Brakes put on kart GP
By NORIDEEN KITCHELL
THE Hong Kong International Kart Grand Prix has again fallen prey to environmental protectionists who last year put an end to the event which has put the territory on the motor racing world map.
Hopes of reviving the championships at the Victoria Park were dashed when the Hong Kong Kart Club could not bring noise levels down to the acceptable level imposed by the Environmental Protection Department.
'We tried various experiments to lower the noise level but we still weren't able to please the EPD after several tests,' said Julia Ho Lau Kun-sheung, administrator of the HKKC.
'Without the permission from the EPD, we have no alternative but to call off the race again this year.' The championships, held annually for 26 years until 1992, has always been held on the weekend after the Macau Grand Prix which is scheduled for November 19 and 20 this year.
It is one of the biggest events on the international karting calendar and a stepping stone for young drivers aiming to break into the motor-racing scene. In the past it has attracted people like late Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna, Ricardo Patrese and Jos Verstappen.
The EPD, however, had been imposing stricter control over the noise levels emitted by the roaring engines in the last few years following incessant complaints by residents of the nearby apartment blocks.
With the cancellation of the event for the second straight year, it seems the Kart Grand Prix has become an event of the past.
However, Ho promised the HKKC will bring the Grand Prix back one day, hopefully next year.
Said Ho: 'It will be possible after we build our own permanent track, and we have applied to the Government for a site in Junk Bay.'