Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

The For­mula Kart Stars se­ries has gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter For­mula One Man­age­ment with­drew its fund­ing of the cat­e­gory.

The se­ries was re­launched last year with sup­port from FOM and Bernie Ec­cle­stone but had a dif­fi­cult open­ing round of the 2016 sea­son at Buck­more Park.

Over the win­ter, some sup­pli­ers are be­lieved not to have been paid and en­gines re­port­edly were not worked on since the end of last sea­son, mean­ing there was a late rush to get them ready. There was no test­ing on the Fri­day and a num­ber of com­peti­tors com­plained about the sit­u­a­tion.

There were also con­cerns over en­try num­bers as – de­spite 80 drivers be­ing signed up in Jan­uary – only 40 took part in the sea­son opener last month.

The se­cond round at Glan-y-gors was can­celled with a lack of spare en­gine parts and or­gan­is­ers wanted to avoid a re­peat of the Buck­more event. A meet­ing was then held be­tween FKS of­fi­cials and FOM rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which re­sulted in fund­ing be­ing pulled.

With lit­tle prospect of ex­ter­nal in­vest­ment or in­come from ad­di­tional en­tries, the se­ries there­fore col­lapsed into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In a state­ment to MN, FKS man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Se­bas­tian King said: “I have worked re­lent­lessly on FKS for the last three years. I have never taken a pay cheque and am ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated for all the drivers and our sup­pli­ers that this hap­pened.”

It is cur­rently un­clear whether drivers who paid en­try fees up front will get some or any of the money they paid back, spark­ing anger from some com­peti­tors.

The se­ries started as Cham­pi­ons of the Fu­ture in 1996, with then Mercedes mo­tor­sport boss Nor­bert Haug and kart­ing leg­end Martin Hines help­ing to set it up, and Lewis Hamilton was a cham­pion in its in­au­gu­ral year. It later mor­phed into BRDC Drivers of To­mor­row and in 2009 be­came For­mula Kart Stars.

Se­ries com­men­ta­tor Henry Beaudette said: “I’ve been in­volved in kart­ing since 1996 and this is the sad­dest day for me. I am dev­as­tated be­cause so many peo­ple have lost a lot of money.

“I know Carolynn [Hoy, FKS or­gan­iser] worked her fingers to the bone on this and she was push­ing to the last day. She has strived to put her drivers on a dif­fer­ent level to other cham­pi­onships by the prizes she has of­fered.

“I strongly be­lieve that the cham­pi­onship that be­gan as Cham­pi­ons of the Fu­ture is now gone.”

End of the road for FKS cat­e­gory

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Seb King

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