For multiple karting champion Bart Ploeg, it was almost routine, picking up a trophy at the annual NK IAME champions' ceremony, but it did not make him any less proud. He had become Dutch champion in the X30 Seniors class. The just seventeen-year-old karter from Heijningen lives to win. He will hopefully do that again next season. Then as TD Racing's factory driver.
"It was a difficult season, but in terms of races it went okay," Bart said somewhat cryptically at karting center Coronel in Huizen. To clarify immediately: "I did have a lot of bad luck. Especially in the Benelux championship. We had some problems, but fortunately, we found out what the problem was. Next season we can get back on the gas and hopefully we can grab titles again."
Bart will once again compete in the X30 Seniors class. He has a busy schedule. This year, that consists of the NK, Benelux, European Championship, a couple of French races and the World Championship. "And maybe we will run the Benelux championship in the SuperShifter class. But first, test that shifter kart and see how it goes."
Either way, the focus will be on his position as TD Racing's factory driver. His aim is to put the Belgian brand on the map with his performance in the various championships. "That's why we are also going to drive more in France. A lot of fun, because there you often have very nice tracks and strong competition."
Bart's role as factory driver is special, of course. But especially also because he is the first and only factory driver of Thierry Delré's still relatively young and successful brand. The talented Brabander is now very familiar with it. He has been riding the Belgian frames for three years with great pleasure and great success.
That he will now also ride with TD for the fourth year in a row was a logical decision for Bart. Not only because of his performance, which speaks for itself, but also because of the way he can work with TD Racing.
"If I think things are not good enough, I can point this out to factory owner Thierry Delré. My instructions are then taken into account in the kart for this year or next season. I can have a lot of adjustments made that way. I also have a very good relationship with Thierry. That helps. Besides, I really enjoy helping to develop."
The most important race of the year will of course be the World Championship in Le Mans. There, Bart hopes to compete for the podium places. "That would be really great. I know I should have the speed for it. Hopefully, it will work out. That would also be really good for TD Racing."
At the same time, Bart secretly hopes that the possible SuperShifter adventure will continue. "Because I eventually want to go to the Shifters, I think," he explained. "If we're going to do a SuperShifter race, it's a matter of gaining experience. We'll see how it goes this year. In any case, I'm already really looking forward to it! I would like to thank Thierry Delré, the crew of TD Racing, the sponsors and especially my parents for their support!"