After a few days of practice 72 drivers from 14 different countries are ready to join the 2019 INDOOR KART WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP at VICTORY LANE KARTING in Charlotte / USA. Among the contenders, dutch driver Ruben Boutens, two time world champ in 2017 and 2018, winner of multiple championships throughout the world. Thirsty for taking his title we can mention at first, local driver Fred Ogrim that knows each inch of his home track, Dennis Holler from Germany that for so many times has been in the podium and always showing a great performance, and at last, defending the belgium tradition Mats De Jong from the defending team champions Traxxis. Practice sessions also showed some new german drivers with very fast laps.
On the very first race round 1 race A the heat was on with Fred Ogrim and Dennis Holler in the same race. They scored P1 and P2 with a significant 7 tenths gap. Right behind the very dangerous colombian star Alejandro Fenwy. Race started and while Dennis kept his pace following Fred closely, Guillermo Van Pamelen from the Nederlands started his show by moving from P9 to P4 with consecutive passes on the same spot. Dennis had a better performance with the warm tyres and soon passed Fred to take the win. Fenwy remained in third. Race B was a hat trick by german driver Michael Schotler. US driver Mike Cassino showed talent starting second and finishing second Always followed closely by Shoetler´s teammate Michael Brautigam. Michael lost performance and positions to Spanish driver Miguel Cuenca and belgium driver Chris Verhoeven. Brazilian driver Orlandini that started 5th fell to one before last after a TP for not clamping his safety belt. On race C Mats De Jong was unlucky and picked one of the few Karts with slow performance. Started 7th while danish driver Nicolaj Marsengo scored his first pole position on his very first race at KWC. German “nice guy” Andre Lohse that started 5th made an excelente move by pitting early and getting away from the battles. With a series of fast laps at Michael Schumacher´s best style he managed to pick a victory, while Marsengo fell one position more to belgium Traxxis driver Kenny Verbinnen. Race D was a monologue by Jerrot King and Bram Gelten. Brian Clontz finished third, but the true emotional moment was at the end of the race when colombian driver Andres Prieto made a mistake entering the pits and flew almost three feet high landing on the other side of the track. Gratefully nothing happened to Andres or his kart, but his race was surely damaged. Last race was for Ruben Boutens but..... Ryan Curtin threw some water in his beer and took the pole position. Ruben soon passed the american to take the win, but it was german Schoetler the only one to score perfect points on round 1 and take the lead. Ryan finished second and Stefan Verhofste third.
On round 2 race A it was Dennis Hoeller that threw water on Ruben´s beer. Again the flying dutchmen passed Dennis during the race and left the Strong american Ryan Curtin in third. Round 2 race B we had Ogrim scoring the pole for the second time and Mike Cassino also starting second for the second time in a row. Selina Balneger upset the americans winning the race after starting third. Roman Hanes followed her from 4th to 2nd. Ogrim had to stick with third and Cassino with fourth. On race C it was Tobis Laube that scored the pole with also german driver Brautigam in second and Jerrot King in third. The germans inverted positions after pitstops while Jerrot remained in third. Mike Ibach finished 4th. Non of the leaders in race D. It ended up being a colombian race with Prieto in first and Fenwy in second. American kid Aidan Kennedy raced very well to finish third. Pole sitter Guillermo Van Pamelen had na awfull race and finished 5th. Race E took some points off Michael Schoetler after leading the first round. He scored the pole, but Mat De Jong was faster during the race and managed to finish ahead. Lohse was third.
On round 3 race A it was payback to Michael Schoetler. He saw Mats De Jong score the best lap for the grid but he was strong enough to pass the belgium and take the win. De Jong finsihed second with Dylan Barlett in third. On “B” Ogrim scored his third pole and this time took the win placing himself among the leaders. Ryan Curtin started second but fell to third after a great race from Martin Handhardt that moved from 4th to second. Lohse and King finished 4th and 5th respectively. On “C” it was Holler that started and finished first. Chris Verhoeven started 6th, but had na impressive performance scoring the best lap and moving to second, Andres Prieto completed the podium. Ruben Boutens tacked with a bad Kart started 5th. After pitting had na incident with Vadim Apolka that spoiled his recovery and dropped him back to his starting position. Race D was a crazy race. Aidan Kennedy scored the pole but finished at disapointing 7th. Brierly started second and finished third Selina Balneguer that had started third had her race damaged by a bad call on her pass on Sean Brierly. Wrong choices in the end of the race made her drop to 5th. Amercians Andrew Wood and Cody Hartson stayed out of trouble and finished p1 and p2 respectively. Race E belongued to Roman Hanes with the pole, and the win. Tobias Laube finished second while Stefan Verhofste that started 6th scored the best lap and impressive performance to move to third.
