KERPEN - Roderick hadn't really counted on it anymore after a somewhat lesser third race, but it was true nevertheless: during the first round of the Dutch championship karting in Kerpen he became third overall in the Minimax category. For the eleven-year-old boy from The Hague the weekend had already begun on a high because he had claimed pole position. Ultimately, there was a lot to celebrate for the fast driver, who returned home with a beautiful cup.
In the year he feels ready to yield top performances in the Minimax class he scored a podium straight away. There are worse ways to start the season. Afterwards, Roderick was somewhat perplexed by his beautiful result. He hadn’t counted on anything. He had already swapped his racing suit for his regular clothes when he went to the small tavern of the Erftlandring to await the prize-giving ceremony. The top six was announced and Roderick kept not hearing his name. “Then the third place was announced and suddenly I did hear my name”, Roderick said.
“I’m very happy with it. I never expected that I would be third after I scored a ninth place during the third race. So this really came as a surprise. In the Micromax category I was on the podium four or five times already, but never in the Minimax (the class in which he made his debut last year, ed.). This is a good start to the season.” Especially with regards to his ambitions for 2017. The youngster from the province of South-Holland aims for a podium in the final standings.
Roderick owed his podium finish in the final standings to his sixth, third and ninth place in the respective races. His weekend had already started well. Because in qualifying he rushed to pole position, proof that his speed was very good on the German track. Roderick: “Very nice to see that I could go so fast. I thought: a podium should be possible now. Though you never know. You can get nudged by another driver during the races.”
The fact that he took pole position in Kerpen, was not very surprising. Roderick is fast, that much is known. But the track where Formula 1 greats like Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher honed their race craft, is one that Roderick likes a lot. “It has quite long straights which enable you to go really fast. You can overtake really well on this track too, I like that.”
He proved the latter in a convincing manner during the three races. In the first race, in which he started from pole, Roderick immediately pulled away. Unfortunately, at some point in the race the tire pressure proved to be a bit too high and he dropped back to sixth place. “That was a pity. But you should never give up. Others may accidently leave the track. Too bad overtaking wasn’t a real possibility anymore because the kart was sliding all over the place because of the wrong tire pressure.”
During the second race, he started sixth to finish at an impressive third place. Yet, according to Roderick, the second position had been a possibility. “I was driving behind Donny Hoedt, who was in the lead, with someone else. At one point, he went off the track and he hit the nose of my kart with the back of his. As a result, I ended up in the sand.” At that moment, Roderick was driving in third place. Luckily his lead over the chasing pack was big enough to maintain his position. “It was a pity that I went off, but I’m still very happy with my third place because I had started from the sixth position.”
In the third race Roderick, who had started from the third place, instantly overtook another driver which promoted him to second place. A good start that provided him with a good perspective. “But then I went off the track and I had to continue from the eighteenth position. I had to drive all the way back. Fortunately, I still became ninth.”
His overtaking maneuvers were spectacular without exception, he once even managed to overtake two riders simultaneously. It strengthened his confidence. “During the first race, I was among the fastest on track, despite having to do a lot of overtaking.” Again, confirmation that his pole position was no fluke. Roderick is on his way to what can become a great season!
Roderick is supported in his racing activities by: Balkan Basalt, Citronics, Canley Vale Investments, Via Andres, Freem and Racing Sportiva.