You may have seen or heard of Premium Karting in the last month or two with the site recently making it’s UK launch. The site is designed to help mechanics and drivers and to find out everything you need to know about it we caught up with the man behind the idea Micky Higham.
1. Tell us a bit about your background in the sport?
“I began racing at the age of 10 back in 1995 after a birthday party at a local indoor circuit which had me hooked. After a few months I got my own kart, began racing and continued with some success nationally until 2006. I would always prepare my equipment before each event. Initially this started as just a wipe of my cadet kart with a kitchen cloth and some WD40. It wasn’t long before I took an interest in taking the whole kart apart and putting it back together again. I naturally progressed to start working for other drivers as a mechanic on a regular basis from 2001 and won my first British national championship in 2002. After I had finished school I studied for a HND in Motorsport Engineering which taught me a lot about the fundamental mechanics of all forms of motorsport. I began working with Ricky Flynn Motorsport as a mechanic in 2005 with many successes at British and European events. In 2010 I took on the role as a team manager and have gone on to win 2 World championships and 3 European championships in that period.”
2. When did you first come up with the idea for Premium Karting?
“Over the years I would frequently get asked if I knew of any mechanics that were available for various weekends and thought to myself there should be an easier way to find mechanics. I would also find myself with free time but no work because teams would assume I was busy. I first thought of the idea about 5 years ago but never acted upon it until last year.”
3. Tell us in more detail what Premium is and how it works?
“The site is primarily designed as a karting mechanic database. Mechanics can create their personal profile on the site where they can list any skills, experience, achievements and availability that they have. When a team or driver is searching for a mechanic they can input the dates for which they need them and apply filters to find a suitable person. They can then make contact with them to make the necessary arrangements. Reviews can also be left for mechanics to help future teams choose the right mechanic.”
“The site also allows teams and companies to create profile pages where they can advertise themselves to potential customers. If a driver is searching for a new team that specialises in a certain class, or if they are planning to take part in a race in a different country then hopefully they should be able to find a suitable team on the site. Likewise, if they are searching for a new kart, an engine tuner or a driver coach for example, I hope they will be able to find the right people on the site.”
4. Why hasn’t the idea been tried before?
“I don’t know the answer to that to be honest. Maybe people have considered it but just haven’t taken the time to go ahead with it. A lot of people have commented on what a good idea they think it is though.”
5. How long have you been working on Premium for?
“It was back in May last year that I decided to go ahead and make the site and began putting my ideas down on paper. I’ve had to spend a lot of time making the site user friendly and as simple to use as possible which I hope I have achieved!”
6. What has the initial feedback been like?
“Everything has been positive so far. I have asked people to be extra critical to help me eliminate any issues with the site but everything seems to be working well. The site is new so the word is still spreading. I’m sure once more people go ahead and sign up and support the site, then it will become a very useful tool for all karters worldwide.”
7. What are your goals for the next six months?
“I’m looking to promote the site and make it known throughout the UK initially before hopefully getting it to spread throughout Europe and then worldwide.”
8. How has Premium been helping people out already?
“The initial members of the site have already had their profiles viewed over 250 times. If this hasn’t led to them getting more work by now, it should certainly help them in the future.”
9. How much work has gone in to getting it to where it is already?
“As this is a new concept I’ve had to design everything from scratch including logo designs, layouts, content, how it functions and continuous testing. Many hours have been spent getting ideas in my head down onto paper and then trying to make it all work on the website.”
10. How do people sign up to Premium?
“It is quite simple really, just go to the site at www.premiumkarting.com and click on ‘sign up’. After a quick email validation, it should only take 5 minutes to create a profile. The best of all is it’s completely free to set up and use.”
Personally, I think Premium Karting is a very clever idea. How many times have you seen a team boss, mechanic or driver post a Facebook Post looking for a mechanic for the weekend? That then leads into various mechanics being tagged and no doubt contacting the team and that’s all before rates and experience are even talked about.
Premium will essentially mean that no longer needs to happen. As long as all mechanics keep their profiles updated then the work will come to them. Likewise, drivers can make educated decisions on teams without even having to visit a track. This should certainly help new drivers to the sport and any drivers looking to jump up to bigger teams or simply just jump ship.
It’s evident Micky has put a lot of work into the site already and it will allow anyone looking for mechanics and teams to make the right decision first time. I think it will be very successful.
5 words to describe yourself?
4 of your favourite tracks?
⁃ La Conca
⁃ Buckmore park
3 drivers that have inspired you?
⁃ Michael Schumacher
⁃ Dale Earnhardt
⁃ Alex Zanardi
2 memorable moments in your career?
⁃ Winning the KF and KFJ world championships on the same day in Essay in 2014, an unforgettable moment and amazing feeling.
⁃ Winning the Winter cup in ICA in 2006, my first major European win as a mechanic with 128 entries.
1 goal for the future?
⁃ To make Premium Karting successful worldwide.
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of KSP & Chris Walker, Kartpix