Round 4 A was Brautigam on pole whith Bram Gelten starting second and Selina Balneguer third. Bram passed Brautigam to take the win with no other position changes among the first five. On “B” Roman Hanes scored the pole but Mats De Jong had na easy win leaving Hanes in second and Lohse in third. On race C it was Fred Ogrim tht scored the hat trick. Second hat trick in the championship. Only Schoetler had this in his record. Dylan Barlett held his second position towards hungry Dennis Hoeller that moved from 5th to 3rd. Race D Schotler scored the pole but during the race screwed up his pit stop and fell to 11th. His drop result for sure. Ryan Curtin that had started 4th took the win with Laube right after him. Sean Brierly that had started 2nd had to consolidate with 3rd. Finnaly the last race of the day with Mr.Ruben Boutens scoring the pole position and the win. It was Chris Verhoven that scored the best lap remaining second throughout the race. Dan Burke surprised by finishing third.
With half the championship raced Fred was leading the pack with 146 points followed by Dennis Holler just one point behind and Ruben Boutens in third with 143 points. Schoetler, Mats De Jong and Ryan Curtin were just a few points behind and had a clear chance for the title depending on the next races.
Round 5 starts with Mats De Jong scoring a pole position on a tedious race where Tobias Laube started and finished second with the best lap while Cody Hartson and Selina Balneguer closed the front pack with third and fourth respectively. Position changes only in the back. Race B was a Hat trick by Michael Schotler putting the pressure on the other leaders. Boutens finished second with englishman Sean Brierly in third driving with one arm. Some say the other arm was injured while others said the right arm actually disturbed his driving style. Race C was supposed to be an american party. Jerome Citrowski surprised Fred showing that true friendship is outside the track. Inside the track Jerome used all his weapons to hold his first position. The back pack showed up for the party and things started going right for Mike Cassino. Rock and roll was not on Freds side and the championship leader dropped to sixth position. Jerrot King third followed by Aidan Kennedy. The fourth race of the day “race D” was a redemption for Alejandro Fenwy. The colombian seemed sad and upset with his results. A penalty on a previous race while coming into the pits was also disturbing the well known and fast South american. This time a joyfull pole position raised his spirits. Problem was hungry man Dennis Holler fighting for a championship managed to take the lead during the race leaving James Bosch with his first KWC podium. Last race “E”, was Michael Brautigam´s race with a hat trick and closing up on the leaders. Dylan Barlett and Sam Platt completed the podium.
Back to the afternoon races, round 6 A started with Mats De Jong beating Fred Ogrim for the pole position. Fred had an excelent race and took the lead after scoring perfect laps while Mats made the mistake of coming into the pit too early. Kenny Verbinnen passed Aidan Kennedy to pick third. Race B was another hat trick by Michael Schoetler now picking the championship leadership. Behind him a listo of very Strong drivers with Jerrot, Sean, Andre Lohse, Selina, and Mike Cassino. The biggest suprisse of the championship came on race C. Mike Ibach the beloved bar owner scored the pole position. Beer draft was rolling down thirsty throats cheering for Mr.Simpathy. Behind him the dangerous Tobias Laube and Chris Verhoeven. Unfortunatly Mike could not hold for the leading position for very long. Still he made a consitent race finishing fourth. As expected Tobias Laube worked his way up to first position leaving Andrew Wood and Stefan Verhofste in second & third. Race D was another hat trick by Dennis Holler now joining Schoetler in the lead. Ryan Curtin and Cody Hartson scored second and third respectively. In the last race of the day it was Boutens showtime. Scored the pole and the win, but Brautigam stole the fast lap by a few cents. Carsten Spartholt started third but Fenwy stole his podium finish.
Not counting drop results Dennis Holler now leads the championship with his countrymate Michael Schoetler 5 points behind. Ruben Boutens keeps the third place and the good hope to turn things around in the last day of qualifiers. Fred had a bad day moving from the leadership to 5th overall, but... his race 5 C would sure be his drop result so its all about Friday.
No leaders on 7ª. Easy race for Chris Verhoeven and exciting second place for Andre Lohse after tough batle with Aidan Kennedy. Race B is a big surprise as KWC princess Selina Balneguer takes the pole leaving Michael Schoetler in third and Fred Ogrim in disapointing 5th. Michael was perfect, and took the lead after scoring a series of best laps. Selina held a well deserved second position while the pack of drivers containing Fred, Ryan, Mike Cassino, Carsten Spartholt and Yuri Orlandini started switching positions and bumping excessively. A vídeo record was necessary for the marshalls to decide on a TP for Yuri Orlandini considering all previous contacts as part of Racing. Fred finished fifth and saw his title chances fly away. From those drivers in the struggling block Carsten Spartholt finished third taking the podium. Race D..... it was a german race. Holler, Laube, and Brautigam raced together the hole race and any driver that showed up in front should move sideways for the three at the same time. There was no bumping or position threats, just three guys cruising on a Friday. On “D” Citrowski picked the pole, but fell to 7th after a pass that he considered too hard, but it was acceptable in the opinion of the marshals. Cody Hartson picked the win with Van Pamelen second and Fenwy coming back from 6th to finish 3rd. Last race in the round, Stefan Verhofste picked the pole from Ruben with Brierly in third. It was strange to see the dutchman struggling for poles. These few points might be the difference for the tilte later on. Ruben had a solid race and scored the remaining points. Brierly with a better tactic also passed Verhofste that finished third. De Jong had a bad race finishing 5th right after Dylan Barlett.
