The FIA International Karting Commission (CIK-FIA) fittingly rewarded its Champion Drivers of the 2010 season on Saturday 15 January 2011 in Paris, at the Pavillon Gabriel located near the FIA’s headquarters next to the famous Champs élysées.
The Champions’ exploits were hailed by the FIA President, Jean Todt, and by the CIK-FIA President, Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa.
In his opening address at the ceremony, the CIK-FIA President stressed the merits of the award-winners of the year 2010. He also reminded the audience of the importance that the FIA attaches to Karting and the CIK, as Jean Todt had already stressed in his welcoming speech to the assembly.
With regard to the youngest Drivers, Shaikh Abdulla stated: «It is an absolute thrill to be celebrating Karting’s well-deserving winners, who ultimately make the sport what it is. It has been particularly gratifying to witness the achievements of some of our younger Drivers, a number of whom I hope, like many before, will go on to achieve further success at the pinnacle of Motorsport in the future. This gives Karting a unique place in Motorsport. A mature discipline in its own right, it is also the entry point to a pyramid structure that ultimately leads to Formula One. I would encourage all younger Drivers with an eye on F1 in the future, to take their time and ensure that they fully hone both their skills and understanding, so that when the times comes to take the next step they are truly ready.»
During this evening in which the succession of the CIK-FIA Champions on the stage rose in a crescendo, the most applauded ones were naturally the two 2010 World Champions, namely the Briton Jake Dennis (winner of the maiden «U18» World Championship) and Holland’s Nyck de Vries (winner of the more traditional CIK-FIA Karting World Championship). Soon to be 16 years old, Dennis and de Vries have added to their young list of results titles which should come in handy for their quest for a professional career and in order to reach the highest echelons of Motorsport. The second and third classified Drivers, i.e. the Finn Matias Köykkä & Northern Ireland’s Adam Stirling on the one hand, the Briton Jordan Chamberlain & the Denmark’s Nicolaj Moller Madsen on the other, were also rewarded on Saturday in Paris.
In addition to the trophies handed over to the winners of the other CIK-FIA Championships (the full list of which is appended), some extra special prizes were awarded. From the hands of the 1982 World Rally vice-Champion Michèle Mouton, the Dutchwoman Beitske Visser received the joint prize of the CIK and of the «FIA Women and Motor Sport» Commission rewarding the most deserving female kart Driver of the 2010 season. The young Russian Vsevolod Gagen was honoured for his faultless performance in each of the three sessions of EduKart, the educational programme introduced by the CIK, with the support of the Motor Sport Safety Development Fund and of the FIA Institute within the framework of the new CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy.
Some 160 guests attended the gala and were eventually solicited to vote for the photograph of the year - like in 2009 the winning picture was the work of the Belgian-Spanish photographer Grégory Heirman.
«The quality of the celebrated Champions is emblematic of the intensity of the 2010 season, added the CIK-FIA President, but we are expecting an even more closely-fought 2011 sporting year, with the continuation of the development of the ‘‘U18’’ World Championship and Academy Trophy, a first organisation in the Middle East (Bahrain) bound to be historical, and the new format of the CIK-FIA World Championship extended to 5 events».