The International Kart Federation is the world’s longest standing karting organization, with over sixty years of racing in its history. Having recently joined forces with Superkarts! USA, the new partnership is slowly taking shape to begin the next chapter in the IKF’s long and fabled story.
Superkarts! USA has been working tirelessly with the IKF to close down their previous operations and simultaneously create new local and regional programs that continue to serve by introducing the sport to new drivers. “This all materialized incredibly quickly,” said SKUSA principal Tom Kutscher. “The opportunity for unification came in the midst of our regular SKUSA competition programs, so my staff and I have been working double duty to manage the IKF coming into the fold.”
The new cooperative is slowly taking shape, and the first joint initiative will be to launch a new ‘club in a box’ program. The concept is designed specifically to help smaller, grassroots clubs and regions operate a local racing program from day one — with a solid and well-supported structure.
“When looking honestly at what SKUSA could provide right away to the IKF, it was immediately clear,” explained Kutscher. “There are many local regions who struggle to survive or flourish, simply because they’re lacking a consistent structure. We’re aiming to provide just that in the form of a unified rule book, insurance, access to consumables like tires, and a templated event format and promotional structure that we can offer to any series.”
The IKF has operated autonomously for many years and will continue to do so, outside of regular Superkarts! USA operations. SKUSA has retained the long-time IKF president Roger Miller to help ensure and maintain the existing IKF culture. “Having first joined IKF almost two decades ago, the long history and legacy have always been important to me,” explained Miller. “I look forward to the next chapter and the opportunities to bring new life and value to local tracks and programs, fostering the grassroots karting experience.”
To begin and signify the next era of the organization, the IKF is also proud to debut a new and modernized logo for the future. “We were all fond of the old brand, very much so in fact,” elaborated Chris Ortenburger, owner of Eyenovation Multimedia and manager of SKUSA’s creative and media projects. “That said, it’s also a tad impractical for modern day use or things like embroidery. A simplified version made more sense for today’s digital and social media landscape and we think fans of the IKF will see we took great care to preserve the original as much as possible.”
Understandably, many competitors in both the 2 and 4 cycle classes have inquired as to key points in the future of the IKF. The unification’s core tenet was to preserve the IKF culture largely as it is. SKUSA is assembling an independent advisory board of karting professionals and industry members to guide the future of the organization, again taking great care to keep the IKF true to its roots.
The long standing IKF Grand Nationals will continue as normal and take place June 27-30, 2018 at the North Texas Kartway. “One of the more popular questions we’ve received over the last several weeks was about the Duffy,” Kutscher said. “Make no mistake, it’s not going anywhere and we will continue the tradition of the IKF for many years to come by making that one of the most coveted trophies in the sport.”