AKM Motorsport has announced it will race in karting as a Kart Republic customer team, and with Formula 1 junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli taking a role in the project.
Founded in 2020, AKM is a co-creation between the Antonelli Motorsport team run by Antonelli’s father Marco and the Kart Republic karting brand headed by Dino Chiesa.
AKM primarily competes in the Italian Formula 4 championship, but has also raced in F4 United Arab Emirates, while Antonelli Motorsport was active in F4 preceding AKM’s creation and still competes in sportscar racing.
The expansion into karting will focus “on programmes in various categories ranging from Mini to KZ [shifter karts], both in the Italian championship and WSK [-run events]”, the team announced.
Thomas Mardaga will be technical director of AKM’s karting team, and its first entries will be into OK Junior, Mini and the new OK-N kart category in the Italian Karting Championship.
When not busy with his own racing commitments in the Formula Regional European Championship or duties as part of his role as a Mercedes-AMG F1 junior, “Andrea Kimi Antonelli will also take the role of coach and will be involved in testing the OK-N and OK-J chassis”.
Antonelli has a history with Kart Republic, having spent several seasons as one of its factory drivers and winning the CIK-FIA European Karting Championship in 2020 and ’21 while in its ranks.
“I’m very excited to embark on this new adventure with my father,” he said. “I’ll try to give my help by providing coaching. As always, we’ll try to do our best. I am looking forward to getting started.”
His father added: “I have always desired to do something in karting. But until now I didn’t have the right opportunity and a point of reference which we have found in Thomas. I was convinced to do that by Kimi and Dino is a guarantee for us. With him, Andrea Kimi himself achieved his most significant successes of his karting career.”