The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Zip Young Guns karting team are joining forces with renowned Fresh single-seater squad ART Grand Prix for the upcoming season.
The new partnership will see the Silverstone-based team switch to ART's own-design ART TS-01 kart for the year, as it gets set to make its international kart racing debut in the KF, KZ and mini-kart categories.
The deal was brokered by the RSF, who enjoyed a strong relationship with Lotus-backed ART, with RSF driver James Calado driving for the team in GP2 this year after finishing runner up in GP3 with them last year.
The karting venture will see 15 year old RSF karters Ben Barnicoat, Ricky Collard and Sam Webster race the ART chassis in UK, European and CIK-FIA events. The three drivers will race with the ART Grand Prix factory team in the CIK-FIA U18s World Championship and the RSF Zip Young Guns in the MSA KF2 Championship in the UK, while Barnicoat and Collard will also drive for ART in the WSK Euro Series.
RSF founder Graham Sharp said: “ART Grand Prix is one of the most successful teams in single-seater racing outside Formula 1 and the Zip Young Guns have an equally impressive record in international karting. By dint of this arrangement our drivers will now benefit from the technical and competitive strengths that each brings to the partnership.”
Nicolas Todt, co-owner of ART Grand Prix, commented: “The ethos of our company is to prepare young drivers for the pinnacle of motor racing. So it’s only natural that we should want to get involved at grass roots level where their journeys begin. In this way we can find and develop the drivers with the potential and determination to make it to the top of our sport.
“This venture with the RSF Zip Young Guns will help us to do that. Our philosophy matches theirs perfectly. Both parties want to prepare these young drivers in the proper way for what lies ahead. We also share the same enthusiasm, determination and can-do attitude. So we hope to accomplish great things together.”
Young Guns team manager Grant Munro added: “I believe this will be another milestone in the life of the Zip Young Guns team and one of which our late founder Martin Hines would have approved whole-heartedly. ART Grand Prix are all about winning as are Zip which has Martin’s winning mentality embedded in its DNA. So hopefully between us we’ll get the results each of the parties is aiming for.”