Sunday, 15 August 2010

Leading Light in F1 Catches the Karting Bug

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal of the Lotus Formula 1 Team, is karting's latest enthusiast. He's bought himself two RK1 machines decked out, of course, in Lotus colours.

From his twitter page: "My new go kart. Never to late to start. Jarno heikki watch out. Dare to dream. Only abt 40 years after lewis started. "

"My pair. Just in case we have hydraulic issues hahahaha."

Along with his huge interests in Formula 1, Tony Fernandes is head of AirAsia, Founder of the Tune Group and a loyal West Ham fan.

It's great news for a sport which not only is the starting point for many of today's F1 stars, but remains a highly-challenging discipline in itself. It is no surprise that Michael Schumacher returned to karting last year to prepare himself for what was expected to be a return to a Ferrari race seat (his neck injury stopped that Ferrari drive from eventually happening).

Schumacher's a huge enthusiast and this video is what got me into karting. The power to weight ratio of some of these machines is huge, allowing them to go from 0-60mph in three seconds and top 120mph at some circuits. The absence of power steering and the large forces on drivers in corners make them physically one of the most aggressive machines to drive. All adds up to tremendous fun.

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