Wackersdorf causes new suspense
The German Kart Championship welcomed a record-worthy field of participants to the second event of the season at the Prokart Raceland Wackersdorf sponsored by Castrol Volkswagen Cup Poland. 171 participants from more than 25 nations started at the three grade series of the German Motorsport Foundation (DMSB). New winners are causing suspense among the Championship.
After a successful kick-off in Ampfing, the DKM team travelled to Upper Palatine. The 1.222m long track of the Prokart Raceland Wackersdorf was the setting of the third and fourth ranked races. Counting more than 170 drivers, the highest German kart racing series achieved a participation record. On Saturday, the decisions regarding the participants for the final races were made during 19 heats.
The weather caused additional suspense. Gleaming sunshine made for perfect conditions until Saturday afternoon. From then on, rain was the dominating factor. On Sunday, the track was temporarily flooded and the drivers had to prove all of their skills. In the end, the winners Benjamin Lessennes (DJKM), Martijn van Leeuwen (DKM), Davide Foré and Alexander Schmitz (both DSKM) did this best.
Series coordinator Stefan Wagner was very content at the end of the event on Sunday evening and is looking forward to the races after summer break: “We had to solve a mammoth task this weekend. 19 heats were quite a lot on Saturday, but everyone gave it their best and provided a smooth course of events. A huge thank you to the ADAC OC Würzburg e.V. for the organization, our event sponsor Castrol Volkswagen Cup Poland as well as congratulations to all the winners. We can now look forward to lots of suspense during the second half of the year.”
DSKM: Victories for Forè and Schmitz
72 drivers made for a top-class field of participants at the German Shifterkart Championship. In addition to the strong regulars, numerous drivers used this race as preparation for the CIK-FIA European Kart Championship, which is going to take place in two weeks in Wackersdorf as well (July 10th-13th 2014). Among them popular drivers such as the repeated Kart World Champions Davide Foré (DTK Racing Team Poland) and Jonathan Thonon (Praga Kart Racing Team), as well as the 2012 KZ2-European Champion Simas Juodvirsis (Energy Corse).
After qualifying and the heats, two regular drivers led the Championship though. Three-time Champion Jorrit Pex (CRG Holland) drove the best time during qualifying in front of fellow countryman Marijn Kremers (AVG Racing) and Rick Dreezen (CRG Holland). The heats had a lot to offer then: Dreezen as well as Pex had to deal with a falling out due to technical defects. Simo Puhakka (AVG Racing Team) was the beneficiary of this – due to two victories and two fourth places, he took the lead and started into the first final from the first starting row, next to Davide Foré.
In heavy rain on Sunday morning, old hand Davide Foré took the lead at the German Shifterkart Championship and didn’t let go of it during the course of the 21 laps. “Even if it didn’t look like it from the outside – this race was not an easy one for me. The conditions were temporarily really difficult and I’m more than happy about my victory now”, Davide Foré explained in an interview. The decision regarding second place was a lot more exciting: Jan Midrla (Joka Kart Team) caught a perfect start and improved his performance during the first lap from 17th to 2nd position. During the second half of the race, Jonathan Thonon followed him very closely though. The repeated World Champion from Belgium wasn’t able to overtake him though and ended up on third place. Best German driver was Alexander Schmitz (KSW Racing Team). Two laps before the finish line he overtook Finn Kooijman (CRG Holland) and thereby secured important points. “Things already went really well for us during the heats yesterday. Unfortunately we also had a falling out which is why I had to start from midfield today”, said Schmitz after the race. Latvian Simas Juodvirsis overtook Kooijman as well and ended up on fifth place. John Norris (Mach1 Motorsport) came in 7th, followed by Guust Specken (IRB Racing), Marijn Kremers and Championship leader Rick Dreezen.
After a fourth place at the first final race, there was no holding back Alexander Schmitz during the second then. From the start on, the resident of the Lower Rhine area took the lead and kept it until the finish line. “This is an unbelievable result. We have finally found the right way and were able to impress on the dry as well as the wet track. A big thank you to the whole team”, Schmitz rejoiced on the winners’ podium. Simas Juodvirsis showed a great final spurt as well. During the last 9 laps, the Energy driver got faster and faster and drove up to second place. Dutchman Guust Specken completed the top three. The Dutch driver profited from a turn by Midrla, who followed on fourth place in front of Marijn Kremers and Rick Dreezen. Finnish Simo Puhakka came in 7th, in front of Finn Kooijmann, Michele Di Martino (Energy Germany) and Pawel Myszkier (Myszkier Auto Sport Racing Team). Reigning Champion Jorrit Pex had a lot of bad luck this weekend – technical difficulties and accidents cost him all his chances of gaining any points.
Championship ranking DSKM after 4 of 10 races:
1. Rick Dreezen (75 points)
2. Alexander Schmitz (50 points)
3. Guust Specken (46 points)
4. Marijn Kremers (46 points)
5. Jorrit Pex (42 points)
DJKM: Benjamin Lessennes achieves double victory
The DJKM achieved a participation record as well, counting 55 young drivers and had to be divided into four heat groups. After qualifying, Leonardo Lorandi (Baby Race s.r.l.) was the top driver and drove the best time in front of Benjamin Lessennes (VDK Racing Team). Fastest registered driver was German David Beckmann (Robin Beckmann) and thereby earned two additional points at the Championship. The heats were full of action-packed fights for positions. The juniors gave each other a run for their money and provided lots of suspense. Mick Junior (KSM Motorsport) came out on top on Saturday. Due to two victories and a third place, he was on the pole position for the first final race.
