Will "OK" be OK?

  2 October 2015

Having earlier been revealed at the UK European Championship round, the new generation "OK" engines were the subject of an official promotion at La Conca's KF World Championship meeting last week.

The OK engines will be used in the non-gearbox CIK-FIA Championships in 2016.

With no clutch, battery, starter or wiring loom (or front brakes, as per recent WMSC decision), the OKs will be considerably lighter than the KFs. This is a good thing as karts have become incresingly heavy (and therefore less agile) over the past 30 years.

They will, however, need to be push started. A decompression valve will make this far easier than in the old days, but still, having people push karts out of a crowded grid does increase the risk of injury - always an issue in today's litigious world.

WSK Promotion, the company that's been promoting the CIK-FIA World and European Championships since 2013, says the change to OK is "going to be regarded as a crucial turning point for this sport."

The Big Three engine manufacturers - Vortex, IAME (Parilla) and TM - have homologated engines, as too have LKE, Rexon and TE.

kartcom.com says the price of an OK engine, including ancillaries, is around €2500 (AUS $3970), though there is no word yet on expected commercial availability.

The 2016 European and World Championships will see OK-spec engines mandated for Senior and Junior categories, however the WSK events are potentially only using OK for the Senior class.

Very few nations are expected to make the switch in the first year. In fact, many might not make the change at all.

Several nations have already gone their own way for their 'international-style' category (including Australia - see HERE) while others are considering an alternative-spec OK, eg kartcom reports the Italian Federation is looking at a lower power version OK-Junior.

This all leads to the quesion - Why bother?

We hear the reception to OK has ranged from lukewarm to great. Some see direct-drive and more revs as a step backwards to move the sport forwards and are keen to go racing in 2016.

But, like the 'Whole of Sport Review' changes on our domestic scene, we'll only know the answer to the question in about three years time.



promotional information below provided by WSK

okla conca

Competitors at the final KF-engined World Championships pass by the CIK-FIA's OK advertising banners
Above & Below: Competitors at the final KF-engined World Championships pass by the CIK-FIA's OK advertising banners (pics - Press.net Images)

Above: Jarno Trulli (Formula K World Champion 1991) with CIK's Kees Van de Grint at La Conca
pic - Press.net Images



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