Kart Fun Trophy Mariembourg 2023 Report

Here we go again !

It is 2023 and I am taking part in the Kart Fun Trophy, the rental championship hosted at Mariembourg, Belgium. We will be using the same Sodi RT8s 390cc with the same track configurations :

Q : 10 min on the reverse small track
R1 : 30 min on the reverse small track, grid is set up with the Q result
R2 : 30 min on the normal full trackl, grid is set up with the R1 result

For this first race, the level was really good, with quite a few high profile rental drivers, so I was looking forward to race !

Qualification :

The track was a bit wet outside the racing line, which didn’t leave much room for error. Also it was changing quickly, drying up and heating up fast, with 35 karts on the track. This meant that the last 2 laps were critical to get clean.
And that was my mistake. I tried to give myself some space too early in the session and for too long, which resulted in 3 things :

  • My tires were not warm enough when clocking my first flying laps
  • I’ve set up my laptimes too early in the session
  • I’ve got held up by other drivers in my last 2 laps

Which meant that I will be starting 13 on the grid for the first race. In such a tight field, it basically prevents me to have a shot at the podium, despite a kart that could have gotten me pole and possibly a podium. Probably my poorest qualification session in years, but it is a good lesson to be reminded of : Be patient.

Race 1 :

The reverse configuration of the track is a lot more technical than the normal configuration and rewards the driving skills more. This means that you can compensate for higher weight or slightly weaker kart. While I was a bit heavier than last year (92kg vs 88kg), my kart was really good and I had good hope to make a few spots.

The first 15’ were very intense, the midfield was desperate to make places early on and we ended up losing contact with the top 4, which definitely sealed my chances to climb back to a podium spot. I was able to get up to 7th, then I got passed and stayed 8th for most of the second part of the race. We have a really really good pace, on par with the people on front. The guy in 7th was slower in the technical section but had a very good engine to make up for it so I was unable to pass him.
Fortunately, P5 and P6 came together in the hairpin in the penultimate lap, and P7 couldn’t avoid them, which granted me P5 with 1 lap to go. I just had to defend and nail the technical section and it was a P5 in the end.

I am fairly happy with this result, but my first half of the race was really poor. I struggled to pass people that were slower than me and I still have issues dialing my aggression and taking the best decisions.

Race 2 :

Ok this is the first round of the year, but I shouldn’t be doing such rookie mistakes. Racing on the normal configuration meant going on a part of the track (the 5 first turns) that we didn’t race on for the Q or R1. And that meant that turn 2 was wet at the apex :slight_smile: I fell into the trap like a rookie and lost my P3 and my chances at a good finish. I fell at around P10-13 after turn 2. Between the treacherous condition and the aggressiveness within the field, I ended being pushed out of the track twice after my mistake, making me last at the end of the first lap.
From there my race was done, my kart was average (very good straight line speed, poor frontend grip) so I had no hope going back in the top 10. That’s it.

Conclusion :

There were some good things (my pace in R1), less good thing (my Q) and downright bad things (my R2 start, R1 struggles to make past slower people) but I am confident that I will be up front the next races. Despite the results not showing it, my pace was really strong and I know I can fight up there. Next one is in March, hopefully it will be dry !


I’ll watch on the train on the way to work. I’m sure I will see some really good driving and passes. I look forwards to seeing how this season goes for you and am hoping you get to do all of it.

Think you can win the series?

Lol start of heat 1 doesn’t disappoint!

I have the pace to win for sure, but I can’t mess up Q like I did. My racecraft still need some work to be fair

Good stuff so far. Nice decisions I think. What makes rental racing so fun and different is on display here: packs fighting 3 wide, physical karting. It really is its own bag; we move each other in ways that our open wheel pals cannot.

This was fun:

Another moment:

You seem to be taking this wider than last race. Conditions?

You seem to have these understeer moments on this apex. Bumped mid corner repeatedly?

Nice battle with red. Too bad it ended this way for him.

