After an almost seven-months-long break the engines roared again at the highest kart racing series in Germany last weekend.
101 drivers started at the kick-off to the German Kart Championship in Wackersdorf and showed races as exciting as never before. The championships are led by Max Hesse (DJKM), Menno Paauwe (DSKM) and Richard Verschoor (DKM).
The Prokart Raceland Wackersdorf was the location of the kick-off to the German Kart Championship for the first time ever. 101 participants travelled to Upper Palatine and showed one of the most exciting racing weekends in a long time. One responsible factor was the weather conditions, temporary rain made it difficult to find the right setup. In the end, Max Hesse (DJKM), Menno Paauwe (DSKM) and Richard Verschoor (DKM) did it best and are now leading the overall lists of rankings.
The experienced crew of the DMSB and the local club Würzburg (registered association) catered for a smooth process of the event. Series coordinator Stefan Wagner was happy about the good start into the new season: “The first race of the year is always special. Everyone has to get back to their routines and the new drivers have to get used to the organization. All in all everything went really well though and we saw great kart racing. The races were exciting until the end and very fair. Especially after the start there were very few accidents, which proves our drivers’ discipline and the good work of the race-control. Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all the helpers for their support.”
DJKM: Tubben and Arnold share victories
Even though the field of participants of the juniors was a little more weakly manned, the drivers impressed with a high quality. After qualifying Dane Emil Dose (Storm Development) was in the lead, but due to two awful heats he fell back to the end of the field. “This hasn’t been a good day for us”, the youngster summed up in the evening. Patricija Stalidzane (TK Racing) took over the leading position in the meantime. Due to a victory and a second place the Energy-kart driver gained the first ten championship points of the season and was on pole position for the first final race.
During this race, Stalidzane was stopped due to a flat tire though. Unimpressed by this, Max Tubben (CRG Holland) took over the lead and drove far away from his opponents. The Dutchman had a considerable advance as he crossed the finish line and celebrated the first victory of the year: “I’m comfortable in rain. Everything went perfectly right from the start and I was never under any pressure.” Behind him there was a thrilling fight between Bent Viscaal (KSM Racing Team), Max Weering (CRG Holland) and Max Hesse (RS Motorsport) though. The three drivers showed an exciting race and temporarily drove next to each other on the 1.222m long track. The decision only came two laps before the end of the race: Max Weering dropped out of the race due to a technical defect and made way for Max Hesse. The ADAC Sports Foundation’s sponsored driver then defeated Bent Viscaal as well and came in second. The other drivers were just as closely together on the following positions.
Doureid Ghattas (KSM Motorsport) followed on fourth place in front of Mads E. Hansen (Storm Development) and Niklas Krütten (Forza Racing). A time penalty threw back Luca Lippkau (RMW Motorsport) from fifth to seventh place. Luke Wankmüller (Solgat Motorsport) came in eighth in front of Noah Milell (JP Racing) and Felix Arnold (ADAC Hessen-Thuringia e.V.).
The second final race in the afternoon was a thriller as well. Having started from seventh position, Luca Lippkau had the fastest kart during the starting phase and led the field. Towards the middle of the race, Felix Arnold and Max Hesse caught up with the Kosmic-kart driver though and used a small mistake of the DJKM-newbie close to the end of the race. Arnold as well as Hesse drove past Lippkau and ended the race on first and second places. It was the first success at the German Junior Kart Championship for winner Felix Arnold: “I’m very happy to have won. We were already on a good way during qualifying, but then had some bad luck during the heats. Now really everything went perfectly and it’s a great feeling to be on the top place of the podium.” Lippkau and Hesse were content in the end as well. “I’m now leading the overall list of rankings, which is a good start”, said Hesse in the evening. His direct follower Luca Lippkau added: “Never in my dreams would I have imagined leading a race at the DJKM. We’re going to do more tests until Genk and then fully attack again.” Luke Wankmüller established himself on a secure fourth place followed by David Brinkmann (KSM Racing Team). The latter showed a great catching-up race: from the last starting position he managed to jump to the top five. Noah Milell came in sixth followed by Bent Viscaal, Patricija Stalidzane, Dennis Kramp (CRG Keijzer Racing) and Isak Sjökvist (TK Racing).
Championship ranking DJKM after 1 of 5 races:
1. Max Hesse (43 points)
2. Luca Lippkau (34 points)
3. Bent Viscaal (33 points)
4. Max Tubben (32 points)
5. Felix Arnold (31 points)
DSKM: Menno Paauwe celebrates sensational victory
After qualifying and the heats a well-known name was at the top of the list of rankings – Jorrit Pex (Pex Racing Team). The four-time champion drove the best time and won both heats. The races weren’t easy for him though: His followers put him under lots of pressure, during the last heat he was only able to overtake the leading driver on the home stretch and won. During the interview in the evening he was accordingly cautious: “Things went really well today but we can’t rest yet. The competition is really strong again this year.”
