Arriving in Madrid late in the afternoon, we first took a look around, the apartment was pretty sweet, enough space.
With big centers close around, easy to go shopping.
We also had a nice swimming pool to chill in, good for a long day practicing at the circuit.
The family Haarbosch was one building next to us, so that was quite handy.
The next day the first heat started pretty well, still had to find some tenth of a second.
Mostly cause of the different driving styles you had to add to the track.
On the first floor there was a lot of grip, turns that had to be taken very aggressive, and some very clean, on the second floor it was pretty slippery.
The second heat I was already faster than Rico, not that I was really faster, but the kart, I knew I was close to Rico the first day, I had to find a little more, cause Ruben en Rico already had some experience on this track, I had to proceed faster.
The second day got pretty rough, Rico was going faster and so was I, but still missed a that little tenth of a second, the third day I found a lot, knew I was able to compete with Rico and Ruben.
The fourth day went also pretty well, tried to get to train in the karts I thought I could get more out of.
Rico, Ruben and I were the fastest of the track by now, we knew that the title was for one of us three, also cause we have seen the trophies ;).
The next day was the Nations Cup, the half finale was a qualifying for the final, the top 11 drivers from half final a and b made the 22 finalists.
It didn’t matter if we would be 1st or 11th, you wouldn’t get any point for the half final.
So we played it safe, by driving and pit stops.
Rico started the qualifying, everyone had new tires, Rico had it rough and took a 4th place, we knew the kart wasn’t that good, but Rico fought his way just before we had to change drivers, he took the lead.
I took the second stint and made the gap bigger, so did Ruben, and Rico took the last 10 minutes, and so we kept the first place till the finish.
After a long break for waiting for the half final b and the final b, for the ones who didn’t get to the final.
Ruben and I were hungry, so we grabbed something to eat, and to catch some Pokemons.
After the waiting, we final was finally going to start.
Ruben started and took the pole position, made a sweet gap at the beginning and kept this till we had to change drivers.
I took the second stint and Rico the third.
I made the gap bigger, just a few laps before Ruben wanted to take a pit and put Rico in, a (not so smart) backmarker, got a blue flag, and was pretty gentle to let me pass him right away.
But him not thinking that there is less grip on the outside of the grip line, and being able to hit a corner that was heading to the front of the kart (for an other circuit layout) what was very dangerous, cause its right in front of you and you had to dodge it every time.
He took a look back, took his hand out to gently show I can pass him, he lost the grip, and the most stupid thing, he kept full throttle. So he crashed into the wall, turned 90 degrees to the left, where I was at.
With half a kart length behind, I could just brake and dash a little, but it was not enough, the crashed right over me.
He flew half a meter in the air, hitted my side and flew over me, both karts were broken down, not being able to continue.
The race was stopped a minute after.
I tried to start the engine again, but it was stuck and broken.
Some seconds after, I tried to get out, but immediately found out, that my right leg didn’t want to.
While I tried to move my knee, it did hurt a lot.
Then Ruben called through the communication, take a pit, cause there is a crash, first I got angry for him not seeing that I crashed, but afterwards, it was pretty funny.
While the marshals tried to get me out of the kart, we took a look if I could stand, well, I wasn’t able to.
They took me to the medical room and put me on a stretcher.
They took a look at my knee, it was thick and whole purple, so they put some ice on it.
I knew I can’t stand, but can drive.
They didn’t let me to.
It couldn’t get worse when they told us they will not fix the kart, and not give the other one.
Other people didn’t get the other one either, so that’s fair, but some guy had a broken paddle, and they fixed that, that was confusing.
Then I had to go to the hospital for a check, I took my Colombian friend Alejo with me, after a bumpy drive in the ambulance they took me in a wheelchair, luckily my Alejo spoke Spanish, cause no one spoke English in the hospital. They took some x ray photos.
After the waiting for the results what was around 2 am, they said nothing was broken, luckily.
They did some test with my knee and found out that most mussels in my knee and around had cracks in it and my knee was also a little bit bent.
I had to take a medication with multiple medicines for the healing, pain, swelling, and antibiotics for the inflammations.
Also a brace for my knee, and crutches(didn’t took them), I wasn’t allowed to walk on it for a minimum of a week.
I could agree with that, we had two more days, those were very important, cause the new brakes and tires were changing the lines and grip on the track.
I wasn’t able to walk the first day, the second day a little bit, so I took one normal and one reverse layout heat.
Those went pretty well.
The Individual Championship
The next day we had our first two races.
For each qualification, you got 2 laps.
The first one started not as best, in the qualification I had to overtake someone every lap.
We even restarted the qualification, I overtook 5 people in total, there were to many driver on the circuit to have a free lap.
Took p2 2 tenth of a second behind Rico, Rico had a much better kart and so had Giovanni, so I knew it would be a hard race.
At the start I stayed at Rico his bumper, after a few laps he took away hard, Giovanni came closer.
I found out that the medication took a lot of focus and strength, so I couldn’t give my 120%.
I had to defend the last laps on Giovanni and kept the 2nd place, Rico won with a big gap.
The second race I had P2, couldn’t overtake the firth place cause a big engine difference.
The next day I started the first heat of the day, so it was pretty slippery.
I took pole, with an overtake in the qualifying,
The first few laps I took a gap over 1.5 seconds, after a few laps my engine started stuttered, while the track and tires got better, I kept driving the same time, while Mats kept driving way faster and faster and overtook me very fast and easily.
The first laps behind Mats were pretty rough to not lose the pace, but then Mats made the gap and pulled away hard.
So again a second place for me.
This day Mellanie came the whole way from the Netherlands to Spain with Guido to coach all the dutch drivers.
Race 4 was one of the hardest poules of the championship.
I took p4 in the qualifying.
Ruben on p1, Mathias p2, and Selina p3, after some laps, I overtook Selina for p3, kept the position.
After the pit, I took one lap earlier than Selina.
When she came out of the pit, she defended half way, I came 60% next to her, and with the 50% rule, the one whole is being overtaken is not allowed to steer in.
The track width went to the left while the turn went to the right, we collided and I got to cut into the wall, but kept my place on p3.
I finished p3, after the race there was a lot of complaints, the Belgium Marchel couldn’t see it well so said that the position had to be given back.
So the 4th position for me.
And so the second day of the championship ended while I knew I was losing points on the lead.
The first race of this day was a tough one as well.
I took p3 in the qualifying and overtook Dennis after a lap, but someone had to mess it up by crashing into my bumper.
My bumper got stuck between my tire and so my speed got lowered by 3 seconds a lap, I took a pit immediately, jumped out of my kart, and jumped on my rear bumper.
The collision with my tires got less, but was still there, the brake was also on the limit, after some laps I took the fastest lap time and got closer and closer to the leader.
While the leader still had to take a pit, I got closer and closer.
When almost everyone had taken their pit, I was on the 9th place, the I overtook one guy with just a few laps left.
The guy who caused the crash at the Nation Cup, defended on me, while he still had to take a pit.
This took a lot of time, after I passes him I overtook another one
The next guy defended pretty aggressive for p5, defended abnormal.
He slid from left to right and back again, when next to him on the outside, he pushed into the wall.
For me this was a drop result.
Race 6 got ahead, the qualifying got pretty bad, I had a less kart, the break was on the limit, the chair was loose, had not much engine power and a lot over oversteering, but had a lot of grip.
Someone defended on my in the last lap in the qualification, so he had to start last as he got a penalty for that, I took p5.
The race started and I lost the pace on p4,
After a pit stop and smart tactic I overtook p4, pulled closer to p3, but never got the opportunity to overtake him, the checkered flag fell.
This day I lost a lot of points, Rico and Ruben took the lead.
