch won Sunday morning in race 1, on a greasy track in front of Chappard and Matteo Raspatelli (RSD Karting) particularly at ease. Note that this race, was interrupted, the red flag, in the first round, following a spectacular collision leaving Rens Van Pelt, a candidate for the podium, on the floor. Fortunately, more fear than harm for the boarder of Eurokarting, back for the second race which saw Corentin Collignon (VDK Racing), returned from the Devil Vauvert, come spice up the debates in front of Van Splunteren and Goldstein, finally disqualified after the arrival. Three weeks after his victory at the IAME Series Benelux, Joey Van Splunteren returned with the honors of the International title before Collignon, Chappard and Vincent Marserou (CBK), who had to whip to return from his distant 41st place qualifying practice.
X30 Master: Peurière with the way
As for the Masters (at least 30 years old), the representatives of Beyond-Quiévrain showed a fine speed in a category where experience often rhymes with passion. Already in the spotlight at the IAME Series Benelux, Wilfried Lecarpentier (RSD Karting) showed himself at the start of the qualifying session against his compatriot François Peurière (Team Peurière), returning to the competition this year and Fabio Kieltyka (RSD Karting). The regional stage had also a lot to do in this fight three which continued during the qualifying heats from where Peurière ended up emerge. Sunday, started in the cold and rain, smiled again to the Frenchman who won in Race 1 in front of a Kieltyka happy to contain the attacks of Lecarpentier. The record holder of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Karting took revenge that afternoon without succeeding in challenging the second success of Peurière, synonymous with the title. The third step of the podium went to a valiant Alain Bazard (Eurokarting), returned from the Devil Vauvert on a Fabio Kieltyka ending on the kneecaps after a duel of high-fight with Gerard Cavalloni (Jess Kart), the Frenchman finishing in the decor after a high-speed touchscreen of the most spectacular! Peurière and Lecarpentier finished in this order in the final standings in front of Kieltyka, Alain Bazard, best "Veteran" (over 45 years old) of the competition, and Matthieu Bourdon (BREB).
X30 Super Shifter: Piirimagi on its way
In the category of gearbox karts (accessible from 15 years), power and sense of the show often go hand in hand. Poleman, at the beginning of March, as part of the IAME Series Benelux, Christof Huibers (DFK) republished his performance on Friday, before winning the first qualifying heat. It was without counting on a Frédéric Op De Beeck (SFP Racing) in verve for his second campaign at the wheel of a 175cc kart. The Antwerp driver won the second game on Saturday, imitated by an opportunistic Sten Dorian Piirimagi (Eurokarting) in a third race disturbed by a fine rain, in the last two laps. The Estonian, a regular in the IAME categories, had to bow to Huibers and Sam Claes (Mach1) in Race 1 to better gain the upper hand in the second confrontation, just ahead of Op De Beeck and Thierry Delre (Mach1 Motorsport). Fourth in Race 2 after a skirmish with the multiple Belgian champion, Christof Huibers had to settle for the first place in the final standings behind Piirimagi, International Open champion in the wake of his victory in the IAME Series Benelux in early March, but ahead of Frédéric Op of Beeck, Thierry Delré (Mach 1 Motorsport) and Sam Claes who completed a top 5 tinged with black-yellow-red.
Full results of the race are available online at the following link: