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FKS inviter to attend Bahamas Speed Week 2012 – Official Press Release

Calling Senior Rotax, how well do you know your sport? 

Do you know why the number plate panel on the front of the kart is called a Nassau Panel?

Do you know where the first World Championship for karts was held?

In 1959 the first World Championship for karts was held in the Bahamas as part of the Bahamas Speed Week. The karters were given special number plates and these were named after the town of Nassau where the event was based.

What has this to do with you? 

Last year the Bahamas Speed Week was revived (see and 12 karts were included in the programme. Such was the success of the event that it will run again on November 28th – 2ndDecember. Sir Stirling Moss a former winner of the Bahamas Speed Week and patron of the 2011 Bahamas Speed Week Revival has just confirmed that he will again be patron for 2012.


For the 2012 Bahamas Speed Week Formula Kart Stars has been asked to provide up to 20 Senior Karts and drivers for the Kart races. 

The lucky drivers (and their mechanics) who will be invited to take part in this event will come from the Senior Max class. Flights, freight and hotel (sharing with mechanic) will be provided. All we ask is that each invited driver also brings out another Senior Max kart which will be used in a race for celebrities and that you/your mechanic maintains this kart for the celebrity driver.

Please note that all travel arrangements remain provisional until after the Bahamian elections in May after which a formal invitation will be extended.

Official FKS Press Release:

Since its inception in 1996 Formula Kart Stars (formerly McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future and BRDC Stars of Tomorrow) has been committed to offering unique opportunities and experiences to their drivers and in 2012 the Formula One Management backed Championship will go one step further thanks to the Bahamas Speed Week Revival.

The Bahamas Speed Week a revival of the famous Nassau Speed Week, returned in 2011 following an absence of more than 40 years and to celebrate the first ever World Karting Championships, ironically held in Nassau, organisers of the Festival have invited up to 40 Formula Kart Stars drivers from Cadet Comer and Senior Max to this year’s event.

Up to 30 drivers in Cadet Comer and Senior Rotax (15 from each class) will be given the opportunity to take part in the Festival following a successful guest appearance by a dozen Florida based karters last year.

The 2012 Bahamas Speed Week Revival will be held between November 28th and December 2nd and the lucky drivers (and their mechanics) who are invited will have their flights, freight and hotel (sharing with mechanic) provided. Final travel arrangements remain strictly provisional until after the Bahamian General Elections in May, after which a formal invitation will be extended to the Championship.

Senior Rotax drivers will be asked to provide a second Senior Max chassis, which will be used in the celebrity race and the Senior Rotax mechanics will be asked to maintain that kart for its celebrity driver.

“This is one of the most ambitious events Formula Kart Stars has ever been asked to be part of,” says FKS Championship Director Carolynn Hoy. “I am massively grateful to the organisers of the Bahamas Speed Week Revival for giving so many Formula Kart Stars drivers the opportunity to show of their skills to such an international audience.

“The original Nassau Speed Week and it was a huge part of the motorsport calendar, much the same as the Goodwood Revival is here in the UK and when the new organisers wanted to showcase some of the best kart racing in the world they approached Formula Kart Stars.”

Bahamas Speed Week Revival Event Director David McLaughlin shares Hoy’s enthusiasm and recognises how the sight of some of Britain’s finest young kart racers could provide inspiration for Bahamas own karting future.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase British karting talent,” states McLaughlin. “But it is also a chance to show many locally based youngsters grass roots motorsport and karting for the first time. Bahamas Speed Week attracts some extremely glamorous and expensive cars, the kind of luxury that most people dream of but karting is something that a lot of the local children can aspire to and I hope that this trip could kick-start long term participation in karting across the whole country.

“I’m extremely excited and with the continued support of the Ministry of Tourism I am sure that we can make Formula Kart Stars’ visit to the Bahamas Speed Week a memorable one for everyone involved.”

As he did in 2011 Stirling Moss will act as the patron of the 2012 Festival while an array of classic sports and GT cars as well as plenty of modern day Supercars will do battle on the same 1.1-mile harbourside circuit used last year.

The original Nassau Speed Week was held during the first week of December between 1954 and 1966 and hosted many of the top drivers of the era from across the world. Taking the chance to escape the European winter, the week long event, primarily for sports and GT cars soon became one of the highlights of the traditional off-season with drivers such as Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren and Roger Penske competing.

In 1959 the first ever World Karting Championship formed part of that year’s Nassau Speedweek and to help spectators identify the different drivers each kart had a triangular shaped panel fitted to the front of the chassis below the steering wheel complete with the competitors number on it. The idea caught on and the Nassau Panel was born……

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