Reigning Formula Renault Northern European Cup champion Ben Barnicoat returned to karting to lead the BirelART squad’s assault on the Winter Cup at Lonato later last month. The 17-year-old, who claimed the CIK-FIA European KF title in 2012, returned to ART, the team which he raced with in international karting throughout his career in the sport to compete in the KF class. Barnicoat originally planned to accept an offer to race at Garda with the newly formed Mad-Croc team, set up by former ART karting boss Armando Finini. He started on the front row for the Pre-final before losing his front bumper, dropping him to a 14th place start for the final. But he made his way up to a fifth place finish. It was his most successful Winter Cup outing of his career.
“Since there is a testing ban in place in European Renault until the middle of March, I felt that it would be a good chance to keep sharp.” Barnicoat said the biggest difference in the sport since he graduated to single-seaters in 2013, has been the switch in tyres.
“I always drove on the Vega ‘white’ tyre,” he added. “The compound allowed you to brake later and harder and the tyres would bite into the track and give you great grip. But at the Winter Cup, Bridgestone rubber was used. Those tyres provide much less grip, so I had to adapt my driving style. I couldn’t brake as hard and late, meaning I wasn’t able to corner as quick.”
CIK hits out at driver discipline The lack of respect and bad treatment of officials and drivers is an increasing worry for the CIK-FIA, according to vice president Kees van de Grint. The Dutch historic karter pointed to the lack of commitment from all parties and for the second consecutive year, referenced the unease between the governing body and promoter WSK Promotions.
“There is still not perfect harmony between WSK Promotion and the CIK. The lack of respect and treatment of officials and competitors is a worry and countermeasures should be taken. “The lack of commitment from some people, whether they are competitors, constructors or even Commission members, is not doing the sport any good”.