FIA Karting – Interview with Maxime Léger
Three-time French Champion and winner of the Worldwide Trophy in Handikart, Maxime Léger took on the loopy problem of competing in an FIA Karting European Championship – OK with just one hand on the wheel!
Are you able to inform us about your background?
I’m 28 years outdated and I reside in Mulsanne, very near the Le Mans circuit. I work within the creation of Christmas decorations, however I’m captivated with motor sport. Most of my days off are dedicated to karting and I usually assist drivers at weekends when I’m not racing. Up to now, I’ve pushed rental karts rather a lot, collaborating in lots of leisure occasions. In 2016, I took half in a expertise scouting operation for Handikart drivers in Excursions. I misplaced by a small margin in 2nd place, however the Val de Loire membership that had launched the initiative known as me again a couple of weeks later to inform me that there was a second kart obtainable. So I began competing in 2017 within the regional championship amongst non-disabled drivers, with the intention to put together for the French Handikart Championship. I completed third the primary 12 months, doing my first laps on Saturday morning, as I had simply pushed for 4 hours within the night and through the earlier evening in a leisure endurance occasion. I received the following three editions of the French Championship. I additionally received the Worldwide Handikart Trophy in 2018. This befell as a curtain raiser to the FIA European Karting Championship at Aunay-les-Bois. Three years later, it is nice to have been capable of take part on this one.
Bodily, how did you method this occasion?
I’ve been actively getting ready myself in order that I haven’t got to endure at this degree. I’m a daily on the gymnasium to strengthen my muscle tissue. Just a few years in the past I weighed solely 46 kg, at the moment I weigh 57 kg. Lately, I’ve tried to extend my participation in competitions with non-disabled drivers. Particularly, I took half within the 24 Hours of Le Mans karting race, first with a group composed completely of drivers with lowered mobility, then with the Val de Loire membership alongside non-disabled drivers.
How did the OK mission in FIA Karting come about?
With my membership, we have been searching for a brand new problem to take up with the non-disabled drivers. To make a mark, we needed to participate in a significant competitors. The organisation of an OK European Championship occasion at Aunay-les-Bois was an important alternative, because it was doable to enter as a “wild card”. For the membership, it was after all one thing actually new, requiring a whole lot of organisation, which is kind of heavy in the sort of occasion if you end up not used to it. We began by discovering the funding and I want to take this chance to thank all of the companions who believed on this mission, particularly the Val de Loire membership for its assist. I used to be fortunate sufficient to have the ability to do 4 check classes beforehand. In comparison with the opposite drivers within the OK class, this will not appear to be a lot, however it allowed me to make additional progress. Our membership had competed within the FIA 24 Hours of Karting in OK, so we nonetheless had engines which have been very helpful for this preparation.
The drivers are actually very younger in OK, how did you expertise this cohabitation?
At 28, I’m twice the age of many drivers. However I did not query myself and all the things went nicely, within the paddock and on the observe, I skilled thrilling however sporting duels, with none collisions! I managed to realize positions in every of my 4 heats. I knew that my possibilities of reaching the Ultimate have been very slim, however I’ve a very optimistic evaluation of my efficiency, the place I climbed from sixtieth to 52nd place, forward of proficient drivers who race all 12 months in OK. I used to be driving a Kosmic-Vortex and a number of other instances through the assembly members of the OTK manufacturing facility got here to offer me recommendation, which I appreciated. I additionally acquired encouragement from many individuals, which was heart-warming. Lots of people did not assume I may compete with a whole lot of these younger drivers, so it was fairly rewarding.
What difficulties did you could have along with your OK kart?
With the acute energy of the engine and the grip of the tyres, it was not straightforward to maintain the kart on the correct line within the massive, quick races with only one arm. It was a very massive effort for me. In OK, it is essential to maintain a very good velocity within the nook, in any other case the kart will stall all of the sudden. In that case, it isn’t straightforward to catch up. I’d like to proceed my profession on the wheel of a kart like this. It will likely be much less nice to return to much less highly effective engines afterwards! My subsequent goal is to realize a very good efficiency with my membership on the upcoming 24 Hours of Karting in Le Mans.