This weekend's CIK-FIA Asia Pacific KF1 and KF3 Championship event in Macau will be the swansong for the Tony Kart Junior Racing Team, as it will revert to the Strawberry Racing name in 2012.
The Tony Kart Junior Racing Team has enjoyed five seasons of success since it was founded in 2007. It won the 2008 WSK and European KF2 titles with Flavio Camponeschi, who will be representing the team in Macau. Other notable successes were with Ben Cooper and Chris Lock, who won the 2009 KF2 WSK title and the 2010 Nations Cup respectively.
Strawberry Racing had a successful 2011 season with Jack Barlow and Ed Brand winning the Junior and Senior Rotax titles respectively in the Super One series in the UK.
Strawberry owner Paul Spencer and the owner of Tony Kart, Roberto Robazzi started talking approximately a year ago about the possibility of merging the two teams.
“Mr Robazzi and I realised that having two similarly named teams competing against each other didn't serve either of us particularly well,” said Spencer. “Furthermore, with Strawberry's enormous success in Rotax, I have a great platform from which to re-introduce that brand into KF racing and create a global presence under one banner.
“It's fantastic to bring the two halves back together again. We will be able to really develop our talent ladder now by working closely to take the fastest and most gifted Rotax drivers and give them the opportunity to graduate into the KF3 and KF2 ranks. We did that with Ben Cooper, Luke Varley and Chris Lock and it's something we're committed to doing again and again.”
Tony Kart's Prevalle headquarters in Brescia, Italy will continue to serve as the team's base. In regard to engine tuners, Ole Haugard's One Engine business will look after the engines in KF3 and Olivier Marechal in KF2. Strawberry Racing's engine division, Cream Racing, which was established this year, will continue to serve and prepare the engines for the Rotax class.
The team will announce its driver line-up for the KF class in due course.
by Simon Stiel