- Text: Guillaume Alvarez / Alex Vernardis
- Photo: FA Kart logo
Is Alonso Kart on the verge of leaving OTK Group to join forces with Kart Republic in a near future? The idea recently crossed our mind, fueled by some well-informed sources and the recent social activity of FA Kart’s Instagram account with one of its latest posts showing a new KR chassis carrying the recognizable red-yellow-blue livery of the Spanish brand publicly displayed at last November’s Adria Karting Exhibition.
Earlier, that same Instagram account featured a post with the following line, “a new chapter is coming in 2020”, suggesting some changes to expect for next season. Followers didn’t need much more to start speculating about a possible switch from OTK to Kart Republic, just a few days before the posting of the famous chassis picture (see below).
Adding to the rumors, the provisional technical list for the Mini’s homologation of bodywork, brakes, and chassis for 2020-2023 recently published by the CIK-FIA brough one more piece to the story with the mention of an “Alonso Kart” Mini chassis built by Breda Racing, the manufacturer of Kart Republic tubular structures.
KR’s Dino Chiesa wasn’t available for comments when contacted but we were able to get confirmation from representatives of Alonso Kart about this “new chapter” starting in 2020. “There are situations in life that, when presented to you, give you the opportunity for change and are sometimes difficult to explain but many of them are due to old and long relationships,” the brand’s officials commented. “The simple truth is that the possibility presented itself to become a constructor and introduce a new product as an alternative for the world karting market. This is how this new adventure began.”
“It was decided to go with Breda Racing to be able to have a competitive product made by our own group of people. It has been a difficult decision to leave OTK Kart Group as their reputation and qualities as a company and racing team are outstanding. In 2019, they have won the OK-Junior World Championship with the FA kart brand and thanks to the Ricky Flynn Motorsport Team. Nobody can question the quality of OTK products.”
“This first year , we will be only present in the Mini category. For the OK and OK-Junior classes, we will have a small representation of drivers that are part of the program launched by Fernando Alonso and his Karting school.”
When contacted, the OTK Group wasn’t available to comment on its plans to either split with the FA Kart brand of keep it running as a separate entity from Alonso Kart. Current customers racing with FA don’t need to worry, however, as, regardless if OTK continues supporting the brand or not, the chassis and all accessories are virtually identical to the corresponding lines from Tony Kart, Kosmic, Exprit and Redspeed.
With RFM being the closest to an FA Kart factory team, we reached Ricky Flynn who confirmed that his team will still use chassis supplied by OTK until at least the end of the current OK/OK-Junior homologation but didn’t wish to elaborate on any further perspectives.
At this point in time, we can only speculate about the following points: which of the two chassis, OTK or KR, will the Fernando Alonso Karting School put on track for its drivers this season? Will it be just one, and in the case of the KR, which model? Could it be both during the transition? Or will we have to wait until 2021 to see the Spanish brand making it to the track under its new format?
To conclude, as we were wrapping up this story, a new potential piece of the puzzle popped up in the form of “Vettel Kart”, a supposedly-new chassis range based on an OTK structure and bearing the name of the four-time F1 World Champion. If we’re yet to have confirmation about this project’s validity for the future, the newly-created Instagram account of “Vettel Kart” mentions that the brand will “replace” FA Kart in OTK’s catalog starting in 2020. More info about this story here.
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