Moving to the last qualifying round on race A it was a danish party for Victor Spartholt and his pole position at KWC. The party remained but with a diferent dane in the top of the podium. Nicolaj Marsengo moved from third to first. Selina started second and remained second. Poor young Vicor got involved in a tough batle with Roman Hanes after his pit and dropped to 8th place. Race B was all about Schoetler. Hat Trick again leaving Jerrot and Sean in the podium. In this race there were a lot of bumps and acidentes caused by the excessive defensive lines driven by Guillermo Van Pamelen. Surely an ugly race to watch. It was just three seconds between fourth and eleventh. On race C Fred Ogrim scored the pole but Verhofste was more consitent and earned the first place after an early pit. Fred finished second with Andrew Wood third. Race D was quite easy for Brautigam. Hat Trick with championship lap record for him. Roman Hanes and Jeff Lund finished second and third. Race E was considered the death race among all. Holler, Boutens, De Jong, Fenwy.... and.... Chris Verhoeven suprprises and picks the pole with Holler second, Gelten third, while Boutens had a disapointing 5th and De Jong even worse in 9th. If the grid was a suprisse... wait for the race. Verhoeven had nothing to do with these guys and cruised to the win. Holler was fighting with Gelten for the second position. A bad pass made Gelten loose another position to Hartson and gave Hoeller a TP dropping him to 11th. Boutens also got a penalty for wreckless entry at the pit lane and dropped to 10th. Hartson and Gelten picked second and third respectively.
With drop results Michael Schoetler is now leading the championship with Dennis Holler in second, Ruben Boutens in third, and Michael Brautigam in fourth. Fred Ogrim and Tobias Laube are fifth and sixth while Mats De Jong and Chris Verhoeven close the leading 8 pack and Match Race heads.
In the first Match Race as expected Michael Schoetler beats Chris Verhoeven in the final being faster by half second in both karts. He picked Kart number 8 and finished P1 with the best lap ahead of Brierly and Curtin. Verhoeven dropped to fourth.
Second Match Race it is De Jong that wins the final against Hoeller by two tenths. De Jong picks Kart 11 while Hoeller stays with kart 4 that gave him the win and the best lap. De Jong had to stick with the second position. Andre Lohse had an excelent race, finishing third after loosing to Holler in the Match Race.
Match Race C had Boutens and Laube as contenders. This time Boutens did a perfect job, beat Laube in the final by two tenths and won the final with kart number 8. Laube picked 11 and could not hold his second position dropping to fourth. Bram Gelten and Selina Balneguer managed to pass the german into 2nd and 3rd.
Final Match Race had Brautigam and Ogrim as dealers. Confess I was betting my chips on Ogrim as he´s a master on cold wheels and one lap concentration. Ops! Lost my chips, Fred lost to Aidan Kennedy in the semifinal and Michael was faster than Aidan in the final. Michael picks kart number 4 while Aidan stays with number 1. Actually Fred stayed with Kart 11 that seemed a better choice than 1 for Aidan. During the race Brautigam kept his pace and took the victory. Fred had a terrible race in respect to points dropping to 8th right after Aiden. Hartson and Wes Dent finished second and third.
Two match races. First will qualify 8 drivers to start the final between p17 and p24. Second match race will the qualifier & kart pick for the final race plus a last chance to earn up to 4 extra points. Actually drivers take the match race so seriously that a specific trophee for the winner is something to think off in the future.
Roman Hanes made his way to the final by beating Jeff Lund by 3 tenths. Jerome beat the promissing young dane Nicolaj by one tenth. Aidan beat his countrymate Dan Burke by more than eight tenths. Mike Ibach also beat Andrew Wood by significant margin of 7 tenths. Dylan Barlett upset the last dane Carsten Spartholt by half second. Guillermo Van Pamelen was more than a second faster than Prieto. Mike Cassino beat Verbinen by a tenth and finnally Alejandro Fenwy was more than a second faster than Martin Handhardt. These eight winners are in the final. Guillermo beat Aidan Kennedy by less than a tenth in the final and will have the first choice from the karts that are not picked by the top 16.
