No one could have written a more exciting script for the season finale of the German Kart Championship.
The numerous spectators on the ranks got to see a lot of excitement due to extreme weather events, thrilling races, new winners and beaming Champions. In the evening, Jorrit Pex (DSKM), David Beckmann (DJKM) and Martijn van Leeuwen (DKM) were celebrated as new winners.
The 2014 DKM season is over. In Belgian Genk, the decisions of the highest German kart racing series were made at the fifth event of the season. 122 participants from Europe, Asia and America started there and drove exciting races. The weather was a special challenge this time. On Friday and Saturday, a golden fall supplied gleaming sunshine and almost summer-like temperatures. The drivers then got to experience the exact opposite on Sunday. Heavy rain and cool temperatures made for adverse track conditions.
In addition to the weather, a lot was offered on the track as well. During six breathtaking final races, the last Championship points were dealt out. While the title favorites of all three DMSB grade series showed great fights, there were still new winners in Genk as well. At the juniors, Jarno Opmeer (Maddox Racing Team) from the Netherlands achieved a double victory, Jorrit Pex (CRG Holland) and Marijn Kremers (AVG Racing Team) won at the shifterkarts and Italian guest driver Alessio Lorandi (Baby Race srl.) was successful at the DKM.
DSKM: Jorrit Pex makes history due to fourth title
Four title favorites started into the final weekend: Rick Dreezen (CRG Holland), Jorrit Pex, Simo Puhakka (AVG Racing Team) and John Norris (Mach1 Motorsport). It already looked like a close decision after qualifying and the heats. With a victory and a second place respectively during the heats, Jorrit Pex, Rick Dreezen and Simo Puhakka were at the front of the field. Jorrit Pex was very content after the first heat: “I was able to preserve my tires a little and am already looking forward to the final races.” The fourth driver, John Norris, had some bad luck though. Due to a falling out he only ended up on 24th place.
The first final race of the shifterkarts started turbulently. On the wet track, the drivers had to give it their all to keep their karts on the track. The field got organized after a couple laps though – Jorrit Pex was at the front. Due to a great performance, he drove away from his pursuers and celebrated his second victory of the season. “I’m glad we’re able to drive in the front under wet conditions as well”, rejoiced Pex after the race. On second place, Finn Simo Puhakka kept the Championship open and looked towards the last race excitedly: “May the best driver win in the end. Our package is right, which is why I’m very confident.” The great third place went to Verdi Geurts (Solgat Motorsport), followed by Marijn Kremers. Guust Specken (PDB Racing Team) completed the top five in front of the best German drivers Michele Di Martino (Energy Germany) and Maik Siebecke (SRP Racing Team). Finn Kooijman (CRG Holland) crossed the finish line on the eighth place followed by Pepijn Steemann (CRG Holland) and Tom Lorkowski (MAXIM-Recycling-Racing-Sports). Rick Dreezen experienced a race worth forgetting: The Belgian was put under massive pressure during the first laps already and fell back position after position. Nine laps before the end of the race he had to forfeit completely and lost any Championship hopes. John Norris missed placing among the point ranks on 24th place as well and also exited the fight for the title.
After his victory of the first race, Jorrit Pex started into the last race with a comfortable point advance. The threefold Champion defended his lead after the start and thereby created a slight advance. Marijn Kremers and Verdi Geurts were close by though. The Birel-duo overtook Pex and fought for the victory themselves. In the end, Kremers was able to celebrate his first victory of the season. In the meantime, Jorrit Pex was on a save way toward the Championship. On third place, he was two places in front of his opponent Simo Puhakka and made history at the finish line. “I can hardly believe it. After the first half of the season, I never expected this. Now I’m Champion again and the first driver with four DSKM-titles. Thanks to my family and my team for their great support.” Michele Di Martino was best German driver again on fourth place, followed by Simo Puhakka on fifth. Joey Hanssen (CRG Holland) returned to the DSKM with a strong performance. During the past two years, the Dutchman won the Australian Championship and now drove in the German Championship as a guest again. Coming in sixth he just barely missed entering the cup ranks. Maik Siebecke came in seventh in front of Finn Kooijmann, Alexander Schmitz (KSW Racing Team) and Tom Lorkowski.
Final Championship ranking
1. Jorrit Pex (150 points)
2. Simo Puhakka (129 points)
3. Marijn Kremers (111 points)
4. Rick Dreezen (107 points)
5. Guust Specken (92 points)
DJKM: Jarno Opmeer celebrates double victory – David Beckmann the Championship
At the juniors, all eyes were on Mick Junior (KSM Racing Team) and David Beckmann. Both of them were huge title favorites and postponed the title decision to the extreme. During qualifying, US American Logan Sargeant (Ricky Flynn Motorsport) supplied a small surprise. With his first pole position, he kept the title favorites at bay, but during the course of the heats, David Beckmann restored the usual order and won both races. In the interview in the evening he was very content: “I had a little bit of luck during the second heat. In spite of this, our speed is right and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” Right behind the German followed the Ricky Flynn-Duo Max Fewtrell and Enaam Ahmed. The day didn’t go so perfectly for the current Championship leader Mick Junior though. He could only start into the finale from 9th place.
But due to a perfect start, Junior was able to fight his way forward to the front of the field right after the start into the first final race. It looked like a dominant performance by the Tony kart driver in the beginning, but his performance decreased lap after lap. In a real thriller, Jarno Opmeer, Bard Verkroost (Mantfoort Motorsport), Juan Correa (Energy Corse) and his fiercest Championship opponent David Beckmann passed him by. While the first four drove their races quietly, Junior had to continue to watch out for his pursuers. During the last lap, as many as six drivers were close behind him, but he was able to defend fifth place at the finish line. First pursuer was Michael Kuiper (Keijzer Racing) in front of Maximilian Fewtrell (Ricky Flynn Motorsport), Logan Sargeant, Bent Viscaal (CRG Holland) and Lirim Zendeli (KSM Racing Team). Enaam Ahmed (Ricky Flynn Motorsport) had to give up on his title ambitions: He was out of the race during the warm up lap already due to a technical defect.
