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Karting in the year 2001: a history


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.

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Karting in the year 2000: a history


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Karting in the year 1999: a history


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Karting in the year 1998: a history


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Karting in the year 1997: a history


The CIK North American Champs were held at Charlotte in North Carolina. Marco Du Pau was found to be underweight in Formula Super A and so victory went to Sweden’s Milton Ryttarbris (Birel/Rotax/Dunlop). A diesel engine powered rental kart was spotted at a Belgian show. Denis Davidson, father of Super Aguri F1 driver Anthony, detailed his son’s impressive first season in European Formula A.


Michael Schumacher stole the show at the fourth indoor karting event at Paris-Bercy and was the dominant force whether racing against fellow F1 stars or leading karters.The Honda Challenge had its season finale at Buckmore Park with Daniel Allin (Cadet), Adam Chandler (Junior) and Rob Garofall (Senior) crowned champions. The 8th International Kart Show was held at Trentham Gardens near Stoke-on-Trent.

MARCH 1997

The karting section of the Autosport International show at Birmingham was a great success with Tal-Ko reporting that they had sold out of their engine show stock. As well as the usual variety of chassis and engines, the show also featured the innovative Distomo front torsion bar system, an electric kart from Bowman Zytek, the Yamaha FK250 4-stroke engine with electric start and the Kart-Kat exhaust gas purifier.

APRIL 1997

Vitantonio Liuzzi (CRG/CRG/V) dominated Formula A at the CIK Schincariol Trophy in Brazil. Alessandro Manetti (CRG/CRG/B) won Super A having punched Johnny Mislijevic in one of the heats. Manetti was fined $750. We tested the Yamaha FK250, an early attempt at fitting a powerful 4-stroke to a kart. Rickard Kaell (PCR/PCR/D) beat Anthony Davidson (Fullerton/Parilla/B) at the Oceania Champs in Australia.

MAY 1997

Antonio Garcia, Steve Molini and Benjamini Van de Wakker were the victors at the Margutti Trophy. Fernando Alonso was 4th in ICA. Kestrel Kart were given permission to race the Kilt water-cooled 100cc engine on a trial basis. At a noise test it was 4dBA quieter than air-cooled engines. Lewis Hamilton won the Junior TKM S1 Qualifier at Clay Pigeon. The CIK finally accepted that front spoilers needed to be mounted more firmly.

JUNE 1997

Rye House hosted the first of two British qualifiers for the ICA European Champs, Darron Gibbs (CRG/CRG) was the victor. The opening rounds of the Formula A and Super-A Euro Champs at South Garda saw wins for 4 different drivers, chassis and engines. Privateer Kimi Raikkonen though was the revelation of the meeting, taking a 3rd and a 5th in the heats and winning the repechage against very strong opposition.

JULY 1997

Jenson Button (Tecno/Rotax) won both Super A European Championship rounds at Salbris to put himself on top of the points table. Antonio Garcia (Mari/Ital Sistem) and Alban Martinet (GoKart/Sirio) took the Formula A victories. Touring car ace Tim Harvey tested a 250cc Formula 1 kart at Three Sisters. Kent got a brand new circuit in the shape of Bayford Meadows. Ian Mulliner of Atol talked us through fuel testing.


There was a double success for Japan at the CIK World Cup at Suzuka with victories for Kosuke Matsuura (FA) and Kazushi Sano (Super A). This was the first time Japanese drivers had won major CIK titles. Jenson Button was awarded the Ayrton Senna Memorial Trophy. We track tested two Fullerton chassis at salbris. Using a Pi datalogger we calculated that at Warden Law every extra kilo carried increased lap times by 0.02s.


Jenson Button (Tecno/Rotax/B) clinched the Formula Super A European Champs at Genk with Davide Fore 2nd overall. Spain’s Antonio Garcia (Mari/Ital Sistem/D) won the Formula A title. Nelson Van Der Pol and Michael Koel, both Tony/Vortex, won the two classes at the European Junior Champs. Noise tests at Shenington showed that an engine cover, exhaust end and water-cooling all reduced noise levels on 100cc outfits.


