• Videos & Photo: Alex Vernardis / The RaceBox
  • Text: Guillaume Alvarez

* The lap records achieved by Verstappen at Genk concern the KZ category. The official records of this category include all CIK-FIA Karting races as well as the one WSK event that took place at the track of Genk.

Most karting fans might remember the year 2013 as an iconic period for the sport in many aspects. Labeled the “Verstappen year” by the CIK-FIA, this season marked indeed a turning point for the 15-year-old who would dominate the karting scene like never before for a driver of his age.

His last season in karting was the most accomplished for the young Dutchman who won not one but two European titles in KF and KZ, before clinching the world crown in the gearbox class as cherry on the cake. His harvest of trophies also included titles in the WSK Euro Series (KZ1), WSK Master Series (KZ2) and the South Garda Winter Cup (KF2) while he missed the KF world title for four points due to an incident at the closing round in Bahrain.

Today, we look back at one of Verstappen’s achievements from 2013 through two onboard videos recorded during the Free Practice Sessions prior to the Second Round of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ at Genk, in eastern Belgium.

In the first video (above), the Dutchman is seen driving his iconic CRG chassis powered by a TM engine in a series of laps during Practice 5 on Thursday, June 27th. You can also see on track some of his rivals Jorrit Pex (CRG Holland, CRG/TM), Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart Racing Team, Tony Kart/Vortex), Henri Kokko and Andreas Fasberg (both on Tony Kart/Vortex from Ward Racing).

Lap times breakdown:

  • Lap 1 – 57.827
  • Lap 2 – 53.334
  • Lap 3 – 51.740
  • Lap 4 – 51.416
  • Lap 5 – 51.539
  • Lap 6 – 51.333
  • Lap 7 – 51.514
  • Lap 8 – 51.714
  • Lap 9 – 51.567

Part 2: Up to speed

Verstappen came back to the pits on Lap 10 to put on fresh tires. Three rounds later, he set the session’s fastest time in 51.020, just 0.64 seconds from his overall best lap (50.956) from the previous practice.

Lap times breakdown:

  • Lap 11 – 53.563
  • Lap 12 – 51.237
  • Lap 13 – 51.020
  • Lap 14 – 51.049
  • Lap 15 – 51.106

His pace put Verstappen on top of the Qualifying timesheets the following day. The heats went a bit upside down with a win in the opening race followed by a retirement, which forced him to climb the field from ninth to second in the Prefinal.

Alongside his teammate Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG/Parilla) on the front row, Verstappen took the best start and dominated the 23 lap-Final in front of Jonathan Thonon, completing a CRG 1-2, and another rising star Charles Leclerc (ART GP/TM).

This second consecutive victory after Wackersorf, in Germany, crowned him FIA Karting KZ European Champion with almost twice the points scored by his closest rival Marco Ardigo.

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