Ben in top gear

Kart racer Ben Barnicoat
Kart racer Ben Barnicoat

Teenage racing driver Ben Barnicote is gearing up for the 2012 kart racing season.

Ben, 15, from Chesterfield, is a member of the Silverstone-based Zip Guns team which has joined forces with Art Grand Prix.

Ben and his two other team-mates Ricky Collard and Sam Webster will debut all-new ART TS-01 chassis in UK and Europe

The tie-up with the renowned French single-seater squad – which is making its international kart racing debut in the KF, KZ and mini-kart categories – signals a switch to ART Grand Prix’s own-design kart for the British team.

This year’s race programme includes the South Garda Winter Cup, the MSA Super 1 KF2 Championship, the WSK Euro Series, and the CIK-FIA U18s World Karting and European Championships plus the CIK-FIA World Cup.

Ben, pictured, will race with the Armando Filini-managed 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.

He and Collard will also drive for the Manerbio-based karting newcomers in the WSK Euro Series.

The north Derbyshire kart champion is also included in the factory team’s line up for the CIK-FIA European Championship and CIK-FIA World Cup.

The first UK race for the drivers will be the Winter Series meeting at Shenington on March 9-11.

Graham Sharpe of the Racing Steps Foundation, which backs the team, 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.”