Let’s Go Karting
In last month’s newsletter, we shared our thoughts about this year’s upcoming Formula 1 season. With F1 representing the height of open-wheeled racing, this month we thought we would pay homage to where it often all began…karting.
Karting started in 1956 in California, with the first Karting Federation founded in 1957 in the USA. It didn’t take long after that to become popular in Europe. By the 1970’s, it was established around the world, leading to international competitions and championships. It turned out that kart racing was the best preparation for ‘moving up the ladder’ to race in bigger and faster open-wheel racing series. This is still true today, as at least 9 of the present 20 F1 drivers (e.g., Alex Albon, George Russell, Carlos Sainz Jr., etc.) competed in the highest levels of kart racing.
In our second-floor Paddock Lounge, we pay tribute to three of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time: Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, and Ayrton Senna. Fangio won in F1 before karts had been invented, but both Schumacher and Senna won international karting championships before climbing the ladders up to F1.
Canadian racing driver Nicole Havrda, born and raised on Vancouver Island, will be competing this year in the F4 series. In February she was the youngest of 15 racing drivers from 12 different countries who were invited to test at a track in Arizona for the international W Series. The W Series features an all-women grid and is a support racing series for many of the F1 weekends around the world. If chosen, her skills learnt during her years racing karts on Vancouver Island and elsewhere will undoubtedly serve her well!
At VIMC, we support karting and the opportunity for youngsters to experience racing at an early age and within a supportive environment. Who knows, we may see one of these youngsters become the next great driver! If not, karting also provides kids a fun experience with their family and focuses on skills that will likely ensure they grow into better drivers down the road.