Top junior single-seater outfit Prema has announced an expansion into karting this year in conjunction with kart manufacturer Kart Republic.
The team will make its debut in the second round of the WSK Super Master Series at Franciacorta, and will field several Formula 1 junior drivers.
In KZ2 shifter karts it will be running Alpine junior Kean Nakamura Berta and Mercedes-AMG junior Alex Powell. In the OK class it field new Red Bull junior and reigning OK-Junior world champion Enzo Tarnvanichkul and Mercedes’ Yuanpu Cui, then in OK-J there is another Mercedes junior in Luna Fluxa.
“Prema is proud and delighted to announce its entry into the world of kart racing,” it announced in a team statement.
“The team will join forces with Kart Republic for a high-level programme to provide young drivers with a full ladder from their first competitive experiences in racing to the doorstep of its pinnacle, and with the instruments, insight and support to develop a successful professional career.”
In addition to the Super Master Series, Prema will compete in several other competitions organised by Italian promoter WSK, and will also do the CIK-FIA European and World championships and the Champions of the Future series.
Prema’s team principal Rene Rosin added: “Today we are announcing an exciting new step for Prema in collaboration with legendary names like Dino Chiesa and Kart Republic. Throughout our 40-year history, we devoted ourselves to young drivers, with the goal of developing their skills and supporting them in their professional racing careers.
“We created a full path from Formula 4 to Formula Regional, Formula 3 and Formula 2, collaborating with the most respected drivers and junior academies. Now, we are delighted to expand the same effort into kart racing and provide the most talented prospects with the best possible preparation from day one. Our goal is not only to give them a chance but also to help them create that chance, offering tools and connections to bridge the gap between karting and car racing.”
Kart Republic founder Dino Chiesa, who in addition to his factory team also runs Sauber’s karting team, commented:
“This new collaboration is truly unique as it creates a direct link between kart and car racing. Our goal has always been to work with young drivers to give them the greatest possible chance to achieve their goals in motorsports, and by collaborating with Prema Racing, we are creating a path that will enable them, provided that they have the needed skills, to enter the world of single-seaters from a main door. In addition, it will provide them with even more motivation to commit, develop and improve.”