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Throwback Thursday – Nico Rosberg in 2001

In this weeks #throwbackthursday we go back to 2001 and look at current Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg.

Pictured above is Nico Rosberg at the 2001 South Garda Winter Cup in what turned out to be his final year of Karting as he’d find himself racing the Formula BMW ADAC series the next year. In this race he finished 10th.

Rosberg’s European karting career began in the old 100 Junior class at the 9th Andrea Margutti Trophy in 1998, in which he finished 7th. Italian driver Stefano Fabi won that year with Robert Kubica, Lucas Di Grassi, Marco Ardigo and Ben Hanley taking part along with fellow Brit James Brown, who finished 8th.

Rosberg in 1999
Rosberg in 1999

The German then went on to finish 4th in the 1999 European ICA Junior Championship on a CRG chassis. Two places ahead of him in the championship was none other than Lewis Hamilton who ran on a Top Kart that year. Kubica (CRG), Hanley (Kosmic), Pastor Maldonado (CRG) and Giedo van der Garde (CRG) all finished lower down the order.

2000 saw the birth of the team (Mercedes-Benz McLaren) which of course saw Rosberg paired up with current team mate Lewis Hamilton.


They competed in the European Formula A class which Hamilton won with Rosberg 2nd. Below were some of the recognisable names that raced that year…

1st. Lewis Hamilton
2nd. Nico Rosberg
3rd. Marco Ardigo
4th. Robert Kubica
5th. Clivio Piccione
7th. Oliver Jarvis
9th. Colin Brown
10th. Giedo van der Garde
13th. Mike Conway
16th. Jamie Green
27th. Loic Duval
29th. Ben Hanley
32nd. John Bryne
34th. Fraser Sheader
37th. Lucas Di Grassi
41st. Bruno Spengler

Then we come to 2001. Of course we have already discussed the picture at the top of the page which was Rosberg finishing 10th at the South Garda Winter Cup.

The German also competed with Hamilton in the Formula Super A World Championship but both had disappointing seasons with Rosberg 16th and Hamilton 15th.

Vitantonio Liuzzi won that year with Michael Schumacher also coming back for a play despite competing in Formula 1 that year.

It was then onto cars for Rosberg who progressed through the lower formula’s winning titles in Formula BMW and Formula 3 before he won the GP2 title in 2005 and that moved him up into F1 in 2006 with the Williams F1 Team.

Rosberg at 2006 Canadian Grand Prix


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Throwback Thursday – Sebastian Vettel in 2001

Throwback Thursday – Anthony Davidson in 1993

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Throwback Thursday – Anthony Davidson in 1993

In this weeks #throwbackthursday we go back to 1993 and look at current FIA World Endurance Championship driver Anthony Davidson.

1993 was a character-building year for Anthony Davidson. Pictured above leading the Junior TKM at Fulbeck, Anthony’s father comments: “1993 should have been Anthony’s title by 13 points but we got disqualified at the Rowrah round when it was deemed our motor exceeded the fische size for the exhaust port. It still bugs me to this day that I should have preceeded with my appeal. The only highlight that year was Anthony winning the O Plate at Buckmore Park, beating defending champion Jenson Button.”

You can see the race Anthony’s father was referring to below. Junior TKM race starts at 28:00

It was six years later that Anthony found himself moving out of karts and in to Formula Ford and he had immediate success taking 3 titles in his first two years.

From there in 2001 he went to Formula 3 before moving into Formula 1 in 2002 with Minardi

Anthony Davidson in 2002
Anthony Davidson in 2002 at Belgian Grand Prix


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Throwback Thursday – Paul Di Resta in 2001

Throwback Thursday – Fernando Alonso in 1998

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Throwback Thursday – Paul Di Resta in 2001

In this weeks #throwbackthursday we look back to, Current DTM and Former F1 driver, Paul Di Resta in 2001.

Paul started karting in the late 90’s and had immediate success finishing as runner up in the 1999 Monaco Kart Cup in the ICA Junior class to Robert Kubica. In 2000 he finished runner up in the Super One JICA Championship as well the as the annual South Garda Winter Cup. It was Ben Hanley who won Super One that year with Dutch driver Carlo van Dam winning the Winter Cup.

Pictured above was Paul in 2001 which turned out to be his best year in Karting as he became the Super One British Champion in the JICA class. He scored 331 points overall beating 2nd place driver Ian Johnstone by just 5 points.

2002 turned out to be his last year in Karting as he moved to Formula Renault in 2003 before making it to F1 in 2001.

Paul at Malaysia GP in 2011


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Fernando Alonso in 1998 – Throwback Thursday

Sebastian Vettel in 2001 – Throwback Thursday

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Throwback Thursday – Fernando Alonso in 1998

In this weeks #throwbackthursday we look back to Fernando Alonso in 1998. Alonso had an illustrious career in Karting until this point, he was Junior Spanish Champion 3 years in a row (1993 – 1995) and became the Junior World Champion in 1996 beating the likes of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Brit Luke Hines.

Two years later and now in the Formula A class Alonso’s season didn’t get off to the best start as he finished 7th in the Andrea Margutti Trophy with future team mate Kimi Raikonnen finishing 4th

He then had a disastrous World Championship race finishing 26th, which was won by Brazilian driver Ruben Carrapatoso.

His highlight of the year, however, came from the European Championships where he finished 2nd place to Portugal’s Cesar Campanico.

So not the best season by Alonso’s standards but fast forward three years to 2001 and the Spaniard was already racing in Formula 1 with the Minardi F1 Team.

Fernando Alonso curbing it in 2001
Fernando Alonso curbing it in 2001!  Put in the comments what track you think this is?


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Throwback Thursday – Sebastian Vettel in 2001

Karting in the year 1998 – a history

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Throwback Thursday – Sebastian Vettel in 2001

In this #throwbackthursday we look back to 2001 where a 14 year old Sebastian Vettel was on his way to winning the ICA Junior European Championship.

At the time the championship took place over just two weekends with four points scoring races, all of which Vettel never failed to make the podium. He took a 2nd and 1st at the first round in Saint Amand (France), before taking a 3rd and 2nd at Thy (Denmark).

Jonothan Thonon and Jeremy Iglesias were two recognisable names who raced Vettel in the series that year with Sam Bird and Ian Johnstone representing the Brits.

I’m sure many people round the paddock would have expected the young German to potentially go all the way but would they have expected the four back to back World titles that eventually followed?


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Karting in the year 2001 – A history

Karting in the year 2002 – A history

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Karting in the year 2003: a history


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Karting in the year 2002: a history


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.