- November 03, 1978
- Nascar Whelen Euro Series
- PK Carsport
Anthony Kumpen is an established Belgian sports car racing driver who switched to stock car racing in 2014, winning the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship title two times since then, in 2014 and 2016, and making a debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2015 as one of rare European stock cars racers in America.
Earlier in a career, Kumpen was the Belcar series champion seven times between 1998 and 2013. He won six times at Zolder 24 Hours. He contested in the FIA GT Championship for a long time, scoring the best result in 2009, when he was second in the final classification.In the same year, he won the Spa 24 Hours.
A member of a racing family
Born in a racing family, as his father Paul was a racer, Anthony is also connected with famous Verstappen racing family. His sister Sophie Kumpen is an ex-wife of Jos Verstappen and a mother of Max Verstappen.
Born in November 1978 in Hasselt, Belgium, Anthony Kumpen started his racing career in karting competitions in 1988. Until 1994, he won two Belgian karting titles, switching to car racing in 1995, entering the German Formula Renault.
Championship-winning debut in Belcar GT series
In 1998, Kumpen made a debut in the Belcar series (Belgian GT Championship), driving a Porsche 911 for AD Sport. With five wins in seven races, he captured a championship title in the GT2 class, the first of his seven Belcar titles he won in a career.
In 1999, driving a Porsche 993 Turbo for GLPK Racing, he scored four overall victories and finished first in the overall standings of the Belgian GT Championship.
FIA GT Championship debut in 1999
In 1999, Kumen also made an FIA GT Championship debut, driving a Chrysler Viper GTS-R for GLPK Racing at Hungaroring. In 2000, Viper was his car in the Belcar. He was a race winner six times, finishing second in the points.
The highlight of the season was Kumpen's first victory at Zolder 24 Hours, together with Marc Duez and Stephane Cohen in a Chrysler Viper. At Spa 24 Hours, Kumpen retired in a Düller Motorsport's BMW M3. He also joined Paul Belmondo Racing in one FIA GT race, finishing fourth in a Chrysler Viper at Magny-Cours.
2001 – first full season in the FIA GT Championship
In 2001, Kumpen spent his first full season in the FIA GT Championship, driving a Chrysler Viper GTS-R for Paul Belmondo Racing. Sharing a car with different co-drivers, Kumpen finished 14th in the points. In June 2001, he made a Le Mans 24 Hours debut with Paul Belmondo Racing, not finishing the race due to an accident.
Of other competitions in 2001, he raced with Cirtek Motorsport's Porsche 996 GT3-R at Daytona 24 Hours (DNF) ad with American Viperracing's Dodge Viper GTS-R at Petit Le Mans (3rd in GTS class). He also served as a test driver for the European Formula Chrysler, scoring a victory in one promotional race.
2002 – Belgian champion and 24h Zolder winner
In 2002, Kumpen stayed in a Chrysler Viper GTS-R in the FIA GT Championship, driving for the Team Carsport Holland. Driving the #46 Chrysler alongside Mike Hezemans, he scored one victory to finish 8th in the final standings. At Le Mans 24h, he recorded one more retirement because of an accident.
In the national racing, Kumpen captured one more Belcar title, winning two races in a GLPK Racing's Chrysler Viper. His partner in the championship was Bert Longin. They raced together at Zolder 24 Hours, joined by Vincent Dupont and Mike Hezemans, scoring Kumpen's second victory in that race.
Two more Belcar titles and Zolder 24h wins
Kumpen repeated the same triumph for two more seasons in a row, becoming Belcar champion in 2003 and 2004. He was also the winner of the Zolder 24 Hours two more times in 2003 and 2004, he achieved all that in a GLPK Racing's Chrysler Viper.
Besides racing in a Viper in national and international races, Kumpen had few other interesting outings with other brands. At 2003 Sebring 12 Hours, he and Mike Hezemans were driving a Pagani Zonda GR, not finishing the race. At 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours, he was driving Lola LMP1 prototype, not finishing the race. At Spa 24 Hours, he recorded DNF in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R.
