Exciting DKM-finale in Genk
The final races of the German Kart Championship couldn’t have been any more suspenseful. In Belgian Genk, the title favorites held off the decisions until the last seconds. In the end, three joyful winners stood on the podium: Jorrit Pex (DSKM), Martijn van Leeuwen (DJKM) and André Matisic (DKM).
117 drivers from more than 15 nations travelled to the big finale of the German Kart Championship. After Ampfing, Wackersdorf, Kerpen and Hahn/Hunsrück, the last championship points could be gained at the foreign round in Belgian Genk. The weather caused a lot of commotion: the three racing days were affected by wintery temperatures and temporary heavy rain. This ceased towards the final races on Sunday and the 1.360m long track was dry.
In the fight for the championship title, one decision had already been made prior to the races. Dutchman Jorrit Pex (CRG Holland) was the DSKM-champion for the third time in a row after Hahn. On the other hand, everything was still open at the juniors and seniors. There were multiple title favorites among both classes. In the end, Martijn van Leeuwen (Keijzer Racing) and André Matisic (KKC Racing/PDB Germany) were able to enter the “Hall of Fame” of German kart racing’s first league.
DSKM: Paolo de Conto achieves vice title due to double victory
After the heats, things seemed familiar at the front of the shifterkarts. Old and new champion Jorrit Pex led the field in front of Paolo De Conto (AVG Racing) and was confident about the racing Sunday: “Today has gone really well for us; hopefully things will continue this way tomorrow.”
The first race started pretty badly for the Dutchman though. He fell back considerably during the first few meters, was then able to fight his way forward up to sixth place until crossing the finish line. Meanwhile, Paolo de Conto dominated the events at the front. He led the field from start to end and won with an advance of more than four seconds. Riccardo Romkema showed a great catching-up race: from 13th starting position, he was able to drive forward to the impressive second place despite the wet track. Additionally, another Dutchman was able to enjoy the last place on the podium: Verdi Geurts (Solgat Motorsport). As best German driver, Alexander Schmitz (KSM Racing Team) crossed the finish line on fourth place in front of Davide Foré (DTK Racing Team Poland).
The field consisting of 34 drivers had to adapt to difficult conditions for the second race. The ideal path had dried and everyone started with slick tires. Prominent sufferers of the slippery conditions were Verdi Geurts and Davide Foré. Both of them turned during the first bend and fell behind considerably. At the finish line, the duo was only on 16th and 17th places. Paolo de Conto was not impressed by this though. The Birel-driver was able to expand his advance again and achieved a double victory. The race also went a lot better for Jorrit Pex: he came in second in front of Alexander Schmitz. The top five were completed by Symen Wiggers (CRG Holland) and Kevin Illgen (ADAC Sachsen e.V.). The vice title went to Paolo de Conto, who was able to achieve four race victories, just like Jorrit Pex. Best German driver was Kevin Illgen on third place in front of Ricardo Romkema and Alexander Schmitz. During his interview Champion Jorrit Pex thanked his whole team for the great support: “Winning the DSKM for the third time in a row is a great feeling. The season was a lot of fun again and I want to thank everyone who has taken part in this huge success. I’m hoping to be a part of this again next year.”
Final Championship score DSKM:
1. Jorrit Pex (188 points)
2. Paolo De Conto (138 points)
3. Kevin Illgen (110 points)
4. Ricardo Romkema (97 points)
5. Alexander Schmitz (95 points)
DJKM: Martijn van Leeuwen crowned champion
Martijn van Leeuwen (Keijzer Racing) and David Beckmann (Reenergas Racing Team) travelled to the German Junior Kart Championship in Belgium as title favorites. Eleven points were between the two prior to the last races. During qualifying and the heats, van Leeuwen won the fight between the two youngsters. By achieving two victories, he held the pole position for the first final, while Beckmann was on second position.
Under heavy rain, everything seemed to go in favor of Martijn van Leeuwen during the first race. The Dutchman established himself on second position behind Jarno Opmeer (Maddox Racing Team). But towards the middle of the race, the whole field got mixed up. While the leading drivers Opmeer and van Leeuwen fell behind, there was a great fight at the front of the field. German Lirim Zendeli (KSM Racing Team) and Benjamin Lessennes (VDK Racing Team) from Belgium decided the victory between them. Despite some heavy attacks, Zendeli was able to fend off his opponent’s advances until shortly before the end of the race. In the end, Lessennes still found a way past him and secured his first victory in the German Junior Kart Championship. At the finish line, the Belgian had to deal with a heavy setback though. The stewards declared a ten-seconds-penalty and he only ended up on fourth place. Lirim Zendeli was the new winner in front of Mick Betsch (KSM Racing Team) and Bryan Elpityia (Energy Corse). Winner Zendeli was giddy with excitement: “I still can’t believe it: my first DJKM-victory.” Nicholas Otto (M.M. Racing Kart) completed the top five behind Lessennes. There was huge drama regarding the fight for the title though: Martijn van Leeuwen seemed to be on his way to the title on sixth place, until a broken chain forced him to end the race during the last lap. His immediate opponent David Beckmann (Reenergas Racing Team) experienced a mixed race as well, but was able to collect championship points by coming in 11th.
