Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy launches for 2019

Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy launches for 2019

Regional kart racers who dream of following in Lewis Hamilton’s wheel-tracks will have chance to prove themselves against their regional peers when the Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy (CJKAT) is launched in 2019. Open to racers aged from 11 to 15 selected by their home country’s motor sport governing bodies, the inaugural series will be run at Bushy Park Barbados over three weekends from January to March.

  The new series will be administered by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) and sponsored by Bushy Park Circuit Inc (BPCI), Chefette, Sol and Terra Caribbean. The format is modelled on the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, which has been the first rung on the ladder of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) single-seater path to F1 since 2010; Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, who won the 2011 Academy Trophy at age 12, scored his first points in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship this year for Sauber and will race alongside Sebastien Vettel at Ferrari next year.

  BMF President Andrew Mallalieu, who has been the driving force behind this new regional initiative, said: “When FIA President Todt visited Barbados last year, we included our ideas for a Caribbean Junior Karting series in the presentation to update him on the progress of motor sport in the region. He was enthusiastic about our plans and urged us to prepare a formal cluster application for FIA Grant funding to support the launch of the series. The original plan has been modified during that process, but we are truly grateful for the support we have received to finally make this a reality.”

  The CJKAT rules place the emphasis on driver talent, creating a level playing field for young hopefuls from across the region, who will race identical Vortex-engined Exprit OK-Junior karts, as used in the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy in Europe this year, but now running on control Sol fuel and mandated allocations of MG tyres. The karts, which are due to arrive in the island in about 10 days’ time, will be assembled and tested over Christmas by UK-based kart specialist Paul Carr Racing who, along with the Bushy Park technical team, will be responsible for maintaining them and ensuring that they are all equal. There is also provision in the regulations for the series organiser to interchange equipment (such as chassis, engine, carburettor) between entrants, by drawing lots.

  The ASNs (motor sport governing bodies) of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are currently working to confirm their driver lists, which will be announced in the coming weeks. To allow more opportunities for Caribbean hopefuls to race, the regional series will cater for a wider age range than in Europe, where the limits are 12 to 14 years old; in the CJKAT, competitors must be at least 11 years old (or reach their 11th birthday during the year), but must not reach their 16th birthday before December 31, 2019. Indications are that the maximum field of 20 drivers will be fully subscribed.

  Six rounds will be run over three weekends in January, February and March at Bushy Park Barbados, using four different circuit configurations; the future plan is for the Host Country to change each year. Each race weekend will follow the same format, including two rounds of the series, the second run in the reverse direction to the first. For each round, there will be two 30-minute Free Practice sessions followed by a 15-minute Qualifying Practice, then three Qualifying Heats: the grid for Race 1 will be based on the order after Qualifying, Race 2 on the reverse of Qualifying, Race 3 on the fastest lap recorded by each driver in the earlier two races. The grid for the Final, which will be of at least 15 kilometres, will be based on points scored in the Qualifying Heats. Of eight points-scoring opportunities each weekend – six Qualifying Heats and two Finals – drivers will count their best seven scores toward their year-end totals.

  Ahead of the opening round, all registered competitors will also benefit from a two-day Driver Education Programme, which is being led by FIA-accredited Regional Training Providers from the United Arab Emirates. While there will be a significant emphasis on driving standards and techniques, with a number of classroom and on-track coaching sessions scheduled, the programme will also cover areas such fitness and nutrition, a driver’s mental approach and discipline, sponsorship and use of social media. A parallel course of training specific to the running of kart race meetings is planned for the island’s volunteer officials and marshals.


Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy 2019 *

FIA Training – January 10/11

Rounds 1 & 2 – January 12/13

Rounds 3 & 4 – February 2/3

Rounds 5 & 6 – March 2/3

* all at Bushy Park Barbados


Editor’s note: affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA), which rules the sport worldwide, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) is the island’s governing body for motor sport; it also represents the interests of its Member Clubs in discussions with Government departments which facilitate the sport in the island, in particular the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which permits road closures for an agreed number of events each year. Away from motor sport, the BMF affiliate which answers the FIA Mobility remit is the Barbados Automobile Association (BAA), which is an executive committee member of the Government’s Barbados Road Safety Council.