from FIA Karting
2021 has been a good year for karting. The presence of COVID-19 has been felt more than we could have hoped for and travel between certain countries was sometimes complicated, but the karting community adapted well overall and the FIA Karting Championships, Cups and Trophies were well attended and provided some outstanding sporting successes.
A disappointment of the season was that we were unable to travel to Brazil as planned for the World Championship. I share the disappointment of Riccardo Gracia and the CBA whose passion, enthusiasm and persistent efforts were not rewarded. Health restrictions forced us to seek an alternative location. The choice of Spain and the Campillos circuit for the OK and Junior World Championship was a very good decision. We were introduced to a very interesting venue which was supported by a dedicated organisational team and the Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our three new World Champions,
Tuukka Taponen (FIN) in OK, Kean Nakamura Berta (JPN) in Junior and Noah Milell (SWE) in KZ, previously crowned in Sweden.
The return to a high level of participants is a great reward for the FIA Karting in a period that has not yet returned to normal. Launched five years ago, the OK and OK-Junior classes are very popular and are to be applauded for their effectiveness in providing top-level international karting and for the important role they play in the transition to the first steps of motor sport.
Looking ahead, we have drawn up various initiatives which will be implemented progressively from next year. The FIA and the World Motor Sport Council are determined to support the new karting strategy. Enabling more drivers from around the world to prove themselves and eventually reach the top level is the main objective.
Programmes to attract the general public to karting will be developed in several countries that do not yet have access to the karting culture or to suitable infrastructure. The creation of FIA Karting Regional Cups will then facilitate access to competition in FIA Karting categories on the model of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, which has demonstrated the relevance of its affordable one-make formula for over 10 years. In addition to the FIA, F1 is also committed to supporting a number of initiatives to develop kart racing through its global audience.
As part of FIA environmental strategy, we will implement sustainable fuel in karting competitions from 2023. We remain vigilant on the technical evolution of electric propulsion with regard to the weight and cost parameters.
Another item of interest requires the very high number of recreational karting drivers and more precisely the role that the FIA can play with them. I am thinking of their safety but also of their potential interest in racing as we understand it.
Kay Oberheide has taken a well-deserved retirement from the position of CIK-FIA Executive Secretary. We are fortunate to have been able to find a dynamic successor in Alban Martinet who will also be assisted by Simone Perego in the CIK-FIA team composed of Leonard Hartmeier, Sébastien Demierre and Jean-Luc Degeilh, to carry out these strategic projects in conjunction with our Promoter RGMMC Group, represented by James Geidel.
I would like to conclude on an optimistic note about the future of karting at a time when all synergies are in place to put the situation on a solid footing, and to thank Felipe Massa for his passion and leadership in FIA Karting.
The FIA and the World Motor Sport Council are determined to support the new karting strategy.