The KF Column: Demise of WSK Euro Series

Written By Mary-Ann Horley

sudam-kart11

Rumours of the demise of the WSK Euro Series for this year have been much exaggerated.

Although as the WSK have now been confirmed as the organisers for the European and World Championships it would be no surprise if this is the last year of the Euro Series.

I have heard a suggestion that the Belgian and French KF2 Championships should be joined by a one-off British Championship to become a Northern European Championship, I thought that could be quite a good idea in the future.

Alan Dove of karting1.co.uk has highlighted the success of the Sudam formula in South America, with a test last year (http://kartingm.ag/11C24AZ) and a follow-up article last month (http://kartingm.ag/WMcvLn). The engine is a 125cc direct-drive unit which until relatively recently was part of the CIK-FIA homologation procedure. Several European manufacturers make engines, such as Vortex, Parilla, Maxter and Italsistem, as well as local manufacturers KTT, Raptor and Riomar. Vortex, Maxter and Italsistem are new this year, a big sign of confidence from the Italians. The same basic engines seem to be used in Brazil in a variety of classes as needed, adapted for Juniors, Seniors and more experienced drivers.

Now BMB and Maxter have dropped out, there’s more manufacturers making Sudam engines than there is making KF engines! Local site Allkart.net says karting in Brazil is more successful than it has ever been, although their columnist Jeison Teixeira would prefer there to be more TAG engines. Sergio Jimenez, a Brazilian driver and businessman who raced in Europe for many years, also says that KF hasn’t taken off in his country because there are high import taxes.

The MSA has released their class homologation regulations which come into effect from 2014 and as it stands they don’t make any allowance for multi-engined classes like Sudam unless they are CIK classes, but we’re waiting to see if that is changed after further meetings.

Unless it is, anyone who wants to see simpler and cheaper engines and an end to the rocketing costs in both KF and Rotax will have to wait to see what the CIK comes up with. CIK-FIA Vice President Kees Van De Grint has finally gone on record with some future plans for world karting.

“First of all, the choice of Luca De Donno as promoter of the CIK-FIA European and World Championships is good news. CIK will be able to focus on its main role: drawing up rules and improving the situation of karting in general.”

I know a lot of people have reservations about the WSK being closely affiliated with the big manufacturers and yet running all of the major championships, but reading between the lines it seems that the CIK have fallen into the common trap of reacting to immediate issues like getting championships organised but not being able to work on the future, so some delegation was probably necessary.

“We have an agreement with the major engine manufacturers concerning a new engine concept. We had hoped for the homologation of a simple type of engine suiting all drivers and not exceeding 1500 €. Currently the project amounts to around 2000 €. A good solution requires some compromise. A more detailed proposal will soon be submitted to the ASN representatives.”

This should be a vast improvement, hopefully the cost savings come from simplification not cheap substandard parts.

“As concerns races, European championships are becoming increasingly important in future, while we are going to reinforce the different National Championships that need support, all in the framework of those categories that are appealing both for amateurs and high-level drivers.”

I’d love to know what form this is going to take. Link-ups between national championships, the removal of excess international championships? It sounds like there might be more recognition of single-make classes, some of which are a law unto themselves in terms of approved sealers, technical compliance and communication and could do with getting their house in order.

“As for CIK office, we are in the process of restructuring the organization so that everyone is heading in the same direction.”

In other words, there’s going to be blood in the corridors…

“It has been a difficult step to take, but a fundamental one for the future. I have two or three more goals to achieve in order for my mission to be accomplished, after that, I’ll be able to dedicate myself to my passion for historic karts!”

I hear there’s to be a 135cc historic race at Rye House later in the year, it might be a useful reminder about fast crazy engines that were ultimately a dead end!