Lewis Gilbert is quickly becoming one of the fastest rising stars in European Karting after being crowned the X30 Euro Series Champion in the X30 Junior class last week. With the final round of the championship taking place at Castelletto (ITA) Gilbert won the coveted title after finishing 5th place in the Final. Despite the hard fought challenges of fellow Brit, who took the win and was crowned Vice Champion, Lewis held on to the title by eleven points.
Gibert’s journey to top spot has been largely down to his success throughout the series. The start of the season couldn’t have gone any better for the KR Sport driver after he took the win in the Final at Salbris. An 8th place at Mariembourg (BEL) would be just a tiny bump in the road for the young Scot who would return back to the top step of the podium at Wackersdorf (GER). That result put Gilbert in the driving seat heading into the final round which saw him with no need to take any huge risks to win the title.
Heading into the final round Gilbert kept a cool head on his shoulders throughout the weekend. He started with 11th in Qualifying Practice and followed that up with two 2nd place finishes and a 6th to secure an outside row three start for the Pre-Final. In an enthralling race Gilbert fought hard for the lead in that race before eventually settling for 4th place. The Final was a similar story with Gilbert close to a podium at times and earlier in the season he most certainly would have challenged harder. But Sunday would be all about the championship and Gilbert took that as he cruised home in 5th place.
For any driver winning something like the X30 Euro Series is a huge achievement. You’re racing against the best X30 drivers in the World and have just four rounds to win the title, so there is simply no margin for error. However, for me this result came as no surprise and that is no disrespect to any of Gilbert’s competitors! Let’s look at some facts. He is the reigning IAME International Final Vice Champion (in a field of over 120 drivers). He is currently 2nd in Super One behind Clayton Ravenscroft, who finished 3rd in the X30 Senior class. He recently won the MSA Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix in Junior Max and is also the reigning British Champion in Mini Max.
It’s fair to say Lewis is cleaning up at the moment and he’ll be looking to continue that when he heads to Le Mans in October for the IAME International Final. He’s one of the fastest rising talents in the sport and his confidence will now be through the roof! Despite the fact that the grid was hugely tough including the likes of Alex Lloyd, Dilano Van’t Hoff and Mari Boya. Gilbert is one who is frequently winning big races and that perhaps gave him the edge over the rest of the field this year.
Alex Lloyd crowned Vice Champion
We have to get a lot of credit for his performance this year with the Dan Holland Racing driver claiming 2nd in the championship. Lloyd got off to a difficult start to the season and with only one dropped score available that immediately put him under a lot of pressure for the rest of the championship.
But Lloyd made no mistakes from there and took top five finishes in all three remaining finals which included a win at Castelletto. With no wins or podiums going into the final round Lloyd’s task of becoming champion was always going to be difficult, but you can’t say he didn’t give it a good go!
He scored 88 out of a possible 89 points which would have had Gilbert nervous at times, but it wasn’t quite enough to get there. However, the thought of winning the title had probably gone from Lloyd’s mind after round one and for me it’s the comeback that is the most impressive. It’ll be a real confidence booster with the IAME International Final just two months away and sets him up nicely going into the 2019 season.
1st Lewis Gilbert (GBR)
2nd Alex Lloyd (GBR)
3rd Dilano Van’t Hoff (NLD)
4th Sam Balota (ESP)
5th Mari Boya (ESP)
6th Josh Rattican (GBR)
7th Josh Rowledge (GBR)
8th Zach Ripley (GBR)
9th Rimmo Kadapik (EST)
10th Urbeltz Moar (ESP)
13th Tom Lebbon (GBR)
19th Alicia Barrett (GBR)
24th Josh McLean (GBR)
26th Liam McNeilly (GBR)
29th Cian Shields (GBR)
31st Georgi Dimitrov (GBR)
40th Luke Preston (GBR)