Karting: Singapore's newest karting track scores first international race

Former karting world champion Flavio Camponeschi is in town to launch the Singapore leg of the 2015 Rok Cup, an international series of go-karting races that will be held in the Republic for the first time next year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Former karting world champion Flavio Camponeschi is in town to launch the Singapore leg of the 2015 Rok Cup, an international series of go-karting races that will be held in the Republic for the first time next year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE'S newest karting track will host its first international event - the annual Rok Cup international series - next April.

It also marks the first time the event - originally based in Italy before expanding across Europe as well as North and South America - is to be staged in Asia.

The series is held in over 30 countries, with the winners from each nation competing in the grand final in Italy. The Singapore leg will feature four races - on April 25, May 30, July 11 and a fourth day still to be decided - with night racing planned for each fixture.

It will have three categories - the Mini Rok (for drivers aged nine to 13), Junior Rok (ages 13 to 16) and Rok DVS (over 15) - which will utilise a new engine by manufacturer Vortex.

Said Erica Robazzi, marketing manager of OTK Kart Group - the parent company of Rok - at yesterday's launch at the KF1 Karting Circuit: "We see Singapore as an important place to launch our series across the rest of Asia."

The Rok Cup will be held at the 960m-long track in Kranji which is designed by renowned Formula One architect Hermann Tilke.

It opened last month.

The Rok event will be the first of several international competitions planned for the upcoming year, said Richard Tan, managing director of Arina International Holding, which operates the $2 million track.

"This is the first step and we hope to have more international races here to complement our other local and regional events," he added.

Said 2012 KF1 world champion Flavio Camponeschi, who attended yesterday's launch: "Having such big races is crucial to the development of young drivers. This is a challenging track and one of the best I have seen in Asia."

It is understood that a local company has come on board as title sponsor in a six-figure deal for a year.

Organisers expect from 50 to 100 local and international karters to sign up for the four races. Registration costs between $4,000 and $8,000 and podium finishers from each category will also receive Sky Suite hospitality tickets for next year's Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.