Formula 1, rally and motorcycle stars lined up for kart event in Spain
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, October 9th 2011, 11:00 GMT|
Barcelona's Olympic Palau Sant Jordi will host an inaugural, all-star, indoor karting event on December 18.
Six current Formula 1 drivers will compete against top competitors from MotoGP and the World Rally Championship. The races will feature grids of 12 factory-prepared Intrepid KZ1 karts. The 5000 metre square venue, which was used for several events at the 1992 Olympics before being converted into an exhibition centre, will be paved to create a spectacular 420m track.
Force India's Adrian Sutil, former world karting champion and HRT driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, Virgin's Jerome D'Ambrosio, Toro Rosso's pairing of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari and Renault driver Bruno Senna have committed to the event.
The opposition will be provided by three motorcycle world champions: 2010 MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, 2010 125cc winner Marc Marquez and reigning World Superbike champion Carlos Checa. Former Junior World Rally champion Dani Sordo is also set to compete, while the IndyCar Series will be represented by Oriol Servia.
"On December 18th, one week before Christmas, the Olympic Palace Saint Jordi will be the centre of the motorsport world, which is incredible," said organiser Jamie Alguersuari Sr.
Although previous all-star indoor karting events have been held before, notably at Paris Bercy, Alguersuari believes the Barcelona event will offer something unique.
"The very important thing to underline is the type of karts, which have never been used before in these kind of races," continued Alguersuari. "It will be very, very exciting for the public. It will be like Supercross, but without the jumps. The karts will be Intrepid official karts, twelve equal KZ1 machines. They are 45bhp, 125cc, with six gears and an electronic starter. We have called the event Challenge of the Stars and GP Allstars."
Drivers will have an opportunity to test on December 17. A superpole qualifying system will be held prior to three finals, which will feature an F1-style points system.
"In my opinion, this is the first time that something like this has happened, mixing Formula 1 drivers with other drivers and riders from other motorsport disciplines," said Alguersuari. "It has never been organised before in this way."
Live TV coverage will be provided by TV3, a Catalan-based channel which broadcasts F1. Mediapro will share the distribution of International TV rights.
"I am sure for future editions this could be a fantastic show in London," concluded Alguersuari, "but for sure you could only organise this once a year."