After a long period of waiting, the kick-off to the third season of the German Electric Kart Championship (DEKM) took place on the Erftlandring in Kerpen. 13 drivers made up a balanced field of participants. Sebastian Kraft and Joel Mensch ended up as winners.
The DEKM started into the 2020 season with a new kart. BRP-Rotax already presented the electric kart with the title “Project E20” at the end of last year. A completely new drive concept makes for higher engine performance and less overall weight. Thereby the lap times were considerably improved and the racing distance was double of what it had been in the past.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the participants from six nations got the opportunity to get used to the new kart and were elated: “It’s my third time driving at the DEKM. The new kart is a huge step forward and I’m excited for the races”, Luka Wlömer from Berlin summed up. After narrowly missing the title twice, he now hopes to win it on his third try. But the competition is really strong again. Nothing has changed about the racing format of the DEKM. During Saturday and Sunday, the drivers compete in one qualifying, a pre-final and a final race.
DEKM-promoter Oliver Schielein summed things up positively after the successful kick-off: “These past months were really exciting. Now it’s even greater to have had such a good start. The new e-kart exceeded our expectations. The lap times and driving times are a really big step forward and make the DEKM really thrilling. At the same time, we have an attractive field of participants with numerous experienced drivers from other categories – this promises great kart racing as well.”
Sebastian Kraft achieves double victory on Saturday
Swiss Sebastian Kraft gained the first pole position of the season and celebrated several other successes during Saturday. From the first starting row, he wasn’t able to defend his top position during the pre-final though. Axel la Flamme (AXR Racing) from Great Britain won the start and drove off a little. But his pursuer didn’t give up so easily: Kraft came close again and won after twelve laps in front of Joel Mesch. The sponsored driver of the ADAC Sports Foundation showed a great catching-up race in the end, but lost his position due to a spoiler penalty and was ranked fourth behind Diego Stifter (Millenium Racing Team) and Luka Wlömer (ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.). La Flamme completed the top five in the end.
Kraft kept his cool in the final race and celebrated a start-finish-victory. “Today was a really great day for me. The final was really tough towards the end; there was no room for error. The pole position and double victory are a great start into the season”, rejoiced the 15-year-old rookie driver. His pursuers didn’t make things easy though. Four drivers temporarily put a lot of pressure on him, but couldn’t find a way past the Swiss driver in the end. Second place went to Mesch again in front of Stifter and Wlömer. La Flamme came in fifth, but fell back to eighth place due to a spoiler penalty. New fifth winner was Elijah Alessandro Saia.
Double victory and championship lead for Joel Mesch
On Sunday, the power balance was a little different. This time, Mesch achieved the best time of qualifying and initially led the pre-final. In best kart racing weather, his direct pursuer La Flamme kept close though and overtook him four laps before the end of the race. The Brit came in first too, but a subsequent spoiler penalty threw him back to third place. Therefore, Mesch was the winner, followed by Philip Wiskirchen and La Flamme. The top five were completed by Ellis Spiezia and Valentin Wiesender. Saturday’s double winner Kraft had lots of bad luck: He had to drop out of the race and had to start into the final from the back.
From second starting position, Wiskirchen achieved the best start, but couldn’t defend his position. Mesch regained his top position early on and drove towards victory. La Flamme followed on second place in front of Wlömer, who thereby achieved a place on the podium in the end. Wiskirchen came in fourth in front of Stifter. Winner Mesch is now also leading the overall list of rankings and summed up his kick-off in a great mood: “Due to my double commitment at the DKM and DEKM, making the switch was challenging for me in the beginning. Things worked out great in the end though and I’m very proud of the result.”
Things are already going to continue at the DEKM next weekend. The next ranked races are going to take place within the framework of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy in Wackersdorf and the half-time champion of the 2020 season will already be decided on Sunday evening. For the first time, the DEKM is going to take place within the framework of the international racing series and will present itself in the periphery of the E-kart manufacturer BRP-Rotax.
Livestream will be available on www.dekm.de.
Top 5 of the championship standings after Kerpen:
- Joel Mesch (68 Points)
- Sebastian Kraft (51 Points)
- Axel La Flamme (46 Points)
- Luka Wlömer (40 Points)
- Diego Stifter (36 Points)