- Text & quotes: Guillaume Alvarez
- Video & photos: Alex Vernardis
The 2013 Euro-Challenge by RGMMC featured four events on the well-known circuits of Genk, PFI, Salbris and Castelletto. Sette Laghi came as the second event, on May 24-26, where 169 drivers competed.
RGMMC had been building the Euro-Challenge’s reputation over the years, catching more and more interest from the big factories and teams in Europe at a particular period for karting.
“It was really a question of timing,” recalls RGMMC President James Geidel. “The manufacturers did not have many places to go to and we had built a good reputation around the series, so more and more teams started to compete. As promoters, we never actively pursued them to join, it was them who wanted to come. They wanted to prove themselves on track.”
The CRG Factory saw Castelletto’s race as an ideal occasion to enter a line-up made of Max Verstappen alongside the Italian Felice Tiene, both in Senior, and the Brit Jordon Lennox, in DD2, bringing even more added value to the event.
“People need to remember that it was a particular time,” Geidel stresses. “Back in 2013, the KF class was dropping in interest and the majority of manufacturers were competing in the Euro-Challenge that we promoted with RGMMC.”
“It was maybe one if not the biggest karting series in the world. We had big teams like Birel, CRG, also great drivers with De Conto, Lennox, Lammers, Kozlinski, etc. It was really world championship level, something remarkable at the time for a monomaker competition.”
Seventh-fastest in Friday’s qualifying practice, Verstappen took two victories and a pair of second places in Saturday’s heats, which gave him the class’s provisional second spot behind Philip Morin.
On Sunday, the battle for victory raged between the Dutchman and Harry Webb. Winner of the Prefinal, the Brit gave again a hard time to his rival in a thrilling 16-lap Final. Verstappen briefly led until lap 15 when Webb made a decisive move and kept the first place until the finish line. “I don’t know how many times these two overtook each other but it was certainly one of the best races I’ve seen!”, Geidel recalls. “All in all, it was a great event.”
Still, Castelletto would eventually be a one-shot appearance for CRG’s line-up. “I think it had to do with date clashes,” Geidel explains. “RGMMC’s Euro-Challenge clashed a lot with CIK races and other international events like WSK. It was a big calendar but it was the factory that decided to put them in. Verstappen had already competed in Junior, like Lando Norris and many others who had chosen the mono-make route at some point in their careers.”
You may also be interested in:
- Onboards: When Verstappen broke Genk’s lap record at the 2013 KZ European Championship
- Throwback Video: Onboard Paolo De Conto at La Conca – 2013 WSK Master Series
- Onboard: Marijn Kremers masters Lonato at the 2019 KZ World Championship