For many years, international competition has been centred on Europe and even more so on Italy. What could be more logical for the country that hosts the majority of the competition karting industry and that has seen the development of the WSK Promotion races, a promoter of quality events? East of Milan, the major manufacturers Birel ART, Tony Kart, CRG, Parolin and the myriad of subcontractors are based. The big foreign teams have bases in the region. In Lonato, South Garda Karting is considered the geographical centre of karting due to the number of races that take place there every year and its daily activity of testing and training. No less than eight international competitions will take place on this legendary track in 2023. Adria had taken over part of this activity until its closure for administrative reasons at the beginning of 2022. Franciacorta and Cremona have recently been brought up to date and offer new possibilities that are increasingly being exploited. These three tracks are separated by less than 100 km. To complete the picture, we must add another giant of karting, the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Sarno, located much further south, while the La Conca circuit has lost much of its importance in recent years.
With this concentration of activity in the north of Italy, the drivers are constantly polishing the track at Lonato first, and more recently at Franciacorta and Cremona. It is here that most of them learn the profession of the driver and perfect their skills. These three tracks, although different, share a common spirit in terms of climate, layout and a surface that is quick to provide significant grip.
However, there is a greater diversity in world karting and remarkable talent is emerging everywhere. Recently, FIA Karting has chosen to look for other venues to complement its competition offering. Spain, France, Belgium and Germany have now been joined by the Czech Republic and Denmark. In addition to the geopolitical interest of this new orientation, we should not neglect the sporting aspect which highlights the qualities of adaptation of the teams and drivers. Instead of spending days and days racing on the same track, it is now necessary to get used to other conditions in a short time. This is an important factor in opening up to a wider range of competitors who can spend less time and money preparing for the big events. Participating in the Champions of the Future Euro Series two weeks before the FIA Karting Championships can be enough to be competitive.
Furthermore, this approach favours instinctive talent over hard-working drivers who have to drive for a long period on a track to be fast. This approach to competition prepares those who wish to pursue a career in single-seaters, where track time is much shorter than in karting.
The opening of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK & Junior last weekend marked the debut of the Kartódromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero de Valencia on the CIK-FIA calendar. It was an opportunity to discover a very interesting track while new names appeared at the top of the rankings. We look forward to seeing what T?inec in the Czech Republic and Rødby in Denmark have to offer in the near future in this major championship.
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