Karting in Cuba
By Antonio Díaz Susavila Photos: Prensa Latina
Beginning in February, and continuing for approximately ten months, drivers from different countries race the Cocomar circuit near EI Salado beach in Havana. Several categories, including one for children, race the class A (International Kart Federation standard) 1 218 meter circuit.
Cocomar hosts nine national and two international championships, the latter in April and in June-August for Central American nations' championship (NACAN).
The traditionally most popular teams are those foreign, national and jointly sponsored, with foreigners residing and having businesses in Cuba (from countries like England, Italy, Spain, Chile, Mexico and Holland).
There are three main circuits in Cuba. The most famous is La Piragua, close to the Hotel Nacional in Havana, at the seawall or Malecón.
Before 1959 there used to be a Formula 1 race held here with the presence of such famous drivers of the time as Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.
There, 10 years ago, 42 Formula 1 drivers, active and retired, competed for the Grand Prize of the Stars. Another circuit is in Holguín, in eastern Cuba.
Although Cuba suffers from known limitations in the racing area, Coco mar has the largest karting school in the archipelago, where each year dozens of children start their training in this adrenaline-laden world of mechanics and speed.