Spectaculair victory for Anthony Bongartz in Mariembourg: “My first win of the year means a lot to me!”

Published on Thursday, March 21, 2024

Spectaculair victory for Anthony Bongartz in Mariembourg: “My first win of the year means a lot to me!”

MARIEMBOURG – Anthony Bongartz secured his first win of the season to win the final of the Dutch IAME Championship at the Circuit Karting des Fagnes in Mariembourg. The 14-year-old Belgian karting talent from Amel (20 minutes from the famous F1-circuit of Spa-Francorchamps) finished in the first position in the IAME X30 Junior class, marking the beginning of the new karting season with a kickstart. The Thierry Delre Karting driver reflects on a fantastic start to a busy season.

"Securing the win in the final feels incredible, despite the challenges we faced during qualifying. The unpredictable weather conditions threw us off, starting on slicks only to be met with rain. I found myself at P30 overall, which was disappointing. However, today's victory is simply exhilarating, especially after overcoming those initial setbacks," begins Anthony about his extraordinary weekend at the South Belgian circuit.

During the winter, Anthony joined Thierry Delre's team. Besides the fact that the performances have been good right from the start, he enjoys the atmosphere within the team: "Transitioning to a new kart this year has been a game-changer. The improved grip, particularly in the front, allows for more aggressive cornering, giving me the confidence to push harder. It took a bit of time to adapt, but once I got the hang of it, the performance was remarkable. The kart's capabilities have undoubtedly contributed to our success. And also, the atmosphere within the team seems really good. I really enjoy it."

In the heats, Anthony consistently started in the midfield, the place where normally the blows fall. Yet he paid no attention to this and was always determined to make up many positions at each start: "I managed to gain six, seven places in each start. It’s all about staying within striking distance of your opponents and keeping focus at all times," tells the fourteen-year-old cheerfully. After three solid heats, where Bongartz made up many positions, he started the final in seventh position.

Normally, the seventh starting position wouldn't be great and only a few drivers could contend for the victory, but the starting position didn't bother Anthony at all: "In the final, I started from P7, which brought its own set of challenges. However, I was determined to make the most of it. The initial laps were tough due to tire pressure issues, but I focused on defending my position and gradually found my rhythm. Overtaking for P1 on the last lap was incredibly exciting, and crossing the finish line in first place was like a dream come true."

"During the final race, navigating through intense battles required concentration and composure," Anthony laughed. "Despite the initial struggles with tire pressure, I stayed determined to keep up with the leading pack. My tire pressure was a bit too low, which I felt at the beginning of the race. It was difficult to get heat into the tires. As the race progressed and my tires started performing better, I seized the opportunity to make crucial overtakes, eventually securing the victory."

His first win of the year means a lot to Anthony: "Securing my first win of the year means a lot to me; this is a signal for our readiness to compete at the highest level. With the Benelux race on the horizon, this victory serves as a confidence booster for me as well as for the team. We're fully committed to maintaining this momentum and delivering strong performances in the upcoming races."

Mariembourg in two weeks, Anthony will race the first round of the IAME Benelux Championship, again at the same circuit. This victory is a good boost for the Belgian: "Looking forward to the Benelux race, we're going all out in our prep. We're testing a lot and planning every move, aiming to be at the top of our game. With my team and crew backing me up and the awesome win today, I'm totally ready to hit the track and show what we've got."

Anthony thanks his father, mother, his team TD Kart Racing and his team boss Thierry Delré.


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