The Caribbean will be represented in the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy for the first time when reigning Barbados Karting Association (BKA) junior champion Adam Mallalieu makes his debut on the international stage at Salbris in France this weekend May 3 to 6.
The 14-year-old Harrison College student joins 50 other rising stars from 40 countries hoping to follow in the wheel-tracks of 2011 Academy Champion Charles Leclerc, who scored his first points in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship last Sunday when he finished sixth for Sauber in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.
Launched in 2010, the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy is the first rung on the ladder of the FIA single-seater path to F1. It creates a level playing field for young hopefuls from across the FIA’s member countries, who race in equal machinery over three rounds, this weekend’s outing in France followed by events in Italy and Belgium in July and September. Aged between 12 and 14, all race identical Rotex-engined Exprit karts, running on LeCont tyres and Panta fuel, which places the emphasis on driver talent.
Mallalieu, whose campaign is supported by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) and the Barbados Olympic Association, of which the BMF is a member, joins multiple BKA champion Zane Maloney in putting the island on the map in world karting. Maloney, who is also 14, has shown good pace in his second season of European competition, currently sixth in the CIK-FIA European Championship standings (of 34 who have so far scored points) and third in the German series (of 21).
Having left the island on Monday, Mallalieu joined his father Andrew, who was the FIA Formula 2 steward at Baku. They journeyed together to Salbris, before Adam returns to Barbados and his father moves on to Barcelona, where he is the FIA Formula 1 steward for the Spanish Grand Prix (May 13). In March, they had been testing at Genk in Belgium, venue for the final Academy round, followed by a national karting meet at the PFI circuit in the United Kingdom.
Mallalieu first raced in the BKA Easykart 60cc Cadet class in 2015, finishing eighth of the 13 drivers, despite having missed the first four rounds of the season, before graduating to Easykart 100cc Juniors the following year, finishing the season fifth. He then stamped his authority on the class last year, winning nearly every race on his way to the title. And he has carried that form into this year, stepping up to Easykart 125cc Lights, in which he has qualified on pole position and claimed a hat-trick of race wins in each of the three rounds run so far.