Genk. Last weekend, the half-time event of the German Kart Championship took place. 130 drivers started at this year's only event abroad in Belgian Genk. Especially on Sunday, the weather caused a lot of excitement. In the end, there were ten different winners among the five grade series.
After Kerpen and Wackersdorf, the German Kart Championship's next stop was now Genk. The international top race track was back on the racing calendar of the highest German Kart Championship after a one-year-break and offered a great setting once again. 130 drivers from all over the world proved the importance of the DKM and its five grade series DKM, DJKM, DSKM, DSKC and DEKM again.
While qualifying and the heats on Saturday took place in beaming sunshine, temporary rain made for new conditions on Sunday. The drivers adapted to it and provided thrilling kart racing to the numerous viewers of the live-stream. The winners were Juliano Holzem, Morgan Porter (both DKM), Akshay Bohra, Coskun Irfan (both DJKM), Stan Pex, Senna van Walstijn (both DSKM) as well as Thomas Imbourg and Karl Lukaschewsky (both DSKC).
The German Electric Kart Championship took place again too. In once again narrow races, Dutchman Jens van der Heijden and Theo Kekati from the United Arab Emiras won. The season finale of the innovative kart racing series is already going to take place at the next race in Mülsen.
DKM: CVPG-protégés Juliano Holzem and Morgan Porter victorious
After a dry spell in Wackersdorf, kick-off winner Juliano Holzem (CV Performance Group) was back in the leading group in Genk. By gaining pole position he already made himself known to his competition during qualifying and didn't let go of his lead during the heats either. At the first final race, the positions were taken up quickly. Holzem defended his front position and achieved his second victory of the season. „We were already really fast during the trainings on Friday and started into the races confidently. It's great to have won and confirms the great work my team has done“, the Rhineland-Palatine resident summed up. Behind him followed Lars van Vark (TB Racing Team), Luca Griggs (KSM Official Racing Team), his twin brother Sandro Holzem (CV Performance Group) and Elias Olsen (KSM Official Racing Team) from Denmark.
The 31 drivers experienced a historic race with the second final. The weather complicated the right choice of tires. Three drivers used slicks, the others rain tires. Early on, the slicks proved to be the right choice. Porter flew through the field and had lapped all participants up to fourth place at the end of the race. „The choice of tires was crucial to this victory. I already noticed during the initial lap that the slicks have got enough grip and attacked accordingly“, the Brit analysed in his winner's interview. Kim Hawrang (CV Performance Group) and Moritz Wiskirchen (TB Racing Team) also profited from the advantages of the slicks and ended up in second and third places. Juliano Holzem in fourth place was the best driver with rain tires, Felix Arnold (KSM Official Racing Team) came in fifth.
Championship ranking DKM after 6 of 10 races:
1. Niels Tröger (123 points)
2. Juliano Holzem (107 points)
3. Luca Griggs (101 points)
4. Sandro Holzem (93 points)
5. Elias Olsen (91 points)
DJKM: TB Racing Team wins double
Championship leader Akshay Bohra (TB Racing Team) experienced a perfect start into the racing weekend. He led the field after the heats and started into the first final race from pole position. He proved that he deserved the role of favorite during the first final then. He led the field right from the start and strengthened his place in the Championship due to his victory. „After losing the lead it was important for me to attack during the first laps. Back at the front, my focus was on driving perfect laps and drive away from the field“, said the Singaporean contently. The places behind him were taken up quickly too: Jonathan Weywadt (RS Competition) came in second in front of rookie Taym Saleh (TB Racing Team). Coskun Irfan (TB Racing Team) won the fight for fourth place against Jens Treuer (CV Performance Group). The latter was disqualified after the race though and Kevin Lantinga (KSM Official Racing Team) took his fifth place.
The weather was the crucial factor at the start of the second final race. A short rain shower caused a delay of the start and gave the drivers a chance to switch to rain tires. There was a tough fight at the front of the field then. A quartet fought for victory in a way well worth seeing. In the end, Dane Weywadt prevailed and achieved a considerable advance during the second half of the race. But the joy about his first victory subsided quickly: A five-second-penalty threw him back to fifth place. New winner was Coskun, who made for a pure TB Racing Team-podium with Saleh and Douwe Dedecker. Lantinga completed the cup ranks in fourth place.
