Esteban Muth Wins the IAME Belgian Mini ChallengeTweet
Race weekends come one after another, each the same as before for Esteban Muth. In Mariembourg, at the IAME Belgian Mini Challenge, the young Brussels boy once again confirmed his domination of the category for 8 to 11 year olds.
At the end of a weekend marked by changeable weather, his younger brother O’Neill also climbed onto the lowest step of the podium on which two drivers of LH karts stood so proudly.
Organised alongside the X30 Challenge Europa, the international competition established by the IAME factory, the Belgian Mini Challenge in Mariembourg was contested by the best Belgium drivers of 8 to 11 years running with Parilla Swift 60cc engines.
Still unbeaten in the French Community Championship, Esteban Muth was eager to confirm his domination in this prestigious non-championship competition. And the young Brussels boy was amazing! Second in qualifying on Saturday, behind his brother O’Neill, Esteban was slowed by ignition problems in the first of the four races on the weekend’s programme. Even by the end of the first lap, the Brussels lap knew that he could not maintain his bid to take the chequered flag …
The next was altogether better. Forced to start in tenth place for the second clash, Esteban took advantage of the rain to demonstrate his driving skills. In fewer than two laps, he had taken control of the race, before escaping the pack, lapping 2 to 3 seconds faster than his adversaries. The following day, for the second day of racing, Esteban drove perfectly: pole position and two wins, once on a dry track and once on soaked tarmac. Over the four heats, Esteban took three wins and therefore the top step of the podium. Happy with his weekend, he savoured the Belgian national anthem played in his honour.
“I really enjoyed myself,” he smiled. “Both in the dry and in the rain, I felt really comfortable and I think you could tell. I would like to thank my mechanic, Nicolas Bervoets, who has really helped me to make progress with my driving, but also for everything he does around the track. He’s a super coach!”
For the Muth family, the younger brother O’Neill (8) is never far away from the older Esteban (10). And that was also true on the track. With the best time in Saturday practice, O’Neill took two seconds and a fourth place. Unfortunately, an incident in the first race on Sunday stole any chance he had of a final second. “I was battling with Calogero Lopez”,O’Neill recalled. “I tried to take the outside before the second bend, but I had two wheels on the grass and lost control. To make things worse I was stuck in the gravel. I was really unhappy … but I still got onto the podium with Esteban!”
Over the four heats, O’Neill claimed an extremely fine third place, putting a second LH kart on the podium. “Once again it was a fantastic weekend,”said a delighted John, the boys’ father. “It was the first time this year that the boys had driven in such wet conditions, and we saw that all the work they had done in the winter with their mechanics, Glenn Keyaert and Nicolas Bervoets, is now bearing fruit. Esteban was dazzling in the rain and, despite his young age, O’Neill also showed his pace. I would also like to congratulate and thank the organisers and IAME Belgium for the great event they put on for us.”
In less than three weeks, the Muth family will be heading for the circuit at Amay, where the two boys discovered competitive karting a few years ago. In the third round of the French Community Championship, Esteban’s aim will be to increase his lead whilst O’Neill will aim for a provisional second place.