Kees van de Grint, Vice-President of the CIK-FIA
"The CIK-FIA had many goals this year. Some were met, others were not, but all in all we are going in the right direction. 2013 was the first year of collaboration with an outside promoter, WSK Promotion. We can be satisfied with the work done by Luca De Donno and his team in upgrading the events and the service provided to competitors. But I am aware that things can always be done better. It isn't a problem because our cooperation is a long term project so we have the opportunity to further improve.
"We also reviewed the internal organization of the CIK-FIA in Geneva. The arrival of Kay Oberheide as Executive Secretary has allowed the team to increase its efficiency and complete a lot of work. Although Laurent Arnaud has remained responsible for technical matters, the skills of new man Fabrice Lom who is in charge of powertrain at the FIA have strengthened the CIK technical group. Fabrice's main input is in the new direct drive engine to be introduced in 2016. I would like to say that I am quite optimistic about this engine concept after attending the first test. Another very positive issue is the homologation of long life tyres. They last for 150 km and 250 km, which should help reduce costs.
As far as I am concerned it was necessary to reform the status of the world titles to make it easier to understand and increase the value of the title. Now, with only three World Champions, KF, KZ and KF-Junior, everyone can easily find out who the best drivers of the year are, so it's much clearer to the public and the mainstream media.
"The Academy Trophy has confirmed the soundness of the concept, as much positive feedback attests. This is a very good concept to reveal talent from around the world. The entry has not quite matched our expectations due to delays in the 2013 launch, but we are confident that in the coming season we will have a full grid again
"Another success that is close to my heart, the historic karts that have received renewed interest at their first International Super Cup at Varennes. For me it is important that the youth and the public are aware of where our sport has come from and who the pioneers were.
"Cost reduction is a priority in a challenging global economic environment. The proposals we prepared during 2013 have been accepted by the Commission, which will allow them to come into force in 2014: reduction of entry fees, reducing the duration of meetings, reducing the number of sets of tyres used... it's going in the right direction for the drivers. The 2014 calendar is a step forward, leaving more time for the ASNs to implement valuable National Championships.
"An important point about racing that upsets me at the moment. There is still too much incorrect behaviour on the track, I do not appreciate it that karting sometimes resembles stock cars. For me, sportsmanship must be a core value of our discipline. It is easy to blame the officials or surveillance cameras, but first and foremost it is the mentality of drivers that must change. Karting competition must provide satisfaction to all, even to those not on the podium. I would love to be able to measure the pleasure of participating in exciting races and the advantage of having smiles on the faces of the competitors on the track.
"We cannot promote our sport without promoting communication and exchange between all stakeholders with mutual respect, and even compromise. The objective is to move towards a more affordable discipline, simpler and more popular. We have started the change, but the road is still long!"