This weekend was the 23rd running of the annual Belgium GP, under its new name ‘International Race Kampenhout’. The event is very popular, with many people requesting entries, but due to the nature of the event and venue the organisers keep an entry limit of 80 in 2wd and 70 in 4wd, allowing reasonable length days and plenty of track time, with open practice in the days preceding the event. It really is a great event, very relaxed atmosphere and a showcase for RC racing with is location in a park, where many activities take place over the weekend, drawing in many spectators and drivers from 8 countries.
A few people turn up Wednesday, some more appear Thursday and the majority arrive Friday for the open practice. Everybody gets as much track time as they want, with the track open all day. This allows all the drivers to get to grips with the track and dial in their cars. The club had put in a great effort and the track was immaculately prepared to their usual high standards.
The drivers were greeted to a wet track Saturday morning as practice got underway, and by the time qualifying came around Schumacher Silvers were the tyre to be on. Qualifying was a very tight affair, with the top drivers being separated by just a few tenths. At the end of the 4 rounds it was young Wesley van Helmond who would start on pole, ahead of the Schumacher Cougar SV2 of Tom Cockerill.
As the finals started the track was now dry and had much higher traction, making it interesting. The finals produced some great racing, with many guys close on the pace. At the end of the 3 legs it was young Wesley Van Helmond who took the win with 3 superb drives, taking all 3 legs. Kevin Lee came through from 4th on the grid to take 2nd and Tom Cockerill took 3rd.
For the 4wd event on Sunday the track was dry from the start and the sun made an appearance in the afternoon. The high traction made 4wd very difficult, with many drivers struggling with too much grip. Qualifying was very England dominant, with Brits taking the top 4 qualifying positions. Tom Cockerill took all 4 rounds of qualifying to line up pole with his Schumacher CAT K1, followed by Kevin Lee 2nd, Ben Jemison 3rd. Sam Martin (4th) and Brent Ausloos (8th) also made the main with their CAT K1’s.
The finals saw some very close racing again, with Tom & Kev pulling from the field and racing for the win, and the mid field very close. Clean drives from Tom in the first two legs saw him take flag to flag wins and the overall victory. Kev won the 3rd leg giving him 2nd overall and Ben completed the British podium lockout with an excellent 3rd leg drive to secure 3rd overall.
Another excellent Belgium GP is in the books, and in the opinion of the racers not enough good words can be said about the event, there really is very little that can be done better by the organisers. It is definitely one of the races to attend and a great weekend had by all.