The CRG president, Giancarlo Tinini, comments the 2012 season and announces 2013 novelties. his opinion about the general situation of national and international karting. Great expectations for the programmes of the new Cik-Fia president and for the agreement reached with Luca De Donno as promoter
Lonato del Garda (Brescia -Italy). 2012 was a year of great achievements for CRG, enriched by the world title in KF2 with Felice Tiene (CRG-Bmb) and in KZ2 with Jordon Lennox-Lamb(CRG-Maxter), besides the European title in KZ1 with Jorrit Pex (CRG-Tm), affiliated to CRG Holland team.
Other important successes for CRG were those achieved in the WSK Euro Series with Jorrit Pex (CRG-Tm) in KZ1 and with Alex Palou (CRG-Bmb) in KF3, with Eliseo Martinez (CRG/Hero-Lke) in the 60 Mini Betitaly Series, and in the WSK Master Series with Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG-Maxter) in KZ2.
Doubtlessly, we are very happy for our 2012 - says Giancarlo Tinini, CRG President - even though we eventually missed two titles: the KZ1 and KF1 world championship. With them, we'd have had a complete success. We were really unlucky especially in KF1, in Suzuka, for the crash between Felice Tiene and Max Verstappen during the last lap of the fourth final. Without that crash we'd have started with a totally different score in Macau, and with 25 points more we'd have faced the Asian race with much better expectations. It was a great season anyway, also thanks to the engine change which gave the team a much better pace."
- Eventually, the change of the engine was the right move to make in the KF categories...
It was a difficult decision to make, but it was necessary. Before the change our engine wasn't much performing. The situation was serious, but nobody in the company wanted to take it upon themselves. That's why I decided for this radical change, and the results proved I was right."
- What lacked to win the KZ1 World Championship?
In KZ1 we couldn't win. Our engine wasn't performing enough. We needed two/three tenths more. Winning the championship was simply impossible."
- After 2012 achievements, how is CRG planning its 2013?
In the KF categories we'll change engine once more. We made this decision at the end of the season and we chose another engine brand, lame. KVS will always be our partner and the engine preparer. The Czech technicians were simply excellent throughout last season. On the other hand, in KZ, for the time being we begin the season with the Maxter enginesdirectly prepared by our factory. We'll look for other opportunities later on."
- In a moment of deep economic crisis, how is the world kartmarket responding and, in particular, how is CRG reacting?
The crisis has caused a drop in the sales figures and this is what we expected. When these crisis involve all the world, also a small market niche like ours is affected. Honestly, I feared the drop would be more serious, but actually it is not as bad as expected. Let's hope the situation improve, otherwise karting too is bound to experience the worst consequences of the crisis."
- In this context, is there any international market which is getting more interesting?
There are lots of new small markets which, for the time being, are not interesting for the Italian kart industry. The figures which, just few years ago, represented our production cannot be absorbed by these new markets yet. China and India are very interesting, but they are still very far from our way of conceiving go-karts. We still need some years and, above all, we need that CIK-FIA continues to make the KF engine regulations simpler. I do hope that this simplification process makes karting more attractive not only for the emerging countries, but also for those countries currently dominated by some one-makes. Moreover, There are some many categories around the world that it is impossible to follow them all. This situation only creates confusion, while to spot some interesting developments it would be necessary to cut deadwood out and focus on a smaller number of categories."
- The new CIK-FIA regulations could be helpful to cope with the crisis...
For the time being, the technical simplification which has been introduced recently is crucial. This is the only way to attract a larger number of fans. For the most interesting categories, it has been important to decide to award the World Champion title also to the KFJ junior category, besides the KF. And coming back to the World Championship in KZ1 has been important as well. Unfortunately this novelties have been announced only to professionals: making these news more resounding could attract more attention at least on top karting."
- If at international level the situation is not tragic, thesame cannot be said for the activity in the single European countries...
It is normal that the situation has got more difficult at national level. Only Germany doesn't cry. Besides, we, the manufacturers, are obliged to produce many different products for each country, and this makes the possibility of a homogeneous development even harder. If all the ASN do not sit around a table and decide which route to follow we cannot work it out. And, for me, the reference model is the one adopted by CIK-FIA. In Italy, for example, the trickiest problems were created by the choice of the tyres: not for the brand - all the brands are good -, but for the type of compound. It is too hard for modern karting: it is so hard that those committed in national and international karting have been obliged to purchase chassis with different characteristics according to the kind of racing activity. This is foolish and, above all, too expensive. The right choice is adopting a medium compound, no matter which brand. The only thing that counts is the medium compound. Hard compound is not suitable and it is even dangerous and for drivers there is no fun in driving with such a compound."
- In 2013 WSK Promotion will arrive in the CIK-FIA races. What's your opinion about that?
First of all I want to say thank you to the new CIK-FIA President, Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa, because I've had the impression he has immediately well understood what karting needed, and this is crucial. I'm glad for the opportunity Luca De Donno - the WSK Promotion president - has been given: this is the right reward for all the efforts made in these last seven years as promoter in karting. And it is also a reward for all the bitter pills he has swallowed. Finally, Luca got the prize he deserved and I'm sure that with such a President and with Luca in the game things are going to be better and better. I'm convinced about that because both the CIK-FIA President and Luca De Donno have showed to be veritable entrepreneurs with clear idea, who are here to understand and not to impose situations, as it has always happened until today. If we continue like that, the interest stirred by karting is going to increase, with positive effects also at national level.This agreement is really very important."
- The 2012 season has just finished and the 2013 is already about to start. Which are CRG's goals for next year?
We are taking part in the international CIK-FIA championships and in the WSK Euro Series, besides the WSK Master Series and some international races such as the Winter Cup, with twoteam committed in two events. The one made almost entirely by professionals will have at its side a team with young drivers, in order to make them enjoy thepresence of experienced people who will be able to help them to get the knack of the equipment and of the race strategy. In the following days we are going to announce the names of the drivers. For the time being we can confirm that the drivers of the professional team in KZ1 are Jonathan Thonon, Davide Forè, Fabian Federer, while Max Verstappen, Felice Tiene and Jordon Lennox-Lamb are committed both in KZ1 and in KF. In KF2 Alex Palou is going to make his debut after his beautiful performance in KF3. But we are also dealing with other drivers. There is also a good team with the LH chassis and two other important teams racing with the CRG brand."