Discover Benelux | Discover Genk | The Ultimate Destination
Race in the tracks of F1 champions TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN | PHOTOS: KARTING GENK
As many Formula 1 fans know, future F1 champions are born on the tracks of karting circuits. As a low-cost and relatively safe way to introduce young ones to the beauty that is motor racing, this particular form of motor sports paved the way for legends like Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Dutch pride Max Verstappen. It is the latter who learned many of his moves at Karting Genk in Belgium, the largest outdoor karting circuit in Europe and one that is loved by professionals and amateur drivers alike. The smell of rubber, gasoline, meat on the barbecue and of course the unmistakable noise of engines running at eight HP and above: you could be blindfolded near the tracks of Karting Genk and still know exactly where you are. Speaking of blindfolds: “If Max Verstappen were to wear one while driving here, he’d still
finish the course with an impressive time,” says Lise Moermans, marketing manager at Karting Genk. “His dad Jos came here when he was a teen and it was only a matter of time before young Max would master the curves here as well. We have watched him grow, saw him win the European Championship in 2010 and numerous other races. We knew he was a phenomenal talent, long before anyone else could say the same.” There are many reasons that drive people to come to Genk for the circuit. “There’s the track itself which is safe yet also very challenging. The turns are technical, especially the chicane, and the long stretches mean you can really hit the pedal without hesitation. Then there’s the fact we opened up more for the leisure market and found many companies wanted an outing that’s not your standard bowling or trip to a theme park. That is why we offer
the possibility to drive on this famous circuit with rental karts, without needing any karting experience. Furthermore, companies can combine the activity with a meeting in one of our meeting rooms, one has a capacity of up to 100 people and the other for up to 20.” Moermans continues: “There’s catering that can serve groups of up to 350 people and nothing beats a day of work, food and driving. We’re smack dab in the middle of our province’s green heart and with bustling Genk nearby, there’s the possibility of combining a city trip with a visit to Karting Genk. Avid karting fans should come visit us in September when we’re hosting the World Championships and chances are high you’ll see one of F1’s next top talents.” Web: www.homeofchampions.be
Issue 51 | March 2018 | 47
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.