PK Carsport Gears Up for 2023 Racing Season with Ambitious Goals
Next weekend, the first round of the Fanatec GT2 European Series 2023 will take place in Monza. Stienes Longin will defend his European title alongside Peter Guelinckx in the #1 PK Carsport Audi R8 LMS GT2. However, the duo's challenges don't end there. They also aim to defend their Belcar title with Bert Longin and go for the touring car title in the Belcar with Junior Planckaert and Matisse Lismont sharing a BMW M2 CS.
As the spring sun finally breaks through the clouds, it is high time for the PK Carsport troops to gear up for the 2023 racing season. The first race can be as soon as next weekend in Monza for the Fanatec GT2 European Series. Stienes Longin's goal for this year is clear. "Of course, I want to extend my European title," said Longin. "Although, I must admit that after winning the title last season, I thought, 'What now?' I had achieved my goal. But soon after, I found a new goal: to win back-to-back championships! My drive was quickly back. I am excited to work with Peter this year. He has supported me in the past seasons and helped me win the GT2 crown. In 2021, we shared a car in the BMW Cup, but this time it's for a European championship, and that's different. Based on what he showed in the winter tests, it seems to me that Peter has taken significant steps forward again."
"That will also be necessary," continued Stienes. "Because I suspect that it won't be easy this season. I think it's clear that the level of the Fanatec GT2 European Series will increase significantly during the season, especially once the new Mercedes-AMG and Maserati cars get up to speed. So, it won't be easy to defend the title, but it would be fantastic if we could do it."
Peter Guelinckx is also excited for the challenge. "I have been a runner-up in the GT2 and third, so I am missing one podium step on my list," said Guelinckx with a broad grin. "But it will be tough. The level of the drivers in the GT2 is higher again, so that means I will also have to step up my game. If I manage to be more aggressive during the races, then a lot is possible."
For the Belcar program, which begins on May 14 with the Zolder New Race Festival, Stienes and Peter will be joined by Bert Longin. The winner of the 24 Hours of Zolder is eager to defend the #1 on the Audi's flanks. "I want to do justice to that #1 on the Audi's flanks," said Longin senior. "But just like in GT2, it won't be easy to defend the title successfully. Fortunately, we can count on the PK Carsport troops. Anthony Kumpen will be behind the wheel again this season (more about his Nascar program soon), but he also still fulfills the role of team manager. Last year, he clearly proved that his input is an added value for everyone. That will also be the case this season."
"I have one weekend free until November," added Kumpen with a broad grin. "And inevitably, there are a few overlaps between my race program and my agenda as a team manager. But at PK Carsport, we have set up such a good structure that we can cope with that."
Kumpen will have extra duties this year because the PK Carsport BMW M2 CS will also be in action. Junior Planckaert and young talent Matisse Lismont will be behind the wheel of the BMW. The 18-year-old Leuven resident has some Fun Cup experience but feels ready for the step up to the Belcar. "The BMW is a super fun car," said Lismont. "I think Junior and I can show something, although I realize I still have to learn some things. Dealing with the faster cars in the Belcar classes, for example, will be challenging."
"We are well surrounded by Bert, Anthony, and the entire PK Carsport team," added Junior Planckaert. "We want to finish as high as possible, preferably on the podium in the final standings. I think it's great that we have to race together, the more time I spend in the car, the better!"
But first, the start of the Fanatec GT2 European Series next weekend in Monza. The races will take place on Saturday, April 12 (12:35 pm) and Sunday, April 13 (10:35 am) and can be watched live on the GT World YouTube channel.