It had been almost half a year since the finale of the German Kart Championship in Oschersleben, but now the engines roared again in the highest kart racing league in all of Germany. The kick-off weekend took place on the 1.107m long Erftlangring in Kerpen in compliance with an extensive hygiene-concept. The race track in North Rhine-Westphalia has a great tradition across the borders of Germany and has been the birthplace of numerous big motorsports careers.
Despite the restrictions due to the worldwide Corona pandemic, the four grade series DKM, DJKM, DSKM and DSKC were brilliantly manned. Reigning and former Champions dueled with success-hungry youngsters. The first victories of the year went to Niels Tröger, Juliano Holzem (both DKM), Akshay Bohra (DJKM), Senna van Walstijn (DSKM) as well as Jakob Bergmeister and Thomas Imbourg (both DSKC).
The weather caused some distractions. During the trainings on Friday and the heats on Saturday, temporary rain challenged the drivers and teams to find the right setup. The sun was shining for the finals on Sunday though and there were summery conditions in the Erftland with temperatures of more than 25 degrees.
DKM: German victories for Niels Tröger and Juliano Holzem
A strong field of 28 drivers started at the German Kart Championship and experienced races on the highest level once again. The field was led by Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen (RS Competition) after qualifying, but the Dane had to give up his position to Niels Tröger from the SRP Racing Team during the course of the heats. During his first employment with the Maranello-Team, the Saxon was in top condition and won the first final on Sunday too. He set the pace in the highest class from the start and kept his competition at bay until the finish line. He was accordingly joyous in his winner's interview: “This was a perfect start with my new team. Everyone did a perfect job and contributed to this success.” Polesetter Jakobsen came in second in front of fellow Dane Marius Kristiansen (HK Motorsport), Arthur Tohum and Elias Olsen (KSM Official Racing Team) also from Denmark.
During the second final, there was a change at the top. While Tröger won the start again and was able to drive off a bit in the beginning, he had to let Juliano Holzem (CV Performance Group) pass him by shortly before half-time of the race. The KR-driver fought his way to the front from eighth starting position. Together with Moritz Wiskirchen (TB Racing Team) they formed a leading trio that crossed the finish line closely together. The KSM-duo Olsen and Felix Arnold completed the top-five. Winner Holzem was overjoyed about his first ever victory: “It's a great feeling to finally end up on top. I've had that chance multiple times before, now it's worked and I want to continue like this.”
Championship ranking DKM after 2 of 10 ranked races:
1. Niels Tröger (60 points)
2. Juliano Holzem (40 points)
3. Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen (31 points)
4. Marius Kristiansen (31 points)
5. Elias Olsen (30 points)
DJKM: Akshay Bohra dominates Kerpen-kick-off
Singaporean Akshay Bohra (TB Racing Team) celebrated a perfect debut into the German Junior Kart Championship. After a pole position at qualifying, he also won both heats as well as the finals and traveled home as the overall leading driver. “This was a perfect weekend. After I had won the heats, it was important to keep up the pace during the races. That wasn't always easy, my competition was always close behind”, the Kart-Republic-driver summed up his weekend.
Behind the double winner, his team mate Douwe Dedecker established himself during the first race: The Belgian stayed in his wind shadow for the entire 18 laps and achieved a TB Motorsport double victory. Supposed best rookie was Jens Treuer (CV Performance Group) on third place, but a subsequent disqualification threw him back to the end of the field. His team mate Nico Lemberg inherited his position in front of best German driver Leon Hoffmann (KSM Racing Team) and Maxim Rehm (Ricky Flynn Motorsport).
Rehm assumed the role of pursuer during the second race and put a lot of pressure on leading driver Bohra. Bohra kept his cool on the way to his double victory though. Third and fourth winner Lenny Ried (Lanari Racing Team) and Lemberg kept close at all times too – but weren't able to attack. Hoffmann ended up on the podium again, on fifth place.
Championship ranking DJKM after 2 of 10 ranked races:
1. Akshay Bohra (70 points)
2. Douwe Dedecker (42 points)
3. Nico Lemberg (37 points)
4. Maxim Rehm (31 points)
5. Leon Hoffmann (31 points)
DSKM: Dutchman Senna van Walstijn achieves double victory
The German Shifterkart Championship is the category of Champions this season. With Kris Haanen (KSM Racing Team), Tim Tröger (SRP Racing Team) and Juho Valtanen (SP Motorsport), three Champions of last year are competing against each other. With Fabian Federer (SRP Racing Team), Alexander Schmitz (BIREL ART RACING KSW) and Senna van Walstijn (CPB Sport), there are also three former Champions in the mix.
