Saturday 16 June 2007
Citykarting Kart Circuit
Shah Alam Stadium
Kelab my-KART Selangor ("my-kart") was officially and publicly launched today with several members of the print and electronic media, with the participation of around 100 amateur karters. The launch event was aimed at creating awareness to inform recreationally active residents of the Klang Valley of the existance of a club that organises high value and low cost year long karting series.
"Shahrul Azlan Ariffin and I started the club because we love the excitement of racing, but did not have the money to venture into competitive karting or circuit racing," enthused club founder and president Fazlur ("Fazz") Rahman.
"With my-kart, now everyone can race," he beemed.
my-kart positions itself as the Foundation of Motorsports by focusing on the casual amateur karting segment. It organises series to help enthusiasts ease into karting and gradually progress upwards by developing skills, particularly in racing conditions.
"Motorsports in Malaysia is a relatively underdeveloped sport. Right now, its participation and appeal is limited to a very elite and select group of people. What we need is a bigger grassroots foundation of enthusiasts, not unlike the people who play football at the local fields on weekends. We need something very affordable and accessible which will popularise grassroots motorsports," Fazz explained.
my-kart organises monthly races for amateurs on an arrive, pay, and drive basis.
"You do not need to commit to buying any karting equipment. Thanks to kart & track operators like Citykarting and Kartquest, we can race on rental karts and not break the bank," Fazz clarified.
"In addition, my-kart emphasises safety and professionalism in everything that it does. We completely believe that safety and professionalism is a state of mind and an attitude that needs to be ingrained in our participants. We spend a lot of time and personal touch to drive this message amongst our participants. That is why you will find that my-kart members have a very strong personal bond with each other. We are racing with trusted people. This is what makes the racing fun and competitive.
my-kart has been organising rental karting events for the casual amateur since 2002. It currently organises a drivers championship series called the KART series. There are currently 3 categories in the KART series today: the K1 category which is run on 125cc karts, the K2 (100cc) and the K3 (80cc) categories. There are 10 events planned for the 2007 KART series. Saturday's event was round 6 of 10.
In addition to the 10 drivers championship events, my-kart also organises a team championship series called the Inter-Company & Car Club championship, or IC3 for short. This series emphasises teamwork, where strategy is more important than individual skill. The IC3 is targeted at company employees, particularly for those companies with brands associated with technology, development and racing, as well as car enthusiasts and car club members. Each team shall race under the company or car brand.
"The IC3 championship is an important series which we believe will widen the appeal of karting to another segment of people who identify themselves to well known brands in the market. The value that these brands can get from IC3 is a linkage to my-kart's ethos of building the foundations of motorsport -the emphasis being on 'foundations'" Fazz informed.
"Karting is the very basic of motorsports, particularly for open wheel or circuit racing. Technique and track experience is possible through karting, whereas it would be more expensive in full fledge circuit racing. It is also the entry level for anybody who wishes to pursue a career in racing. By having more people involved in karting, we create a group of people who start to appreciate motorsports, and indirectly create wider interest and visibility for the sport and industry."
The focus on the casual amateur over the past many years has been a key factor in my-kart's growing popularity. Today it attracts an average of 60 participants per half day event. The key has been low cost, high value with emphasis on safety, professionalism and plain fun racing. Participants do not compete for prizes and the events are currently self funded by participants and unpaid volunteer members.
Moving forward, my-kart aims to expand its appeal, in particular to the student segment by addressing affordability, development and safety aspects through co-operation with the corporate sector.
"Even rental karting is considered an expensive recreation for many, thus limiting local participation. Based on our member feedback we know that there is a high level of interest in karting as a recreation. To some, karting is even a sport of choice. The key is to generate wider and regular publicity for my-kart's activities and in particular the KART and IC3 series. To do this, we seek corporate contribution to help fund the operations cost as we further enhance the safety management and skills development aspects of our events, so that the participation cost to the casual amateur remains low," Fazz stressed.
"In this respect, we would like to thank ING, Shell, TeleVAS, Table Talk and Citykarting Enterprises for the support given for our launch event. Also special thanks goes to His Excellency Lody Embrechts the Ambassador for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The launch has been a great success and we believe that these companies are paving the way for the role of the corporate sector in social and sports-industry development. The value in the motorsports industry is yet to be tapped and there is enormous growth potential here," Fazz stated in closing.
Further information on my-kart can be found at their official website at http://www.my-kart.org/ or Fazz can be contacted at 019-3855 055. One time membership joining fee is only RM10, and annual subscription is RM120. Family members will enjoy preferential membership rates. Members will enjoy various karting benefits as well as special discounts on related purchases.