The 11 year old Lotte van Drunen wrote her name into the history books at last weekend’s junior world championship event in Italy. The young lady from Sliedrecht finished third in the 65cc class at Arco di Trento, the first time a girl had achieved this distinction.
Lotte arrived at the GP track in Thursday to familiarise herself with the layout, and professed excitement for the event.
Out of 70 riders entered, 40 would eventually qualify from two qualifying groups. Lotte showed that she was on form by posting the fourth time during free training, and improved on that during qualifying with the second best time.
Lotte chose a good start gate and launched like a rocket in race one, claiming the holeshot. She lost the lead in the second lap, but held second place for the majority of the race. Near the end of the heat, she was displaced to third, which is where she finished.
Lotte was now fully aware that she was in the running for an overall podium position, and chose another gate for the start. Another good launch got her into third, but she quickly pushed into second. A few difficult laps dropped her to fifth, but she regrouped and found the connection to the leading group again. She finished fourth, in the wheel tracks of the third placed rider.
With a third and a fourth, Lotte had done enough to claim a prestigious third overall in the world championship event, an unprecedented achievement.