FIA launches karting schools
The concept behind the scheme is to build a worldwide network of schools that make use of standardised guidelines and accreditations. They will provide a programme through which young people can take their first steps into karting and increase the number of racing licenceholders around the world.
Introduced during the recent FIA Sport Conference in Mexico, the platform gives National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) the opportunity to create approved schools that will utilise a set of global parameters to tutor children aged six to 11 in the fundamentals of racing.
ASNs, in conjunction with their nominated circuits, will have to prove that they can meet criteria laid out by the FIA, including having qualified instructors, adequate facilities and homologated circuits and equipment that satisfy safety standards.
In return, the FIA will certify the ASN and the circuit to establish a school and provide them with the guidelines and support necessary to do so.
Once established, the schools will provide structured tutoring to students, who will be able to progress through three levels of accreditation as they learn about safety on the track and on public roads, driving skills and the mechanical aspects of the sport. Instructors will be provided with criteria to evaluate the development of each driver, with bronze, silver and gold ‘laurels’ attainable.
For each level attained, the driver will receive a diploma as well as a badge that can be sewn onto their overalls.
Morgan Caron, FIA Head of Transverse Motor Sport Projects and Manager of the Drivers’ Commission, said: “The main objective is to provide a platform that will allow children in different countries to discover karting and provide them with practical skills.”
Caron, who spent 15 years working for the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile, France’s ASN, points to the example of a similar programme he was a part of there: “We had set up this kind of project in France and that has been a great success. That is why we are thinking this kind of project can develop in countries around the world.”
Young French stars Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly both came through the French programme. With the launch of its new karting school, the FIA is hoping to provide similar opportunities to youngsters worldwide.
Caron said: “We are now fully open to receiving applications from countries that are interested in running a karting school.”