German Kart Championship in Ampfing.
• Top-10 result after starting from P26 in the Final• 12-year-old stays calm in chaotic weather conditions in Sunday´s racesOnly three days after his strong premiere in the CIK FIA European Championship in the Swedish place of Kristianstad, the12-year-old kart racer Niklas Krütten was on to the next task. The third round of the German Kart Championship took place in Bavaria in Ampfing and the Rookie from Trier convinced with impressive performances during difficult conditions.
Niklas, who is one of the youngest competitors in the KF-Junior Class this year, proofed his talent in the free trainings on Friday. “This was one of the best starts to the weekend we have had all season”, said the 12-year-old. “The track in Ampfing is a lot of fun to drive on. Lap-by-lap I improved my times and was running continuously in the Top-10. The Set-up was very good and we had the perfect basis for Saturday.”
In the early qualifying on Saturday morning, Niklas underlined his good form with P14 from 39 internationally experienced starters from nine different countries. Niklas started from a neat ninth place into the first Heat. He was able to attack during the first two laps, but fell behind following issues with the carburettor, crossing the finishing line in 16th position.
“We apparently had a problem with the fuel, which was in line with the type given by the regulations, but we went to a different fuel station yesterday. My team-mate experienced the same problem.”
All fuel supplies were changed immediately and the problems were solved for the second Heat. After some clean overtaking manoeuvres, Niklas had already gained a few positions at the start. A competitor, on who Niklas drove past nicely, decided to pull into the young Tier-based karter in a hopeless attempt, but resulting in a spin for Niklas. With fighting spirit and terrific lap times, Niklas was able to fight his way back from behind the field to finish the race in a disappointing 23rd position.
Despite the great start to the weekend on Friday, due to the issues in the pre-runs through no fault of his own, Niklas Krütten had to run in the all decisive run on Sunday morning to qualify for the finals. The weather was predicted to be sunny and warm, but heavy rain clouds covered the sky above Bavaria on Sunday, making track conditions extremely difficult.
Niklas started from P3 into the race whilst heavy rain was pouring down. He had to finish the race in the Top-6 in order to go through to the next round. But that should not be an issue! The young racer kept a cool head on the wet tarmac, demonstrating his great driving qualities. Following well thought-through overtaking manoeuvres, he was leading the race after five laps and finished the race in P1 with an advantage of over five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The participation for the final was safe and he started from P28 from 36 racers into the pre-final. The track conditions were still tricky and the tarmac wet, but Niklas proofed once more his driving skills in the rain.Shortly after the start, he had made up some places and moved consequently through the field. Niklas suffered two collisions none of his fault when hindered by two significantly slower competitors, which put him back in the field. He finished the race in a disappointing 26th position.
The final race of the day was for 19 laps and Niklas started from P26 on the grid. The racing line had dried-up in the meantime and the team took all risk, running with a different Set-up to most other drivers in the field. Niklas got used to the new Set-up quickly and used the full potential of his kart, despite having to start on the outer line. The 12-year-old Rookie overtook one after another of internationally-experienced opponent. In the end, he made up a total of 16 positions to finish the final in a terrific 10th place.
“Taking into consideration the bad luck we had the day before, I am very happy with 10th place. If you look at the pure speed, we could have done much better in both the dry and the wet”, said Niklas after the weekend.“Thanks to the great support by my team, Forza Racing, I have made great progress in terms of lap timings and tactical driving and behaviour and I am very much looking forward to the next round.”
The next stop in Niklas' racing calendar, after a short holiday break, will be the next round of the German Kart Championship from 4th until 6th September at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.