FORMULA KART STARS IN ADMINISTRATION
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