I lost the pace on p3 and fell out the top 5 in the total ranking.
I knew I had I had to build up some points the next day.
I did drawn a pretty less kart again, the kart was tested.
While it was tested, one marshal drove normal and the other reverse.
I joked about how stupid that was and how it could end wrong.
A few second later they crashed into each other.
My kart was broken down.
I had to draw a new one, since 6, 26 and 30 were left, I took 30 since I’ve already had 6 and 26.
Some complaints were made and the race leader told me to redraw and told for kart 6, 26, 15 or 30.
I took the paper, and it was 30, pretty funny moment tho.
In the qualifying, I had to overtake someone again.
I took p6, at the start I lifted with Mats on the first overtake, Mats overtook the second guy, but got an orange flag, I overtook him by lifting with the guy who he had to give the position back to.
Next, I overtook him, so that made got me to the 3rd place, moved on to the 2nd position by taking my pit later.
I had the fastest lap time, Ruben whol was on the first place saw me moving closer to him.
So he pushed harder, last laps I had to defend for 2nd position, while Ruben took his extra point for fastest lap time.
The last qualification race before the half final got ahead, the 8th race.
Since I’ve had all the less kart on the ranking, I could only draw a good one. And so I did.
It was a hard poule again.
In the qualifying, I pushed a little bit too far and didn’t got everything out of it.
I got p3 and Rico p5, before the start the first and second guy were teaming up, the second guy left a gap before the start.
I pointed the gap to the marshal at the side, he told to the 2nd position to close it.
At the start he still left a decent gap.
I overtook him in the first corner, I was 70/80% next to him, he steered in, and so I hitted the inside of the turn and so went the strength of the hit towards him.
And so he hitted the wall and later some people from the back collied with him and his kart fell out.
Rico moved to p3, I made a gap on Rico and pulled to the first guy pretty hard.
After 3 laps I nervously got a black flag.
I asked for 2 laps if it was for me, it was told that it was for me and I had to leave the track.
I’ve let Rico pass me and got into the pit lane.
I asked why I got it, and most marshals didn’t know.
I waited for the race to end and asked the race leader, he told me that the Spanish marshal on the first corner (who doesn’t speak English and the race leader no Spanish) said it is a black flag, while he can’t decide that, cause he is a marshal.
And the weird part is that Ruben had the same overtake on Rico on the same corner, the same way, the same lap, one day earlier.
Ruben got from p2 to p1, and felt back to p3, Rico felt from p1 to p5.
No one got anything, not even a warning.
No one knew the good explanation why I got the black flag.
Since a black flag is a disqualification, I couldn’t use it as a drop result.
If I won that race, I went from p7 to p4/3 in the total ranking, now I fell back to p28.
Day 5 Final
The next day we had the half final a, b, c, and d with the final.
Going into the battle qualifying for the half final.
I got to the half final in the battle, in the first kart I won 4 kart lengths, the second I lost 1, that means I should have won that battle.
But they told me I lost, there also was a lot of chaos between the Spanish marshals and the English ones, cause the Spanish marshals weren’t able to speak English.
So what would have happened is that there was a mistake in the transponders.
So I missed my opportunity to do the last battle against Ruben.
He won the last battle by far.
I got kart number 13 for the race, started on p4, I took a pit because p3 defended and we were losing time on the pack who already took their pit.
So I took mine, I came next to p5, he bumped me to the wall and so the second guy lifted with him. The third guy tried to lift with him as well.
Ths caused him to first bump me in de side to the wall and then overtak me.
I felt back to p7, nothing, not even a warning was thrown.
The cause of the bumping or something else, caused a loss of engine power.
My coupling broke and I lost pretty much speed, I lost 3 kart lengths on each straight, and won 2 by them defending and 3 on the second floor by taking better lines.
I couldn’t attack any of them cause of the losses on the straights, I finished p7.
One race later, the kart fell down.
I was 26th in the total ranking.
