Singapore to stage karting's Rok Cup next year
KF1 Karting Circuit at Turf Club to host one-make Rok Cup, with champions to compete in Italy
Some of the region's top karting drivers will be here next year, as Singapore hosts the Rok Cup for the first time.
The one-make series - with karts in all categories fitted only with Italian-made Rok engines - will be held at the 960m-long KF1 Karting Circuit at the Turf Club on April 25, May 30 and July 11, with the date of the fourth race to be confirmed.
"We think Singapore is an amazing country and people are interested in karting, so it's a good place for a Rok Cup championship," said Erica Robazzi, marketing manager of the OTK Kart Group at a media conference yesterday at the KF1 circuit.
OTK Kart Group is the maker of Rok engines.
Robazzi added: "We think Singapore will be the first step, and then we can go to other countries in Asia."
The Republic is the second Asian country, after Japan, to host the one-make Rok Cup, although the engines feature in championships in Macau and Philippines.
Over 30 countries, including the United States, Canada and Iran, also host the event, with more than 300 karters competing in the international final in Italy last October.
The Singapore series will feature three categories - Rok DVS, Junior Rok and Mini Rok - with registration costing between $4,000 and $8,000.
Racers will have to return the engines for safekeeping after the first three races, but will keep them after their final race.
KF1 managing director Richard Tan said: "It is going to be an awesome race with a lot of participants. We already have 10 drivers who will take part, from Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
"We also have a title sponsor coming in with a six-digit sum for next year, and already have an in-principle agreement with them.
"We want to make it the best one outside of Italy."
The organisers are expecting about 100 participants over the three categories next year, with the three champions each receiving a Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Sky Suite ticket, as well as a spot in next year's international final in Italy.
Two of only four of the latest Rok DVS engines - which can go up to 16,000 revolutions per minute - also made an appearance yesterday at the Turf Club facility, the first time the engine has been taken out of Italy.
The 2012 world champion Flavio Camponeschi (inset, right), along with junior driver Presley Martono and cadet karter Dylan Bondi, were also present yesterday for a demonstration and clinic for local drivers.
Tan said: "The arrival of such karting champions, as well as the preview of the Rok DVS engine in Singapore for the Rok Cup, will further cement the locating karting scene's status in the global karting circle.