All posts by Purvi Patel

Circuit Guide: Rye House

 

rye-house-track-guide

Rye house, situated near Hoddesdon, Herfordshire is one of the UK’s premier club circuits hosting the annual London Cup, along with its monthly Club meetings on the first weekend of every month. The circuit is also visited by Club 100, BUKC, and also played host the 2016 Biz Champions challenge in February.

One of Rye House’s main claims to fame is it was the place Lewis Hamilton first drove and raced a kart when he was just 8 years old.

The main characteristics of this track are the iconic Stadium corner at turn 1, as well as two of the tightest corners you will see in Hairpin 1 and 2 meaning very short gearing is often used which adds to the frantic feeling of racing this track. The kerbs also play a large part in a good lap around Rye House.

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Stadium has a very long and late apex

Turn 1 (Stadium)

Arriving fast after the main straight due to the short gearing Turn 1 can be a daunting corner. Turning in flat out and quite late you should aim to nip the first apex right in the middle of the corner. It is crucial you are very smooth throughout T1 as any amount of excess sliding will lose you tenths of a second. Once you’ve hit the middle apex ease off the power and allow the kart to move out very slightly so your outside wheels eventually just touch the seam in the middle of the track, any wider and the grip decreases greatly. A very slight rub on the brakes just as you begin to increase the lock for the second apex will help the weight transfer to the front wheels enough for you to get onto the inside kerb at the corner’s tightest point. It is very important not to push too hard here, let the kart be neutral and the main thing is that you make the ideal line through the second apex. The kerb here has more grip than the track so get as close to the tyre wall/grass on the inside as possible (mind the trench that is off the back of the kerb, this will throw you sideways). Apply the throttle smoothly but swiftly as you apex and take a middle of the road exit before the kink left. It is very rewarding when you hook up the 2nd apex well and you’ll know when you get it right.

Turn 2

The kink left should be approached with a middle exit from Stadium, the kerb looks aggressive but you float across it so use as much as is comfortable. Minimise the steering lock for maximum acceleration. Use all the track on the exit.

Turn 3 (Hairpin 1)

This is possibly the slowest and tightest corner in the UK, maybe in all of karting. Brake hard on the right hand side. As you approach the apex turn in late but smoothly, bleed off the brakes and trail brake right to the apex to jack the inside rear wheel so you can rotate the kart quickly. You want to apex with just your two inside wheels on the kerb, and on a line that is just slightly later than your conventional arc. Power on hard at the apex and open the steering to use as much road as the tyre walls on the exit will allow (what MSA track limits?).

Tom Sibley
Tom Sibley

Turn 4 (Hairpin 2)

As you exit HP1 the track kinks right, keep left and brake in a straight line. The corner is tight on entry but opens up on the exit. As you turn in hold the brakes slightly and again trail brake right to the apex so when you apply the power the kart can ‘ping’ off the corner. Get as close the tall apex kerb as possible without touching it as it chucks the front of the kart about a foot in the air if you hit it. Power at the apex and as the track opens up hold it slightly tight just after the apex, then drive the kart all the way out to the wall on the exit.

Turn 5 (Pylon)

As you exit HP2 you need to start mentally preparing yourself for left hander at Pilon as it’s one of the most brutal corners around and requires 100% commitment. The kerb there used to be the stuff of legend, but it has been smoothed during the winter of 2015/2016 and is now nice flat concrete. However the track is still bumpy as hell and you’ll be shaken about no matter what. In most classes you need to turn in just after the kerb on the right juts out (don’t touch this as it unsettles the kart). Turn in with a lift or a small rub on the brakes (class dependant) and aim to get your inside wheels very close to the new concrete ‘sausage’ on the inside by the marshal post. Apex late and power over the kerb, the kart will jump as you go through so stay solid in the kart and absorb the bumps as best as possible. You want to stay quite far left here for a good run through 6.

Turn 6

Coming immediately after Pylon, brake hard sort of middle-left and turn in smoothly once the kart stops bouncing. As always trail brake to the apex and apply the power smoothly from the apex where there is a horizontal groove in the track in the middle of the corner. Mostly you will want to avoid the inside kerb here as it unsettles the kart, however some days due to conditions/rubber its quicker to get your inside wheels on top of this inside kerb and onto the tarmac just inside the kerb. Watch what the fastest drivers are doing, maybe try it yourself a couple of laps in practise, if it is faster it will feel like the kart is being pulled round the corner, if you understeer off the kerb go back to staying on the track. Don’t run too wide on exit. You should exit where the short kerb is on the left, go up to, but not onto this as it will kick the kart sideways killing your exit speed.

Piers Prior
Piers Prior

Turn 7 & 8 (last complex)

This again requires full commitment. Bring the kart right from turn 6 up to the white line on the right (be careful not to go over the edge as the kart will bottom out and you’ll be dragged onto the grass). Turn in just as the track juts out on the right, lift as you turn in to allow a little more weight on the front wheels so you can get all the way onto the kerb, in some senior classes you’ll need a rub on the brakes as you enter. Now comes the fun part. You want to aim for a late apex on the left hand kerb so you can stay left for the last corner and a run onto the straight. Aim to jump over the kerb so your inside wheels go up to the grass. The kerb will launch your inside wheels into the air , and you should land right on the end of the kerb quite smoothly. Once you’ve landed a quick rub on the brakes just as you begin to turn right should allow you to make a very late apex for the last corner. Mind the monster inside kerb but get as close as possible. Power hard as you apex and allow the kart to run onto and just over the kerb on the exit where the kerb visibly drops down, this should be quite a smooth line. Straighten the steering and drive to the line to complete a quick fire and technical lap at Rye house.

A great lap at rye house should flow very nicely despite the kerbs and bumpy nature of some of the corners. To be fast at Rye you have to be 100% committed and have a plan of action before you get on circuit. This is one of the most physical tracks around, after a race weekend you will feel like you’ve gone a number of rounds with Mike Tyson. Make sure your seat fits well and your arms don’t hit the engine/radiator. I highly recommend a warm up before the first session of the day.

Words By Piers Prior

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Karting in the year 2003: a history

JANUARY 2003

The Formula A World Cup at La Conca was won by Jerome D’Ambrosio (Birel/TM). The first Brit was Paul Di Resta down in 17th place. We took a look at the Brooklands circuit that was to hold a round of the Stars of Tomorrow series later in the year. Unfortunately the event didn’t take place and the series was curtailed two rounds early. The Inter Nations Challenge at Rowrah was abandoned because of unacceptable driver behaviour.

FEBRUARY 2003

Biland held a World Finals for their 4-stroke engined class in the South of France. The CIK announced four 4-stroke classes that were expcted would be progressively introduced into their championships, replacing the existing 2-stroke categories, over a 9 year period. K2, K3 and K4 would share a common base engine with different rpm limits and carburettor sizes, while K1 would be unrestricted on those two parameters.

MARCH 2003

Mark Cronje won the Rotax Max World Finals on home soil at Zwartkops in South Africa. The UK’s Ian Parsons was 2nd ahead of two other South Africans, Claudio Piazza-Musso and Michael Stephen. We unveiled the venue for the 2004 event – the Ghibli Raceway in Egypt designed by British concern Protrain.We took a look at Keith Campbell’s awesome 500cc beast powered by two twin-cylinder Rotax Superkart engines.

APRIL 2003

Oliver Oakes (Tony/Vortex)dominated 100cc Intercontinental A at the South Garda Winter Cup on his Senior debut. Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) and Andy Zanella (Top/Comer) won Formula A and Juniors respectively.Three British kart manufacturers – Dartford Karting, Gillard and S.W.R.D. – homologated chassis with the CIK, whilst Aerostar (bodywork) and Kelgate (brakes) were also successful with their applications.

MAY 2003

Oliver Oakes won ICA at the Margutti Trophy. Leaving it very late the CIK decided that the World Championship should be for Formula A at a single event instead of the multi-round championship for Formula Super-A.It was announced that the Comer W60 would take over as the British Championship Cadet engine from the existing Comer S60. Mark Rochford’s running costs and net equipment costs for winning Formula A Super One were put at £1676/round.

JUNE 2003

For the first time, 4-stroke karting was represented in the Super One Series with a debut season for the Junior and Senior TKM classes. Alex Zanardi had a kart seat fitting at CRG less than two years after his horrific Champ Car accident. Driving standards at the Fulbeck round of the Rotax Super One Series were described as diabolical. Carlo Forni demonstrated the importance of matching pistons to cylinders in his latest Tech Talk column. We interviewed Paul Carr.

JULY 2003

Bertrand Grooten (Tony/Vortex) and Bas Lammers (S.Hutless/Vortex) both took wins at the opening round of the Formula A Euro Champs at Angerville. Major upgrades were completed at Buckmore Park and Rye House. Carlo Forni  guided us through the various reasons for engine seizures. Damien Payart won both races at the opening round of the European Superkart Champs at Brno in the Czech Republic. We tested the Rotax RM1 kart that would evolve into the DD2.