On the main match race of the day the leader Michael Schoetler beat Stefan Verhofste with almost one second advantage. Verhoeven beat Curtin Ryan by misareble 4 cents in the closest batle so far. Jerrot King upsets Fred Ogrim by two tenths. Braumtigan advances against Bram Gelten by two tenths. In the other side of the MR, Ruben Boutens is more than a second faster than Lohse. Mats De Jong beats Selina by half second and Tobias Laube won against Cody Hartson by two tenths. Dennis Holler was faster than Sean Brierly by three tenths. Now Schoetler meets Verhoeven and is 7 tenths faster, while Brautigam is almost half second faster than Jerrot King. In the other side Mats repeats Italy and beats Boutens by one tenth while Laube upsets Hoeller also by a tenth. Semis are three germans against a belgium. Schoetler advances to the final against Mats De Jong and takes the final Match Race by seven tenths.
Having scored perfect points after the qualifiers, and starting first with his kart number 8 the championship seems to be in new hands. In the final it was Brautigam on kart number 18 that took the lead and finished first. Schoetler that could finish fifth closed the final in second place to raise his first indoor kart world championship. Ruben Boutens on a fast race came third and guaranteed a his fourth position overall. Mats fell to sixt place but managed to hold fifth overall. Jerrot King was the best american in fourth leaving Hoeller in fifth and second place in the final standings. With the win Brautigam took the third place on the standings from Ruben Boutens. In Masters category it was Fred Ogrim at the top of the podium with Andre Lohse and Jerome Citrowski around him. In womens it was Selina for the fifth time in a row. Amazing performance by the KWC princess, that this time had her sister Nadia in second and Laura Barrera from Colombia in third. Juniors went to Roman Hanes after very rough and exiting races against Aidan Kennedy, Guillermo Van Pamelen and the two danish kids Nicolaj and Victor.
See you in Portugal next year!
Check the podium pictures, final ranking and match races results on our results page!
Thirty five degrees in the track and 17 teams representing their country, or region raced this last Sunday for the 6 hour endurance championship - KWC NATIONS CUP.
After the 4 lap grid formation it was Team Jedi Nights (USA) with Jerrot King that scored the pole position followed by Dutch Value (NED) with world champ Ruben Boutens, and german team BRT with Dennis Holler, and local team USA GO with Fred Ogrim in fourth. This year the LE MANS start was seasoned with the necessity of fastening seat belts before the kart moved with câmeras focused in each team to make sure that all teams would have their belts securely clamped before they moved. This played a deciding fator in dropping Dennis Holler from third to 9th position. Mats De Jong (BEL), Jerome Citrowski (USA), and Dan Burke managed and excelente race start moving behind Fred Ogrim.
With positions setled in the first lap Jerrot King started opening a gap that came up to 8 seconds from the second group leaded by Ruben Boutens. In third Fred Ogrim was pressing the dutch for some laps until he managed to pass. It was expected that Fred would close the gap on Jerrot, but fact is the second group did not spread and Fred remained with Ruben in his back bumper. Mats De Jong and Dennis Holler got rido f the back traffic and moved to the second group leaded by Fred.
After 50 laps Ruben made a move on Fred and the american dropped to fifth. Jerrot lost performance and the group started closing on him. Soon it was Ruben, Mats and Dennis on the leading group while Fred stopped for his first driver & kart change. Mike Ibach took over after Fred but made a mistake on leaving the Pit with the red light. The consequence a TP and see chances of winning going down the drain. The three pack kept opening the gap from the other teams. Both Germany BRT and Belgium Traxxis Black from Belgium stopped to make their changes while Ruben Boutens remained in the track for at least 2,5 hours. Ruben opened a big gap before handling the next sting to his teammate Mike Dijkgraaf. Unfortunatly the young dutch kid made the same mistake as Mike Ibach and left the pit on red lights. Had to serve a penalty but...... with Ruben Boutens in the team you can never say the team is out of the fight for the leadership.
Throughout the race the german team formed by Dennis Holler, Tobias Laube, Michael Schoetler and Andre Lohse kept their times Always low and absolutely no mistakes. Traxxis black formed by Mats, Seilina Balneger and Guillermo Van Pamelen could not keep up with the german speed and seemed to be securely in second but..... no one counted on the dutch monster Ruben. Being the fastest man in the track lap after lap he managed to regain the second position. Congratulations TEAM BRD GERMANY. Very well done tem dutch value and thank you all for a great race with no troubles. Thank you VLK.
The KWC Championship has the highest level of indoor karting racing. With strong competitors from all around the world, the championship is filled with close encounters.
As organizers, we strongly believe a true champion can race any kart on any surface. That's why KWC is not tied to one karting location or one brand of karts. Every year we try to find new challenges.