You’re never too old to drive a Lotus. You’re never too young either. Arguably the most fun, raw and inspirational Lotus ever is about to hit the tracks and is eligible for the CIK- FIA Under-18 Karting World Championship. Just like the greats, from Jim Clark through to Kimi Raikkonen, aspiring youngsters now have the opportunity to become Lotus factory-supported drivers.

The Lotus Racing Karts team is flat-out in preparation for the 2012 season. The focus is on quality, speed, reliability and versatility through its automated robot welding technology of the C30 and C32 chassis, and on developing the next generation of Lotus racers early.

The prestigious CIK-FIA U18 Karting World Championship aims to promote experienced drivers aged 15-18 and rigorously limit the costs involved, such as with the free allocation of tyres and engines to all participants. Free? That’s not a word you hear often in this business, is it?

The series promises to refocus the pure sport of karting not as a spending competition, which has seen costs rise drastically across most other international championships, but as the de-facto school for tomorrow’s grand prix superstars.

Although the first round of 2012 will be held on July 8 in Braga, Portugal, the U18 World Championship starts today with the opening of entries. The total of entries will be limited to 102 and it’s first come first served.

Drivers interested in entering this World Championship are therefore advised to enter online as soon as possible:

The top three drivers to race Lotus karts will be rewarded: A fully-sponsored Formula Monza test with the Lotus Formula Juniors team and a go in Lotus’ F1-inspired Type 125 customer car, plus a two-day test with the Lotus Racing Karts team and a tour of the Group Lotus factory and facilities in Hethel, England. So, points mean big shiny prizes.