AUGUST 2003

Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) took a win and a 2nd place at round 2 of the Formula A Euro Champs at Alaharma in Finland.In response to the CIK pushing ahead with their plans for the top level of karting to be 4-stroke, Ed Wassenberg, Chairman of the Dutch Autosport Federation, suggested setting up a rival federation, the World Karting Federation. The CIK did not adopt 4-stroke for their premier classes and the WKF was never heard of again.

SEPTEMBER 2003

Bas Lammers and Carlo Van Dam won the two finals at the Braga Formula A Euro Champs round. David Gregory was on the podium both times. We tested a Junior Biland kart but the class never got under way. Adam Christodoulou won both the Minimax and Junior Rotax O Plates at the same meeting. We ran a feature on Dean Warner who had lost the use of his right arm after a motorcycle accident and had taken up karting, initially Rotax Max before moving into 250 National.

OCTOBER 2003

Motor-sporting legends and dignitaries gathered at Buckmore Park for the opening of their new clubhouse and announcement of ambitious future plans. Damien Payart (Div.1) and Andrew Agnew (Div.2) were crowned European Superkart Champions at Donington Park. Michael Simpson won his 5th Kartmasters title. It was announced that Honda Cadet & Senior would adopt the GX160 T1 engine from 2004.

NOVEMBER 2003

Ben Hanley took a win and a 2nd place at the final round of the Formula A Euro Champs at Mariembourg, with Bas Lammers winning the title. The Stars of Tomorrow series came to a premature end when the final rounds at Kimbolton and Brooklands did not take place. The Corridonia Euro Champs saw titles go to Nicholas Risitano (Juniors) and Nicola Bocchi (ICA). TKM announced that Seniors would get a engine capacity increase from 100cc to 115cc.

Karting in the year 2002: a history

JANUARY 2002

Paul Di Resta and Alessandro Piccini won our 2001 Kart Driver Rankings, compiled in association with Champion spark plugs. WTP Cadet arrived in the UK. We told the story of GP Karting in Kenya, the only kart circuit within 2,500 miles. The tarmac broke up the first time it was used, poisonous snakes were a regular hazard and the residual water in the safety tyres had to be drained to reduce mosquito breeding potential.

FEBRUARY 2002

Sebastian Vettel and Jeremy Iglesias were the two junior winners at the 9th indoor event at Paris Bercy while Fernando Alonso was impressive in the main event. Italy won the team event on both days with totally different team members. 4-stroke Bilands were used for the first time. We paid a visit to Zip Kart and met Alec Bottoms who built the first “Zipper”, and also interviewed John Surtees.

MARCH 2002

250cc Formula E looked like it would enjoy something of a resurgence as SGM and FPE both built new engines for the class. Promax, endurance racing using the Rotax MAX, was being touted as the next big thing and had been adopted as the MSA British Endurance Kart Championship class. Circuits at Brooklands, Glasfryn Parc and Lakeside were all either being built or extended.

APRIL 2002

The Rotax Max World Finals were held at Langkawi, Malaysia with the country’s Prime Minister on hand to present the commemorative medals. The Rotax DD2 kart was unveiled with its axle passing through the rear of the 2-speed gearbox casing. There were interviews with Roger Mills and Mark Rose, while BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year finalist Danny Watts gave a step-by-step guide to making the move from karting into racing cars.

MAY 2002

We visited the Team Biland factory in Switzerland where the 250cc twin cylinder 4-stroke Biland SA250 engines were produced. Also on show was a development 200cc single cylinder engine for rental karts and World Formula called the Hurricane. 17 drivers took part in the first race in the UK for the new WTP Cadet class. Sniper introduced a laser wheel alignment system for accurate measurement of camber and toe in/out.

JUNE 2002

The major engine and kart manufacturers were up in arms at CIK proposals, led by the then President Yvon Leon, that included the proposed introduction of four-stroke engines and future exclusion of two-strokes in all CIK classes. We talked to the designer of the new FPE twin cylinder 250cc engine for Superkarts. One lucky magazine reader won a paint job for his helmet and we showed the various steps from unpainted to the completed design.

JULY 2002

The victors at the Clay Pigeon Senior Super One round in 2002 are still at the top or well known in karting circles ten years on: Mark Litchfield (Formula A), Micky Higham (100 National), Martin Pierce (Rotax Max) and Charlie Bruce-White (TKM). The UK Cup meeting for the long circuit gearbox classes at Pembrey saw wins for Don Thompson (210 National), Rob Nash (Formula 125), Graham Barker (Formula E), John Riley (250 Int) and Paul Bateman (250 Nat).

