Dutch karting star Kas Haverkort has won half of the car races he’s driven in, and he’s only two events into his time in single-seaters. How long has he been preparing for a motorsport career?
The Netherlands is the world’s leading nation in karting right now, and is pumping out talents into the junior single-seater world. In 2014 it was Max Verstappen, and he’s been followed by Richard Verschoor and Rinus VeeKay in 2016, Bent Viscaal in 2017, Joey Alders in 2018 and Tijmen van der Helm last year.
This year’s class looks to be headed by Spanish Formula 4 racer Kas Haverkort, who has already got his 2020 off to a brilliant start in both single-seaters and karts – which he has been racing in for 13 years.
“I was three years old when I started karting. My dad gave me a kart and we started karting on a small track, and after we got on a higher level. At six years old I began to do races, and now here I am in Formula 4,” Haverkort tells Formula Scout in the Spanish F4 paddock at Paul Ricard.
“At first I did Dutch championships. After, I began with the European championships, then world championships in the OK-Junior [and then OK].”
Haverkort has been racing top-level OK karts since 2018, and came fourth in Germany’s national series two years in a row. He’s doing a part-time campaign there this year, and took two points-scoring final wins out of two in the season opener.
His Spanish F4 start has been even better, as he won three races out of three in the Navarra season opener and was unlucky not to add three more podiums at Paul Ricard.
“I had my first ever F4 test in 2018. I think I was 14 or 15. Then at the end of the year, we started preparing for this year.”
Haverkort’s preparations were helped by not needing to go to school, as he was an early adopter of online education that has now become commonplace for budding racing drivers and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Of course F4 is much different. With karting it’s more close and you can push a bit, and the feeling is different. And now into formula cars, I think it’s just great to drive, it’s really nice, and also the formula cars are insane.
“It’s been really good [so far], especially the first round. Also here at Paul Ricard, the first race I got P2. I just maximised the result, and last race my speed was good, I set the fastest lap time. But then I had a technical problem so I didn’t finish.”
Haverkort took pole in his first ever qualifying session, and converted that into a comfortable win. He repeated that the next day, then passed his pole-sitting MP Motorsport team-mate Joshua Dufek on the opening lap of race three to become one of a rare group of drivers in single-seater history who have won their first three car races.
Lengthening that run of success into the Paul Ricard round was made more difficult by the cameo appearance of Jenzer Motorport from Italian F4. Its second-year driver Filip Ugran set a new benchmark for Haverkort to beat, and he was the closest to the Romanian in the first qualifying session. After finishing second to him in race one, Haverkort didn’t have the chance to fight for the win – after passing Ugran for the lead – as his car came to a stop on track after just three laps.
“Race three was also pretty good,” says Haverkort. “My start was really great, I was sixth after the start so didn’t really gain anything, but I think on the the last two laps I was third. And then in the last corner of the last lap a incident [happened], but still managed to get to fourth. So the speed was good all weekend, and I hope we can do this the next round also.”
The action-packed final race of the weekend was another new challenge for Haverkort, as he was involved in side-to-side racing for the first time. He may have finished off the podium, but the 16-year-old found it “really nice to drive against” the more experienced Jenzer drivers.
Haverkort’s team-mate Oliver Goethe, who is data-engineered by reigning Spanish F4 champion and Formula Renault Eurocup title contender Franco Colapinto, won that race and four of MP’s five drivers finished in the top five.
“You can learn from each other in a big team. We’ve been testing a lot, and we just get each other better, so we keep pushing each other. Of course I really want to go for the title. To also be in the top three always I think is really good.”
If Haverkort echoes Verschoor in taking a dominating Spanish F4 title as a rookie, will he follow his fellow Dutchman’s path in sticking with MP all the way up the single-seater ladder?
“Well of course we want to stick to MP. It’s a Dutch team, and I think it’s a great team to drive [for], so we hope we can stay with them.”
D/O/B November 18, 2003
Country The Netherlands
2020: currently 1st in Spanish F4 (3 wins, 2 poles, 3 fastest laps)
2020: currently 5th in German Championship – OK
2019: 4th in German Championship – OK, 6th in WSK Champions Cup – OK, 8th in WSK Super Master Series – OK, 11th in CIK-FIA World Championship – OK, 14th in CIK-FIA European Championship – OK, 23rd in WSK Euro Series – OK
2018: 2nd in WSK Final Cup – OK, 4th in German Championship – OK, 10th in USA SuperNationals – X30 Junior, 16th in CIK-FIA European Championship – OK, 27th in CIK-FIA World Championship – OK, 32nd in WSK Super Master Series – OK
2017: German champion – Junior, 15th in CIK-FIA European Championship – OKJ, 17th in WSK Super Master Series – OKJ
2016: 3rd in CIK-FIA Academy Trophy, 74th in CIK-FIA World Championship – OKJ
2015: 2nd in RTL GP Magazine Kids Kart Cup – Minimax
2013: 2nd in Chrono Winter Series – Micromax
2012: 3rd in Dutch Rotax Max Challenge – Micromax
2011-12: Chrono Rotax Max Winter Cup winner – Micromax
2011: 4th in Chrono Rotax Max Challenge – Micromax