GENK - His results in Genk gradually improved over the weekend, culminating in second place in the final of the IAME X30 Junior category. No wonder Anthony Bongartz, racing for the Eurokarting Team was happy to tell his story after the fourth round of the GK4 Kart Series. It was the season's first podium for the 13-year-old talented driver from the Belgian town of Amel.
In a nutshell, Anthony qualified in fourteenth place and then finished fourteenth, eighth, seventh, and second, respectively. A pleasing result that put a smile on Anthony's face.
"I'm delighted with second place," he said. "Hopefully, we can get some more podiums this year. It's my first podium of the season. We're doing well; we're improving. Now we'll see what happens at the next race."
Anthony wasn't sure what to expect when he arrived at the Genk circuit on Friday. "It was raining, which made things a bit more difficult. It was one of my first times in the wet at Genk. I was quick in the wet in the Mini, and we improved throughout the weekend. The first race in the rain went well, although we knew we were still a little off the pace.
He finished eighth in the first race. The second race went a little better, with Anthony taking the chequered flag in seventh, but it was the final where he really shone. "The final went really well. I love it when the track is semi-wet. I was able to pass several riders and finished second.
It was his first podium of the season. Looking back, it's because one day, when Anthony was just four years old, his father bought him a go-kart. "My dad used to race go-karts too. I watched him regularly, and I loved it when he drove. And then he bought me a micro kart for younger kids. I remember how excited I was about the speed the first time. I kept improving, and now I'm here.
For a few years, little Anthony was too young to compete, so he and his father just trained. "In 2016, we started racing in a mini-kart. I got a couple of podiums. I remember racing at Spa against the Dutch driver Rocco Coronel. We raced side by side. It was terrific."
Fast forward to 2023: this season, Anthony is competing in the GK4 Kart Series, the IAME Series Benelux, and the final round of the Euro Series. "The latter is mainly meant as a good learning experience. And, of course, to have some fun", the fast Belgian said.
Anthony's next race will be the fourth round of the IAME Series Benelux, also at the Genk circuit. "There will be a lot of great teams and drivers there. I hope to get a top-ten result. We will see the conditions, but we can be fast on a dry and wet track."
Anthony is very ambitious about his racing, so he has already planned where his racing endeavors should lead in GT cars. "I come from Amel, near the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 circuit. I used to go there to watch the races. For example, I've seen Porsches driving there. It was fascinating. I want to race there myself. I know it will be a challenge to get to that level, but I will do my best. I will give everything I have."
I hope to get there with consistent racing and good results. I like the GT races because the GT drivers are aggressive. They push a lot, like in karting. Formula 1 is excellent, too, of course; it's fast. But you need a lot of money and sponsorship. It's expensive to go through F4, F3, and F2 first. I will do my best; of course, we will see. If I don't reach F1, it would be great to race in the Porsche Cup, GT4, or GT3 championships. They are all great cars!
Anthony would like to thank his parents for their support. "They never give up. He also thanks the Eurokarting team of Lionel and Thierry Lépine. "They have done some great things, and we have great results."
Anthony is looking for sponsors to support his future racing endeavors to reach the top of motorsport. If you're interested, you can contact Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org.