BNL returns to Genk for the finale

Columns: Races
After a journey that started at the Grand Kick Off in late March, the 15th season of the BNL Karting Series will return to the locality of the Flemish-speaking Limburg region, with the 1,360-metre Karting Genk circuit providing the final battleground in the first weekend of October.

The Home of Champions will be the customary season finale for what has been an exciting year of racing over all six Rotax-powered classes, where some new names will join the honour roll, and some will add their names again. 

In Micro Max, Dutch racer Senn Lindemann goes into the final race weekend on 195 points, a 50-point lead over Belgium’s Vic Van Campenhout, who still has a chance to close the gap. A further 15 points behind in third is Great Britain’s Jack Freeman, who has impressed in his first competitive year in Europe. Along with that, Ryan Rijvers has consistently improved over the course of the year and is sitting fourth in the standings after a good showing last time out at Mariembourg. 

RMCET Mini MAX Champion Boaz Maximov from the Netherlands has a slender ten-point lead going into the final race weekend of the season, ahead of fellow countryman Max Sadurski, as the battle between the two looks set to go right down to the wire. Along with that, there are two other drivers that could also be in the mix for top honours, with Belgium’s Alexander Van Meeuwen and the Netherlands’ Mats Van Rooijen rounding out the top four, who are covered by a mere 41 points. 

Junior Rotax sees Denmark’s Mikkel Pedersen head to Belgium with a 32-point lead over Dan Holland Racing’s Scott Marsh, with JJ Racing’s Kasper Schormans a further three points behind in third. But there is also a close pack of drivers hunting down the top three, with the likes of Great Britain’s Vinnie Phillips, the Belgian pair of Tijs Daems and Tom Braeken and Dutchman Tommie Van Der Struijs hot on their tails. An interesting statistic about this year is that none of the top three having taken a win so far this year, which may change at Genk. 

Two-time Senior Rotax champion Sean Butcher is looking to make it three in a row at the circuit, as he took the lead by a very small margin of just five points, after dramas for initial points leader Kaï Rillaerts from Belgium on the first day of racing at Karting des Fagnes in early July. But they will both need to keep their eyes on Czech driver Eliska Babickova, who is only 24 points away from Butcher and has the pace to challenge for top honours.  Even with the top six drivers covered by 70 points, there is a very good chance that even Kai Hunter, Paul Fourquemin and Jayden Thien will have a point to prove. 

DD2 will also see a potential grandstand finale, as another driver in the paddock is looking to secure his third successive title in the form of Belgium’s Glenn Van Parijs, but it is Great Britain’s Mark Kimber who came out of the penultimate round with a 51-point advantage. However, it does not mean that the Strawberry Racing driver will have it easy at the fast flowing and technical Genk circuit right up until the last chequered flag. Recently crowned RMC Nordic champion Estonia’s Ragnar Veerus, who has a win in the BNL this year, has an outside chance to snap up another title in 2022, so he could be one to watch.

There is a dog fight in DD2 Masters for this year’s title, as there is another advantage of 10 points going into the last weekend, as last year’s RMCET champion Paul Louveau from France is on 168 points after a perfect weekend of four straight wins back in Mariembourg. But never count out Ian Gepts, who will look to secure the title on home soil at Genk, as the circuit served him well back at the Easter holiday weekend in April. Germany’s Michael Becker and Grand Kick-Off winner, Belgium’s Luca Filippone also have a mathematical chance of winning the title, as the top four in the standings are covered by 79 points. 

“It’s been fantastic to see the number of entries we have had this season, along with the close racing,” said series organiser Esmée Rosman. 

“The fact that the titles will be decided on the last weekend of our anniversary season is fantastic for us, and for the international competitors that have been joining us since 2008. It gives us all here at the BNL Karting Series a welcome sense of achievement, seeing that so many drivers keep on returning back to our competitions.”

At the end of the racing, the champions will be crowned, with five Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals tickets being given away to the champions in Mini, Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters, bringing the 15th anniversary season to a thundering crescendo, accompanied by the Rotax roar. 

Alex Goldschmidt

 

Created by: cggiuliano - 28/09/22

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