Ruben took the lead in the championship, followed by Rico.
The first 16 drivers got into the final and chose the best 16 karts that they would battle with and get.
p17 till p32 fought for the last 8 places for the 24 in the final.
I won the first so I got into the final.
The kart that was left over were the ones we got.
This means no fast kart was in left over.
Since the kart difference was big, I knew I had to get one where I was able to fight for positions with.
I took kart number 5, it had a lot of grip.
But no engine power, it was the best one to choose, I started from p22.
I thought the cause of the lower heat in the eve, the engine will do better, but it didn’t, while other people’s did.
So it was another issue with the engine than I thought.
There came more and more grip on the track while it got colder.
So I had to much grip, I was able to fight back to p16, P15 was 2.3 seconds in front.
I took a pit 2 laps later than the guy in front of me.
I took very fast risky pit, and won 2.4 seconds on him.
I just came in front of him when I left the pit, I defended the last two laps, and ended p15.
So p22 in the overall ranking.
Since many people including me saw it as a Bluestar festive this year, because the decisions that were made, were in a way for better for Bluestar.
The Belgium Bluestar marchels and Belgium Bluestar race director mostly over convinced people on the track that said someone did wrong, when it was a Bluestar driver. And since the Spanish people don’t speak English, it was pretty easy to make decisions.
I also feel bad for Rico, in the half final he took a big lead, took a save pit stop.
Since the pit system is used at the start of the championship, it’s not doing well.
Its buggy, sometimes it delays, sometimes it over counts, and sometimes it freezes.
Rico had the problem that it over counted one time and from 16 to 18, rico waited for 19 and it froze, he waited another 2 seconds. And left the pit,
Rico won 2,5 seconds in the pit while doing a slow and safe pit, the only thing we could think of is that the pit system froze and over counted.
Rico got a time penalty.
The system said he left the pit at 19.940, so 0.060 to ealy, while he won 2.5 seconds in pit time compared to others.
This means something went wrong, cause you cant win 2.5 second so easly by not having to push a button, the system sees you when you enter the pit and start counting automaticly.
After alot of talking they would still overthink to give Rico a penalty or not.
While we had dinner, we checked the points result, and we saw Rico got the penalty, so we already knew without them telling us.
This costed Rico his lead and felt to the second place in ranking.
In the final he was the fastest, he won the battle in one kart by far on Ruben and took this kart to the final, Ruben took it a little slower to be safe and not doing something that could cost him his many points ahead, he smartly played it till the end of the race and won the his great world championship title.
Even after rethinking, my decision is very clear, I’m not gonna participate in the KWC anymore as long as we got this track people/marshals setup.
I would like to thank everyone who supported me, in and around the track, in and out of Spain.
Everyone who helped me during my races and breaks.
Paul, Mike and my dad for helping me with my weight cause I couldn’t hold it cause my knee injury.
I want to thank Mellanie who came all the way from the Netherlands to coach me!
Every driver who I raced against.
My Colombian friend Fenwy, for being there for me all the time, and mostly at the hospital.
Also my Spanish team member, suares, and gossee, you two also became good friends.
The family Dijkgraaf, Haarbosch and Boutens where I used my most spare time with.
Rico for helping and coaching me this year, and the fun we made in our spare time.
Ruben, for also having much fun in the spare time and having breaks at the MacDonald and catching Pokemons.
The people who asked me how it went every day.
Mostly Mika, Sylvana, Mellanie and especially Karina, you all helped me through the hard moments and enjoyed with me at the good moments.
I want to congratz Ruben for this awesome title, sadly I couldn’t make it hard for you this year.
Rico for winning the junior championship, this wasn’t quite a surprise.
Also for your second place, you showed you were the fastest, especially in the finals.
Next year it will be your year again!
Mathias for your third place.
Dennis for your 4th place, and Giovanni for you 5th place.
Also congratz to Edyta for you second place in the women category.
Just like Rico, next year will be your year!