Braintree, MA & Glendale, AZ (May 9, 2009) – Responding to the growing demand within the Karting community for competitive racing options that are professionally run and managed, a new series, the Championship Karting International (CKI), has been launched. Created by a group of Motorsports professionals and businessmen led by Richard ‘RJ’ Valentine and Phil DeLaO, CKI will hold its inaugural competition at New Castle Motorsports Park, New Castle, IN, May 29-31.
Sanctioned by the WKA, CKI has organized a 4-race schedule for the remainder of the 2009 season. In addition to the kick-off at New Castle, CKI will hold races at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ, June 26 – 29; a race in August (location to be determined); and October 9 – 11 (location to be determined). The final two 2009 races will be announced at New Castle; plans for a full season are under development for 2010. CKI class structure includes Cadet, KF2, KF3, IAME Senior (using YKB tires), KZ2 (ICC), TaG ICC and IAME Junior.
Reaction to the announcement has been favorable. Former IRL and ALMS driver and current Indy Lights team owner Bryan Herta states: “In the last few days I’ve had a chance to speak with both Phil and RJ about their plans. They have the resources and the enthusiasm to create something really great for karting. I’ve always been a huge proponent of the sport and I’m excited to see how this new championship develops.”
“As a company dedicated to its customers, J3 Competition is always seeking the most competitive events for its business and customers to compete in. Unfortunately, the present situation does not allow for today’s leading importers, distributors, and shop-owners to fairly showcase their products and business tools,” comments Justin Stefani, managing partner, J3 Competition. “Thus, we have seen a dramatic drop in the depth and excitement of on-track competition. It is our goal along with many other leading industry members to assist ‘CKI’ in fostering a fair and sensible platform for true industry-wide growth. The growth and stability of the industry will only be possible if all participating members have equal opportunities – thankfully, this is one of the main founding principles of CKI.”
Tetreault, Grand Products, Inc., comments: “I believe in what Phil and RJ are putting together. They truly seem to care about the sport. Everyone involved in our program is looking forward to working with them now and in the future.”
“A top priority is for the CKI Series to provide the best possible competition – it’s an open series to all manufacturers and teams. We’re embracing the vision for karting as the premier training ground and ladder system for professional Motorsports,” states DeLaO. “Many of today’s top stars have roots in karting, our goal is to enhance that system and groom the star drivers of tomorrow.”