Tag Archives: formula kart stars

Extensive Formula Kart Stars coverage on Sky Sports in 2015

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This year’s Formula Kart Stars revival will receive extensive television coverage by Sky Sports throughout the season.

The championship will be broadcast over six dedicated shows along with features on the Sky Sports F1 channel, the F1 Show and Game Changers broadcast on Sky 1.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our competitors,” said FKS chairman Carolynn Hoy. “To have the championship broadcast at such a high level provides unrivalled exposure for them and their sponsors. Not only that but this is a great boost for karting in general, placing this great sport in front of a wider audience which will no doubt be of great benefit to the growth of our sport.”

 

Ginetta to award Junior Scholarship to Formula Kart Stars Junior class

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Denis GormanLeading British sportscar marque Ginetta will award a fast-track entry into its Junior Scholarship shootout for the top two finishers in this season’s Formula Kart Stars Junior class.

The winner of the Scholarship, which takes place in October each year, will win a fully-funded season in the Ginetta Junior Championship for 14 to 16-year-old racers, worth over £60,000. The championship runs as a support category to the British Touring Car Championship.

Up to 60 drivers can begin the Scholarship shootout, taking part in driving, media and fitness assessments over the first two days. Racers receive tuition from star touring car drivers. Ex-Formula Kart Stars driver Tom Ingram was chief instructor and also part of the judging panel of this year’s Scholarship.

“I am delighted that Ginetta and FKS have once again joined forces in supporting young talent,” said FKS chairman Carolynn Hoy. “The prize provided gives our drivers a fantastic opportunity to progress their careers from karting to car racing in a championship where a number of our alumni have enjoyed great success.”

The return of Formula Kart Stars

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stock-karting-logo-blue The return of Formula Kart Stars to British karting in 2015 has ruffled a few feathers. In recent months it has been awarded championship status by the Motor Sports Association, revealed a huge prize fund and unveiled its calendar, which includes a blue riband round at Silverstone. It will also include high profile names from within the sport, to act as officials or coaching gurus. Preparations for the series have therefore taken a large step since Karting magazine visited FKS chairman Carolynn Hoy earlier last year. So we caught up with her to ask the questions that you want to know…

Karting magazine: How is Formula Kart Stars different to other domestic and international championships?
Carolynn Hoy: “FKS is unique in that it is the
only karting championship supported by Formula One Management and Formula 1 teams. The Championship has been developed from the ground up with feedback from competitors, the karting industry and Formula 1. It combines controlled equipment, distributed by FKS, to offer competitors a unique and market leading level playing field at a fixed cost, allowing equal opportunities for talent to shine through.
“Not only that, but FKS delivers competitors exceptional value for money, providing up to twice as much track time over
our race weekends as
other championships. Add that
to the fact that we have a substantial prize fund of over £300,000 per year, plus the links to Formula 1, and FKS clearly has the strongest opportunity for career progression for its drivers.”
KM: Do competitors get to keep the same chassis for the year?
CH: “Yes, competitors are allocated a chassis at the pre-season official test and they keep that for the whole season.”
KM: The championship will be keeping each kart in between rounds. So what is the procedure for collecting and returning karts at each meeting?
CH: “The FKS paddock and
competitors awnings will be accessible
to competitors or their mechanic at 12
noon on the Thursday prior to each
official test day. Access will only be
available to those with the appropriate
passes as issued by the Championship. Competitors will be able to collect their kart
from the FKS support truck any time after 12 noon on the Thursday.
“Competitors karts will be retained by them in their awnings until the completion of the race meeting on Sunday. At the end of Thursday, Friday and Saturday each competitor’s
awning will be secured and the FKS paddock
will be closed to access from 10pm.
“On completion of the final race on the Sunday, competitors will have until 10pm to return their kart to the FKS support truck, where the kart
will be covered and sealed in the competitor’s presence. The kart remains sealed until the following race meeting.”
KM: What kind of adjustments to set-up can competitors make?
CH: “Competitors are permitted to adjust the top & bottom caster adjusters, front & rear Torsion Bar, seat positioning and choice of axle. Although some of these are class specific. Gearing and tyre pressures are also free.”
KM: Your literature quotes the championship as being ‘of an affordable cost’. Can karting really be affordable at £25,000 and £35,000 respectively?
CH: “Karting has become extremely expensive, with budgets for some championships quoted
in excess of four times our entry fee. When you break down our price and consider the number
of tyres, fuel, transport, use of an awning, amount of track time and the fact you get to keep the kart, you understand how we get to our budget.
“It’s important to remember the level of investment we’ve made into the infrastructure at our events. Each round will have a dedicated FKS paddock area complete with individual competitor awnings and a bespoke race control centre.
“There will also be a dedicated VIP hospitality unit, rather like a mini F1 Paddock Club. For the first time in karting this will provide drivers the opportunity to offer sponsors a level of hospitality reflective of the investment they’re seeking. It will be the best opportunity drivers have of generating sponsorship at the most important stage of their careers.”
KM: There is huge concern over decreasing driving standards in karting. How will you monitor this?
CH: “Like Formula 1, we will be utilising Driver Stewards to monitor and enforce driving standards on track. Driver Stewards will be of notable reputation and will include the likes of Mark Blundell, Gary Paffe

