Round 4 of the international German Kart Championship was where Kas Haverkort was aiming to once more reinstate himself as a sure title contender, having led the highly competitive OK Senior class in the premier national series from the opening round in Lonato, Italy already. With countless issues thrown at the young Dutch driver throughout the following rounds, the 15-year old again displayed his impressive racing skills to secure yet another podium finish in Belgium.
Kas Haverkort overcame a frustrating weekend at the fourth round of the DKM series at the Karting Genk circuit, having to rely on his depth of experience during the finals Sunday to work his way through a field that includes many strong competitors accredited with noted titles – including World, European and international series’ champions. However, the CRG Keijzer Racing Team driver continued to keep his focus and relied on his own ability and strategy, even when he was well aware he lacked the pace to be fighting for the win from the beginning of the event.
“From Friday practice we did not really have enough speed,” Haverkort explains, “and basically had zero power. It’s been such a frustrating weekend. I know to win you need to have a very good package – all the material has to be perfect. The competition is tough so it’s the only way here.”
As 2017 Junior DKM champion, Haverkort is quite confident and familiar with the various tracks, so he pushed hard to get the most out of what he had at ‘The Home of Champions’. After a day of mixed weather conditions Friday, which suits the tall teenager, official timed practice in the dry saw him rank down in 16 from 43 competitors on the timesheet. Coming from grid 11 for both of Saturday’s heats, the CRG driver began the initial qualifier with a super start to be in fifth on the first lap, then ended prematurely when his chain broke. Another good start in heat 2 resulted in a P5 finish, therefore securing his place in the finals Sunday, where he would line up on grid 18.
Deciding to take a different strategy to the majority of his rivals, Haverkort saved his new set of Vega tyres for the second final, so staying mid-field and making up several positions in Final 1 was all he could realistically manage. Of course, this was not the ideal result when you are chasing maximum points, but without the speed, he had compared to the others, it was the better option. Starting from grid 15 in the afternoon decider, the Dutchman set into taking every position he could using the advantage of the peak performance of the new rubber in the early stages; although his lap times were still not among the quickest. He drove an excellent race, overtaking wherever the possibility allowed him in the 25km final and came through to take a brilliant third.
Next, on the program, Kas Haverkort will make another appearance at the ADAC Masters at Kerpen in Germany, where he has been one of the dominant drivers during the series this season, before testing for the FIA Karting World Championship in Finland.
Kas Haverkort – “This round of the DKM has been challenging for us, knowing I just didn’t have the pace at all to be competitive. It’s so disappointing, but we needed to remain positive all weekend and concentrate on how we could gain the most points for the championship with the situation. If we want to win, we definitely have to change this. I’m grateful for everyone who is supporting me.”