AUGUST 2002

Alessandro Manetti (CRG/Maxter) took both wins for the D.R. (Dunlop Racing) team at the opening event of the multi-round World Champs at Mariembourg. Ben Hanley (Maranello/Maxter) impressed on his series debut, taking pole and then 2nd place in Final 2.We tested and loved a new version of the 125 Europa one-make gearbox class utilising a Topkart chassis and MC BAT engine but class numbers never really got above a single grid.

SEPTEMBER 2002

Ronnie Quintarelli (Birel/TM) won both races at the second round of the World Champs at Alaharma in Finland. F1 drivers Mika Salo and Mika Hakkinen were amongst the spectators.The British Kart Grand Prix at Pembrey had less than 90 entries, the poorest turnout in the GP’s history, while the first round of the re-introduced European Superkart Championship at the Nurburgring had to be cancelled due to fog.

OCTOBER 2002

Martin Hines led the Division 1 Superkart Euro Champs after two wins at Donington. John Riley topped the Division 2 points table. Giedo van der Garde (CRG/Maxter) and Michael Ammermuller (Tony/Vortex) shared the wins at the third round of the Formula Super A World Champs at Braga but the championship was still led by Birel’s Ronnie Quintarelli. The Pogue Mahone team dominated the Clay Pigeon Pro-Kart Festival, winning all 4 races.

NOVEMBER 2002

David Hemkemeyer (Formula A), Robert Dirks (ICC) and Francesco Laudato (Super-ICC) won European Championship titles at the third and final round at Mariembourg. Future F1 driver Sebastien Buemi was victorious at the European Junior (JICA) Champs at Angerville while Jonathan Thonon took the ICA honours. Gary Catt, a privateer up against works teams, was 3rd. England retained their Inter Nations Challenge title in Ireland.

DECEMBER 2002

Giedo van der Garde (CRG/Maxter) won both finals at La Conca to win the Formula Super-A World Championship from Ronnie Quintarelli (Birel/TM) who had led the points table coming into the meeting. The Tony Kart Racing Team of Davide Fore and Marko Asmer retained the Team title. Martin Hines (Div.1) Zip/Rotax and John Riley (Div.2) Anderson/Rotax clinched the European Superkart titles at Le Mans.

Karting in the year 2001: a history

JANUARY 2001

The first ever Rotax Grand Finals were held on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico with 67 entries from 18 countries. At that time the event was only for Seniors and drivers used their own chassis with the pooled engines. The Rotax 125 MAX DD engine was unveiled.Paul Di Resta won the JICA ‘O’ Plate at Rowrah. Fraser Sheader (ICA), Adam Wright (100C) and Roger White (100C/160) were the other champions. Ellough Park in Suffolk held its first few meetings.

FEBRUARY 2001

Davide Fore beat Vitantonio Liuzzi to win the Formula Super A World Cup at Motegi. Lewis Hamilton won Formula A and also took the honours in the Young Stars event on the opening day of the glitzy Elf Masters karting competition held indoors at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. Dave Bewley looked back at the first year of the innovative Racing for Buttons scheme at Rowrah that had provided around 100 young children with an opportunity to try a Comer Cadet outfit for free.

MARCH 2001

Apex Racing of Sheffield revealed a radical new 100cc kart engine that could be converted from reed to rotary valve in 5 minutes by means of a bolt-on cassette. The superbly finished, steeply inclined engine was also supplied with two inner cylinder heads, one for ‘torque’ and one for ‘speed’. Sadly the Apex disappeared just as quickly as it had emerged. The karting section at the Autosport International show was jam-packed with the latest CIK homologated engines and Formula TKM and Cadet karts.

APRIL 2001

Ben Hanley (Kosmic/Vortex) won Formula A at the Winter Cup with Mark Litchfield 4th. Robert Kubica was on pole in Super A and Sebastian Vettel was on the podium in Juniors. The MSA and ARKS announced a new initiative ‘Fit to be a Kart Champion’ to help young karters in their bid to reach the top. The Foot and Mouth outbreak had a significant effect on karting activity. Lydd hosted the first S1 qualifier with Oliver Rowland (Cadet) and James Bean (Junior TKM) the two winners.

MAY 2001

A new controlling body for UK karting was announced, the Kart Control Board, but it never really made much impact. Geoff Hall made a fun return to karting at Blackbushe after a few years lay-off, his kart fitted with buttons for tyre shredders, smoke screen and ejector seat! His wife brought an egg timer to time him! The Foot and Mouth outbreak was badly disrupting karting with Shenington, Rissington, Kimbolton and Warden Law among those to cancel meetings.