Shortly before the big showdown in the afternoon, heavy rain set in again and caused difficult conditions on the 1.360m long track. The driver on second place of the first race, Bard Verkroost, achieved a perfect start. The Dutchman quickly gained a considerable advance and drove toward his first racing victory. He wasn’t expecting Jarno Opmeer though. The Dutchman came really close to his fellow countryman and was able to celebrate his next success at the finish line. Behind Bard Verkroost on second place, Michael Kuiper completed the all-Dutch podium on third place. Regarding the fight for the title, David Beckmann and Mick Junior showed a thrilling duel. Just like during the first race, Junior wasn’t able to keep up with his opponent’s speed after a few laps and fell back to eighth place. In the meantime, his opponent David Beckmann kept cool and achieved the Championship title by coming in fourth. “I couldn’t have celebrated a better goodbye from kart racing. We had such a bad start into the season, but were able to get the maximum out of everything afterwards and now we’ve won. Many thanks to my parents, my team and my supporters”, David Beckmann summed up in the evening. Behind the new Champion followed Maximilian Fewtrell (Ricky Flynn Motorsport) on fifth place. Enaam Ahmed showed an incredible catching-up race: The World and European Champion fought his way forward from the back of the field to sixth place. Juan Correa followed on seventh place in front of Mick Junior, Lirim Zendeli and Bent Viscaal.
Final Championship ranking
1. David Beckmann (143 points)
2. Mick Junior (140 points)
3. Maximilian Fewtrell (120 points)
4. Juan Correa (108 points)
5. Michael Kuiper (101 points)
DKM: Alessio Lorandi unstoppable – next title for Martijn van Leeuwen
At the top class of German kart racing, guest driver Alessio Lorandi (Baby Race srl.) set the pace. The Italian dominated the events during qualifying as well as the heats and started into the first final race from pole position. Regarding the fight for the title, Martijn van Leeuwen (Keijzer Racing) had the better chances though. Even though he missed gaining pole position, he was on second place after the heats in front of Jehan Daruvala (Ricky Flynn Motorsport). “After qualifying, we worked on the setup some more and found the right way”, Martijn summed up his day in the evening.
Despite the changed conditions, there was no way around Alessio Lorandi on Sunday as well. Just like the previous day, the Junior Champion from 2013 won the start into the first final race and was unstoppable then. Martijn van Leeuwen was a small winner as well: By coming in second, he collected lots of Championship points and got even further away from Jehan Daruvala – the Brit only came in sixth. He was accordingly confident before the second race: “Everything is going according to plan so far, 25 additional points give me a good advance. Now I’ll have to come out of the start okay, then I should be able to win the title.” The decision regarding third place was a close one. Reigning Champion André Matisic (KKC Racing PDB Germany), Egor Stupenkov (Forza Racing) and Maxim Martynyuk (Energy Germany) changed places repeatedly. At the finish line, Hamburg resident Matisic achieved a place on the podium. On the following places came in Jehan Daruvala, Sasakorn Chaimongkol (PM Racing), Kristian Thorsen (Ricky Flynn Motorsport), Shane Vandenbroek (DAEMS RACING TEAM) and Jessica Backmann (Kosmic Racing DPT.).
The last race of the season started excitingly: Only after two race cancellations and a slow start, the field was able to drive off. Winner of the start was guest driver Alessio Lorandi (Baby Race). Martijn van Leeuwen (Keijzer Racing) was able to keep close this time and put a lot of pressure on his opponent. Lorandi didn’t think about letting the Championship favorite pass him by though. “I was lucky because after the cancelled start my mechanic was allowed to look at my kart again, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to finish the race. The first laps were very hard, but then my air pressure was right and I was able to drive off”, Alessio Lorandi commented on his success. After a couple of fierce attacks, Martijn van Leeuwen decided to drive more safely and defended his position. Towards the end, Egor Stupenkov got closer though and achieved second place in the end. This didn’t play a role regarding the Championship anymore though. After the junior title in 2013, Martijn van Leeuwen now won the DKM Championship: “It’s been a year full of highs and lows again. The last race was really exciting then. I already thought the title was lost, but it was enough in the end.” His direct opponent Jehan Daruvala came in fourth in front of best German driver André Matisic. Matisic was not content at the finish line: “I really wanted to come in third and now have the same amount of points as Egor. Unfortunately he has achieved a victory though. It’s really unfortunate to lose a place on the podium during the last lap.” Thai Sasakorn Chaimongkol came in sixth in front of Shane Vandenbroek, Nicolai Kjaergaard (TK Racing), Jessica Backmann and Kristian Thorsen.
Final Championship ranking
1. Martijn van Leeuwen (176 points)
2. Jehan Daruvala (164 points)
3. Egor Stupenkov (129 points)
4. André Matisic (129 points)
5. Manuel Valier (89 points)
After the races in Genk, one of the most balanced DKM seasons in years is now over. To series coordinator Stefan Wagner the season has been a huge success and he is already excited for 2015: “First I want to thank all participants, teams and people responsible. Everyone has done a great job and has played a big part in the success of this season. We averagely had more than 130 participants, which is a top result. The races were always exciting and great to watch. The interest in our video live stream was great once again as well: Counting more than 200.000 viewers, we were able to almost double the numbers from 2013. Now we have to look forward and get ready for 2015. We’ll be presenting the new racing calendar shortly.”