Category Archives: News

Karting news from the UK and around the world. Super One, LGM, WSK, Euromax and other go karting updates

TKM News: Maxxis Wet Tyre

2013 Veloce 34

Formula TKM classes will switch to a new Maxxis wet weather tyre starting in January completing the upgrade of the class to new age ‘green’ specification tyres.

Maxxis Tyres and Tal-Ko Racing have used the opportunity of a change to re-assess the tyres and the new versions will have significantly different chemical and construction format.

The new tyres have a totally different tread pattern, and they will have a larger diameter to help cut through deep water. Testing has shown them to make control much easier and to cut lap times significantly.

But while they will be quicker – by maybe as much as 2s a lap – vitally they will still have excellent durability.

Alan Turney, from Tal-Ko Racing, owners of the TKM classes, said: “When we brought out the new slick tyre two years ago we said they would be faster yet more durable than the old tyres and we were exactly right. They achieved the seemingly impossible.

“We believe these new wet tyres will do exactly the same thing. We felt it important that, especially for newcomers into the Junior class from Cadets, that they would appreciate tyres which make driving a little easier.”

The new tyres, which will have red and white labels, will be available from late November for those who wish to go testing. They will become useable for racing from January 1, though for club racing the older wet tyres will still be useable until April 1.

The new wet tyres will incorporate bar coding and will be on a similar price level to the existing tyres. Tal-Ko will be issuing further technical advice details before next year and the tyres will be on display at the Kartmania Show on the Tal-Ko stand.

Tal-Ko launch upgraded Veloce

Tal-Ko will unveil an updated version of its highly successful Veloce kart on its stand at the Kartmania Show at Silverstone in November.

The upgraded specification of the kart includes a significantly revised front geometry together with the fitment of 25mm front axle stub axles as standard aimed at giving even greater stability for use with the latest grippy Maxxis slick tyres.

Tal-Ko has also revised a number of other detail changes on the kart to maximise performance on the track in all conditions and give greater durability and ease of use.

The kart boasts a very high specification with 50mm rear axle assembly mounted in full circle stiff rear axle bearing hangers and superior self adjusting brake system with floating brake disc. It comes complete with full body sticker kit.

Orders taken at the Kartmania Show will attract a special 5% discount saving more than £119 off normal standard kart price which is £1995 + VAT.

Super One & O Plate Dates

2013’s provisional dates are:

14th April, Super One at Whilton Mill

28th April, O Plate at Rowrah

26th May, Super One at Rowrah

23rd June, Super One at GYG

25th August, Super One at Clay Pigeon

22nd September, Super One at PFi

6th October, Super One at Shenington

ABkC News Autumn 2012

Stock-RotaxA number of technical and sporting matters were discussed at the Autumn ABkC steering group meeting in preparation for 2013 and the AGM.

Kart licences so far in 2012 are around 4,200 whilst Rob Jones added that events and number of drivers competing is holding up well.

AGM

The Annual General Meeting will be held at Donington Park Farmhouse Hotel on Tuesday 11th December, starting at 12 noon, with a sandwich lunch on offer.

Provisionally presentations are being arranged with TAG-Heuer on their innovative timing system, and Peter Kessler will demonstrate the bar coding system that is used so successfully at the Super One and Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. The latest more affordable system is called EVA.

Clubs – please send a representative to the AGM, important matters for the future of kart racing will be discussed, the venue is just past the paddock entrance to the race track.

International

Chairman Russell Anderson updated the steering group on CIK KF engine homologation matters and the championship events to be proposed to World Council. From 2014 tyres will have to last longer – 150km for Medium and 250km for Hard varieties.

National Championships

Discussions are on-going with the MSA regarding the ABkC National Championships tender procedures for 2014 onwards. Although the new championship regulations have been deferred for a year, Super One will only hold 6 rounds per series in deference, and in future only seeded numbers 1 – 10 will be issued.

After a vote it was confirmed that Cumbria Kart Club would retain the rights to the Super Two Honda senior and junior ABkC championships for another year. A secret vote decides the locations of the O Plates, but the number of bids received was disappointing. Buckmore Park will hold the Honda Cadets in the Autumn, Shenington will host the Gearbox with 250 National at the June SuperPrix and KZ2 UK as a Super One support in October. Cumbria KC will host the remainder on 27/28 April including Rotax and TKM classes. KF3 and KF2 will be held during a Winter Warm up meeting at Glan y Gors.

