• Interview: IPKarting
  • Photos: FIA Karting (KSP) / Formula K

Looking back on 2020

Petr Ptacek: “It is a difficult year for everybody, including us. We were for many years close to the world title, we were sometimes having bad luck, sometimes the decision of engine builders took us back but this year without the collaboration of any engine factory we managed to win the title, so it’s the proof that the work we’ve been doing in the last couple of years was good. We were just one step behind the title. We finally did it. Sporting wise, it wasn’t that bad, otherwise, those restrictions are crazy. For me, it’s definitely too much.”

On a new partnership with IAME

“At this moment, we have already agreed with an engine manufacturer to start a close collaboration, it’s gonna be IAME. For next year, all adult categories including OK-Junior, OK, and factory KZ, will be powered by IAME engines. I know we’re going to work hard together. What we don’t know yet if we’re going to compete in KZ. We’re gonna focus on especially young KZ2 drivers that will be led and trained by our team.”

“Furthermore, we want a stronger collaboration with our satellite teams. Because those who would be happy to use their own engine tuners can stay. Our chassis will be close to our factory team but inside, there’s gonna be a pure collaboration between IPK and IAME. Talking about the MINI category, we bring Juri Serafini’s team closer to the factory. So, the official Formula K MINI team will be managed by Juri Serafini. Even the collaboration with the Praga Junior team, managed by Muolo & Lotito, will be stronger and closer.”

Iglesias Jeremy, KZ, F, Formula K / TM / Vega, Formula K Racing Team, FIA Karting World Championship, LONATO, International Race, © KSP Reportages

No more KZ?

“Usually, the impact of winning the World title or being in front during FIA Karting, WSK main events, or the new series Champions of the Future, do not affect the general sales. It improves a little bit in the category but the total figures don’t change much. So that’s also one of the reasons why we are thinking to save money on KZ because it’s a very very expensive category and we do something more for our kids and for our loyal employees. So, we’ll make the decision soon but I actually support more the idea to leave the KZ category after the title.”

On “difficult upcoming years” for karting

“[…] We love the sport, however, we’d like to influence a little bit more the future of karting itself […]. At the moment it’s extremely expensive and the upcoming years will be difficult for most of the population because all the measures that have been taken for the Covid-19 situation are damaging the economies […]. They will be damaging the people because they don’t have money in their healthcare systems and also for sports and recreation time, there will be no money. So, that’s why we want to be wise and not to spend too much on our racing. We would like to influence the whole community, we would like to influence FIA and CIK to reduce the costs of racing.”

Iglesias Jeremy, KZ, F, Formula K / TM / Vega, Formula K Racing Team, FIA Karting World Championship, LONATO, International Race, © KSP Reportages

On how to cut costs in karting

“I don’t want to create enemies but we all know which things or components could be used if they were not exclusively bought from one supplier. I believe in competition, so competition usually brings prices down. So, I don’t actually think that’s a necessity to have only one fuel supplier, only one tires supplier and we could definitely reach if not better quality, the same quality, especially in tires, thought the competitions. Like it was when we entered the big karting world. If the Italian championship can use a normal fuel, I don’t see why FIA and WSK would have to have a special supplier, the most expensive fuel.”

On the evolution of karting categories

“I think there are things that have significantly improved which is the implementation of the front fairing system. Now it’s reasonable. Before we started with 30-sec penalties and now it has avoided some accidents. I think it’s reasonable with the actual penalties. Concerning the direct-drive, what I don’t like is the combination in some championships with clutch and some championships use the direct drive and the driving is a little bit different. The kids should learn either the direct drive or clutch system.”

“Finally, I can imagine we could race even at the top level with an X30 engine that seems to be cheaper than all the other ones. Rotax also is using the clutch and the driving is not that much different. One of the reasons, if I remember, when they introduced the direct-drive OK and OK-Junior is that they should be cheaper. Finally, we rent the engines at the same price we used to rent KFJ and KF so we didn’t save one single penny and it’s not that safe.”

© IPK / Formula K

On the importance of karting in motorsport

“I think that the kids look too fast and jump too early in single-seaters cars. My opinion is still the same, it never changed, that karting is the best motorsport discipline. Definitely the most competitive, the nicest, the pure motorsport. So for me, karting is definitely better than any race car driving. And also for the feeling, for the community, I still believe it. I see my son fighting with his team and his management to do karting. Probably the only supporter of his racing in karting is Alessandro Alunni Bravi that always tells me that everyone wants to go karting.”

On rental karting

“One of the ways we’re going to influence karting is to get new cheap racing drivers. Drivers who would enter racing because, for me, rental go-kart as we know them now is something that has nothing to do with karting. They are big thanks, heavy, people that know the motorsport feeling can never be satisfied in the rental go-kart. So we want to influence it in two ways that we create and we make our go-karts implementing the most possible knowledge of the racing department. Both parts and philosophy.”

“We want to educate even our rental drivers and our clients, the rental tracks, to put clear rules that karting is not about crashing, it’s not about damaging stuff and causing injuries. So, it’s about the speed and the cleanness of the driving. We want to create a racing series where the winners at the regional/club levels of our rental racing go-karts would join the Tillotson T4 world final. These people, we would like to bring from leisure rental go-kart to the cheapest but really nice level of racing of the 4-stroke Tillotson engine. And maybe go up to 2-stroke. I was impressed by the T4. Even if it’s a 4-stroke, you have the feeling of a racing go-kart.”

More about IPK / Formula K:

FIA Karting World Championship: Iglesias crowned in KZ, Cunati wins in KZ2 and Elkin stars in Academy

Discover more about the 2021 international karting season:

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