The CIK-FIA have become increasingly concerned about the cost of international karting and the dominance of older professional drivers, which they feel drives away the potential future motorsport stars. They have come up with a three-event championship designed to redress the balance and give the most talented drivers the opportunity to win. The drivers’ education has not been neglected either, as most of the events will be in the Summer holidays and there will be educational sessions on Fridays.
Who can enter?
In the U18 World Championship, drivers must be aged between 15 and 18, specifically under 19 on December 31st 2010. They must hold a CIK-FIA International A, B or C Senior licence. If they have a C licence, they must have participated in one CIK-FIA championship event, six national events, or three events that are on the International Sporting Calendar.
The CIK Academy Championship is for drivers between 13 and 15, who have their 13th birthday during 2010 and are under 16 by December 31st. They need an International C Junior licence and to have competed in six national or three international events.
More entry criteria will be published by the CIK on March 12th.
What equipment is going to be used?
In the U18 championship, chassis manufacturers can enter up until March 22nd and must supply a minimum of 20 complete chassis plus reserve components which will be marked by the CIK. This will be the only equipment allowed to race. Not many details have emerged about who is going to enter, but it is believed that Topkart and Sodi are keen. The engines will be identical Parolin units to the KF4 specification, with a 15,000rpm KF2 ignition, and will run on E10 part-ethanol fuel. In the Academy class, drivers will race identical complete Parolin karts, with a KF3 engine, float chamber carb and E10 fuel.
Where are the races?
1. Wackersdorf, Germany on July 25th
2. Alcaniz, Spain on August 29th
3. Val D’Argenton, France on October 3rd
There will also be an official test, with the date still to be announced.
What are the advantages over racing in KF3 or KF2?
• Should be a lot cheaper
• Level playing field
What are the advantages over racing in the Rotax classes?
• Should be cheaper than international Rotax as engine preparation is taken out of the equation and whole teams aren’t needed
• It’s an official CIK-FIA recognised World Championship
How much will it cost?
You will need to pay for:
• A new chassis
• Travel and accommodation
• One mechanic if needed
• Tyres for test days
• Entry fee of 1090 euros for the championship
• 600 euro deposit to guarantee you will take part in all events and give the equipment back in good condition
Dunlop race tyres, the engine and an awning are provided.
How will the CIK make sure of a level playing field?
• Single-make engines will be allocated by lottery at each event
• Simplified chassis accessories with no front brakes and limited add-ons.
• Single-make chassis in Academy
• Standardised E-Z Up-type awnings
• Manufacturers on hand to provide spares and technical support to everyone
• Friday – Scrutineering, education programme, free practice
• Saturday – Free practice, qualifying, heats
• Sunday – Heats and finals
In the U18 class the heats will run as normal, then there will be two Pre-Finals, one with a reversed grid, to determine the grid for the Final. The manufacturer’s World Championship will go to the make of the winning driver’s chassis. In the Academy, there will be heats and two Finals.
What is included in the education programme? The details haven’t been decided yet, but it will be things like fitness, psychology, safety and media awareness.
How can we enter?
• Drivers can enter from April 1st to May 20th on the CIK-FIA website and will choose a chassis which they will pay for and be allocated at the first event.
• You will need to enter under someone’s International Entrants licence, or apply for your own from the MSA. No entries will be accepted if under the name of a homologated manufacturer.
What’s the catch?
If this becomes the accepted way to kick off a motorsport career, the laws of supply and demand suggest that better-funded drivers will enter it and gain advantages
with extra testing, coaching and psychological training and other things we haven’t even thought of! Let’s hope the CIK education programme will help level the playing field here too.
Mary-Ann Horley Photo: Chris Walker