@Bimodal_Rocket So

  • 1 : Not the cleanest pass but it was fine
  • 2 : That push at the apex might have been on purpose to trap the guy on my right :eyes:
  • 3 : Wider entry meant I could carry more speed, just an evolution on my lines
  • 4 : I was doing a mistake by braking in the wrong place, the track was a bit greasy so I was sliding
  • 5 : Not podium but P5. Guy in red wasn’t looking far enough :grin:

When you were racing against Red, you could see this a lot .Seemed like a 50/50 proposition today.I think relatively, this cost you.You were faster than Red in the inside half of track, but you’d lose a bit here, imo.

Yeah it wasn’t perfect, but he also had a lot more top speed than me it was quite frustrating. Eh, rental luck :grin:

Ooooof. Race 2 start was looking so good and then the wet gets you. Painful, a lot of karts went by. :smiling_face_with_tear:. I can feel your pain from the USA.

Yeah I was really mad with myself doing such a rookie mistake. It happens but it hurts :sob:

To be fair, it was pea soup fog. Also black ice. Also under inflated or overinflated tires.

But seriously, once you stopped getting punted off and got it together, you drove quite well. :sunglasses:

That’s the issue :grin:

@speedcraft any insights compared to my races last year ?

Race 2; nice work pushing black suit along to go get the traffic ahead. Unhappily, red suit uses the opportunity to come complicate things. However, nice battle with Red and nice decisive driving to send him packing.

I thought race 1 looked good! Every time you got some free track, you methodically closed onto the next pack ahead. Early in the race, when it was slick, you did a great job managing the kind-of floating into, and through, the turn drift in the quick turns (like #2, the quick left-hander). You also looked very fast through the 2nd to last turn, and you totally had the last hairpin turn dialed in… rotating off the brakes and back to power before the apex… nice and smooth!

For race 2, are you sure you didn’t get some help off the track in T2? The two guys in front of you didn’t seem to have any big rear-end grip problems, your steering inputs don’t seem to indicate massive understeer (at least not so much that it would result in snap oversteer) and just where, and the way, your kart got loose, and the proximity of the kart that drives by as you are heading off the track gives me the ‘helped off the track vibe’ rather than a rookie mistake vibe. I wonder if the damp track might have turned what could have been a pretty benign bump or push into a big oversteer moment, a trip off track, and a decent into mid-pack purgatory.

After that it was a lap 1 s**t show, so I guess that’s just rental racing. Also, it looked like your kart had a pretty significant understeer; especially in high-speed turns. It looked like almost every lap you would zing it into T1, but it would scrub wide and kill your speed down the next short straight, and likewise for some of the other fast turns.

But anyway, I agree, it looks like you have the pace and consistency to be fixture at the pointy end of the field.
Good Luck this season!

1 Like

I thought so but I don’t remember feeling any kind of push. I think I messed up by braking when I felt the kart sliding. I didn’t the track would have been dryer on the outside.

Pretty much yeah, it wasn’t too bad in the slow turns, but I would lose quite a few tenths in T1-T2, especially T1 because you can’t transfer load enough.

Thanks !

Round 2 !

Here we go for round 2 of the Kart Fun Trophy hosted at Mariembourg. Small change to the formula, we are now having a 15 minutes Qualification instead of 10 minutes, but we are still running two 30 minutes races.

Q and R1 were on dry conditions, but it rained 10 minutes in R2 which made things interesting !


So, 15 minutes. My kart was average I think, a bit on the slow side out of the turns but really good top speed so it was manageable. Apparently for the first 10 minutes I was hovering in the top 5, but other drivers did improve by a lot in the last 5 minutes and I ended up P13.

I am clearly missing something with those tires or chassis or track or my driving style but I am unable to improve as much as the others when the tires heat up. I had the same issue last round and it is starting to bother me. I feel like I am not as good on a cold track.

