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February 17, 2023 2 min read

In 2016 the OK class was introduced to karting, with an aim to reduce weight and cost as a priority. This major evolution of a class was an immediate success as it helped competitors rediscover the original values of karting; highly competitive and cost affordable, keeping it simple but also up to date with modern technology. This elite category uses only direct-drive engines that can claim the titles of FIA Karting European Champion and World Champion in senior and junior categories.

From this proven base the OK-N engine and class has been developed. The new engines retain all the benefits of the predecessor with some further simplification for reliability such as limiting the engine speed to 15,000 rpm and the removal of the exhaust valve. It is an engine designed to be the perfect weapon for national championships all over the world.

With safety and budget being the forefront requirements of the engine, the sources of breakdowns and excess weight have been omitted. No clutch, no electric starter and wiring, no battery. To simplify scrutineering the setup of the OK-N engine is only allowed within the limits of the homologation form and technical regulations. “Performance, reliability, and accessibility are in the DNA of the OK family. The OK-N will become the foundation for its expansion around the world thanks to an affordable cost of ownership driven by an open market among all its players.” – CIK-FIA President Akbar Ebrahim.

Leading kart engine producers have backed the FIA's effort to offer a cheap entry point with the goal of increasing karting participation. 

 Push-starting, an action that needs to be brought back into fashion! There were doubts when the OK engines were originally launched with regards to push starts but since then there have been thousands of starts without issue. Even the youngest drivers can push start in a race; engage the decompression valve, give the kart a brief push, release the valve, the engine crackles and it is off!

But, why is important?

This new OK-N class and engine are governed by a unique technical framework, designed to harmonize a sporting vision between the National Sporting Authorities (in our case Motorsport South Africa) and the FIA. This allows Motorsport South Africa and the ROK series in South Africa to run the class as closely as possible to the sporting regulations of the first final, the National series in each country is considered the qualification for the final.

Since the creation of OK-N an FIA World Cup has been planned, to offer worldwide visibility to the national championships that adopt it. From 2024, the OK-N World Cup will be accessible to the winner of the national class in his/her own country. The driver that wins in South Africa in 2024 will represent the country in the first karting world cup and will be able to showcase their skills in a prestigious event, the FIA Karting World Championship in the presence of the greatest teams in the sport and under the watchful eye of influential motorsport observers. There will be no shortage of opportunities to get noticed!




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