Kartcom News No.27 out now
In Europe, October is traditionally the month of the major international meetings of the one-make cups, a situation reinforced this year by running the Rotax Grand Final one month earlier than usual.
Italy remained at the heart of the competitions, with the Rotax event taking place at Sarno, although the X30 World Championship was once again held at Le Mans.
Each of the organisations has its own peculiarities in terms of categories, method of selection and conduct. However, it’s good when drivers motivated by an international, even world, event, are able to come from the other side of the planet to compete in their great race of the year. The total number of participants in the IAME International Final, the Rok Cup International Final, the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals and the International Easykart Final exceeded an impressive 1,300 drivers from more than 60 countries on five continents.
Of these 1,300 drivers, few participated in two of these major competitions outside the CIK-FIA. We can count more than 1000 drivers in the world able to aim for the highest level of their category, true amateurs of whom the overwhelming majority are not dreaming of becoming the next Max Verstappen. It is not really the base level of our sport, but a high level that is still relatively accessible. Is this not a serious indicator of the popularity of karting?
Considering these large one-make events, the distribution of the different age groups appears to be roughly equal between 8–12 years (Mini), 13–15 years (Junior) and 15–30 years (Senior). Although the potential is stronger for the very young who are not included in the X30 final, they form the lion’s share of the Rok Cup entries. At the same time, the Masters (+ 30 years) or even the Veterans (+45 years) remain very strong. Karting is therefore a popular sport with a broad spectrum like few others.
The other fundamental common ground of these great events is their exceptional atmosphere. The drivers and their entourage feel like they are taking part in a real world championship. The CIK-FIA label is also misused in the minds of competitors, but that doesn’t matter. What attracts them is simply the very pleasant feeling of participating in a big karting celebration organised for them. This is one of the most attractive features of these private competitions, in addition to the fact that they are not financially out of reach.
When the simple fact of being able to say “I was there” counterbalances the bad results, the mechanical problems or difficult weather, and the winners are not the only ones to celebrate, the bet is won. The impressive setup and the organisational quality of the big events, the atmosphere in the paddock, the label “world”, is what is attractive and makes everyone say “I will come back next year”.
Karting should more often be a celebration for its enthusiasts, to achieve the success it deserves. This is a direction to be developed, and more particularly at the base level of the pyramid.