It’s hard to cover the 2018 season in one word. Maybe “wonderful” comes closest to it. The year will remain in the annals as a great vintage! Judging by the number of participants in the final events of single-brand categories such as Rok, Rotax and X30 in general and the FIA Championships in particular, Karting is booming!
My eight years of hard work as Vice President have paid off. When I took up my duties at the CIK-FIA in 2010, Karting had never been so low and my goal was to bring the sport back to the level it had experienced during the last years of the FMK.
With a record entry for the FIA Karting World Championship – OK and OK-Junior, I am proud that the mission has been accomplished. Of course, I did not do this alone, the CIK Commission approved the many changes proposed and I am grateful for their confidence. Without the loyalty and hard work of the CIK staff in Geneva, led by Executive Secretary Kay Oberheide, these ideas would not have emerged. Together, we have presented so many things that I could have completed this book, but the OK engine concept, the front fairing kit, and the Mini and Historic kart guidelines are just a few examples I like to mention.
The most important thing for me is that relations with the manufacturers and the organisers have been reestablished after a rather difficult period at the beginning of this century. As long as we accept that none of its components is bigger than the sport itself, but that together we are the sport, the future of Karting will be assured.
It was good to see a return to the calendar for tracks that the CIK-FIA had not visited for years. The effort by the managers of Ampfing, Salbris and Lonato was very much appreciated. I hope that in the near future, the FIA Karting Championship schedule will include such a wide variety of circuits. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ held at Genk. It has been proven that with good promotion and a reasonable budget, Karting can attract spectators. It goes without saying that this year the prize for the best event will be awarded to Genk’s “Home of Champions”.
The Historic Super Cup, now in its fifth edition, has become extremely popular with competitors and is highly appreciated by spectators. But most importantly, not to say movingly, are these words that one of the participants addressed to me: “Thank you very much for accepting my registration, it is a real therapy for me and no medicine has better effect on my health.” Is there a better way to express what Karting means to people? These words made me realise that the time spent and the hassle I experienced really were worth it.
Not everything was perfect in 2018!
I am fully aware that there is still work to be done: globalise the gearbox (KZ) and direct drive (OK) categories, including the level of promotion, improve the fairness of the front fairing system and find solutions to make electric karting a real alternative. I have no doubt that these goals can be achieved. What is needed is dedication, intelligence, experience, passion and above all a vision. Then, Karting will have the platform it deserves as the purest four wheel motor sport.
Kees van de Grint