Fernando Alonso (Mike/Parilla) was unstoppable in the preliminary stages of the ICA Euro Champs at Genk, winning all his heats and the Pre-Final, but made an error on lap 4 of the Final and spun out. Alessandro Balzan (Top/Comer) of Italy ran out the victor. With the help of a Pi System 1 datalogger we were able to show that a new set of Bridgestone YEQs on a JICA kart were worth 0.6s over a used set around Warden Law.


The World Champs at Salbris had disputes over TV coverage, Elf banners and one driver took the CIK to court for rejecting his entry! James Courtney (Tony/Vortex) in Formula A and Danilo Rossi (CRG/CRG) in Super-A were the worthy champions. England won the inaugural Internations event at Cork in Ireland. Gianluca Beggio (Birel/TM) won his third 125cc Gearbox World title in a row at Ugento.


Bobby Game retained his Formula A British Championship title. Other Super One champions in 1997 were Jay Howard (100 TKM), Dean Haddon (100B), Jason Edgar (100C), Michael Spencer (JICA), Stephen Thompson (Cadet), Sam Garford (Junior TKM) and Lewis Hamilton (Junior Yamaha). Eric Salignon (Formula A), Gianluca Beggio (ICC) and Marvin Bylitza (Juniors) won at Monaco.

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Karting in the year 1996: a history


We took a look inside an Ital Sistem MV21 100cc motor following the Italian company’s double World Championship success. A comparison of the Honda GX160 Pro-Kart motor and a new 200cc unit concluded that there was little difference in lap times and it would be better to stick with the existing motor. The CIK North American Champs were held deep in NASCAR country at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Giorgio Pantano (CRG/Rotax) won Formula A while Nicola Gianniberti (Jolly/Rotax) took the honours in Formula Super A.


Three Formula Super-A drivers were suspended from CIK championships for taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hour 100cc event which was not listed on the International Calendar. Harm Schuurman B.V. of Holland demonstrated a prototype of the 250cc Ecomoto engine, one of the first attempts at producing a suitable high-performance 4-stroke for karting that would be quick, quiet and reliable. George Robinson tested three different Tonykart chassis at P.F. International, the Crono, Esprit and Formula Step 3.

MARCH 1996

Details of the first Champions of the Future series, the forerunner of Stars of Tomorrow, were announced with all rounds to be screened on ITV. Martin Hines demonstrated his Formula E outfit at Autosport International. Anthony Davidson, Michael Simpson and Chris Stoney were the three karting British Champions to receive their awards at the RACMSA’s Night of Champions, Michael Schumacher and Colin McRae were also on hand to pick up their awards.

APRIL 1996

We visited the Rotax factory in Austria and were shown their latest 100cc engines and a prototype of the MAX engine which would later take the karting world by storm. Plans for a new circuit at Warden Law and a photograph of the extension at Lydd were published. Karts raced on an indoor banked oval circuit in Stuttgart, Germany. Michael Schumacher won Sunday’s celebrity final while 1993 Formula A World Champion David Terrien was the victor in the karters section.

MAY 1996

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 1996

The first ever Champions of the Future (later to become Stars of Tomorrow) round took place at Buckmore Park. Lewis Hamilton, Gary Paffett and Marcus Fulcher took the wins. Lotta Hellberg (Formula Super-A) and Giorgio Pantano (Formula A) were victorious at the South Garda European Champs round, the first round to be held with pooled tyres to stop specials. An electric kart covered 970 miles in 24 hours at Santa Pod. The Birel AR4 and R630B chassis were tested.

JULY 1996

Anthony Davidson won both Formula A Euro Champs rounds at Salbris, France. Jenson Button took a 4th and a 6th. Massimiliano Orsini was victorious in Formula Super A. Our Japanese correspondent introduced us to the Yamaha FK-9, a beginners’ class kart with an 82cc reed valve 2-stroke engine, centrifugal clutch and key ignition. We track tested various Fullerton chassis.