JUNE 2001

Paul Di Resta won the opening round of the Champions of the Future series. There were concerns over the amount of tank tape being discarded from radiators once engines had warmed up. We tested a Biland SA250 4-stroke fitted to a Deavinsons chassis. The opening Junior Super One round at Clay Pigeon had to be abandoned before the heats could be completed as there was a river at Billy’s and off-track excursions in every race.

JULY 2001

The new multi-round format for the World Champs was previewed. Twenty-two Formula Super-A teams of two drivers would contest five rounds in Canada, France, Italy, Belgium and Japan. Ben Hanley (Kosmic/Vortex) and Carlo Van Dam (Gillard/Parilla) were the victors at the opening round of the Formula A Euro Champs at Oschersleben. We tested the new TKM 4-stroke engine and witnessed a display by a Gravitron electric powered kart.

AUGUST 2001

The new multi-round World Championship got under way with 21 two-driver teams. CRG with their pairing of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Toni Vilander led after the opening round from CRG Holland and Tony Kart. The CIK Executive Committee adopted the proposal that the Karting World Championship be incorporated in the framework of some Formula 1 GPs as from 2002! The idea however never came to reality. Clay Pigeon was put on the market for offers in excess of £1.2 million.

SEPTEMBER 2001

Sebastian Vettel led the Junior Euro Champs after the opening round at St Amand. We were impressed by the Semel brake lock reduction system as it reduced lap times and wear on key components. Alessandro Piccini (Formula C) and Alessandro Sferrella (ICC) won the two 125cc Euro Champs titles on offer. The CIK reconfirmed its intentions of moving ahead with 4-stroke racing engines but underlined the conflict that still existed.

OCTOBER 2001

Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) was dominant at the second round of the new format Formula Super A World Champs at Salbris. Carlo Van Dam (Gillard/Parilla) took a 1st and a 2nd in Formula A to strengthen his Euro title bid. Sebastian Vettel (Tony/Vortex) wrapped up the Euro Junior Champs at round two at Thy Hanstholm while Williams F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg was 2nd overall in the Cadet Green Helmet Trophy behind Erik Janis (Birel/TM).

NOVEMBER 2001

Carlo Van Dam clinched the Formula A European Champs at Mariembourg to give Gillard karts their first European title. News came through that the final round of the Formula Super-A World Champs would be held at Kerpen instead of Suzuka. Paul Di Resta retained his Champions of the Future JICA title while England won the fifth Inter Nations Challenge at Llandow from the host nation. Jean-Philippe Guignet (Tony/Vortex) won the ICA European Champs at Braga.

DECEMBER 2001

F1 Champion Michael Schumacher was drafted into the Tony Kart Racing Team for the final round of the Formula Super-A World Champs at Kerpen. Sauro Cesetti (Kosmic/Vortex) won both finals with Schumacher (Tony/Vortex) 2nd in Final 2 while Vitantonio Liuzzi (CRG/Maxter) clinched the title.Paul Di Resta (Top/TM) won the MSA British Junior Champs with a 3rd and a 2nd at the final Super One round at Buckmore Park.

Karting in the year 2000: a history

JANUARY 2000

Following the success of Rotax MAX for Seniors it was announced that a dedicated engine without powervalve would now be produced for Juniors. There was some consternation at the news that water-cooled engines would soon begin appearing in the Formula A and ICA classes in the UK. Mugen of Japan were set to start producing gearbox karts using Honda CR80 and CR125 engines.

FEBRUARY 2000

F1 stars stayed away from the 7th Elf Masters indoor kart race at Bercy, Paris with Minardi’s Stéphane Sarrazin winning on both days. Jeleniowski and Kubica each took a Junior class victory. Vitantonio Liuzzi (CRG/CRG) won the Formula Super A World Cup at Suzuka. The CIK was back in charge of karting after a year of the FMK being at the helm. TKM’s new 4-stroke motor was pictured for the first time.

MARCH 2000

There were plenty of karting exhibitors at the Autosport International show. TKM’s 4-stroke made its world debut, Modus showed off the Titan WL2 liquid-cooled engine and a Karting magazine team came last but one in the Elf Media Kart Challenge race. Team members included Martin Capenhurst, Mike Hayden and Chris Walker. Warden Law was extended from 775 metres to 1,100m and we carried a profile of Paul Fletcher.

APRIL 2000

There was a huge turnout for the Winter Cup at South Garda – 115 Juniors, 136 ICA, 82 Formula A and 20 Super-A. Carlo Van Dam, Davide Gaggianesi, Nelson Van Der Pol and Davide Fore were the respective victors. John Mills Racing were profiled. Whilton Mill near Daventry was about to open a 856m kart circuit for MSA competition use, the Northamptonshire venue had previously been just a corporate hospitality and entertainment venue.

