The last race of the 2021 Euro Series saw the return of the Home of Champions to the series calendar. While technically a summer weekend, it was one where the weather affected every race in that Northern part of Europe!
For one more time in 2021, the IAME Euro Series teams and drivers showed their strong interest maintaining the same high level of attendance from the Winter Cup and throughout the entire Euro Series. All the top contenders with several new drivers were present for the title decider.
All three titles came down to the wire in a dramatic race weekend under the constant threat of rain, with several drivers in each category having realistic chances to grab the title, and the weather turning the entire field upside down several times. Luna Fluxa-Cross claimed the X30 Mini win and title, Kanato Le was able to secure the necessary points for the X30 Junior as Jayden Thien won with a wet-weather gamble, and Callum Bradshaw put on a dominant performance to win the X30 Senior final and with that the title!
The X30 Mini category kicked off with a welcome surprise pole position from newcomer Jacob Ashcroft (Oliver Rowland Motorsport). The young talented driver managed to set the fastest lap ahead of the title challenger Sacha Van’t Pad Bosch (Fusion Motorsport) and Rodrigo Seabra (Oliver Rowland Motorsport).
Van’t Pad Bosch proved to be unbeatable after winning all his Qualifying Heats while Ben Smith (Fusion Motorsport) with three second positions slotted just behind him. Ashcroft maintained his strong performance as he managed to stay in the top-3 winning one of his Heats. Meanwhile, the other title contenders had mixed results, with Luna Fluxa managing to stay within striking distance in fourth but Roman Kamyab (Fusion Motorsport) finishing the day back in 31st and having to qualify through the Second Chance Heat!
In the prefinal, it was Fluxa who saw the flag first, ahead of her teammate Jorge Edgar (Fusion Motorsport) and Elouan Bienaime (DR Racing). Fluxa showed her strength in the making her claim on the win and the title. David Cosma Cristofor (Fusion Motorsport) and Max Cuthbert (Fusion Motorsport) made it a complete clean sweep of the podium for the British team! Despite setting the fastest lap, Van’t Pad Bosch was unable to challenge for the win, settling for 6th position in the race, while Kamyab finished down in 15th.
The Junior category, with a great amount of upcoming talent, saw another hard-contested qualifying. While the earlier race-winner Tomas Stolcermanis (Energy Corse SRL) settled for 9th, Theofile Nael (2N Racing) for 12th and Kanato Le (Strawberry Racing) for 15th, it was Fionn McLaughlin (Fusion Motorsport) who made his intentions clear setting the fastest lap ahead of William Macintyre (Fusion Motorsport) and Bart Harrison (Mick Barrett Racing)!
McLaughlin continued with strong performances in the Qualifying heats and claimed the top spot despite not scoring any wins on Saturday. Bart Harrison with two wins got the second spot, and Vinnie Phillips (Strawberry Racing) also with two wins got third. Title contenders Nael and Le came back to fourth and fifth just behind. The prefinal saw another strong performance from McLaughlin, ahead of Phillips and Harrison.
While the karts started arriving to the grid, and changes to the setups were no longer allowed, rain made its appearance. Jayden Thien having been caught up in the earlier stages and starting from the last place, took a gamble to arrive with a wet-weather set up as the rest of the grid were on slicks.
Drama started from the formation lap, when series leader Theofile Nael lost drive and had to retire just on the last corner before the start. As soon as the race got started, it was a battle between Phillips, Le, Macintyre and McLaughlin, while Thien was charging through the field. By the middle of the race, the rain had intensified enough that Thien’s wet setup gave him an advantage of over 10 seconds per lap and he was able to get ahead and open up a 55 second lead, as the race was eventually neutralized with a period of caution and eventually a red-flag. Thien was declared the winner ahead of Le and Phillips.
The X30 Senior has been the season’s highlight category, consistently getting record-long fields and new surfacing talents! Such was the case of Tereza Bábíčková (TEPZ Racing), who had already shown her speed in Castelletto sharing the third row of the starting grid with her sister.
As soon as qualifying got underway in Genk, Bábíčková set a blistering fast lap, not only enough for pole position, but also untouchable in any of the other qualifying groups. Louie Westover (Dan Holland Racing) managed to get second behind her, with Pedro Hiltbrand (Fusion Motorsport) third.
While Bábíčková had a really strong pace, she couldn’t keep up with the necessary points to stay ahead of the experienced Hiltbrand at the end of the day and had to settle for second to him. Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing) made a strong comeback to third from a ninth in qualifying practice. Luca Griggs (Spirit-Racing.ch) was a contender for the top-spot until a last-minute drop, and the championship leader Callum Bradshaw (Strawberry Racing) only managed to finish the day fifth.
As soon as the prefinal got underway, Bábíčková got the best of Hiltbrand and Bradshaw, but tussle between them and Lorens Lecertua (LLK Racing) saw Hiltbrand having an off-track excursion and dropping to the back of the field. Bábíčková eventually finished ahead of Elie Goldstein (VDK Racing), with Kimber and Bradshaw sharing the second row for the start of the final.
By the time of the Senior final the track was completely soaked, and everybody arrived to the grid on wet tires. This changed the dynamics, and immediately with the start Bradshaw jumped to the front and disappeared while everybody else got involved in the battle behind. While Hiltbrand made an enormous 17-positions comeback, it was not enough to get into the battle for the podium, which was completed by Daan Steenman (PDB Racing Team) and Mark Kimber.
The 2021 Euro Series Title
The 2021 Euro Series season saw no less than 10 different winners in the three categories, with only Bradshaw and Fluxa getting more than one win. The X30 Mini title went to Luna Fluxa, with Roman Kamyab second and Sacha Van’t Pad Bosch third. Kanato Le won the X30 Junior title ahead of Theofile Nael and Vinnie Phillips. Finally, the X30 Senior winner was Callum Bradshaw, with Oliver Greenall (Fusion Motorsport) second and Mark Kimber third.
The next race for the closing of the year is the grand IAME International Games racing festival, scheduled to take place at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, the 10-14 of November.
- full results from Genk HERE.