Sporting Regulations

Race Start regulations are having an overhaul and everyone should check the MSA website for all the latest proposals and comment during the limited consultation phase. The proposed regulation will rely on judge of fact decisions on jumped starts as the timing loop cannot be used when formation is permitted to break as soon as the red light goes out.

Ages for Seniors could be moved down a year from 2014 but no class has yet announced a change, however the upper age for Juniors will revert to the end of the 16th year.

The MSA is still being pressed to only levy one fine on non production of both competition and PG Entrant licence.

Driving standards are still being actively discussed but it is likely that the penalty points will be held in abeyance into 2013.

Junior Tyro

Steve Chapman of Protrain gave a presentation on their Junior Tyro kart class.  The kart is a specially designed Gillard, fitting with a 10bhp Swedish Raket TAG engine, all for £2450 plus vat on all weather tyres and discounts for clubs to use at Lets Go Karting or similar events. More information is on PXX

Timing Systems

It was agreed that any club wishing to purchase the TAG-Heuer timing system, used so effectively to give live timing and sector timing in the Super One this year, must continue to apply for a waiver to the ABkC, but if they can guarantee to offer any competitor a hire transponder for the day for no more than £10 including VAT, then waivers will be given.

Technical Regulations

The MSA is continuing with Cadet engine testing to decide on the restrictors for Comer and Honda for 2013 and an announcement is expected shortly.  The IAME provisional fiche is on the MSA website.

250 National class regulations have been revised to allow the introduction of new engines during 2013. These can take trophies and prizes but not championship points in short circuit, whilst a Super National class for them has been proposed in long circuit.  Notices of intent to register must be with the MSA by 1st December, details on demand, kit engines are allowed.

KZ2 UK engines will have to become fully compliant with homologation as far as exhausts and gear ratios are concerned from 2013. Super One Series is offering up to three support races at selected tracks for KZ2 UK on condition enough drivers enter by January.  One of these will be the O Plate.

TKM and KF classes will have new wet tyres in 2013, and in Rotax the intake silencer tube must be marked ‘ROTAX’.

TKM have incorporated the TKM Clubman regulations as used at Shenington into the Gold Book.

Maximum kart weights have been translated into minimum driver weights, in general 38kg for 11 year old classes.

A debate was held on whether the regulations should be amended regarding exclusions from meetings for technical eligibility offences. It was agreed that a range of penalty from minimum exclusion from the race or timed qualifying up to exclusion from the meeting should be recommended to be cast into supplementary regulations.

The ABkC is taking legal advice on some of the issues regarding tyre contracts, which will be renewed for 2014.

Club Matters

It was decided that clubs must put No Smoking signs on their dummy grid areas.

The new ABkC Club Development fund procedures were discussed and it was decided that clubs needing a grant should first have tried the MSA fund but could then apply to the ABkC Secretary, especially if it was for some project that the MSA would not cover.

The ABkC will be exhibiting at the Autosport Show but will leave individual clubs to promote karting at KartMania.

Super One Wins Championship Tenders

Alex Gill

The MSA is delighted to announce that Super One Series Ltd has won the tender process to promote the MSA British Kart, Junior Kart and Cadet Kart Championships.

Super One has run the MSA British Kart and Junior Kart Championships successfully for several years. It will now add the MSA British Cadet Kart Championship to its roster, promoting all three MSA British titles for five years from 1st January 2013.

Rob Jones, MSA General Secretary and Kart Committee Chairman, said: “This is a very important time for UK karting, particularly with the introduction of the new MSA British Cadet Kart Championship engine, the IAME Parilla Gazelle 60cc UK. The MSA is therefore very pleased that Super One, with its successful background, is to take on the promotion of these championships on behalf of the MSA.

“The MSA would like to take this opportunity to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to Carolynn Hoy and Formula Kart Stars for their great work over the years in building up the MSA British Cadet Kart Championship.”