MAY 2000

Eddie Irvine and David Ginola helped open Daytona’s new Park Royal circuit in London. Lewis Hamilton was 7th in Formula A at the Margutti Trophy at Parma. Dean Panrucker (Top/Comer) won the Formula A ‘O’ Plate at Rowrah from Michael Conway, but Conway sealed the Winter Series title. We put Gary Paffett, Luke Hines and Neil Dodson through a day’s fitness training. An article examined kart steering, physical forces and set-up.

JUNE 2000

David Griffiths won the ICA European Champs Qualifier that was held as part of a Kimbolton club meeting. As there were 24 UK places up for grabs and only 17 had entered, many questioned why they had to race. As it was the final was cancelled because the meeting over-ran. Alessandro Manetti lost his Formula C Race 1 win at the Mariembourg Euro Champs round because of a broken engine seal.

JULY 2000

McLaren boss Ron Dennis enlisted the help of both Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley in his efforts to overturn the Stewards’ decision that Lewis Hamilton would not be allowed to race in the Euro Champs round at Val d’Argenton because of his fractured wrist. Eventually the Stewards gave way and Lewis won both finals. Heikki Kovalainen won both Super-A finals at the Genk round, the first CIK event with water-cooled 100cc motors.

AUGUST 2000

Jamie Green (PCR/PCR) won the first Formula A final at the Valence Euro Champs round while fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton (CRG/Parilla) won the second final and secured the title. Toni Vilander (PCR/PCR) and Sauro Cesetti took the Super A victories. We profiled Jamie Green in this issue and also travelled to North Cyprus to witness the opening of the lavish new 1200m ZET International circuit near Nicosia.

SEPTEMBER 2000

We tested the new TKM 4-stroke engine and a Junior Gearbox outfit. Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could be an F1 podium but in fact it was the top three in Race 1 at the Oschersleben Formula A Euro Champs round. Hamilton had already secured the title and was profiled in this issue as was leading Junior racer Paul Di Resta. Mario Siegers of Holland made sure of the Super A crown.

OCTOBER 2000

Julien Menard (Tony/Vortex) of France won the ICA Euro Champs at Angerville. Pembrey hosted the Kart GP for a third time with Fell, Petersen, Riley, Tinker, Hurst and Nash taking the titles. Mark Litchfield and Gary Catt took 1st and 2nd at the TKM Festival in Senior TKM. Alan Turney demonstrated the new TKM 4-stroke. Poul Petersen broke two standing start world speed records aboard one of his PVP Formula E outfits.

NOVEMBER 2000

The World Champs at Braga almost had to be cancelled as the track surface broke up. Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) won Super-A while Colin Brown (Top/Parilla) took the honours in Formula A. Kubica, Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Piquet, Liuzzi and Fabi all raced at this meeting.The CIK outlined their vision for karting including the introduction of high performance 4-strokes.

DECEMBER 2000

Gianluca Beggio (Birel/TM) won the last ever World title for the 125cc Formula C class at Mariembourg.Just 4 weeks after his World Champs success, Colin Brown (Top/Comer) was again victorious in Formula A, this time at the Monaco Kart Cup. Jérome D’Ambrosio won Juniors.We tested the Parilla Leopard engine and Lewis Hamilton (World) and Ben Hanley (British) were the winners of our Kart Driver Rankings in association with Champion spark plugs.

Karting in the year 1999: a history

JANUARY 1999

Johnny Herbert had a go in a twin 100cc engined kart at his charity event at The Raceway at King’s Cross. One engine was a JICA Vortex, the other a 100C PCR. Gianluca Beggio won his 4th Formula C World title in a row at Charlotte in the USA. George Robinson track tested two BRM chassis for the 100cc classes at Clay Pigeon while Martin Capenhurst sampled Honda 80cc & 125cc gearbox outfits at Rye House.

FEBRUARY 1999

Fernando Alonso and Giorgio Pantano were the top karters at the Elf Masters indoor event at Bercy, Paris. The 10th International Kart Show took place at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent. We tested the Matador composite rental kart and took a look at the German KZH 125cc liquid-cooled gearbox class engine, its most striking feature being the ability to easily remove the power unit from the gearbox and clutch.

MARCH 1999

Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren F1-decaled Zip kart was on next to Mika Hakkinen’s F1 car on the Bridgestone stand at the Autosport International show. Buckmore Park and PF International both had track extensions. We interviewed Allan McNish who, back in 1985, had won all six Junior Britain Super One rounds! The German Kart 2000 show had the new Bomber 60cc engine on display, now known as the WTP.

