The first round of the IAME X30 Euro Series welcomed this weekend in Mariembourg, in Belgium, 172 drivers from 20 countries, largely increased compared to 2018, something that highlights the growing success of the competition promoted by RGMMC. Run in beautiful conditions on the Karting des Fagnes International Raceway, the Finals on Sunday delivered their great racing with the first wins of 2019 going to Freddie Slater in Mini, Jason Leung in Junior, Callum Bradshaw in Senior and Philipp Seewer in Shifter.
The kick-off of the IAME X30 Euro Series proved to be successful, not only on track where exciting racing unfolded between some of the best international karting drivers but also behind the scenes thanks to the perfect organization put together by promoter RGMMC.
On the technical side, in addition to all other classes, the Shifter category now also exclusively ran with Tillotson carburetors starting from this event, while the Juniors and Seniors classes had an upgrade with a mandatory kit from IAME that included the latest versions of the air filter and exhaust.
As usual, the event was live streamed throughout the entire weekend, in great quality full high definition and several upgrades!
Fastest in Qualifying, victorious of all the Heats and the Prefinal, Freddie Slater (Fusion) ended up dominating Sunday’s Final in the Mini category. The Brit put up a solid performance from Pole position to claim his first success of the year defeating Panama’s Sebastian NG (Team Driver Racing Kart) and the Spaniard Lucas Fluxa (Praga Espana Motorsport). Leo Robinson (Fusion), despite jumping ahead at lights out from second on the grid, lost ground to end up in 4thplace. The Dutchman Rene Lammers (PDB) concluded a strong weekend in 5thposition ahead of Guillermo Delgado Martinez-Aci (Fusion Motorsport). His teammate William GO (Fusion Motorsport) crossed the line in 7th before a 5-second penalty for an incorrect positioning of his front fairing pushed him down the order (14th). Sacha Van’t Pad Bosch (PDB) inherited the position ahead of Edu Robinson (Fusion Motorsport), Patrice Kowalewski and Dylan Visser (TK Racing). In the standings, Freddie Slater, 89 points, is leading over Sebastian NG, 84, and Leo Robinson, 82
The Junior class saw different names topping the charts every step of the way leading to Sunday’s Final. If the Swede Wigot Edqvist (Strawberry Racing) set the fastest lap time on Friday, the Brit Josh Rowledge (Strawberry Racing) led the provisional classification before Joseph Taylor (Coles Racing) claimed the Prefinal. The Final produced a fourth different winner in Jason Leung(KR-Sport) in front of his KR-Sport teammate Oliver Bearman. The top ten was partially updated post-race due to penalties going to Edqvist (24th), Kris Haanen (13th), Polesitter Joseph Taylor (14th), Lucas Leistra (18th) and Cian Shields (19th). Consequently, Marcus Luzio recovered the 3rd place before Oliver Gray (Dan Holland Racing) who contained Freddie Spindlow (KR-Sport) on the line. Alex Ley (Coles Racing) was ranked in 6th position followed by Herolind Nuredini (Evolution) whose race turned into a demonstration with 25 drivers overtaken in 14 laps, Tom Lebbon (MLR), who also climbed up the field from 28th, Ruben Volt (DHR) and Alfie Rigby (KR-Sport). In the standings, Jason Leung, 85 points, has only one unit advantage over Oliver Bearman, 84, and three from Oliver Gray, 82.
In an eventful Senior category, the leader of the Qualifying Heats, Lewis Gilbert (Persistence), took the Prefinal win before leading the opening lap of the final race. From third on the grid, Callum Bradshaw(Fusion Motorsport) gained a position on the Dutch Niels Koolen (Evolution) before the two went past Gilbert on lap 2. The leading trio quickly opened the gap over the rest of the field including Elie Goldstein (VDK) and Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing). As the race progressed, Clayton Ravenscroft (KR-Sport) overtook Kimber for 3rd as the defending Euro Series Senior winner found himself battling against Joey Van Splunteren (Evolution). The Dutch went past his rival to get close to Ravenscroft for 2nd place until the very last lap when the two touched wheels and opened the door to Kimber who snatched the final podium’s step! At the front, Bradshaw won the opening round of the Series ahead of Koolen with Kimber finishing third ahead of Van Splunteren and Gilbert. Crossing the line in 6th, the unfortunate Ravenscroft was penalized (front fairing) and tumbled down the order to 13th. Danny Keirle (BirelART Middle East) recovered the 6th place in front of Filip Vava (KR-Sport), Hannes Morin (Dan Holland), Georgi Dimitrov (Fusion Motorsport) and Sean Butcher (Mick Barrett Racing). In the standings, Callum Bradshaw, 87 points, is ahead with a mere two point-gap over Niels Koolen, 85, followed by Lewis Gilbert in third at 82.
Philipp Seewer(Spirit-Racing) concluded his weekend on a high note in the Shifter category. The Swiss driver started well by winning the Prefinal before laying hands on the final trophy a few hours later. Defending Euro Series winner Thierry Delré (Delré Racing/Mach1 Motorsport) joined him on the second step of the podium. A happy end for the Belgian whose weekend was largely compromised by mechanical troubles. On Pole on Friday, Kevin Lüdi (Spirit-Racing) crossed the line in third place before Dionisis Liveris (Daems Racing Team), Michel Biffiger (Spirit-Racing), Erik Hellemans (DFK) and Laurent Malice (Delré Racing Team). In the standings, Philipp Seewer is the first leader of the season with 89 points, five more than Thierry Delré, 84, and eight over Michel Biffiger with 81.
Live Streaming, Highlights, and media galleries
Continuing last year’s successful trend, the opener of the IAME X30 Euro Series enjoyed great video and commentary coverage during all official sessions, which was available via a worldwide live stream provided by Telemundi Media. All races were made available on YouTube as well as interviews and highlights on Telemundi Media’s channel https://www.youtube.com/telemundimedia.
The next stop of the 2019 IAME X30 Euro Series will take place from May 23rdto 26thon the International Circuit 7 Laghi Kart located south of the city of Milan, Italy.
Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis / The RaceBox