It has also been confirmed that Super One will run the new MSA National Comer Cadet Kart Championship for three years from 1st January 2013, although this championship will not be part of the same package as the three British titles.

John Hoyle, boss of Super One, added: “Super One is delighted not only to continue running the MSA British Kart and Junior Kart Championships but also to be entrusted with the MSA British Cadet Kart and National Comer Cadet Kart Championships from 2013. We are excited for the future, with new plans for cost control and even more support for competitors, who we believe will also benefit from a single promoter.

Cost control measures will include bar coding the tyres to restrict the amounts used in both practice and racing, and there will also be a reduction to six rounds for each series.

The live timing for the MSA series will be using the TAG Heuer system as used in the Rotax series, and it was trialled during the last round at Shenington.

Hoyle said that in 2013 the series will continue to offer the ABkC National Championships for all the Rotax classes, the TKM 2-stroke classes and Honda Cadet as well as Formula KGP. “We will be going all-out to renew these contracts during 2013 to assure the entire future of this superb championship series that I have the privilege to lead. I’d like to thank my great team of officials, all our sponsors, the MSA, JAG Engineering, Tal-Ko and most especially our 2012 headline sponsor Edgar’s Hyundai for their support, without which the none of this would have been possible,” added Hoyle.

Hoyle said he would be working very closely with IAME and their importer John Mills Engineering to make the new Cadet class a massive success with some great prizes on offer.

The Comer championship will carry on, and this is expected to be in the Rotax series. If the expected numbers materialise, it is likely that KZ1 will be a guest class at three of the more suitable circuits.

The 2013 MSA British Kart Championship will continue to be held for all homologated KF2 engines. The two series, one concentrating on the Rotax classes and a Cadet class, the other for the British Championships and TKM will each have six weekends of competition following a very similar format to now. The cost of competing will be closely controlled and the series will continue to offer the most cost effective major national championship comparing very favourably to other countries.

The 2013 calendar and registration forms will be available in November, the Series will be exhibiting at KartMania and the Autosport International Racing Car Show.

The 2012 Awards Dinner is arranged for ???Saturday 11th January and will be a celebration not only of the worthy champions and seeded drivers but also of the assured future of the series.

Kart regulations amended with immediate effect

The MSA wishes to clarify the wording of the following regulations as approved earlier this month by Motor Sports Council.

The full amended wording, which supersedes any previously published versions with immediate effect, is as follows:

U12.7. For Short Circuit Karting only, kart engines must not be run in the pits or paddock.

U12.7.1. Kart engines may only be started in an area designated by the organisers, which shall include the live area of the circuit. When starting engines the driver must be seated correctly in the seat with all four wheels of the kart on the ground. Exceptionally non-centrifugal-clutch classes may start their engines, in the same designated area, with the kart positioned on a trolley in a position that will not endanger others.

U12.7.2. Gearbox karts may run their engines in an area designated as above by using suitable blocks under the rear part of the chassis.

U12.7.3. Any kart engine started in a designated area (12.7.1), other than in the live areas of the circuit, must not run for more than 10 seconds.

Date of implementation:  Immediate

Reason: Safety, to restrict the unsafe practice of starting engines in awnings and throughout the paddock.

Note: the reason for this amendment is that following approval by MSC it was noted that this regulation is not practical for Long Circuit Karting, which uses Car Racing Circuits. Additionally, it was anticipated that gearbox Karts, with a non-centrifugal clutch, would be permitted to be started on a stand as there is a method of control to stop the wheels rotating.

U17.29.6. For classes that include a minimum driver weight only mandatory items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as required by 13.1-13.3, are to be included when the Driver is weighed.

Date of implementation:  Immediate

Reason: Safety. To negate the use of ‘weighted’ items such as rib protectors etc. Mandatory PPE includes helmet, gloves, boots and overalls, all as defined in U13.1-13.3

Note: the reason for this amendment is that following MSC approval it was noted that the regulation as written would put competitors at an unfair weight disadvantage within minimum total class weight by using potential additional non-mandatory safety items such as Rib Protectors. By simplifying the regulation we can ensure that drivers who are too small will not be permitted to enter the relevant classes. In addition to the change it is agreed to clarify 2012 Kart Race Yearbook regulations for the relevant Junior Classes to ensure a specific minimum driver weight is given, as follows with red additions:

Formula Rotax Junior Max

D1.8.2 Weight. Minimum of 148kg including driver at all times (driver min 40kg). Maximum kart weight without

driver is 108kg. Minimum

Rotax Mini Max

D4.8.3 Weight. Minimum of 135kg including driver at all times (driver min 37kg). Maximum kart weight without

driver is 98kg.

