In the meantime, it has fallen out of focus a bit, but Lirim Zendeli, who just turned 20 a few days ago, was ADAC Kart Masters Champion in the senior class in 2016. While the Bochum native has tended to attract attention in recent years with his ADAC Formula 4 title and 2019 Formula 3 debut, he tried his hand in a switch kart for the first time last weekend (26-27 October) at the tradition-steeped Memorial in Kerpen. “Thursday before the weekend I had just three hours to get used to everything. Everyone, including my team boss Michael Schmidt (MSR Motorsport / Parolin Germany), had already told me in advance that I would not be embarking on an easy task. And I have to say quite honestly – it’s really very exhausting. Nevertheless, I didn’t underestimate it. My strong fitness, which clearly benefited me here, saved me throughout the weekend. I could have done better in my qualifying, but fourth place was also quite ok,” the youngster reported enthusiastically.
Even if it looked to the trained spectator in the first laps as if a few more laps of training would suit the Bochum native well, he improved from lap to lap. “My first start in the switch kart was rather, let’s say, suboptimal. There is an urgent need for training,” Zendeli said with a laugh and added: “Seventh place. I started a bit late, changed up too early and stalled a bit. But apart from that, I got away properly,” the 20-year-old commented on his first fate of a shift kart start. To his credit, however, it must be mentioned that Zendeli conjured up the fastest race lap on the Erftlandring tarmac in all three races this weekend, regardless of whether it was raining or dry. “In the rain you need an incredible amount of feeling. So it was cool for me to see that I haven’t forgotten that. And with places seven, two and three in the three races and third overall, I don’t have to hide for my first switch kart race. I had an incredible amount of fun. I called my dad on Saturday and told him he should definitely come over. A lot of old emotions were awakened in me. It was a bit like the old days, when I used to travel to the kart tracks with my dad every weekend. It doesn’t get any better than that,” the likeable Bochum native sums up.