Colin Wright – A year progress or setbacks?

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A year progress or setbacks? Well, with the AGM of the ABkC coming upon us it’s a time to reflect upon 2014 and look into what will happen in 2015.

Colin Wright

Has 2014 been successful? In some ways Yes, in some No. License holders will again show a decline, Easykart has chosen to go away from MSA regulations, we have 2 World Champions, IKR is growing, some clubs are booming some are struggling…I had hoped that more progress would have been achieved, we have made some but frankly not enough and not quickly enough!

So depending upon whether the glass is half full/empty will depend on your interpretation of how well the sport is doing. Personally, and this is not the ABkC speaking I feel we have not done enough to support smaller clubs, they are the bedrock of our sport.

So what can we see in 2015?

We will see Bambinos enter MSA regulations for the first time so an upturn in license holders from that format, we will obviously see the Lewis Hamilton effect with newcomers dreaming of replicating the ex karters global success, we have LGM, Super One and also FKS is back. I’d love a crystal ball to see how all this will play out in 2015 but for now will have to settle to looking closer to home and hope that we present a better “shop window”, a joint effort to get things actioned quickly, to remove some of the unequal factors that dog our discipline and not the remainder of Motorsport. But most of all I’d love to see people relax a little and enjoy the sport for what it is and that is a fantastic discipline in its own right and not always a short term stepping stone to cars, we have every right to be judged shoulder to shoulder with car disciplines and not looked down upon!

The clubman strategy is gathering pace but the sheer inequality of karting regs versus some other disciplines needs to be torn down to see license holders grow, let’s hope 2015 can bring the removal of the medical, I would not need a medical to go Rallying, I don’t need one to drive at 70mph against ongoing traffic yet this archaic rule still exists, I plead with the MSA to finally remove this barrier and lets look to see resurgent senior grids in 2015!

So what of the clubs running IKR and MSA? Let’s support them, lets ensure their success, their survival, their growth, we cannot afford to only see the top six clubs do well, we need every club to succeed, remember that very first time you came off track in a “true” kart, that feeling, the adrenalin, the buzz? Well, go and tell more people, we all have a part to play in the success or failure of this sport.

I speak with many potential newcomers throughout the week from all walks of life and locations, and we need to be cognisant that most really have no idea how to get started, let’s be positive with these potential new customers and show them the positive side of karting and not dwell on what’s wrong, we know what’s wrong but we are still in a much better position than many countries, as a nation we sometimes only consider the negative points.

We all have an interest yet we should all be accountable for the success of our sport and how its presented, our shop window is not appealing besides the phenomenally unique, powerful and creative PR that FKS delivers, I rarely see this level of positive press within my industry let alone our little backwater!

The face of karting in the UK is poised to change dramatically over the next few years, your input is invaluable to those decisions, make sure your club attends the ABkC AGM on 9th December.

