|On 16-18 May, as well as following the fights between the over-engined Audis and Mercedes driven by competitors of the calibre of Mattias Ekström, Tom Kristensen or Ralf Schumacher, the tens of thousands of spectators of the DTM will discover the uncommon spectacle of the 250 cc karts. |
The second event of the CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship will indeed have the privilege of performing within the framework of the prestigious German series on the Lausitzring circuit. Whereas Superkarts have already had the opportunity of racing on this circuit in the past, they have never used the 3,478 m long DTM variant of the course. All the participants will therefore be on an equal footing and no one will have better knowledge of the track, unlike the French at the first event in Nogaro.
Many drivers will again attend this exceptional meeting, and as often in the European Championship there will be a full starting grid with 60 karts, i.e. the maximum authorised by the regulations. A new record is also established in the European Superkart Championship, which enjoys unfailing success: the participating drivers will represent no fewer than eleven nationalities as Finland is added to the other nations already present in previous events (Great Britain, Germany, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Austria).
Having outclassed the other competitors in “their” event held at the beginning of April, France’s Damien Payart and Benjamin Mahé will get to the Lausitzring as joint leaders in the Championship as they each won a race at Nogaro. The Briton Lee Harpham (Anderson-Rotax) was the only one who managed to vie with the French on their home ground and he even lead Race 2 before suffering a puncture. It is clear that Harpham is determined to take his revenge in Germany, as are his compatriots the reigning Champion and Vice-Champion Gavin Bennett (Anderson-FPE) and Malcolm Crowe (Anderson-FPE), who were both overwhelmed with mechanical problems at Nogaro. Because they used new equipment for the first time there, the German Peter Elkmann (MS Kart-Yamaha) and the Englishman Mark Owens (ADE-DEA) were unable to participate in the fight for victory in France; however, they showed such great potential that they will have to be reckoned with at the Lausitzring, more especially as they have been able to take advantage of the last few weeks to polish their set ups. Other candidates for top positions and even for wins will be Britain’s Trevor Roberts (Anderson-PVP) and John Riley (Anderson-Rotax) as well as the Frenchman Mane Vignjévic (PVP-PVP).
After a reconnaissance of the circuit scheduled for free practice on the Friday, the 60 Superkarts will launch attacks on the fastest lap time in the two qualifying practice sessions on Saturday, the two races taking place on Sunday (9h10 and 16h45).