The high power density was already noticeable during qualifying – seven drivers broke the current lap record on the 1.107m long Erftlandring. New record holder is polesetter Valtanen with a time of 41,272 seconds. In the heats, Federer's experience had an impact then: The South Tyrolean was on first place of the interim rankings and achieved a perfect start into the first race on Sunday too. He still didn't win though – van Walstijn took the lead after a couple of laps and drove towards victory. Behind him followed Valtanen in front of rookie Haanen, Federer and Daniel Stell (NB Motorsport).
The second final was also shaped by a narrow fight between six drivers. After 23 laps, van Walstijn was first again and achieved a double victory. “These were two tough and exhausting races. The track requires good fitness. On top of that, there were the high temperatures. I'm very happy to have won twice and am now looking forward to the next races with lots of anticipation”, the leading Championship driver said in his interview. Stell assumed to role of pursuer this time and came in second in front of Federer, Laurens van Hoepen (Birel ART KSW Racing) and Haanen.
Championship ranking DSKM after 2 of 10 ranked races:
1. Senna van Walstijn (60 points)
2. Fabian Federer (48 points)
3. Juho Valtanen (46 points)
4. Kris Haanen (34 points)
5. Valentino Fritsch (34 points)
DSKC: Jakob Bergmeister and Thomas Imbourg triumphant
With a field of 27 shifterkart drivers, the DMSB Shifterkart Cup is strongly manned in its sixth season too and already promised lots of excitement before the kick-off. The first pole position of the year went to Thomas Imbourg (CPB Sport) from France, who drove among the front field during the later heats as well. A falling out during the second race threw him back to midfield though. New leading driver was German rookie Jakob Bergmeister (SRP Racing Team).
At the start of the first race, the youngster was still a bit cautious though and lost a couple of positions. During the further course he fought his way forward again though and fought with Imbourg and Marvin Langenbacher (RS Motorsport) for victory. Five laps before the end of the race, the Rhineland resident then prevailed and won. “I'm very content with my first Shifterkart-weekend at the DKM. This victory was a huge success, but I still have to work on my starts. Now I'm looking forward to Wackersdorf and want to further improve there”, Jakob rejoiced at the finish line. Behind him on the cup ranks followed Imbourg, Langenbacher, Yannik Himmels (SRP Racing Team) and Linus Lagerström (Solgat Motorsport).
The second final race got turbulent then. Bergmeister did not have a good start again and lost his lead to Imbourg this time. The Sodi-Kart-driver knew how to use his chance, defended his leading position until the end of the race and didn't lose his cool during a slow-phase either. “This was a good DKM debut for me. The competition is very strong and these were two tough races. My victory wouldn't have been possible without the support of my team though and I'd really like to thank them”, Imbourg summed up his success. Behind him there were numerous changes though: During the last half of the race, his pursuers Ben Dörr (TB Racing Team), Bergmeister and André Walter (Kart Performance Racing) were close together. The latter had started from the back of the field and fought his way forward to the front. The ranking didn't change though – Dörr came in second in front of Bergmeister, Karl Louis Kölschbach (SRP Racing Team) and Lukas Scherbinskas (Kart Performance Racing). Walter received a spoiler penalty and therefore didn't end up in the top-five.
Championship ranking DSKC after 2 of 10 ranked races:
1. Jakob Bergmeister (57 points)
2. Thomas Imbourg (55 points)
3. Ben Dörr (30 points)
4. Marvin Langenbacher (26 points)
5. Yannik Himmels (25 points)
“The whole organizational team of the DKM, as well as the Kart Clup-Kerpen e.V. are very content with the conduct of the racing weekend. Our hygiene-concept worked really well and everyone adhered to the regulations, which contributed to the success of the weekend. I'd like to thank everyone involved for their cooperation. We're now looking forward excitedly to the further developments”, DKM-series coordinator Stefan Wagner summed up the kick-off event.
The German Kart Championship and its four grade series are going to start into the next racing weekend in four weeks. Then, the Championship is going to take place at the Prokart Raceland Wackersdorf. The event is going to take place two weeks before the FIA European Kart Championship that is going to take place in the same location and therefore provides a good opportunity to prepare for it under racing conditions.