On Sunday, there was no holding back Benjamin Lessennes from Belgium on the wet track. He dominated the racing events during both final races and achieved a well-deserved double victory. “Things couldn’t have gone better today. We found a great setup and I was able to fully attack”, the Kosmic-driver rejoiced in the evening. Mick Junior and Thomas Preining (KSB Racing Team) experienced a quiet race as well. They finished on the secure second and third places. The finishing phase was a lot more exciting among the pursuers. From 20th starting position, Dutchman Jarno Opmeer (Maddox Racing Team) managed to drive up to fourth place and only drove past Lirim Zendeli (KSM Racing Team) and Sophia Floersch (Morsicani Racing s.r.l.) during the last three laps of the race. Subsequent ten-second-penalties for Preining and Opmeer changed the entire ranking then. New third place went to Zendeli in front of Floersch and Beckmann. Thomas Preining was ranked sixth. Michael Kuiper (Keijzer Racing) crossed the finish line on seventh place followed by Bent Viscaal (CRG Holland), Jarno Opmeer and Casper Roes-Andersen (TK Racing).
During the second race, the fight for second place behind Benjamin Lessennes was a lot closer. Mick Junior and Jarno Opmeer showed a thrilling fight during the first half of the race. In the end there was a collision though and both of them lost important positions. Junior finished the race on fourth place, Opmeer only on 13th. After this, Leonardo Lorandi (Baby Race s.r.l.) was on the second place and kept it until the finish line. Best German and DJKM regular driver was Lirim Zendeli in front of Mick Junior and Juan Correa (Enery Corse). The American sent German David Beckmann to sixth place during the last bend. Marvin Pionke (RS Competition) celebrated his best DJKM result on seventh place in front of Michael Kuiper, Mike Beckhusen (KSM Racing Team) and British Enaam Ahmed (Ricky Flynn Motorsport).
Championship ranking DJKM after 4 of 10 races:
1. Enaam Ahmed (59 points)
2. Michael Kuiper (54 points)
3. Lirim Zendeli (50 points)
4. Mick Junior (49 points)
5. Max Hesse (37 points)
DKM: Two victories and Championship lead for Martijn van Leeuwen
Dutchman Martijn van Leeuwen (Keijzer Racing) was the most successful driver of the day at the DKM during the heats. During qualifying, he had to defer to British Callum Illot (Team Zanardi) and Hannes Janker (TB Motorsport Racing Team). But during the heats, the Dutchman drove to the top of the field, profiting from his opponent’s heavy quarrels. Callum Illot secured a heat victory as well: Currently in the lead at the European Kart Championship, he was a guest driver in Wackersdorf and showed a strong performance.
Martijn van Leeuwen dominated the events on the wet track as well. During the first finale, he achieved a comfortable advance quickly. But during the second half of the race, the first four drivers got together pretty closely. André Matisic (KKC Racing), Callum Illot and Lucas Speck (ADAC Kart Junior Team) stuck close to the leading Dutchman’s bumper and saw a chance for a heat victory. Van Leeuwen stayed calm though and defended his top position up to the finish line. “Things got really close towards the end. I tried not to risk too much and am happy about my victory”, said the reigning Junior Champion at the finish line. André Matisic followed on the great second place in front of fellow countryman Lucas Speck and Callum Illot. DKM-returnee Dennis Marschall (TB Motorsport Racing Team) showed an incredible catching-up race. Even though he is currently starting at the ADAC Formula Masters, he returned to kart racing in Wackersdorf and fought his way forward during the first final race from 29th starting position to the great 5th place. Russian Egor Stupenkov (Forza Racing) followed on sixth place. Hannes Janker (TB Motorsport Racing Team) came in seventh in front of Anton Dulin (Kartprom Team), Nicolai Kjaergaard (TK Racing) and German driver Manuel Valier (Mach1 Motorsport).
In the beginning, the second race seemed to become a repetition of the first. Martijn van Leeuwen achieved a great start and already had a slight advance after the first lap. This time, his pursuers didn’t let up though. André Matisic, Egor Stupenkov, Lucas Speck, Alessio Lorandi and Callum Illot kept close. Egor Stupenkov saw a gap and temporarily even overtook van Leeuwen. The Keijzer Racing Team driver didn’t want to let go of his lead that easily though and was able to counter-attack. The final decision was made two laps before the finish line. In a fair maneuver, Egor Stupenkov took the lead again and kept it until the end of the race. A subsequent ten-seconds-penalty clouded the Russian’s mood though and put him on sixth place. In the meantime, Martijn van Leeuwen had a reason to rejoice: Due to his double victory, he took the Championship lead: “After all the bad luck of the past weeks I’m very content with my result. Due to these two victories, I’m now leading the Championship as well.” Behind van Leeuwen, two German drivers followed on the winners’ podium: André Matisic and Lucas Speck. Speck experienced a blessing in disguise: After a short misfire of his engine he lost a lot of ground but was able to catch up again and achieved his best result of the season so far. Alessio Lorandi, Dennis Marschall, Egor Stupenkov, Callum Illot, Jehan Daruvala (Ricky Flynn Motorsport), Manuel Valier and Anton Dulin followed on the other ranks.
Championship ranking DKM after 4 of 10 races:
1. Martijn van Leeuwen (70 points)
2. Egor Stupenkov (57 points)
3. Jehan Daruvala (52 points)
4. André Matisic (46 points)
5. Manuel Valier (43 points)
The German Kart Championship is now going to take a summer break and will be back August 15th – 17th. After a couple of years, the first league of German kart racing is going to be back at the Metropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.