As always feel free to contact me at chairman@abkc.org or +44 (0) 7841 034192

 

Fusion To Enter FKS

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British Cadet champion squad Fusion Motorsport will compete field a team in next season’s revived Formula Kart Stars championship.  The Cambridgeshire-based outfit, which claimed this year’s MSA IAME Cadet title with Teddy Wilson, will race in the series’ Super Cadet category for ten- to 12-year-olds.

The team has already signed  Maxwell Dodds, 8, who raced with the team this season, and Honda Cadet frontrunner Harry Thompson. Fusion team principal Dan Hazlewood hopes to add two further drivers to his line-up.

“The format and structure make FKS an exciting championship to be involved in,” Hazlewood said. “I think many people are going to sit on the fence, but hopefully our involvement will encourage other teams and individuals to commit. I am sure there will be a competitive field, especially as there are some great prizes on offer.”

IAME X30 To Enter Super One

Super One will add an IAME X30-powered category next season after national championship chiefs admitted they were impressed by its maiden outing in British racing in 2014.

The X30 Tour has raced as a non-championship support class to the Little Green Man series this season and will continue in 2015. But Super One head John Hoyle said the engine’s popularity this year convinced him to place a Junior and Senior class on the calendar next season. Although it will not crown a British champion, the racing will be points scoring to qualify for the X30 World Finals. It will take place over four Super One rounds with Hoyle confirming that he is proposing a further round at the early season O Plate meeting at Rowrah on April 18/19.

“The X30 Tour looks like it has taken off this season and it was impressive,” Hoyle said. “We tested the water with a guest race at the final round of the MSA season at PFi and received good, positive feedback from that weekend and have already received enquiries for 2015.”

X30 Tour chief Mike Mills said: “John [Hoyle] doesn’t want to miss the boat and has seen just how the X30 has taken off. I just hope that having both the X30 Tour and the Super One classes doesn’t dilute grid numbers. There were 48 X30 drivers at last weekend’s final round of the Trent Valley Kart Club championship. And there are Cadet drivers queuing to move up when permitted in January.”

Cadet Prize For FKS Competition Winner

Formula Kart Stars will award a funded drive in next season’s Cadet class worth £25,000 to the winner of a competition which will be staged at January’s Autosport International Show.

Boys and girls aged eight by April 3, 2015 and ten years old on January 1, 2015, can enter by enter a 200-word story about their desire to be an F1 star. The letters will be reviewed by the Motor Sports Association with 20 finalists invited to test a Cadet machine in a timed session at the ASI karting circuit on Saturday January 10. Five drivers will then be shortlisted and interviewed by a panel including ex-F1 racer Mark Blundell, McLaren test driver Gary Paffett, world champion Terry Fullerton, Anthony Hamilton and reigning MSA British Cadet champion Teddy Wilson. The winner will receive ownership of the kart, tyres and fuel, series entry and the appropriate racing licence.

Formula Kart Stars chairman Carolynn Hoy said: “The new format Formula Kart Stars has already attracted a considerable number of entries, and we are hoping that by partnering with Autosport International to provide this unique prize we will be able to help a competitor that may not otherwise have been able to take that next step in motorsport. I look forward to meeting the finalists at the Autosport Show.”

Visit formulakartstars.com for more information.

 

 

FULLERTON JOINS FORMULA KART STARS

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Terry Fullerton will join the revised Formula Kart Stars series next season as Head Guru. The 1973 British, European and world 1champion has most recently been coaching numerous young drivers including 2013 British KF champion Jehan Daruvala.“The role will effectively be as head driver coach,” Fullerton said.

“I believe there will be a guru for each class, but I will be in charge of the coaching. I’ll be advising the drivers at every FKS round on their driving but also helping them with their career and pointing them in the right direction. “I had a meeting with [FKS chairman] Carolynn Hoy a couple of weeks ago and it sounds like it will be a good championship. Some of the prizes, especially those in the top Super Junior class for 15- to 16-year-olds, are worth a lot of money and should attract some top drivers.”

Formula Kart Stars Reveals 2015 Plans

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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.”