Formula Kart Stars will be revived next season with increased support from F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Management arm.
The 2015 UK championship, which was unveiled at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, will be based on a six-round championship with a summer holiday overseas round at Genk. Drivers aged between eight and 16 years old will compete at a fixed cost with the championship retaining the driver’s kart in between rounds to prevent tampering. Cadet classes will cost £25,000 with Junior classes £35,000 for the season.
“In 2009 when Mr Ecclestone and Formula One Management adopted us, it was in the back of his mind that he wanted to do this because at that point he was already aware of the increased cost of karting,” said FKS chairman Carolynn Hoy. “The idea is to bring a karting championship which has all the razzmatazz and professionalism of F1 but which is a fixed price. Karting is meant to be fun and affordable. Kids should be able to have an equal chance of winning as the next child, it should not depend on how big the dad’s chequebook is.”
The single-make chassis and engine, which will be sealed, will all be FKS-branded, although Hoy admitted teams will recognise the manufacturers involved.
“This championship is based on the fact that nobody can go and buy something better, nobody can put something on that kart to make it go faster and it’s a fixed price.
“It is a homologated chassis and I’ve no doubt that some of the teams will look at it and know what it is. It’s FKS-branded because some drivers may have affiliations and allegiances with a certain type of chassis. The same goes for the engine. At the end of the year, the driver will be able to take the chassis away free of charge. They won’t be able to use it again in FKS, but as it’s homologated, it can be used for other racing.
“This is going to be a lot flashier than the previous FKS. Mr Ecclestone would like it to emulate a Formula One paddock but in a miniature version. We will provide all pit garages – they won’t be easy-ups – with kids names above the garages. There will also be a mini Paddock Club for sponsors.”
Hoy said the series was not an Arrive and Drive championship. The series is in ongoing discussions with the Motor Sports Association to decide whether it will receive an MSA permit or race outside of the governing body.
FKS managing director Sebastian King said: “Karting needs new blood and we are presenting the opportunity to those who want to start out in the sport.”