The two of them made it exciting during the final race once again. David Beckmann achieved a good start and was behind the leading drivers Mick Betsch and Bryan Elpityia on third place after only a couple of laps. Martijn van Leeuwen managed an even greater leap forward though. From 31st starting position, he fought his way forward fiercely through the international field and finished on sixth place. Thereby he won the championship due to an incredible catching-up race – in the end he was two points ahead. “I was devastated after the first race and thought everything was over. But then I told myself: You have to attack! I did and I won. I want to thank the entire Keijzer Racing team for their outstanding work.” On the overall list of rankings, Casper Andersen (TK Racing) and Jannes Fittje (ADAC Hessen-Thüringen e.V.) completed the cup ranks.
Final Championship score DJKM:
1. Martijn van Leeuwen (175 points)
2. David Beckmann (173 points)
3. Mick Betsch (94 points)
4. Cedric Piro (90 points)
5. Lirim Zendeli (84 points)
DKM: Beaming champion André Matisic
As many as four drivers travelled to the finale of the German Kart Championship to Genk with chances of winning the title. Throughout the course of the season, Hannes Janker (TB Motorsport Racing Team), André Matisic (KKC Racing/PDB Germany), John Norris (Mach1 Motorsport) and Dennis Marschall (TB Motorsport Racing Team) established themselves at the front of the highest German kart racing grade and wanted to win the title at the finale. It became clear on Saturday already, that the decision would be made on the last couple of meters. The overall list of rankings was led by Dorian Bocclacci (Energy Corse s.r.l.). The Frenchman won during qualifying and both heats.
On the wet track, the recent CIK-FIA KZ2 World Cup-Champion Boccolacci seemed to be on his way to victory during the first final race. He hadn’t counted on André Matisic though. From second starting row, the Hamburg resident caught up with the Frenchman and was able to overtake him shortly before the end of the race. Thereby he was able to celebrate his second DKM-victory in a row and gained pole position in the fight for the Championship title. His strongest opponents Hannes Janker, John Norris and Dennis Marschall only finished on sixth, eighth and ninth places and thereby fell back in the fight for the title. The front ranks were achieved by Dylan Pereira (DAEMS Racing) on third place in front of Martin Ellegard and Kasper Larsen (both with Keijzer Racing).
The last race of the season started with a bang. Hannes Janker and Dennis Marschall lost numerous positions during the start and were only able to watch as Matisic and Norris took the front of the field. Both of them fought an acrimonious fight with Boccolacci for the lead. John Norris drove into the last lap as the leading driver, but Boccolacci managed a counterattack and achieved his third victory in the German Kart Championship. Behind the first three, Dylan Pereira and Callum Illot (Team Oakes) took their places. Regarding the championship, André Matisic had every reason to rejoice. Due to a victory and a third position, he managed to climb to the top of the overall list of rankings and was appointed German Kart Champion in the evening. “I’m trying to capture all of these emotions right now. The title is an incredible result and I will need time until tomorrow to realize all of this. It’s unbelievable that I’ve won this high-class championship”, the Hamburg resident rejoiced on the podium. Hannes Janker also had reasons to be content. The Junior Champion of 2012 played a huge part in the fight for the title up until the end and finished the year as vice champion: “Of course I wanted the championship title, but I’m still very happy about second place during my debut season.”
Final Championship score DKM:
1. André Matisic (156 points)
2. Hannes Janker (139 points)
3. John Norris (139 points)
4. Dorian Boccolacci (129 points)
5. Dennis Marschall (110 points)
Regarding the team ranking, Team Energy Corse s.r.l. came out on top this weekend. The victory in the overall ranking of the year was achieved by TB Motorsport Racing Team. The team surrounding Thomas Braumüller had two drivers among the title favorites in the DKM until the end of the year: Hannes Janker and Dennis Marschall.
Series coordinator Stefan Wagner was very content with the course of the 2013 season in the evening: “This year has been a good one for the German Kart Championship. We were able to welcome strong drivers’ fields on all five weekends and experienced exciting races. I’d like to congratulate Jorrit Pex, Martijn van Leeuwen and André Matisic on winning the Championships. I also want to thank all the drivers, teams and people in charge for the trust they’ve put into our championship and the great support throughout the year. We’re already busy with preparations for the 2014 season and are hoping to be able to present a first calendar shortly.”