Écrit par SEVERE Eric
Création : 4 août 2008
Germany's Peter Elkmann (MS Kart-Yamaha) swept majestically to his first European Superkart title as the challenge from his French rivals evaporated in the sun and rain of Assen.In Race 1 Elkmann quickly fell from pole to 4th place but recovered to battle past John Riley (Anderson-Rotax) for 3rd and then Gavin Bennett (Anderson-FPE) for 2nd. Only Lee Harpham (Anderson-Rotax) was out of reach in the lead but with one and a half laps remaining, Harpham experienced clutch problems and Elkmann took the lead and went on to victory from Bennett (2nd) and Riley (3rd). Damien Payart (PVP-FPE) fell behind in the championship standings with his 7th place but was still mathematically in contention. Likewise, Benjamin Mahé (PVP-FPE) but his 12th place was very disappointing. The advantage was very much with the German driver who now led the championship standings, with his zero points score in round one (at Nogaro/F) already accounted for.
Worse still, neither Frenchman looked in good form. So in Race 2, all that Elkmann needed was to finish in front of the two Frenchmen. The task was made even easier when Benjamin Mahé unluckily spun out on the very first lap and his title chance had gone. So now it was Elkmann vs. Payart for the title. The German was not having things all his own way as the two Brits Bennett and Harpham led him on the opening lap. Harpham got past Bennett but then so did Elkmann. Once again Elkmann had no response to Harpham's speed, but he did not need any. Second place would be enough whatever Payart was to do. In fact Payart was also struggling in 8th place but did recover late in the race for a respectable 5th place. This time there was no mechanical problem for Harpham and he went on to a deserved victory.
Elkmann threw both arms in the air as he finished second knowing that the 2008 European Superkart Championship was his. Carl Hulme (Anderson-FPE) was very impressive in claiming the last podium place and Steve White (PVP-Rotax) deserved enormous praise for his 4th place. Damien Payart was runner up in the championship but this was little consolation for the former double champion. Benjamin Mahé was third in the championship but it was a heartbreaking way to go out for the leader in the championship standings coming into this event. Marcel Maasmann (MS Kart-VM), the best Dutch driver, had mechanical problems all day and he was very disappointed with his 21st and 14th places.
The first American to contest the 2008 championship, Andy Kiker (Anderson-FPE), finished in the very respectable positions of 16th and 20th racing in conditions very different from those in the USA and of course, against the very best Superkart drivers in the world. Kristin Breckwoldt (PVP-Yamaha) was 28th and 34th but as the only female driver in the series, could claim to be the unofficial lady Superkart champion. Once again the CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship was determined in front of the huge and appreciative Rizla Race Day crowd at the TT Circuit at Assen. This is a very worthy venue for the principal Superkart championship.