Race 1

Quite disappointing. My start was decent (and so was my pace) and I was faster than the group in front. But after 10 laps the guy behind me decided that I didn’t deserve to race and pushed me off the track, leading me to spin and lose 20 spots. I would climb back to #23 but I miss a good result in race 1 and probably race 2 also.
It is quite frustrating when people are obviously slower but then they pick up the pace as soon as they can copy your lines. Again a lack of luck, it will be better next time.

Race 2

We switch karts between the two races and I got a worse kart, basically no engine on the fastest configuration we are running … I was going to settle for a P25 or something but Mother Nature decided to help me and we got some rain on the track ! This shuffled the standings and a lot of people were struggling to adapt to the changing conditions. I had a few code brown moments, but I had a lot of fun and I was able to climb back to #10 !


Clearly not a good performance for me on the dry. I am feeling a bit lost and it is starting to make me frustrated. I clearly have the technical ability but I still struggle to push more. I wonder if my relative lack of running (only 1 day/month) could be the reason I struggle to step up my game.

@Bimodal_Rocket @speedcraft @tjkoyen

Well, the racing and driving up until you got pushed off looked strong. It seemed to me that you were indeed faster and gaining nicely.

The owner of the track and organiser gave me some valuable feedback, amongst other things :

  • Too passive, not defensive enough when I am following someone, which leads me to be overtaken
  • I am too agressive/too resistant in the technical part which leads to lost time
  • I miss the apex far too often (especially in the hairpin on the small configuration of the track)

Good thing though :

  • I am really strong in that technical section, which I kinda knew but it is good to have confirmation

Maybe I am overthinking this and it is just down to some bad luck :melting_face:

Probably overthinking. I enjoyed both races and thought you drove well. You were not kidding about the rain changing things. All of a sudden it got wild. I enjoyed watching how you did the rain line, very instructive. Some nice driftu, wet passes, too.

It looks to me like you have great pace and generally don’t make many mistakes. The tippy-taps costs you sometimes, but in all fairness, it cost others as well.

Small update to this topic (can we merge Mariembourg Rental Championship round 6 report here @KartingIsLife ?)

@Bimodal_Rocket @tjkoyen @speedcraft

Last round in August really depressed me and I lost all excitement about this championship. Despite this feeling I decided to give the series one last chance and assess if I want to participate next year.

Conditions : Full wet, rain stopped on the second race but it remained wet.

Q : P13
R1 : P25 (#4 best lap time, .6 slower than #1 out of 1’37" lap)
R2 : P17 (#3 best lap time, .1 slower than #1 out of 1’35" lap)

Qualification :

I was pretty slow, I clocked a 1’42"6 when the pole was a 1’41"0. This is due to a lack of feeling because I spent 2 months not driving and I haven’t driven on the wet for 8 months or so. I was still trying to find the limit of the grip and I was improving consistently until I pushed a bit to0 hard on my last attempt, went off track and miss on a top 5 qualification.

Race 1 :

As usual, I got pushed off track during the first lap, as I was on the outside and two other drivers decided to make it 3 wide. On the wet. By taking the usual dry line. Obviously they understeered and pushed me offtrack. I spun on the grass and I was stuck. I had to wait for a marshall to put me back on the track. That meant I was last and my race was done, so I decided to try and push hard everywhere. That meant I went offtrack 3 times and got lap by the leader. I was able to see and replicate his lines and it helped me tremendously to go even faster.

Race 2 :

So this race was promising, I started P25 and was P15 by the end of the lap, until someone decided to pit maneuvre me ON A STRAIGHT LINE, putting me back at the back of the field, P32. Fortunately my feeling was back and my pace was really really good. I was able to climb back to P16, 1-2 tenths only slower than the leader

In conclusion, even if the results were bad, I am really satisfied because my pace was really, really strong. And I know I could have gone faster, if I didn’t decide to be safe in a few corners. It gave my mojo back, I want to drive, drive and drive again, become stronger and more confident. I can’t wait for next year.