KF3

D2.6.1 Weight. Minimum 145kg with driver at any time (driver min 40kg).  The minimum weight of the kart (without

fuel) to conform to CIK regulations. Maximum kart weight without driver is 105kg at any time.

FORMULA TKM

D3.8.2 Weight (on completion of any part of the event)

Junior TKM 123: min 123kg with driver (driver min 38kg). Maximum kart weight without driver is 85kg

Junior TKM 128: min 128kg with driver (driver min 42kg).  Maximum kart weight without driver is 86kg

Junior TKM 135: min 135kg with driver (driver min 49kg). Maximum kart weight without driver is 86kg

Junior TKM 142: min 142kg with driver (driver min 59kg). Maximum kart weight without driver is 83kg

Junior TKM 148: min 148kg with driver (driver min 67kg). Maximum kart weight without driver is 81kg

Junior TKM Extreme: min 138kg with driver (driver min 46kg). Maximum kart weight without driver is 92kg

KF Classes In Limbo

Ben Barnicoat

Everyone agrees that something needs to be done to improve the KF classes, particularly nationally, but a power struggle seems to be emerging between the manufacturers and the CIK-FIA.

Way back in February the CIK announced a major overhaul of the KF engines and how the championships would be organised, but four months before the new engine homologation was originally due nothing has been announced to the sport.

However, we have had a long conversation with CIK Vice President Kees Van De Grint and have other details that are unconfirmed but from reliable sources.

Engines

Van De Grint said “The engine doesn’t have reliability problems but it is very complicated and it is very difficult for national organisations to police.”

“CIK racing is is quite good. But that’s it. We made an inventory with all the ASNs about why KF is not picking up. The conclusion was cost, not only of equipment but of control. Here with all our equipment it is very good but we cannot expect a local club to have all the equipment.

“The world or the European championship is the highlight of a drivers season but they should race more domestically so we need to help the ASNs.

“The engine has to work for countries all over the world and it’s much nicer when you have a World Championship with Brazilians, Indonesians etc. we can say you have to use this engine but in the end the market will decide. Hopefully the manufacturers will realise that.

“It was proposed that a simple basic engine be made. We didn’t want to design the engine but thought that there should be a set of criteria. We spoke to all the engine manufacturers and five of them agreed with it and four agreed to make a prototype. We are also talking to experts within the CIK and other major manufacturers. It needs to be much cheaper and much simpler. There are no details yet as that is for the experts to work out.

“The Commission has accepted the idea and has mandated the President to study as to whether it can be implemented earlier.”

However, the CIK then received a counter proposal from a majority of the manufacturers. There’s no official confirmation of what this was, but those privy to the discussions say it involves float bowl carburettors as used in Rotax, and a standard power valve, but only evolutionary changes to the rest of the engine.

This would seem to be a strange direction to go, as neither of those elements are widely cited as reasons why drivers avoid KF, but drivers do talk about constant evolutions of engine parts that they often need to win. The manufacturers seem to have evolved a business model where they are constantly selling upgrades so their proposed engine formula benefits themselves but perhaps harms teams and drivers.

It sounds as though the private teams are against this, but unfortunately for them they have far less influence and voting rights than the manufacturers do, despite fielding many more drivers. They are represented by Joakim Ward of Ward Racing on the Commission.

“Whatever way we go we have to take into consideration the different consequences. To rules and also to different component and material suppliers,” Van De Grint said.

If there was a radical overhaul of engines, that would have obvious effects of the manufacturers who would have to invest in even more than usual R&D and replace a lot of tooling, but if new carburettors were bought in that would have a negative effect on the existing carb manufacturers like Ibea, Hubchen and Bolex.

