Tom Kutscher for CIK President?

It looks like @Alan_Dove is back to writing again. This is a good thing Give this a read.

So Tom, please, come to Europe, organise a mad event somewhere, bring a bit of energy back! Something worth actually going to and reporting on.

Not sure understand why they say that OK is where the future champs will come from. It’s an engine package no? Last I checked engines are largely inert.


Careful now, you’ll upset people with that kind of rational thinking :smiley:

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over the years I have heard many versions of this is where the next set of pro drivers will evolve from
Skip Barber - said so in their marketing
Spec Racer (Sports Renault) - said so by the drivers of spec racers
Mazda Star Pro Series - Said so be the drivers
Indy Lights - Said so by the drivers.
Some Kart dads - Whatever my kids is doing.
It’s marketing and wishful thinking.

Skip Barber & I had a conversation once and it boiled down who could bring in money, which is why a “Jr.” behind a famous name can be so critical.

I hope the FIA do more about promoting the sport

I think he (Allan Dove) is right about the lack of excitement and lack of promotion about the “World Titles”
Old blokes in suits is not where Karting is at.

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I don’t karting world championships ever being glamorous beyond the occasional grid girl.

Additionally i’m not sure I’d want it to be, its just makes everything more expensive and unattainable. I’d like to push the people with big motorhomes who are interested in all the flash away and encourage the lads and dads to race.

Rightly or wrongly, Massa is right, future f1 racers are coming from OK. KZ is now the preserve of the professional driver, they sort of forced that on with weights.

I don’t really understand the whole, getting it in the media thing. Karting drivers are never going to be household names, there are much bigger sports then us that are totally unknown. I suspect that if I randomly walked down the street and asked who Lewis Hamilton is in North America most wouldn’t know, although the chances are higher in the UK. How about Valentino Rossi or Jeffrey Herlings (I had to look his name up). Even within our own sport, I can’t remember who the Rotax Grand Finals winner last year was or who won the OK worlds last year, and I’m a karting nut.

Anyway that’s my rant over.


Karting thrives away from the media spotlight if it is done wrong–because daddio warbucks that want something to spend their excessive amounts of money on see it on TV, and get excited to get their child into it.

However, without karters advocating for their sport, it will continue to be marginalized in many areas. So, it’s a double-edged sword.

How do you push away the big motorhomes and flash away and encourage lad an dads without a charismatic individual who understands the market? Unless you have someone hard headed who knows exactly what they want, there will rarely be enough energy to create any change. Also, I think it’s a fallacy to equate promotion to increased exclusivity. If done correctly promotion and innovation can have the opposite effect.

He is right, but the point that urks me is Massa’s inference that the top guys don’t really matter. For the head of karting to display such a blasé attitude towards the drivers who commit their life to the sport of karting is somewhat of a disappointment.

I haven’t seen anyone put forward the idea karters should be household names. What I put forward is having someone at the top who displays a passion for the drivers attending his events. Someone who gets genuinely excited when guys like Bas Lammers and Ardigo turn up to race. Karting has always had a perennial problem (well it’s not exactly a problem) of the top guys being pretty much unknowns within their own sport. I don’t think that can change as karters are self-absorbed with regards to the sport. Not anything particularly wrong with that.

However I do believe there’s opportunity within the European karting market to stop being so incredibly dull and I am not sure it’s a virtue particularly worth keeping hold of.

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I agree, but Tom hasn’t done a good job of that…yet. However SKUSA’s purchase of IKF might be the beginning of a ladder creation with IKF being the lads and dads championships before some sort of scholarship to SKUSA (hint hint).

I do see what you’re saying, but I also don’t know if he was interviewed off the cuff, or sent the questions in advance. The answer doesn’t even really match the question.

We tend to look back at karting in the 90s as the defining time in karting, when it was awesome. And it definitely wasn’t glamorous back then. The paddocks were muddy and teams had crappy tents. The 80’s to me was even cooler (formula K man!) and that was even more dull (off track).

I honestly don’t see current euro karting as any less dull then it was before, it just I can look back at 90s karting and recognise names, the kids in OK aren’t names yet. I quite enjoyed watching Mick Schumacher driving in the wet to 2nd in 2014.

Anyway I’m rambling, what I’m trying to get at is not much has changed on track, we’ve changed and have a nostalgic view of it. What has changed is the massive motorhomes and trucks, which puts people off racing and then we don’t have that feed up from the bottom. Making changes to the top won’t increase karting participation, it has to be from the bottom, preferably driven by the top.

