Frankfurt am Main/Franciacorta. The champions of the 2023 German Kart Championship have been decided. Last weekend, the season finale took place in Franciacorta, Italy. For the first time, the highest German kart racing series was a guest at the circuit and experienced great karting again at the end. The titles went to Stan Pex (DSKM), Niels Troeger (DSKC) and Luke Kornder (DJKM).
The 61st season of the German Kart Championship started at the Arena E in Muelsen at the end of April and saw attractive races with beaming winners throughout the year. For the finale, the kart racing series travelled to Italy for its second foreign guest appearance. The venue was the 1,300-metre track in Franciacorta. The course was opened only two years ago and provided a perfect backdrop for the season finale. The fields of the three championship classes DSKM, DSKC and DJKM were again international. The finale was supported by the simulator manufacturer O-ROUGE.
The focus this time was on the title fight. No decision had been made before the final races. In the end, there were six different winners in the races and a big surprise in the juniors. While Stan Pex (DSKM) and Niels Troeger (DSKC) drove to their triumphs in the shifter-kart categories without any real threat, Luke Kornder caused a surprise in the junior category. Having arrived in fourth place, he passed them all to take the title.
DSKM: Birel ART double win with Vasile and Bertuca
Guest driver Maksim Orlov (Modena Kart) set the best time in qualifying and led the field in the heats. Daniel Vasile (Birel ART Racing KSW) already made his presence felt with two wins in these. New conditions changed the situation for the finals on Sunday. Rain made the choice of tyres a lottery. For the first race, rain tyres were the best decision and Vasile prevailed from the start. By the time the chequered flag fell, he had a clear lead. Behind him, Stan Pex (SP Motorsport) followed, who thereby secured his second DSKM title after 2019. Cristian Bertuca (Birel ART Racing KSW) was third.
The track was dry again for the second race and the spectators witnessed a thrilling battle at the front. The decision was made on the last lap: Bertuca passed his team-mate Vasile and celebrated his first DSKM success. The top three was rounded off by the new champion Stan Pex. "Apart from one race, we were always on the podium and proved our strength. This is my second title and the tenth for our family. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this," the Dutchman was happy about the success. The winner of the Masters classification was Thomas Neumann (Birel ART Racing KSW).
Championship final standings DSKM:
1st Stan Pex (209 points)
2nd Daniel Vasile (150 points)
3rd Tim Troeger (135 points)
4th Jorrit Pex (132 points)
5th David Trefilov (126 points)
DSKC: Niels Troeger takes title with fourth race win
The field of the DMSB Shifter Kart Cup was again strong at the finale. 36 drivers went to the start and we witnessed the first pole position of Dutchman Siep Kuypers (CRG Holland). In the heats, it was Thomas Rackl (Maranello SRP Factory Team) who took pole position for the first final. In this, the field was shaken up. It rained heavily in parts and everyone started with rain tyres. From the second starting position, Niels Troeger (Maranello SRP Factory Team) drove to the top and celebrated a clear victory - with his fourth win of the season, the title was firmly in his grasp. Behind him, there were numerous duels for the remaining podium places. Menyhert Krozser (TB Racing Team) finished second ahead of Gianni Andrisani (Mach1 Motorsport - Kartschmie.de), Nikolas Roos (CRG Holland) and Tom Adams (Maranello SRP Factory Team).
In the afternoon race, the entire field started on slicks and saw Linus Hensen (Mach1 Motorsport - Kartschmie.de) in great form. With a good start, he drove into the leading pack and took P1 in the initial half of the race. A group of five hung on his heels and he held the lead until the end - but Hensen fended off all attacks to celebrate his victory as he crossed the finish line. Roos came second this time ahead of Troeger, Krozser and Emma Felbermeyer (TB Racing Team). For title holder Niels Troeger, it was a historic win. He was the first driver ever to win a title in the DKM and the DSKC. "What a year! After winning the World Cup, I'm really happy to win the DSKC as well. I thank the whole team and all the people who support me," beamed the winner. By winning the championship title, Troeger can also look forward to a test drive in a GT4 sports car. This is provided by series partner GTC Race.
