|Always keen to listen to drivers, teams and technical partners, the FFSA, upon the initiative of its chairman Nicolas Deschaux, has carried out an important study throughout the 2008 season, in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders, in order to reach broad consensus and inject new dynamism into what has been rightly considered the international showcase for karting in France, but also in the rest of the world, for many years.|
Like in major car competitions (F3 Euro Séries, Super Série FFSA, GT FIA,…), the FFSA has decided to entrust the management, organisation and promotion of the Grands Prix Open to 13ème AVENUE, a company headed by Thierry Germanovitch as promoter; Germanovitch is well known, in particular, for the organisation of a memorable World Championship at Le Mans and for being the mind behind the famous «Elf Masters Kart de Paris Bercy». TKC (Team Karting Compétition) company will continue to fulfil its role as operator.
In the framework of the GPO debut, Patrick Caron, chairman of the National Karting Committee at the FFSA, confirmed that this is: «a true strategic repositioning, meant to enhance the visibility of such events, ensure a pleasant atmosphere, provide a modern organisation and true sports equity and offer everybody, drivers and teams alike, a «newlook» championship, which will offer great opportunities to all participants, exactly like in major international events».
The 2009 official calendar has just been issued (see side). It includes 10 «Grands Prix», to be held on 5 weekends, from March to October. An important premiere was announced (and many more will be communicated in the next few months…), i.e. the organisation, in late April, of a meeting (GPO 3 and GPO 4) in Belgium, on the wonderful circuit of Mariembourg, where the 2007 World Championship was held. Let’s not forget that every year Belgian drivers make up a significant share of all competing drivers…
Another important piece of news is that the French KF1 Championship will be held on just one weekend (6th and 7th June) on the circuit of Essay (Orne). For the occasion, Bridgestone, a GPO partner, will provide its «special» KF1 tyres, thereby allowing the best drivers in the world to be there and get ready in the best possible conditions.
As Patrick Caron pointed out: «the first three GPO rounds (Angerville, Mariembourg and Essay) were included in the calendar to allow drivers to get ready for the international championships» (i.e. the qualifying round of the European KF2/KF3 Championship - Western Region, the European KZ1/KZ2 Championship and the European KF1and KF2 Championship).
No need to point out, therefore, that the 2009 GPO calendar has been especially conceived to ensure the presence of the highest number of participants (both from France and abroad), and to avoid interferences with the Championships and the CIK Series, whose last two rounds will be held in October on the circuits of Ostricourt (subject to the CIK homologation) and Lyon.
Thanks to their international character and to the presence of drivers coming from all over the world, Patrick Caron hopes that GPOs: «remain accessible to the highest number of drivers, thanks to the adoption of several measures to that purpose: a limit of two sets of tyres for Friday’s practice, no practice on Thursday morning, use of a bar code on the tyres in KF2, KF3 and KZ,... ».
The launch of the 2009 GRANDS PRIX OPEN will therefore fulfil the expectations manifested by drivers and teams in 2008 and will offer everybody the new Championship they were waiting for.
The promoter will soon issue a special press release about the GPOs.
The first 2009 Grand Prix Open will be held soon.
See you at Angerville (F), on 28th March 2009!
2009 « GPO » CALENDAR
ANGERVILLE (F) : 28th march : GPO 1 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
29th march : GPO 2 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
MARIEMBOURG (B) : 25th april : GPO 3 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
26th april : GPO 4 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
ESSAY (F) : 06th june : GPO 5 (KF1, KF2, KF3, KZ2)
07th june : GPO 6 (KF1, KF2, KF3, KZ2)
OSTRICOURT (F)* : 03th october : GPO 7 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
04th october : GPO 8 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
LYON (F) : 24th october : GPO 9 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
25th october : GPO 10 (KF2, KF3, KZ2)
*Subject to CIK homologation.