The world’s top karting drivers will be gearing up for the sport’s most prestigious event just a few miles outside Newark.

Trent Valley Kart Club is hosting the CIK-FIA World Karting Championships in September, the first time the event has been staged in the UK for 49 years.

Up to 200 drivers from around the world are expected  at the PF International Kart Circuit in Brandon, near Stragglethorpe.

Previous world championships have attracted drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Sebastien Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, who have used the event to help launch their motorsport careers.

Trent Valley secretary Clare Mills said: “Hosting the world championships is a huge honour and an enormous event for the local area.

“The 2016 event was staged in Bahrain so we have a lot to live up to.  It has been 49 years since this event was held in the UK, so we are out to impress.”

There will be two categories of karts — OKJ junior (12 to 14 years) and OK senior (15 years and over) — competing over three days.

The official test days will be on Wednesday, September 20 and the following day.

'This event will allow us to showcase all that is good about our sport'

The single-round event will begin with free practising on Friday, September 22. The following day there will be qualifying practice and qualifying heats, followed by further qualifying heats and finals on the Sunday when the world champions will be crowned.

Both OK and OK Junior use 125cc direct-drive karts with water-cooled engines. They can accelerate quickly and reach speeds of almost 80mph.

Trent Valley chairman Nigel Edwards said the awarding of the world championships was a just reward for their past efforts in bringing CIK-FIA karting to the UK and also for the strides forward made by the PFI circuit and management.

“UK karting organisers and officials are the envy of the world and this event will allow us to showcase all that is good about our sport,” he said.

The highest-placed OK senior and OK junior drivers will receive £1,000 and a trophy thanks to new sponsorship from Cometic Gasket Ltd.

Spectators are encouraged to watch the karting showpiece and are allowed into the paddock to meet the drivers.

Clare Mills said: “The entire circuit can be seen from several vantage points around the track.

“These include indoor and outdoor viewing areas and a raised bank that surrounds the circuit — making sure none of the action is missed.

“The paddock is open for spectators to walk around, giving them the opportunity to meet and chat with the drivers and the teams.”

Admission is £5 for adults (17 years and over) on the Saturday and Sunday. It is free on the Friday.