APRIL 1999

The first ever Winter Cup was held at South Garda and attracted 271 entries. Söderberg (Juniors), Ardigo (ICA), Dos Santos (FA) and Quintarelli (Super-A) were the victors. Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton were 3rd and 6th in Juniors. TKM S1 champion Philip Charles helped us compare Formula TKM with his new challenge – Formula A. We visited Bayford Meadows which was entering its first full year.

MAY 1999

Johnny Herbert and John Surtees helped open Buckmore Park’s new extension. PCR announced that they were collaborating with the space agency NASA on new materials for their engines. Robert Kubica dominated the Junior class at the Margutti Trophy, Lewis Hamilton was only 18th. Three ‘A’ Final leaders at the TKM S1 Qualifier at Three Sisters were flagged into the pits for noise violations.

JUNE 1999

John Riley beat Mark Owens in the 250 International UK Cup at Cadwell Park. The First Monaco kart was track tested. Graham Smith gave an insight into contesting the 125cc Formula C Euro Champs for the first time. There were also articles on Buckmore Park, Noise, Sodikart’s new premises, Racing the Ecomoto, and Ray Smith reminisced about a 1986 event in Spain where he raced against Alex Zanardi.

JULY 1999

Sauro Cesetti (Kosmic/Vortex) won both Super A Finals at the Genk Euro Champs round; Julien Poncelet (Swiss Hutless/Ital Sistem) and Patrick Pilet (Tony/Vortex) took the victories in Formula A. Recognising the growing importance of Rotax MAX in karting, this edition saw the first of a long running series of columns on the class by George Robinson. We track tested the RT5 and RT6 chassis produced by TRT.

AUGUST 1999

Giuseppe Palmieri (S.Hutless/Ital Sistem) won the Super A Euro Champs round at Valence while Riko Fürtbauer (CRG/Rotax) took the honours in Formula A. The Formula C 125cc European title at Ceska Lipa was won by Ronnie Quintarelli (Tony/Vortex) and Claude Monteiro (Birel/TM) was crowned ICC champion. Lars Sexton (Tecno/Vortex) won the ABkC Formula A ‘O’ Plate at Shenington.

SEPTEMBER 1999

Reinhard Kofler (A), Tony/Vortex, won the Euro Junior Champs at Angerville. Lewis Hamilton was 2nd, Nico Rosberg 4th and Robert Kubica 5th. Cyndie Allemann (CH), Hutless/Ital Sistem, won the Cadet Green Helmet Trophy with Paul Di Resta 3rd. Poncelet and Palmieri, both on Hutless/Ital Sistem, sealed the Euro Champs titles for Super-A and Formula A respectively. We tested a triple-engined Pro-Kart.

OCTOBER 1999

Stefano Fabi, Top/Comer, of Italy won the Intercontinental A Euro Champs at Sarno. Jamie Green and John Byrne were the only two Brits out of the thirteen in Italy to make the final. We tested a 2-seater kart powered by two TKM BT82 engines and gave an insight into two outfits from Mugen – the Playing Kart, a 50cc gearbox recreation kart, and the We Wheel for disabled competitors.

NOVEMBER 1999

Danilo Rossi (CRG/CRG) won the Super A World Champs at Mariembourg while Franck Perera (Tony/Vortex) took the Formula A crown. We track tested the French GoKart TX MAX and a Deavinson Sprint fitted with a Honda 360cc water-cooled twin cylinder 4-stroke. Davide Fore and Alessandro Piccini collided on the last lap of the 125cc Formula C World Champs at Carole allowing Francesco Laudato to take the spoils.

DECEMBER 1999

John Riley won six of the last seven rounds of the MSA Long Circuit British Championship to clinch the title. Champion jump jockey Richard Dunwoody tested a 125cc Stratos/SGM, Mike Hayden tried a twin engined Rotax MAX outfit while Martin Capenhurst gave us the lowdown on Bowman’s LPG-fuelled leisure kart. Robert Kubica (CRG/CRG) won the Monaco Kart Cup for Juniors from Paul Di Resta.

Karting in the year 1998: a history

JANUARY 1998

We tested the Rotax FR125 MAX engine prior to it becoming an official class. Our man raved about its combination of low noise, high speed and reliability. Also tested in this issue were the latest Biz Pro-Kart, PVP’s Formula E and the Ecomoto 250cc 4-Stroke. Mike Spencer and Paul Di Resta won the JICA and Cadet ‘O’ Plates at Rye House. They would both go on to have success in motor racing.