Press Release from CIK\FIA today:

CIK-FIA President Felipe Massa is keeping his promise to be as active as possible on the ground. He attended the FIA ​​Karting World Championship - KZ at Genk (BEL) and will travel to Sweden soon for the OK and OK-Junior categories. Always very available to the public, he also takes the opportunity to conduct many discussions with members of the international karting community, Drivers, professionals, organisers and officials.


  • My goal is to develop karting at a global level. I observe, listen and analyse all aspects of the sport, which remains the school of motor sport, in order to be able to make the best choices for the future. Karting is a complex discipline with many different categories and races. When I became interested in karting again a few years ago, I could not find my way between all the categories. It is too complicated, we need to gradually move towards greater simplicity.

The work done by the CIK-FIA on the OK categories is going in the right direction. OK and OK-Junior must have their place in all countries to make the championships more attractive and facilitate the arrival of new Drivers.


  • It was a lot of work to harmonise this crucial category worldwide for the future of karting, while keeping the costs of use within reasonable limits. It is difficult in some countries like Brazil where taxes are very high for importing foreign products. This is a real problem that deserves all our attention.


  • For me, it’s OK that represents the future of karting. I am not criticising KZ, where we see the best Drivers, true karting professionals. Their presence is very rewarding in terms of the success of a Competition and to keep the passion alight, because they are the real experts. It is also the category in which I prefer to drive myself because it is the one that comes closest to Formula 1. However, young Drivers embody the future of motor sport. In OK-Junior and OK we see future champions evolving, in all disciplines, including F1. For a brand, winning the World Championship with a new Driver who may be able to become the Lewis Hamilton of the future is very important.


  • The FIA ​​can bring a lot to karting. I think it is important that it be more integrated within the International Federation. With its power, the FIA ​​can help to ensure that international categories are more widespread around the world and that the rules in force here, in terms of equipment and safety, are adhered to.

The hard work carried out by the FIA to organise and simplify the different categories of single seater, from F4 to F1, is an example to follow. Applied to karting, this approach would allow us to develop our sport more quickly. The idea is to make the CIK categories into the reference worldwide. In the next five years, it would be good for all countries to follow this trend. I know it will not be easy, that there are a lot of issues to settle, but that’s my plan. We definitely need more help from the FIA, it will make us stronger.


  • The choices were already well advanced for next season’s events when I took office and I think I will have more influence in the future. I will try to bring the World Championship to Brazil for 2020. Karting is not only Europe. For me, a World Competition must visit other horizons. It must be a special event, felt by all to be the most important of the season and it involves intercontinental travel to contribute to the revitalisation of karting in every country.


  • I’m in constant contact with James Geidel, we get along very well. He is very motivated, he is a good person who always tries to do better. Since the first event, we can see many improvements. This weekend, in Genk, the organisation was excellent thanks to good collaboration with the owners of the circuit, the Lemmens family, who did an exceptional job in preparing for the competition.Have you been paying attention to the Historic Super Cup at Genk?

  • Absolutely! I love the history of karting and I am very interested in historic karts. This is a very good show for the fans and it allows everyone to appreciate the incredible evolution of the machines since the time of the pioneers. We were spoiled by the selection in Genk. The demo format is perfectly adapted to the history, it is not necessary to organise races to entertain the public.

Is this the engine in question? And, out of curiousity, why is it that Europe seems to run totally different engine packages than the rest of the world? (Or, the other way around).

That’s a can of worms. So historically countries with a large kart base (Europe, South Africa, Japan, Australia, except North America and to some extent South America) have run the CIK classes at least in their national championships until the introduction of KF in the early noughties. KF’s introduction really killed CIK karting, it was driven by the rise of Rotax and the CIK tried to introduce an engine category with a similar feel but many manufacturers. It drove up costs, made things more complicated and grids declined.

During that period Rotax continued to grow and IAME X30 and Vortex Rok appeared (as well as many others which didn’t go very far). CIK then introduced OK which is a bit more like the kart engines of old but with some mod cons. I think however the boat has sailed and they won’t ever get back to were they were in the 90’s and early noughties.

So the reason they haven’t really taken hold in the US is, in my opinion, due to the total lack of overarching body managing karting. In Europe each country has an ASN and they typically say “This is the national championship” and it is typically a CIK class, not a commercial class. In the US the ASN barely does anything, no one would sign up to it if they did (too communist) and y’all love a nice capitalist structure. So you end up with commercial entities who often own the engine, tire and fuel supply running a championship. Thats why in the US you have a SKUSA (IAME/MG), Rok (Vortex/Bridgestone) and at some point again, a Rotax (Rotax/Mojo) championship.


Thanks. So basically too many entities.

I consistently get the impression that too many inside karting - Europeans in particular, as illustrated by Massa’s attitude towards KZ - tend to see it as more of a ladder to other (car) formats, than about karting being its own sport.