The CIK announced that only Elf-HTX 909 oil would be permitted in the European Champs as from January 1997. Marino Spinozzi (Tony/Vortex) won the European Junior Champs at Corridonia, Italy from Luke Hines. Nelson Van der Pol (Tony/Vortex) won the Green Helmet Trophy for younger drivers. Calor Gas announced their Kartgas LPG package for commercial operators.


We celebrated the 40th birthday of the first ever kart. Fernando Alonso won the Five Continents Cup, the ‘World Junior Champs’, at Genk on Mike/Parilla/Bridgestone equipment. Giorgio Pantano beat Anthony Davidson to the FA European title by just one point. Johnny Mislijevic was the Super A champion. We investigated the ARKS novice kart licence course that would become compulsory in 1997.


The inaugural TV Masters was held at P.F. International with 232 entries. Drivers’ goody bags included Fletchers Bakeries muffins. Lewis Hamilton (Cadet), Michael Simpson (Junior TKM) and Michael Spencer (JICA) were among the winners. Ludovic Vève of France on Biesse/Rotax won the ICA European Champs at the very quick Poznan circuit in Poland.


South Garda in Italy hosted the World Champs. Jean-Christophe Ravier (Formula A) of France and Sweden’s Johnny Mislijevic (Super-A), were the victors, both using Tony/Vortex. Shenington fended off a noise abatement notice. Lewis Hamilton, Gary Paffett and Andrew Delahunty won the first McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future series. McLaren’s Ron Dennis was on hand to congratulate the champions.


Michael Schumacher raced and won in Formula A at Monaco despite the F1 season not yet having finished. Chris Rogers, Gary Catt, Andrew Delahunty and Daniel Barrett took the Junior Super 1 titles while Philip Charles, Robert Jenkinson and Bobby Game were crowned Senior champions. A 100cc DAP driven by American Dave Bradley recorded an average speed of 120.729mph at the Bonneville Slat Flats.

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Karting in the year 1995: a history


KARTING magazine visited the famous Tony Kart factory at Prevalle in Brescia, Italy.Despite the cost, data logging continued to be used by more and more competitors to improve the setting up of their equipment.Nine years after the disastrous World Champs at Jacksonville, the CIK returned to the USA for the first CIK North American Champs. Jarno Trulli, winner of Super A, went on to have a very successful F1 career.With the completion of the P.F. International track so Paul Fletcher’s dream at last came true. Powered by a KT100 motor with a clutch which is used in many countries, Martin Hines launched Formula Yamaha Intercontinental for Juniors.


This issue contained a spectacular photo feature showing the first sighting of the exotic motors that had applied for homologation. Niki Richardson had his last Cadet event at Rye House and scored his 95th win. The team from Winnersh won the Slick 50 Endurance Championship for Pro-Karts by just 9 seconds after a series of gruelling events that included the 24 Hours at Spa Francorchamps.Jamaica staged their first Kart Prix with 100 competitors from 9 countries. A fierce tropical storm ceased just in time for race day. Former World Champion Gert Munkholm was the winner, just beating the UK’s Michael Simpson.

MARCH 1995

The range of high performance Rotax motors that won 10 out of the 12 World Championships since the re-introduction of 100cc made a superb display at the Hezemans factory in Holland for us to inspect.As a result of earthquake damage that destroyed their Kobe factory in Japan, Dunlop had to withdraw from their 1995 international kart tyre commitments.The Raket range of kart motors in 60cc, 85cc and 120cc versions were produced by Leif Radne in Stockholm, Sweden. The glorious Bercy Spectacular near Paris attracted most of the Formula 1 drivers to race on karts for charity. They raised an estimated £250,000 for spinal research.

APRIL 1995

The first UK international race for electric vehicles was due to be held at Mallory Park with a class for electric karts. Two karts were present at the launch of the challenge, the Swiss made ASMO and one built by the University of Sheffield. The first example of the new CIK ‘P’ class was handed over by Mugen, with former World F1 Champion Alain Prost present, to the Honda Museum in Geneva. Powered by a Yamaha 90cc motorcycle engine it had a centrifugal clutch. The concept was conceived by CIK President Ernest Buser to aid driver education in S.E. Asia and Africa.