FEBRUARY 1998

Alex Zanardi and Max Orsini were the stars at the annual Bercy indoor extravaganza. Newly homologated 100cc and 125cc engines and Cadet and TKM chassis were on display at the International Kart Show at Trentham Gardens. We carried details of the DAP, Kilt and Parilla water-cooled engines that would now be permitted in Formula 100C. Super Prokart using a Honda 620cc 4-stroke got RAC approval.

MARCH 1998

We carried an in-depth feature on Italian giant Birel. Another six manufacturers registered liquid-cooled engines for use in Formula 100C. The Kart 2000 exhibition at Offenbach had many of the latest engines on show. Warden Law’s application to the Sports Council for funding was approved. We interviewed former Lotus F1 team manager Peter Collins about his partnership with Tim Gillard and Peter de Bruijn.

APRIL 1998

Jenson Button modelled the latest racewear for us at GPR’s premises in West London. The Super 1 awards were held at Williams F1’s factory with Juan Pablo Montoya handing out some of the trophies. HRH Prince Hamaud El Saud of Oman helped open Rowrah’s new circuit. We tested the new Biz Thunderkart powered by a sealed 390cc Honda 4-stroke. CRG showed us their impressive factory.

MAY 1998

Stefano Fabi won Juniors at the Margutti Trophy from Marco Ardigo. Kimi Raikkonen was 4th in Formula A. Qualifiers were held at Clay Pigeon, Three Sisters and Lydd to find the fortunate drivers who would progress to the main S1 series. CRG were the team of the moment and dominated at the North American Champs at Las Vegas with Danilo Rossi (Super A) and Patrick Long (Formula A).

JUNE 1998

‘Benjamini’ and Riko Fürtbauer (Formula A) and Gianluca Beggio and Davide Fore (Super A) won the opening rounds of the European Championships at South Garda. Future F1 stars Fernando Alonso (FA) and Kimi Raikkonen (FSA) made the podiums at South Garda while Lewis Hamilton, his kart in McLaren colours, won JICA at rounds of both the Super One and Stars of Tomorrow series.

JULY 1998

We track tested a Mari chassis powered by two reed-valve 125cc Ital Sistem motors. F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella had described it as “The closest thing to Formula One”. Regulations were released for the new Formula Rotax class using the FR125 MAX engine. After the Legend pace car mowed down an official, all but six drivers boycotted the second Super A Final at the Val d’Argenton Euro Champs.

AUGUST 1998

Formula Super A drivers refused to race at the Imola round of the European Champs on a track laid out on the F1 circuit citing safety concerns. Only 11 of 73 Formula As raced in the finals with Luke Hines and Fabio Simonini taking the wins. We tested the Zytek electric kart. Atrocious conditions led to the abandonment of the Formula A final at the Suzuka World Cup that was being led by Adam Jones.

SEPTEMBER 1998

César Campaniço won both Formula A Finals at the Mariembourg Euro Champs round. Alessandro Manetti and Giuseppe Palmieri took the Super A wins. We tested Biz’s two seater kart, primarily designed for training purposes. Franck Perera and Alvaro Parente came out on top at the Junior Euro Champs at Braga. Gianluca Beggio retained his Formula C Euro crown while Valerio Sapere won ICC.

OCTOBER 1998

Julien Poncelet, CRG/CRG, won the ICA Euro Champs at Valence using front brakes.Tom Ferrier and Adam Carroll impressed of the Brits but were out of luck. After some 19 years at Silverstone and one ill-fated visit to Brands Hatch, the Kart GP moved to Pembrey. Barker, Cullen, Rickards, Long, Hurst, Allen and Wilkinson were victorious. We track tested a Stratos/SGM 125 Gearbox at Shenington.

NOVEMBER 1998

Davide Fore (Super A) and Ruben Carrapataso (Formula A) won the World Champs titles at Ugento in Italy, both on Tony/Vortex/B equipment. None of the six Brits made the top 10 despite them all being winners or champions on the UK scene. Graham Barker (National 125), Peter Budd (125 Open), Don Kennedy (250 National) and Alan Bott (250 International) won the ABkC ‘O’ Plates at Three Sisters.

DECEMBER 1998

Robert Kubica (JICA), Sauro Cesetti (Formula A) and Andras Bakos (ICC) won at Monaco. Lewis Hamilton won JICA at the final Champions of Future round but lost out on the title by two points to Fraser Sheader. Adrian Estasy (Jnr Yamaha) and Adam King (Cadet) were the other two champions. King, Kirkpatrick, Litchfield, Conway, Catt, Daltrey, Ferrier and Jenkinson won the Super One championships.