FIA Launches New Karting Platform ‘Arrive & Drive’ to Encourage

This one should be good discussion fodder…

I’ll paste the PR here because EKN is running a bit slow today.

  • The initiative will allow National Sporting Associations to offer low-cost karting competitions, in partnership with local tracks and rental providers

  • It taps into the success and popularity of the global leisure karting industry

  • Arrive & Drive is part of the FIA’s wider efforts to double motor sport participation
    The global motorsports governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), has announced the launch of a new karting platform, designed to widen grassroots participation in motor sport.

Arrive & Drive will tap into the popularity of the leisure karting market, facilitating competitions at local tracks using rental equipment. National Sporting Associations (ASNs) who take part in the programme will collaborate with tracks or rental providers to organise these competitions, ensure competitor safety, and promote pathways to other national or international Championships. The FIA has provided a detailed toolkit to facilitate these efforts.

With over 3000 rental karting tracks around the globe, leisure karting is an untapped resource for the competitive motor sport market. Affordable, accessible, and local, leisure karting appeals to people from all backgrounds – opening up new opportunities for talent discovery, youth engagement, and revenue generation.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “In order to grow participation, we must expand the base of the karting pyramid to allow as many people as possible to experience karting for the very first time. We are very clear. Karting will become the focus on our future strategy on Equality and Diversity with the FIA Karting department at the heart of our growth plans.”

The programme is part of the FIA’s wider efforts to double motor sport participation at every level and across all global markets. Other initiatives include the ‘motorsport in a box’ programme, and Esports competitions with a pathway to motor sport.

CIK-FIA President Akbar Ebrahim added: “Through this accessible programme managed by our ASNs in collaboration with rental karting track owners, we will create a virtuous spiral from the recreational market - the foundation of karting - to the racing community sanctioned by an official FIA title.

“The FIA, as the governing body of motor sport, is putting the infrastructure in place to shape this concept. Going forward, we will rely on the support of our global network of 147 ASNs to bring it to life.”

ASNs can get involved in the initiative using the Arrive & Drive toolkit. They can also apply for funding via the FIA Sports Grants, or sign up for the FIA’s training and instruction on regulatory, sporting and promotional matters.

FIA Accessible & Inclusive Karting Worldwide toolkit:

Here’s part of my take on the FIA’s initiative along with the thought that was shared with me that karting is not capable of promoting itself at scale.

I know at least one person that is very capable (/Cough Me) of building a program to effectively promote karting. In my view, it wouldn’t take a lot in the scheme of things to promote the sport and move the needle. Building a system\funnel and getting people behind it is like herding cats. It doesn’t take the FIA or a large brand to make a difference. The promotion should start at home, with us, the karting community who are more invested in the sport as a sport in it’s own right.

There’s TONS that the sport can do in mere simple basics in the online sphere. The only ones doing it are rental tracks as far as I can see.

However, the problem isn’t promotion, the problem is the “product\service” of karting is broken as far as a marketing funnel is concerned. The product\pipeline needs to be fixed first. I’ve done such efforts in the past, getting people to the track only for the process to fail when they get there. Partly from buy-in on the process and partly (understandably) due to resources.

In the end, I got so frustrated I setup a rental track of my own and executed on that instead.

Put bluntly, as far as I’m concerned, with my marketing hat on, karting doesn’t deserve more exposure… yet. A cohesive marketing plan and customer value ladder\journey needs to be mapped out end to end, including their experience at the track.

To make a racing analogy: When we go to the track for testing, we have a plan, we have a process. A list of specific things we are going to try. Then we have a process for documenting the results and we tweak the approach session by session to reach the desired outcome.

I can do this, I have the outline and the processes to create such a campaign, but I can’t justify the time away from my family to do it for free.

Call it over engineering, but there’s no reason karting should be exempt from following the basics of a good “product” funnel and “sales” process. Right now we have the proverbial “kart” before the horse.

As far as the FIA is concerned, they are not in line of what I believe to be the values of karting across the spectrum in Europe, let alone the US. Their motive is primarily the stepping stone\pyramid. They even explicitly state this in the PR.

While the pyramid is certainly a significant proportion of the sport it also introduces a demographic that is, lets say somewhat divisive and magnifies the perception that karting is ridiculously expensive.

Note: I’m not saying I share that view.

I’ll add that even as a European and having an FIA license in the past, I’m surprised at how fascinated the US seems to be with the model. There is SO much potential for the scene here.

If you’ve read this far, thank you.


I memed this earlier and showed much less respect:

Well to be fair those are ambiguous and subjective terms.

“Pinky-swear” -FIA. :-1::see_no_evil::raised_hand::hear_no_evil::-1::speak_no_evil:

Let us distract you while we Rodger motorsports and sell that heritage to the sportswashers and gluttonous robber barons.

Let’s let their actions determine that first :smiley:

Paging @Simone_Perego do you have additional context you can add?

You page, i appear.

Fundamentally, the task of “doubling motorsport” participation was given to the entirety of the FIA’s opps teams when this new presidency came to be, at the end of 2021.

Based on the above mission statement, work begun from our side to develop dedicated toolkits that are based on our accrued knowledge in regards to the industry, event organization and exploration of a target market which was unexplored to us in the past (rental karting, per se). These toolkits are to be distributed to all member ASNs, as “Instructions” on how to go about deploying karting activities in their respective country.

In a nutshell, we are just providing a recipe to a cake, basically.

I (personally) align with your views re: the fragmentation of the karting universe and how this leads to a 1) karting being a difficult product to sell and 2) the subsequent inherent limitation to customer retention.

We have a humongous amount of categories, some of which can be grouped under the same umbrella but that each have their own peculiarities and which make it extremely hard for a newcomer to understand.

Try to explain to someone that wants to get into racing karts that a Rotax max is manufactured by BRP and that an X30 is made by IAME and they fundamentally have the same performance but one has a float chamber carburetor while the other has membrane carb, which is easier to tune because it has needles. One has a power valve and is better coming out of corners while the other has a traditionally oriented reed pack and revs higher, but they are nothing to do with what is used at FIA international level and have varying degrees of rebuild times. May i interest you in a KA100 instead? its air cooled :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:

Fundamentally, this is all stems from the fact that manufacturers obviously each have a wish to generate revenues, and from the indirect failure of the KF which spawned this industry wide ramification.

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