Hot racing at RMC Germany's foreign appearance

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From one extreme to the next: This is how this year’s Rotax MAX Challenge Germany season is going. (Photos & Text Motorsport XL / Timo Deck)

Round 2 – Karting Genk ‘Home of Champions’, Belgium - The national Rotax series began the 24th season under quite extraordinary circumstances on the weekend of April 20-21, 2024. Rain, hail, sun, storms, snow and wintry temperatures gave the popular single-brand kart racing series a weather mix for more than 150 drivers in the six RMC classes (Micro, Mini, Junior, Senior, DD2, DD2 Masters) and the guest series GKC 100 in the Prokart Raceland in Wackersdorf. The challenging weather conditions required a lot of luck in finding the right setup and tire choice, meaning the positions in the sessions and races were rarely set in stone. 

After the season opener, the German series was confronted with the first heat battle of the year at the second round in Genk, Belgium on May 11-12. Summer conditions at the ‘Home of Champions’ made the near 150 drivers from RMC Germany and the T4 Series Germany, which was part of the supporting program, sweat profusely. The races on the 1,360-meter-long course in Flanders were just as hot as the weather. Exciting decisions and fair fights also produced new winners in the end.

Micro MAX: Surprise victory for Jonathan F. Ottosen
Max Moor and Dimitar Lazarov (C4 Racing) dictated the action for the youngest of RMC Germany. In qualifying, the heats and the superheat, both took turns at the top several times. Consequently, the two favorites should also fight for victory in the final. But things turned out differently: in the battle for the lead, Moor and Lazarov collided, flew off the track and had to bury all their dreams of victory. Jonathan F. Ottosen (Tony Kart) benefited from this, as he ultimately crossed the finish line first and relegated Maximilian Kiel (Forty-Two Competiton) and Connor Haufe (C4 Racing) to their places.

Mini MAX: Ryan Rijvers prevails
Finn Albert Jorgensen (Albert Racing) was in strong form in the Mini’s qualifying phase. After setting the best time in training, he also defended the lead after the heats. But on Sunday the tide turned. In the Superheat, Ryan Rijvers (Tony Kart) drew the attention and put himself among the favorites with a win. Jorgensen still claimed pole position for the finale. In the main race, the Tony Kart youngster was no longer able to use his advantage. In an exciting pentathlon he had to give up and ultimately saw the checkered flag as the bottom of this group. At the front, Rijvers took victory just ahead of Juan Seidl, opening round winner Maxim Becker (C4 Racing) and Julian Dümmer (3G Racing).

Junior MAX: Noah Janssen wins duel
In the Junior qualifying it was Thomas Verheyen (NR Drumke) who had the field under control. But already in the heats the guest starter had to give way to the lead and let Noah Janssen (Dörr Motorsport) go first. He subsequently also prevailed in the Superheat and took pole position for the final. Here Janssen and Verheyen fought a thrilling battle for victory, which was only decided in the German's favor in the last few meters. However, Verheyen surrender his second place to Tom Reger (Energy) due to a time penalty.

Senior MAX: Tommie van der Struijs cheers
The Senior class once again represented the largest field in RMC Germany with 53 drivers and saw Yoeri Schoens (Tony Kart) in the front in qualifying. In the heats he found an equal opponent in Tommie van der Struijs (Kraft Motorsport). The Dutch duo shared the victories between them and both then won their super heat. However, there was not to be a final exchange of blows in the main race: While Schoens got off to a mediocre start and slipped to fifth position, Van der Struijs tried to escape. He extended his lead lap after lap and finally won confidently with a lead of over two seconds over the Belgian Ruben Verheyen (NR Drumke) and the best German Hannes Ueberfeldt (Kraft Motorsport).

DD2 Masters: Alex Fielenbach unbeatable
Alex Fielenbach (Kraft Motorsport) continued in Genk where he left off in Wackersdorf: The Kosmic driver was also unbeatable in Flanders. Regardless of whether it was qualifying, heats, superheat or the final – there was no way around Fielenbach, which allowed him to further extend his championship lead. Multiple RMC champion Denis Thum was recommended as the best supporting actor with second place, giving Kraft Motorsport a double victory. Local hero Christophe Adams completed the podium in third place in front of his home crowd.

DD2: Victory for Jannik Jakobs
In qualifying for the DD2 elite, Luca Weber (LGK) first shook up the pack with the fastest time. However, in the further qualifying phase he was knocked off the throne and so it was Nico Hantke (3G Racing) who was able to take the lead after the heats. At the same time, Jannik Jakobs (Kraft Motorsport) was also on the rise. The defending champion underlined his ambitions with victory in the Superheat and shared the front row of the grid with Hantke for the final. Here, Jakobs, with teammate Mats Johan Overhoff in tow, quickly took over the lead, while Hantke fell back to seventh place over the course of the race. The leading power motorsport duo ran away from the field and in the end Jakobs won in a controlled manner ahead of his stablemate. Nikita Gense (Dörr Motorsport) climbed onto the podium in third place.

T4 Series: Victories for Becker and Schmied
The drivers of the leisure and beginners series of the T4 Series also delivered some karting worth seeing as part of the RMC Germany supporting program. In the juniors of the 4-stroke kart racing series, Phil Becker confidently prevailed against Maximilian Zhang and Mika Sprenz. The senior ranking saw an unbeatable Leon Schmied at the top, while Stefan Eckl and Kimi Schleich took the next places of honor.

“After the weather chaos in Wackersdorf, we were adequately compensated in Genk. But it wasn't just the weather that was great - the exciting, fair and accident-free sport on the track was also commendable. The event couldn't have been better. A big thank you to everyone involved,” said organizer Andreas Matis. 

Updated program a real hit 
The new event mode introduced - based on the international model of the CIK-FIA - has provided additional excitement. Qualifying is followed by two heats and a superheat, whose points then determine the starting line-up for the final. A total of 15 equivalent point rankings (5x heats, 5x superheats, 5x finals) are used for the championship ranking, of which the worst result is discarded.  These are divided into National and Cup ratings. From 2024, the two class formats are no longer held in separate races, but instead compete together. Looking at the number of participants so far, it shows that the new program is well received, attracting approximately 150 participants per round.

At the end of the year, the best placed drivers in the final standings will receive a total of seven tickets for the RMC Grand Finals, which will be held in Sarno, Italy, at the end of October. The six champions will also receive a brand new Arai helmet from motorsport outfitter Point-Racing.

The expanded calendar includes a total of five race weekends: Following Wackersdorf and Genk, the fast track of Ampfing in Upper Bavaria makes its first return to the program since 2017 for the mid-season round. The second half starts in August at the Erftlandring in Kerpen, before the finale takes place in Arena E in Muelsen, Saxony, at the beginning of September.

RMC Germany and the RMC Cup Series offer comprehensive live reporting: all events can be seen in the video streaming. Live timing is available at motorsport-events.se/racemonrmc/ for each round. Further information and all results can also be found on the website: www.rotaxmaxchallenge.de

The championship continues on June 15-16 at the southernmost circuit of the season in Ampfing.

Photos & Text Motorsport XL / Timo Deck

RMC-Organisation / KartodroM / Andreas Matis
E-Mail: kartodrom@karthandel.com
www.rotaxmaxchallenge.de
 

Created by: cggiuliano - 14/05/24

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