Interview: Peter Bayer

from FIA Karting

FIA Sport Secretary General Peter Bayer was kind enough to answer some questions about karting within the International Automobile Federation.

WHAT PLACE DOES KARTING OCCUPY AMONG THE FIA DISCIPLINES?

It is an essential place, because karting is the basis of Motorsport. Felipe Massa, President of the CIK-FIA, is dynamic and committed, and he can rely on a competent team. At the FIA, everyone is convinced of the importance of karting, both as a first step in the careers of many Drivers and as a discipline in its own right.

“At the FIA, everyone is convinced of the importance of karting.”

WHAT ASSESSMENT CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE INTRODUCTION OF AN EXTERNAL PROMOTER TO THE FIA KARTING COMPETITIONS SINCE 2013?

The FIA has long chosen to focus on the global governance of motor sport, particularly through the regulatory framework.

The organisation of sporting events is not part of its mission. This is why the FIA calls on a Promoter to organise all its Championships. This allows it to invest more in sport itself and to devote surplus budgets to the development of each discipline.

Karting is not the only discipline to benefit from it. WSK Promotion significantly increased the standard of organisation between 2013 and 2017. RGMMC Group continues this quest for excellence while developing the audience for the FIA Karting Championships in the media and on social networks.

IN THIS REGARD, HOW DO YOU VIEW THE STRENGTHENING OF FIA KARTING COMMUNICATION OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS?

Ensuring modern and effective communication is one of FIA’s priorities. In close collaboration with the Promoter RGMMC, the FIA has considerably changed the situation of karting. The number of fans following the FIA Karting Championship social networks is now in the tens of thousands around the world. On Instagram we went from 1500 to more than 20,000 followers in a few months.

We have also invested to boost the television audience of karting. Through the RGMMC Group, we produce content that we send by satellite to television channels around the world. During the FIA Karting European Championship in Kristianstad, for example, our efforts reached 195 countries through 62 channels.

We now provide two full days of live streaming at each Competition and we have an agreement with Motorsport.com that generates significant traffic. In the field, the presence of more than 8,000 spectators in Alahärmä during the Finnish Grand Prix Kart shows great success.

“We have taken a big step forward to give karting the visibility it deserves.”

WHAT ARE THE DIRECTIONS ENVISAGED BY THE FIA FOR THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF KARTING?

International karting is doing well, especially since the introduction of OK categories in 2016.

The cost of racing is an area that we are closely monitoring. Karting can never become a very cheap discipline, but we must do what we can to limit excesses. We are working with the ASNs to revive the National Championships.

High level karting is still too focused on Europe, it must open up to new horizons. Thanks to Felipe Massa, the 2020 FIA Karting World Championship will be held in Brazil. America has great sporting potential, which is why we will start by going to Brazil, but Asia is also one of our areas of interest for the future.

“High level karting must open up to new horizons.”

During the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the electric kart was an opportunity to introduce motor sport to a wide audience. The Youth Olympic Games can enable ASNs to find new opportunities with National Olympic Committees.

As for the electric racing kart, the FIA technical teams are following the evolution of the products. To date, technology does not allow us to envisage an electric competition kart that is light, efficient and relatively affordable in the short or medium term.

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