OK engines: the demand is there, but where is the supply?
While none of the new engines has really been seen, apart from the development protoypes, the OK and OK-Junior engines which will come into play in 2016 to replace the KF and KF-Junior have seen a growing interest in various countries. The organisers of the German DKM Championship have announced their use next season and France is preparing at least one federal event in 2016.
Discussions in the French paddock have also reported strong demand from drivers and teams who seem likely to want to embark on the adventure. Opinions are far more positive than negative regarding the decision of the CIK-FIA to make a return to the origins of karting.
Strangely, for the manufacturers, there is nothing but discretion. They don’t seem very eager to promote these new products, or to meet a more and more insistent demand. Do the factories or their representatives have doubts about the reliability of their products? Or is it rather the financial aspect that is the problem? With a selling price set around €2,500 for an OK engine, would it be less profitable challenge than selling a one-make engine?
The debate is open, but it would be damaging to everyone if the legitimate desire of customers to race in the international CIK categories cannot be fulfilled just when they are about to become affordable.