This weekend of 8-10 July the CIK-FIA is preparing to launch the second edition of the “U18” World Championship and Karting Academy Trophy on the new track of Ortona, in the Italian Abruzzi. For this circuit with very complete and modern infrastructures it will be the first organisation within the framework of the CIK-FIA Championships.
133 Drivers from the five continents are expected, which represents a neat progression (+ 23%) compared to 2010. There is therefore a genuine support from Drivers and Federations to the groundbreaking concepts of these competitions imagined and implemented by the CIK and FIA.
Open to 15 to 18 years old Drivers, the “U18” World Championship which will comprise three events is very akin to the Moto2 category launched in 2010 by the FIM, the International Motorcycle Federation. With the same aims – cost reduction and promotion of Drivers through equal opportunities – the formula is almost identical: single-make tyres and engines for everyone allocated by drawing lots. In Karting, LeCont and Parolin go as far as placing their products at the disposal of all Drivers free of charge! The budgets have thus been revised… downwards, so much so that they are four to five times lower than those required for the other major championships!
Who will be next on the list of results of this “U18” World Championship after the Briton Jake Dennis and Top Kart, holder of the World Karting makes Champion title? It is anybody’s guess. As regards brands, all the ones entered in 2010 will again join the party and will even be accompanied this time by two prestigious labels covered in awards: Zanardi and Swiss Hutless. Regarding Drivers, several of them have already shone on the international scene, like the Italian Giuliano Niceta (winner of the 2009 CIK-FIA World Cup for KF3), Britain’s Matthew Graham (CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship in 2010), France’s Anthoine Hubert (runner-up in the 2010 CIK-FIA Academy Trophy) and Léo Roussel (recent pole-position-sitter in the CIK-FIA World KF1 Championship in Germany), the Austrian Stefan Riener (who made it to a “U18” podium last year in France) or the Swiss Alain Valente (winner of the 2011 Margutti Trophy). However – and it is characteristic of the formula adopted for this Championship –, a surprise could very well come from Drivers whose international experience is limited but whose national results speak for themselves, such as the Australian Aidan Wright, the Czech Petr Bezel and Jiri Forman, the Belgian Sébastien Bedoret, the Swiss Yves Von Aesh, the Dutchman Joël Affolter or Italy’s “Speedy”, Simone Favaro and Antonio Maria Giovinazzi, not forgetting the Danish delegation, directly supported by its Federation within the framework of the ambitious “DASU Danish National Team” programme.
The menu of the “U18” World Championship events will be reinforced by an Academy Trophy for 13 to 15 years old youngsters. The Trophy has a double particularity: on the one hand all the Drivers will receive on a free basis their “turn-key” Parolin-FIM kart at each race; and on the other hand, with nearly as many nationalities as karts at the start (43 countries represented out of the total of 50 entries), the competition will resemble a Nations’ Cup, with a fine representation of Asian, European, African and South American countries. For a few countries like Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, India and Albany, it will even be the very first participation of one of their licence-holders in a CIK-FIA Karting Championship.
There are also two lady Drivers on the entry list, Thailand’s Thunchanok Hirunvanijkul and the winner of the selection contest jointly organised by the CIK and the FIA “Women in Motor Sport” Commission, France’s Lucile Cypriano.
Once they have taken place under their standardised paddock tent and received their equipment by drawing lots on Friday morning, Drivers will get to the track for their maiden running at 13h00. Saturday will be dedicated to the last non-qualifying practice, then to qualifying practice and the first selection heats. On Sunday the last heats will be held in the morning, and the afternoon will be fully reserved for the final phases, with no fewer than seven races. All the classifications will be available in real time on the CIK-FIA website, www.cikfia.com.
Link to the "U18" World Championship Media Guide: http://www.cikfia.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/media_guide_U18_web.pdf
Link to the Academy Trophy Media Guide: http://www.cikfia.com/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/media_guide_ACA_web.pdf