It seemed as if Jorrit Pex already had a foreshadowing on Saturday. Directly after the start into the first final race he was involved in a collision and had to drive into the stall due to bent axle. Fabian Federer (CRG Holland) took the lead in front of Davide Foré (Renda Motorsport). The race didn’t take a lucky course for Federer as well though: The Italian had to drop out of the race due to a technical defect too. Therefore it looked like a clear victory for Davide Foré until the middle of the race. On the drying track the multiple kart world champion lost a lot of ground though and fell back to sixth place until the end of the race. Marco Zanchetta (CPB Sport) dominated the front in the meantime and won with an advance of almost eight seconds. “The shifterkart field is very challenging again this time. The cooperation with Alpha Kart is working really well and the chassis is doing a great job.” Maik Siebecke (SRP Racing Team) came in on second place as best German driver in front of the man of the race Menno Paauwe (Paauwe Kart Racing). The Dutchman entered the final races via the repechage in the morning and fought his way forward during the 21 laps from 32nd starting position to the third overall place. Finn Kooijman (Dino Racing) came in fourth in front of fifth winner Ricardo Romkema (KSW BirelART Austria). Davide Foré came in sixth in front of John Norris (Mach1 Motorsport), Guust Specken (PDB Racing Team), Pawel Myszkier (Myszkier Auto Sport Racing Team) and Lucas Zuber (KSM Racing Team).
After his strong catching-up race during the first race, Menno Paauwe became the man of the weekend during the second. He was able to drive to second position during the start and was able to pass by kick-off winner Marco Zanchetta four laps later. He didn’t let any doubt regarding his success arise until crossing the finish line: “This has been my best weekend at the German Kart Championship so far. Everything went perfectly today. After my turn during the repechage I thought it was all over. Now I have won and am even leading the overall list of rankings.” Behind the Dutchman, Marco Zanchetta and Stan Pex (Pex Racing Team) showed a thrilling fight. After multiple changes of position, Zanchetta came out on top in the end and came in second in front of youngster Stan Pex. The numerous spectators were able to see great kart racing regarding the fight for the rest of the top five positions as well. Guust Specken prevailed and came in fourth in front of Davide Foré. The Italian got a five-seconds-penalty though and fell back to fifth place. John Norris took his place in front of Andreas Fassberg (KSM Racing Team), Fabian Federer, Jorrit Pex, Alexander Schmitz (KSM Racing Team) and Dylan Davies (CRG Keijzer Racing).
Championship ranking DSKM after 1 of 5 races:
1. Menno Paauwe (45 points)
2. Maik Siebecke (31 points)
3. Stan Pex (31 points)
4. Guust Specken (27 points)
5. John Norris (26 points)
DKM: Richard Verschoor starts with double success
It was already clear after qualifying: This year’s DKM season is going to be exciting. The first 15 drivers were within less than a half of a second. The reigning champion Martijn van Leeuwen (CRG Keijzer Racing) was the fastest driver; during the last lap he drove the best time. He then had to take a backseat during the heats. Both German drivers Manuel Valier (KSB Racing Team) and Tom Lautenschlager (TB Motorsport Racing Team) won one heat and came in second once respectively. The better qualifying result was finally achieved by Manuel Valier which got him the pole position of the first race in front of Lautenschlager.
This race held difficult conditions for the drivers though: While the racing line was dry, there were still lots of wet parts on the track. Just like the previous day, there were no favorites. Eight drivers had chances to win in the beginning and the lead changed numerous times. Only towards the middle of the race, Dutchman Richard Verschoor (RB Racing SA) was able to strengthen his position and controlled the front of the field. His fellow countryman Martijn van Leeuwen tried to keep up the pressure, but Verschoor was able to confidently defend his first DKM victory. “It’s my first year in the KF. I’ve adjusted quickly and am proud to have won. The competition is really strong”, the Dutchman commented on his success. Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard (TK Racing) came in third in front of Will Stowell (CRG Keijzer Racing) and best German driver Tom Lautenschlager (TB Motorsport Racing Team). Lautenschlager showed a strong performance: After the initial lead he drifted off onto the lawn during the fight for second place and lost numerous positions. Due to great overtaking maneuvers he still managed to jump to the top five. Closely behind him Christian Sörensen (Storm Development), Tobias Müller (Kartshop Ampfing), Julias Lassen (TK Racing), Manuel Valier and Giacomo Rossi (TB Motorsport Racing Team) crossed the finish line.
Before the start of the second final race of the German Kart Championship there was excitement among the starting field. Light rain changed the track conditions and the drivers were worried about the grip conditions. The race management center decided on a wet-race and postponed the start for ten minutes. The rain died down again and the whole field started with slicks. Just like during the first race, the drivers in the front were very closely together and switched positions multiple times. Will Stowell led the field in the beginning, gave his position to team mate Martijn van Leeuwen quickly though. The Dutchman seemed to be on a safe way to victory, but on the last couple of meters Verschoor showed an incredible performance. Having temporarily been on seventh place, he raced forward and achieved his second victory of the weekend at the last bend. “I wasn’t expecting this maneuver”, second winner Martijn van Leeuwen admitted at the finish line. Nicolai Kjaergaard (TK Racing) was on the winners‘ podium again, on third place. Christian Sörensen (Storm Development) came in fourth followed by Will Stowell. Takuya Okada (CRG Keijzer Racing), Kristian Thorsen (Storm Development), Manuel Valier, Tom Lautenschlager and Tobias Müller completed the top ten.
Championship ranking DKM after 1 of 5 races:
1. Richard Verschoor (58 points)
2. Martijn van Leeuwen (49 points)
3. Nicolai Kjaergaard (38 points)
4. Will Stowell (29 points)
5. Christian Sörensen (27 points)
The German Kart Championship is going to start into its next round from June 12th – 14th. The three grade series of the German Motorsport Foundation (DMSB) are then going to start in Belgian Genk.