UK - Kartfest 2023 is all set to be the biggest and the best Backup has ever held. Taking place on 6 July, the event will see 34 teams of expert industry racers, as well as a few novices thrown in for good measure and laughs, all driving towards becoming winners of the coveted championship title. There will be tweed and flowery dresses galore, and a host of stalls to keep non-racers amused throughout the day at the first ever Kart-Fest Village Fete.
None of this would be possible without the generosity of the Kartfest sponsors. For this year’s event, Chauvet Professional once again takes up the headline sponsor slot, with first time main sponsor 5 Star Cases deciding to join them after their exciting - and hilarious - experience of sponsoring last year’s inaugural Flight Case Challenge. But why do they want to commit their time and money to Kartfest again?
“It’s more about Backup than it is about Kartfest, although it is obviously enjoyable,” says Chauvet’s Sam Bowden. “Supporting the industry is our main priority. As a manufacturer, you don't often get the opportunity to give back to the freelancers in the industry and, as we know, the industry as a whole is predominantly freelance staffed.”
Sam notes that, particularly in times like we have seen over the last few years, it has become evident support is not always there for freelancers. “For lack of a better word, they don't have the backup of an employer like we're lucky to have,” he says. “So really, it's about giving back and making sure that we promote our freelance community. Backup is backup for people within our industry space. It's about us looking after each other. We’re one big family, so we need to make sure we all look after each other.”
Knowing how Backup helps people with mental health issues or are suffering from an illness that means they are unable to work for a period of time and need financial assistance, 5 Star’s involvement follows a rethink of how they get involved with the industry that is one of the mainstays of the company’s business.
“We used to be quite heavy in touring cars, another area we supply to,” says 5 Star’s operations director, Ingus Lasinskis. “But like Sam, we’re conscious of the struggles the entertainment industry, that freelancers in particular experienced during the pandemic when they couldn’t get any government support, and what we were doing wasn't sitting so well with either me or our current MD. So, we rethought where we wanted to put our money.
“We decided that it's supporting our local community - we sponsor a few local fishing clubs along with children and youth football teams with their kit, and local food banks as our Christmas donation - but we also wanted to become more industry focused when it comes to giving to charity. Not to generate business, we just want to help where we can.”
Of course, it’s not just about sponsoring for either Chauvet or 5 Star. It’s about having a well-deserved day out of the office, a lot of fun and, just maybe, showing a bit of their competitive spirit.
“What am I most looking forward to about the day? Probably winning!” laughs Sam. “I’m not great at racing,” adds Ingus. “But I’m practicing and we’re taking our two best kart drivers, so winning must be on the cards…”
“But seriously, it’s actually just the atmosphere,” says Sam. “The industry does a lot of different events over the course of the year with things like awards dos and trade show. But Kartfest is one of the few events that celebrates who we are and what we are in a very pure form. It’s more casual and the conversations are geared around the good side of the industry. It’s really friendly, and the interaction with your peers and your competitors is great.”
“It's a day of fun,” concludes Ingus. “It's a day of supporting a good cause, it's a well-deserved day out of the office, and we’re all doing it for all the right reasons.”

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