Championship ranking DJKM after 6 of 10 races:
1. Akshay Bohra (177 points)
2. Maxim Rehm (125 points)
3. Douwe Dedecker (95 points)
4. Jonathan Weywardt (77 points)
5. Tom Kalender (66 points)
DSKM: Title favorites Fabian Federer and Senna van Walstijn win
Juho Valtanen (SP Motorsport) from Finland did best during the heats and was in first place of the interim list of rankings on Saturday evening. At the finals, the reigning German Kart Champion didn't win though. Fabian Federer (SRP Racing Team) won the start of the first final race and led a group of 15 drivers that drove their laps as if they were pearls on a string. Towards the half-time of the race, the pressure put on by pursuer Stan Pex (SP Motorsport) got too intense though: The Dutchman took over and drove towards victory. „This was a great start today, but I'm not completely content. There was still something missing and we'll have to work on that“, said the winner thoughtfully. Federer and Senna van Walstijn (CPB Sport) followed as second and third winners. A spoiler penalty threw van Walstijn out of the top five though. Arthur Carbonnel (CPB Sport), Valtanen and Jorrit Pex (SP Motorsport) thereby gained one position and completed the top five.
The second race already started in light rain, but the routine drivers adapted to it and highlighted their impressive driving skills. From eighth position, van Walstijn showed a great catching-up race and took the lead after only four laps. The rain got heavier in the meantime, which led to more changes. In the end, race control decided to end the race early with a slow phase. Jorrit and Stan Pex ended up in second third places. Valentino Fritsch (Birel ART Racing KSW) was the best German driver and came in fourth, his fellow countryman David Trefilov (SRP Racing Team) came in fifth. He was disqualified subsequently though and Carbonnel was the new fifth winner. For four-time season winner van Walstijn, the end of the weekend was important regarding the fight for the title: „Yes, I'm very happy. It was a crazy race. Things got even more difficult when the rain set in and it was a bit unfortunate to win with a slow phase. In the end, it's still a victory though and could be crucial for the Championship.“
Championship ranking DSKM after 6 of 10 races:
1. Senna van Walstijn (167 points)
2. Fabian Federer (148 points)
3. Juho Valtanen (107 points)
4. Valentino Fritsch (86 points)
5. Kris Haanen (85 points)
DSKC: Thomas Imbourg and Karl Lukaschewsky win in surprising races
Rookie Ben Dörr (TB Racing Team) caused the first surprise at the half-time race in Genk. The young Hessian drove the best time of qualifying and also won the first heat. But he couldn't even start into the second heat due to a defect and therefore dropped out of the leading group. The first final race was dominated by the fight of the title favorites Thomas Imbourg (CPB Sport) and Jakob Bergmeister (SRP Racing Team). After the start, the duo first drove behind the Dutchman Jeffrey Fikse. Bergmeister closed the gap and took the lead quickly though. Just a few laps later, Imbourg followed: The Frenchman passed by Fikse and started chasing the leading driver. Three laps before the end of the race he used his chance and drove past Bergmeister. Nothing changed until the end of the race: Imbourg won in front of Bergmeister and Fikse. Renzo Alibaks followed in fourth place in front of Karl Lukaschewsky (SRP Racing Team). „This was a great race. After the start I was only in fifth place and attacked until the end of the race in order to win“, Imbourg rejoiced on the winners' podium.
Things turned dramatic during the second race: It had started to rain during lunch break and the 1.360m long track was wet. The whole field decided to use slick tires though. There were accordingly many slips during the first few laps then. Most prominent victim was kick-off winner Imbourg: He was pushed into the grass during the start and thereby lost all chances. Marvin Langenbacher (RS Motorsport) prevailed at the front though and came in first. But a detached impact protection ruined his triumph. New winner was Lukaschewsky in front of Bergmeister, Celian Gallasin (SC Performance), Fikse and Alibaks. In the subsequent winner's interview. Lukaschewsky could hardly believe his success: „I was lucky to survive the first few laps and just tried to keep my kart on the track. This was a tough race and I'm very happy about my first DSKC victory.“
Championship ranking DKSC after 6 of 10 races:
1. Jakob Bergmeister (145 points)
2. Thomas Imbourg (112 points)
3. Andre Walter (87 points)
4. Marvin Langenbacher (85 points)
5. Karl Lukaschewsky (69 points)
In five weeks (September 10th – 12th), the drivers and teams of the German Kart Championship are going to start again. A premiere awaits at the Arena E in Mülsen then: The highest German kart racing series is going to start at the race track in Saxony for the first time.