After a season of transition, the CIK-FIA has given a new impetus to the Academy Trophy in 2014. Through well-organized promotion, the entry was quickly filled almost to capacity at the first event held at Genk in Belgium. For Parolin Racing Kart, the technical partner to the Trophy since its inception in 2010, there is the satisfaction of facilitating the intense competition that fulfilled all of its promises.
The 2014 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy shows a welcome revival for the one-make formula which was launched in 2010. The amount of drivers and nations engaged in the competition marks the interest in the concept, supported from the outset by Parolin Racing Kart, winner of the tender of the international federation. This year, no less than 49 participants - almost 50 - from 29 countries worldwide, with four continents represented, met at Genk. Among them were already well experienced drivers but especially newcomers to international competition. The 2014 Trophy also saw the emergence of nations that haven't been well-represented in Karting so far like South Korea, Iran, Israel and Lebanon, alongside heavyweights such as the USA, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, China and Japan.
With reliable, efficient and above all perfectly equal equipment that consists of the chassis from Parolin, FIM engines and Bridgestone tyres, as well as the know-how of the Parolin Racing Kart team, participants were able to compete on equal terms during a high-level competition. The Dutchman Richard Verschoor was fastest in qualifying ahead of the British driver Ross Martin and the Brazilian Murilo Della Coletta. Verschoor confirmed his dominance in the heats, joined in second position by compatriot Rinus Van Kalmthout, while the Turkish driver Berkay Besler slipped into 3rd place. The situation changed during the pre-final with victory for Besler ahead of the Briton Oliver York and the South African Bradley Lienbenberg. In the final, the hierarchy changed again as the Japanese Kakunoshin Ota quickly moved ahead and won the race. Van Kalmthout finally returned to second position ahead of Martin, who had risen from 16th place. The top 10 finally included 9 different countries, with five Asians and four Europeans and South Americans, half making their International Karting debut on this occasion, which was the case for the winner.
Whether they are beginners or experienced competitors, they and their mechanics have very much enjoyed the format of the event and the equipment that was provided for them. Caused by the intensity of the fighting on the track, including the dreaded first corner of the track at Genk, rare technical problems were quickly fixed by the Parolin staff who know everything about it.
"We are very excited after the first round of the 2014 Academy Trophy," admitted Marco Parolin. "The CIK-FIA did a great job of promotion to attract new participants. The motivation of the international bodies goes straight to the heart and we thank them for their efforts and their confidence. The consistency of the field is a reward and we are convinced that this is just the beginning. An International one-make formula like the Academy Trophy, requiring few major expenses for competitors, deserves a prominent place in today's karting. We have believed in it from the beginning and are ready to unveil the concept in several countries".