The Aixro class of the Karting Events Race Series started in style on the beautiful race track of Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. Located inside the world famous Formula 1 track it is always worth the trip, not just for the opportunity to watch race cars fly by, but also for a fabulous and quick karting track.
This year we were a bit concerned though, because the corner that required the biggest confidence had been replaced with a chicane for safety reasons, but the change was actually for the better and has made the track even more challenging.
As the drivers prefer to have three races instead of a qualifying and two races, the starting grid was set by a lottery in the first race, opposite in the second race, and the results of the first two races made the grid for the third race. This means that quicker drivers don’t necessarily start from the front, so good overtaking is required as much as consistency.
In the first race Bjorn Bourgonjon and Robert de Boer, who appeared to be among the favourites, started from the third row while title defender Jurgen de Block had to try to catch up from 9th position. Unfortunately de Bock’s challenge was stopped quickly as Kris van Hulle accidentally went over his kart right after the start, thus taking away his intake manifold as well as his chances to win. In the meantime Bourgonjon and de Boer made their way to the front, which was defended by Joey van Beek. In lap 4 Bourgonjon found a way past him, and so did de Boer in lap 8. De Boer managed to close in on Bourgonjon towards the end of the race, but Bourgonjon still won with a comfortable lead of more than 2 seconds. Van Beek came in third ahead of Amato Pasquarelli and Dave Bult.
In the second race Henk van Ginkel took the lead ahead of Kris van Hulle. But Bourgonjon again caught positions very quickly and proved that he would be the man of the day. After the first lap he had even made his way past de Block, who stayed at his heels and thus moved up to second position when Bourgonjon was in the lead again. De Boer again proved his consistency and speed towards the end of the race though, so by lap 16 he got past de Block to finish second – and just a second behind Bourgonjon after 20 laps.
After collecting the best results Bjorn Bourgonjon got to start from pole position in the third race ahead of de Robert de Boer. But what looked to be an easy race actually became very difficult for Bourgonjon as Jurgen de Block, who had been rewarded a better starting position after the unforced collision in the first race, put in a great start and got past him to take the lead. In the second lap Bourgonjon re-established his position though, and de Boer also found a way past de Block. De Block fought back and stayed ahead of de Boer until lap 11. Then he had to let Bourgonjon and de Boer pull away. De Boer stayed right behind Bourgonjon for the rest of the race, but didn’t get past him, so Bourgonjon managed to win the final with a lead of just 0.24 seconds.
With the best possible result Bjorn Bourgonjon took the victory and the championship lead ahead of Robert de Boer. Third place went to Dave Bult, closely followed by Amato Pasquarelli and last year’s champion Jurgen de Block. Everybody enjoyed the racing weekend, so we all look forward to the next event in June at Hahn, Germany.
Pictures of the Spa Francorchamps aixro race by Jan Toussaint
For further information on aixro rotary engines please contact Woelfle Engineering at www.woelfle-engineering.com