TOTAL KARTING ZERO
Interview with Adriana Dzalbe and Rob Smedley (lees hier de Nederlandse vertaling)
What is the history and size or structure of the company?
FASTER, FAIRER, CHEAPER, CLEANER
Total Karting Zero uses the keywords faster/fairer/cheaper/cleaner. This is an interesting mix of principles for the company. Where did it start?
NEW BUT ACCESSIBLE TECHNOLOGY
ELECTRIC KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP
How big is the championship right now?
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW KARTS
Are there plans to extend your focus to a senior class as well?
Do you develop your own karts or is there a partnership with an existing manufacturer?
What are the main challenges for the company?
Our main challenge when we first started was definitely the technology: we did a lot of work on the reliability. We are now in a good position where we are comfortable with that. We have a dedicated reliability engineer who goes to all the events.
Our second challenge is quite different: our mission is to get more families into motorsport, so we will always have the challenge to find the kids. It’s the younger classes we have more difficulty with. Once you get to junior age and you are 16, you’ve probably done something indoor. You may love racing and know that’s what you want to do. Those drivers are easier to find. But the 6 year olds, they are still young and their parents are more cautious as well. Those are more difficult to find and they need more training, so it takes a longer time to get them in. Once they are in, they are usually hooked on it and want to be a racing driver.
INFRAStRUCTURE FOR ELECTRIC RACING
How is the situation in the UK with the infrastructure you need at the circuits to host electric racing?
"ONCE THE KIDS ARE IN, THEY ARE USUALLY HOOKED ON IT AND WANT TO BE A RACING DRIVER'
CONFIDENCE AND RESILIENCE
ROB SMEDLEY'S APPROACH
What kind of lessons or insights has Rob Smedley brought from his own professional career in F1 to the company and karting concept?
Adriana: From what I’ve seen from working with him, there is definitely a really good way in which he manages the team. In pushing us all forward to be better, helping us to keep our sight on the challenge. Because it can be very difficult at times. Doing something completely new, you start and fail, and try again. He has a good way of encouraging the team to get back up. And if a day was perfect, he still wants to know what we can do to make it better tomorrow. He helps us to look forward and keep the motivation going. And make sure we don’t make the same mistake twice.
Rob: There’s a great carry over of methodology and ways of working from Formula 1 that make it the pinnacle of sport and the reason we are able to move so quickly in Total Karting Zero. Precision methods are really key in Formula 1 and it’s the same here, as well as using a data-led approach to decision making that allows us to clearly see developments and calculate change. I have also introduced to the team a culture of ‘fail fast’, in which we make rapid progress by trying, learning and trying again which comes hand-in-hand with encouraging continuous improvement. We learn from our technology every day and that means we make improvements to it. Formula 1 has really instilled in me that there’s always something that can be done better and we live that here at Total Karting Zero.