There was a moment of shock for Dutchman Jeroen Bos (SP Motorsport) - in the warm-up on Sunday, he was unable to avoid a defective kart and ended up in the track barrier. Participation in the races was no longer possible. However, he made up for it in the evening by winning the Masters title.
Championship final standings DSKC:
1st Niels Troeger (239 points)
2nd Thomas Rackl (184 points)
3rd Linus Hensen (167 points)
4th Gianni Andrisani (116 points)
5th Tom Adams (115 points)
DJKM: Luke Kornder rides to the title from a chasing position
The weekend was particularly exciting for the juniors. Before the final, four youngsters still had a chance to win the title. On Saturday, however, another driver set the tone: Markas Silkunas (SIUSKPIGIAU.LT - PILENAI RACING) from Lithuania won the qualifying and also defended his top position over the heats. However, he relinquished the reins in the rain on Sunday. The track dried for the first run and half of the field relied on slicks - including overall leader Marc Gerstenkorn (TB Racing Team). But it became clear early on that this was not the right choice and the Swiss lost important points in the title fight. Things went much better for his direct rivals. While guest driver Amin Kara Osman (SIM-ON) won, co-favourites Luke Kornder (SIM-ON), Cemil Bayyati (Lanari Racing Team) and Phil Colin Strenge (ADAC Wuerttemberg e.V.) followed in the top five and postponed the title decision to the last race of the year.
On a still-wet track, Kornder got a perfect start in the second final and drove to victory. He was therefore the new champion. "That was an exciting weekend. I came into the final in fourth place and didn't expect to be at the front in the end. That makes it all the nicer to have achieved this. A big thank you to my family and the whole team," the winner summed up his emotions. His team-mate Kara Osman followed in second place ahead of Bayyati, who, however, was subsequently taken out of the classification due to being underweight. New third position was Strenge followed by Luigi Antonio Cocchianella (TSUNAMI RT) and Silkunas. Winner of the rookie classification was Dutchman Tom Papenburg (TB Racing Team).
Final championship standings DJKM:
1st Luke Kornder (214 points)
2nd Phil Colin Strenge (212 points)
3rd Marc Gerstenkorn (207 points)
4th Cemil Bayyati (186 points)
5th David Gorcica (160 points)
The team classification is part of the DKM tradition. This year, there was no way around Maranello SRP Factory Racing. The team surrounding Maik Siebecke can look back on a successful season and celebrated the win on the podium. "This has been an unbelievable year and the best we have had so far in the DKM. Besides Niels' title, four other drivers finished the season in the top five of their class. On top of that, we won the World Cup and the team championship. But we couldn't have done it without my whole team and our partners, so a big thank you to everyone involved."
Mini 60 Series by Chrono Karting: First win of the season for Dane Matteis Stigsen
The young drivers of the Mini 60 Series by Chrono Karting were also represented in the supporting programme at the season finale. The 16 youngsters delivered close races and great fights over the two days. After the pre-final, Andrii Kruglyk (TSUNAMI RT) led the field. In the final, Matteis Stigsen (CiPe: Care Kart-Racing) had the best start and pulled away from the field. In the course of the 13 race laps, he built up a clear lead and celebrated his first win of the season. He was in a correspondingly good mood in the interview later on: "I am very happy about the victory. The start was good and then I tried to hold my position. A big thanks to my father and grandpa who set me up with a perfect kart." Second-placed Sebastian Riedel (DS Corse) delivered a strong recovery. From the back of the field, he moved up to second place. Constantin Papst (Nees Racing) came third ahead of Marc Alexander Reistrup and Charlotte Tille (Nees Racing).
With the falling of the last chequered flag, an era of the German Kart Championship also came to an end. In future, the ADAC e.V. will take over the organisation of Germany's highest kart racing series. Series coordinator Stefan Wagner therefore looked back emotionally on the past decades: "It was not an easy weekend for the whole team. Everyone put a lot of heart and soul into the championship and the feedback from the participants and teams confirms us. There were a lot of great moments and we even reshaped karting to some extent. We were one of the first series with a race control and a live stream. I would like to thank the entire team for the many years of cooperation. I also wish the ADAC e.V. every success in continuing the DKM and look forward to seeing how the championship develops in the future."