Racing with Chevrolet Corvette since 2005
For the 2005 FIA GT Championship season, the GLPK Carsport switched to Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Kumpen spent a season in that car, scoring two wins and finishing 9th in the GT1 classification. His partners in the #6 Corvette were Bert Longin and Mike Hezemans. In the Belgian championship, GLPK Racing continued to use Chrysler Viper, switching to Corvette in 2006.
Driving a Corvette, Kumpen captured one more Belcar championship title in 2006, winning five races. In the FIA GT Championship, he was a race winner once, finishing 10th in the points. He reached a podium at Spa 24 Hours, finishing third in a Corvette C6.R. At Zolder 24 Hours, he was third in an old version of Corvette.
In the 2007 FIA GT Championship, Kumpen scored no wins and finished 7th in the final standings. He was on a podium again at Spa 24 Hours, finishing third. In the Belcar, he was a race winner two times.
2008 – a season with Saleen and Mosler
After three seasons in a Corvette, Kumpen was driving two different cars in 2008, a Saleen S7-R for Peka Racing in the FIA GT Championship and a Mosler MT900 GT3 for Gravity Racing in the Belcar. Bert Longin was his co-driver in both competitions.
They have won one FIA GT race to finish 10th in the final classification of the GT1 class. In the Belcar races, they triumphed four times.
FIA GT vice-champion and Spa 24h winner in 2009
In 2009, Kumpen returned into a cockpit of a Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Z06, driving the #4 car for PK Carsport in the FIA GT Championship. He and Mike Hezemans were the race winners two times, at Oschersleben and Spa, finishing second in the championship, behind Vitaphone Racing's Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini.
Racing with Audi R8 LMS in 2010
In 2010, Kumpen had a part-time schedule with Phoenix Carsport in the FIA GT Championship, driving a Corvette in four races. In the Belgian championship, he joined W Racing Team to drive an Audi R8 LMS alongside Gregory Franchi. They won two races.
Kumpen was driving a Phoenix Racing's Audi R8 LMS at Spa 24 Hours, not finishing the race. At Zolder 24 Hours, he participated in a First Motorsport's Porsche 997 GT3 Cup and scored his fifth victory in that race.
Two seasons with Mercedes
In 2011, Kumpen started to race in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, driving for KRK Racing in the Belgian championship. His full-time co-driver was Koen Wauters. They raced with Mercedes at Spa 24 Hours too, not finishing the race.
Kumpen stayed with KRK Racing in 2012, participating in few races of the Blancpain Endurance Series, including Spa 24 Hours. They finished third at Monza and retired at Spa.
Sixth victory at Zolder 24 Hours
The highlight of the 2012 season was Kumpen's sixth victory at Zolder 24 Hours, making him the most successful driver in a history of that race. He scored a victory driving an Audi R8 LMS for the W Racing Team, sharing a car with Laurens Vanthoor, Marco Bonanomi and Edward Sandstrom.
In 2013, driving an Audi R8 LMS for PK Carsport, Kumpen clinched one more national title, winning the Belgian Racing Car Championship with one victory and five podiums. He was also driving Audi for Phoenix Racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT Series. At Spa 24 Hours, he was sharing a car with Enzo Ide and Markus Winkelhock, not finishing the race.
Championship title in the first stock car racing season
In 2014, Kumpen found a new challenge, entering the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Driving the #24 Heinz Performance Chevrolet SS for PK Carsport, he became a European stock car racing champion in his debut season.
He didn't leave Belgian GT racing immediately, participating one more season in an Audi. He won one race and scored two more podium finishes.
NASCAR Xfinity debut in 2015, one more Euro Series title in 2016
In 2015, Kumpen focused on stock car racing, finishing fourth in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and making a debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. His first race in America was the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway, where he was driving the #15 Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing. In 2015, he had two more starts in the #55 Chevrolet of the Precision Performance Motorsports at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami.
In 2016, Kumpen clinched his second NASCAR Euro Series title, again in the #24 Chevrolet SS. He won six races during a season. He started three more times in the Xfinity Series in 2016 and 2017, two times at Daytona and once at Mid-Ohio. In 2017, Kumpen finished second in the NASCAR Euro Series, winning three races and losing a title to Israeli Alon Day. In 2018, Day defended his title while Kumpen finished only 23rd in the points.