FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem meets young drivers from innovative cross-border Central American Karting Championship

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Today, at the 2023 FIA American Congress in Antigua Guatemala, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem met with a group of rising star karters to hear how the Association of Karting Racers of Costa Rica, the Automóvil Club de Costa Rica and the Automóvil Club Guatemala, with the support of the FIA Sport Grant Programme, are working to increase motor sport participation in Central America through the development of the Campeonato Centroamericano de Kartismo ASNs Series.

Developed thanks to a strong collaborative effort, the series focuses on common Karting categories in Central America, making it easier for participants to compete across borders. The 2023 edition of the championship saw young drivers from Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama participating in a pair of events, at Costa Rica’s El Tajo Competition Circuit in La Uruca in May, and in July at the Autódromo los Volcanes in Guatemala. 

In all, 13 competitors from the series were on hand to discuss the benefits of being able to compete against drivers from across the region in equal machinery, includingSebastián Alvarado, Juan Esteban Barrientos, Luis Pedro Barrientos, Aaron Búrbano, Andrea Fernández, Julián Fernández, Antonio Herrera, Matías Glover, Nico Glover, Julián Rodríguez, Rodrigo Taleno, Cristiano Wyler, and Fernando Wyler. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem handed each a signed certificate of outstanding participation. At the end of the meeting, to thank him for his support and to mark the occasion, the organisers presented President Ben Sulayem with a ceremonial plate. 

Congratulating the Championship’s organisers on the success of the project in helping to increase participation, FIA President Ben Sulayem said: “The FIA’s goal of doubling motor sport participation starts at the grassroots level, by fostering vibrant and diverse championships that allow young drivers to compete in as many territories and regions as possible.  The Campeonato Centroamericano de Kartismo ASNs Series is just such a competition, bringing together youngsters from Central American countries to compete in a cross-border championship that will undoubtedly help to grow our sport in the region. The FIA is proud to support initiatives such as this, which make a real difference in growing participation. It has been really inspiring to hear the passion these young drivers have our sport.” 

A key highlight of the Campeonato Centroamericano de Kartismo ASNs series is an ‘Arrive and Drive’ concept, which allows drivers to travel between countries without importing equipment. To make this possible, the host countries ensured sufficient karts of the approved categories were available for local pilots to rent. Promoters played a vital role in providing essential support, including karts, tyres, spare parts, and on-track mechanical assistance.

Currently featuring VLR Vortex 100cc and T4 Tillotson Light and Heavy categories, the organisers of the Campeonato Centroamericano de Kartismo ASNs Series plan to continue homologating engines and regulations across Central America to further grow motor sport engagement in the region. They also intend to promote regional events to foster competition and encourage professionalism among pilots and countries. 

The 2024 edition of the championship is set to once again be hosted in Guatemala and Costa Rica once again, with the possibility of events in Panama and El Salvador being added.