MAY 1995

Sophie Kumpen won Formula A at the Margutti Trophy at Parma, beating the likes of Jarno Trulli and Giorgio Pantano. Lydd and Whilton Mill revealed extension plans that would come to fruition, but, despite planning permission being granted, an international circuit in Dyfed never got off the drawing board. A team led by David Brabham set a new world outdoor record of 1034.4 miles in 24 hours using a Playscape prepared Stratos/Honda single engined kart. Plans were revealed for a pace car at CIK championship meetings.

JUNE 1995

The CIK pace car made its debut at the South Garda Euro Champs round. The car did help control the starts but had trouble negotiating the corners and was exceedingly noisy. Control fuel was also introduced with grumbles from mechanics as they had to take the tanks off after each race and leave them in Parc Ferme. Giorgio Pantano (CRG/Rotax) won Formula A with Massimiliano Orsini (Swiss Hutless/Ital Sistem) victorious in Super A.Gareth Howell, some time BTCC racer and son of Playscape’s Martin Howell, won both Junior races at the Mariembourg Belgian Champs round. 100cc non-gearbox and 80cc gearbox for Juniors were two of the five Superkart classes proving popular in Australia.

JULY 1995

Indy 500 winner Daniel Wheldon won the Formula A World Cup in Suzuka. It was announced that Formula TKM would introduce clutches as an option in 1996. We paid a visit to Tillett Racing Seats and discovered that the first ever covered Tillett seat used Rolls Royce boot space lining material. The noise meter had a pronounced effect on grid positions for the 100cc Euro Champs round at Salbris. Giorgio Pantano won both Formula A finals with Orsini and Vassort taking a victory apiece in Super A.


2005 Indy 500 winner Daniel Wheldon and Formula One star Jarno Trulli won the two main classes at the CIK World Cup in Suzuka. New rear bumpers for RACMSA racing were said to be dangerous by some of our readers. The World Championship for Formula E was won by Trevor Roberts. Gaëtan Lancksweerd of Belgium produced the shock of the season when he won the Rainbow Trophy, the ‘European Championship’ for Junior Cadets, using a British made Solo kart and engine.


James Courtney (Junior) and Andre Lotterer (Cadet) were the winners at the top event in the Junior calendar, the CIK Five Continents Cup and Rainbow Trophy meeting in Braga, Portugal. Michael Simpson was celebrating his Formula Super A win at the CIK GP of Europe at Genk in Belgium. Karting magazine readers got the inside story on Michael’s victory as he was writing a regular monthly column for us at that time. A minimum age of 18 was introduced with immediate effect for mechanics at CIK championships.


The Schools Championships at Rowrah were a great success with 400 drivers. At the other end of the financial spectrum was the British Kart Grand Prix with particularly strong support for 125s. In Formula E the first three karts home were PVPs, the winner being World Champion Trevor Roberts. The Intercontinental A European Championship at St. Amand had a record 250 entries, although 90 of them were French! The winner was Arnaud Leconte. The three ‘O’ plate winners at Clay Pigeon were Panrucker, O’Connor and Coupland.


The World Championships were held at Valence in France and the winner in Formula A was Gastao Fraguas with Jenson Button 2nd. Max Orsini won Formula Super A from Davide Fore. Horstman announced the HPV-100 engine in a joint venture with IAME for American one-make classes with parts from the Komet K71. The Senior Super One champions were Carl Breeze, Stuart Smith, Robert Jenkinson and Michael Simpson.


The London Cup at Rye House benefited from big cash prizes and a revised format. Mark Boost (Formula B) and Dean Hawkey (Formula A) were the victors. There were rumours that Michael Schumacher would compete at the CIK Oceania Champs at Oran Park in Australia before going on to try and retain his F1 World title. There was a trial of a proposed 80cc Junior Gearbox kart at Three Sisters. Lewis Hamilton (Cadet) and Anthony Davidson (JICA) sealed their Super One titles at Shenington.