Technically and sportingly remodelled, the CIK-FIA World Karting Championship has already passed an important milestone in a course on which it will embark in ten weeks only: 34 places were available for the 2011 season, and there have been takers for all of them. It is therefore with the maximum possible number of participants that the 2011 World Championship will inaugurate its new formula.
“It is the result of a work which lasted several months and, as a matter of fact, was initiated by my predecessor”, explained the Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa, President of the CIK-FIA. “All the parties concerned met around a table and agreed that in the interest of everyone and of the sport a viable solution notably for the World Championship had to be found. The infatuation of the Teams and Drivers with this new formula seems to indicate that the milestone passed is the right one and that we are on the threshold of a new, prosperous era in which our sport will be enhanced.”
Sportingly, the most spectacular transformation of the World Championship lies in its calendar, extended from one round to five, and in the format of these five stages, where Drivers will compete in no fewer than four finals per weekend.
Technically, the Super-KF category bows out and is replaced by KF1, less liberal and more accessible. While chassis, brakes and tyres will not be subjected to the regime of homologations, engines shall comply with the KF2 regulations, as proposed by the main engine Manufacturers themselves.
Champion in 2010, the Dutchman Nyck de Vries (Zanardi-Parilla-B’stone) throws in again his title. Unlike many other ambitious Drivers of his age who are however unable to boast such a list of results, McLaren’s protégé has chosen to remain a while in Karting and considered that an additional season within Karting’s tight fields was preferable to a premature switch to single-seaters. At the dawn of the world tour de Vries is most generally tipped to land the title. Although the entry list includes the names of experienced Drivers like Britain’s Mark Litchfield (FA Kart-Maxter-B’stone) and Jordan Chamberlain (Intrepid-TM-B’stone) or the Czech racers Libor Toman (Birel-BMB-B’stone) and Zdenek Groman (Kosmic-Vortex-B’stone), it is mainly teeming with the names of very ambitious young Drivers who last year shone in KF3, in the CIK-FIA U18 World Championship (for Drivers under 18) or in the Academy Trophy: the Brit Alexander Albon (Intrepid-TM-B’stone), the Finns Matias Köykkä (CRG-Maxter-B’stone) and Teemu Suninen (Maranello-Maranello-B’stone) and France’s Anthoine Hubert (Sodi-Parilla-B’stone) and Leo Roussel (Sodi-Parilla-B’stone).
Two Japanese competitors (Yu Kanamaru/Tony Kart-Vortex-B’stone and Hiroaki Watatani/Wildkart-Maxter-Vega) as well as two female Drivers (Laura Tillett/GBR – CRG-Maxter-B’stone and Tereza Gromanová/CZE – Kosmic-Vortex-B’stone) are also part of the group of 34 Drivers ready to fight it out for the supreme title awarded by the CIK and the FIA.
The competition is scheduled to commence on 21 and 22 May at Suzuka, in Japan, and the campaign will continue in Europe from June to September, with in chronological order stages at Wackersdorf (Germany, 11-12 June), Zuera (Spain, 23-24 July), Genk (Belgium, 3-4 September) and Sarno (Italy, 17-18 September).
For the maiden event to take place in Japan, 20 eligible Drivers from the Asia-Pacific region will be allowed to join the 34 Drivers entered for the whole season. A specific entry session will be open for them from 1st April.
Link to the 2011 CIK-FIA World Karting Championship entry list: