Caterham had a prominent stand displaying the new CK-01 kart at last weekend's Autosport International Show at the Birmingham NEC. The company aims to make their new karting series similar in structure and purpose to the car academy.
A spokesman from Caterham told crash.net: "Effectively the karting is a way of filling the gaps in our ladder and branching out to kids. It's aimed at 13-16 year olds, people who've never had a kart licence before so they never have never done any kart racing. It's less about being really competitive but more about giving father and son or families an opportunity to get into what's becoming a very very expensive hobby.
With this series it's £4995 plus VAT. It buys you the fully built ready to go kart; plus the stand and a six round championship. All technical support from our crew will be there at every round. It's a cheap way of ensuring even competition."
The venues which will hold the series are still under discussion. The bigger karting circuits around the UK like Buckmore Park and Lydden Hill are being considered. The rest of 2013 will be spent finishing the testing of the kart and selling units.
Laura Tillett, who was the first British woman to compete in the KF1 World Championship was signed as Project Coordinator last year. She said that the kart had been assembled before Christmas and that Caterham were looking to test it next month to "get development done."
The tracks being considered for the test include Buckmore Park, Ellough Park and Whilton Mill. "Over the course of the year, we're looking to get six or seven tests in over the next three or fourth months," Tillett explained.
On the matter of her racing plans for 2013, Tillett said that she was hoping to do another season in the Formula Renault BARC Championship. "It's a great championship," she said. "I would also love to do the European championship like the European rounds; the NEC or the Euro Series. They're really good cars, good grid. I'd love to do that."
by Simon Stiel