“Commission members asked when the changes will come in. The initial answer is 2016 as rules and homologation have respected. Will have to get agreement from every body involved to do it sooner. Some commission members think it is too late but everyone has to be in agreement. That is one of the discussions for the next few weeks.”

This would be for if there was to be bigger changes to the engine than just a new carburettor and powervalve. We don’t know yet when that would come in but most likely 2014.

The initial reaction to the 2016 date is are we still going to have a sport by then? But realistically many problems have been caused in the past by rushed-through changes, so although we all want to see improvements as quickly as possible, a three-year planning process may well produce the best results. There’s no mileage to be gained now from saying this all should have been started three years ago!

Championships

The other issue facing international karting is whether the current Championship format is the right one to produce the optimum depth of competition. International KF2 and KF3 are reasonably healthy although a long way down from their peak, but KF1 is not at all healthy. From our observations trying to run a multiple round World Championship for KF1 or it’s predecessors has never worked out and carrying on with a series to try and compete with the WSK is a losing battle.

“There has been a proposal to the Commission that was accepted in the last meeting for a single round World Championship and also a two or three round European Championship, but again there is also a counter proposal. The proposal that has been made by the CIK is to have World Championship for Junior, Senior and KZ,” said Van De Grint.

Again, there isn’t an official announcement yet but what we have seen indicates that there will be a multi-round European KZ1 and KZ2 Championship, a return of the KZ1 World Championship, with the KF3 World Cup carrying on.

No European or World Championships were listed yet for any of the KF classes so presumably this is still being wrangled over. PFi is expecting to be offered a World Championship, whether it ends up being for KF1 or KF2, after the top class was cancelled from their event last year.

There was some confirmation of rumours that have been circulating all summer that this will be the last year of the U18 World Championship.

Van De Grint said that they want to “use the format of the U18 for a Nations Cup. The Academy Trophy is a fantastic thing as it brings in drivers from countries who don’t race, and are development countries. Drivers are selected by their ASN and hopefully will become ambassadors back in their country.”

This Nations Cup is initially scheduled for the same day as the KF3 World Cup, at Sarno.

In response to complaints from the Italians that drivers like George Russell are too fast and experienced to compete in the Academy, Van De Grint said “When the Academy Trophy was started it was never the intention to have the best drivers. It was not for example for Verstappen. But drivers always want to race against the best. The original idea was to have young drivers helped by their ASN who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance.”

Going back to the issue of low national participation in KF, what hasn’t been mentioned so far is the inevitable effect that having another major championship, the WSK, has had on countries like the UK. There’s ten races for the better funded or factory-supported drivers to compete in and although the national championships avoid running on these dates as well as those for the CIK championships, it’s not always easy to do, and the drivers will still have to prioritise their budgets and which events they will do.

Germany has a thriving domestic scene for the international classes. They have tried innovative solutions like running a second KF2 class for drivers who haven’t yet competed in the European Championship, but have settled down to having KF2, KF3 and KZ2. On closer inspection they actually have relatively few German drivers competing, which is less surprising when you find out that there are only around 800 license-holders in Germany. However, the championship is fortunate in that drivers from Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Holland all border Germany and plenty of their drivers find it convenient to compete there. The tracks are mostly good but certainly not all international standard.

The challenge will be to bring this level of success for countries that aren’t as rich and well-organised.

British Championship to go single-make

Written By: Mary-Ann Horley

CIK-FIA KF2 CHAMPIONSHIP (Rd 1) and CIK-FIA EUROPEAN KZ1 & KZ2 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Standfirst: The MSA has announced that the Senior British Championship is to use one make of engine from 2013 onwards in an attempt to cut costs and create more even competition.

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) has launched tender processes for the organisation and promotion of the MSA British Kart Championship and British Junior Kart Championship, which are now for the KF2 and KF3 classes respectively.

In the tender documents (see kartingm.ag/Lz7VA7) the governing body is seeking interested parties to run and promote the championships for a minimum period of five years from 1st January 2013.

The Junior championship is to remain as KF3 (or any equivalent CIK Junior class), but the Senior Championship is to be run on a single engine from those on the CIK-FIA homologation list. This means that the prospective promoter can choose either a KF1, KF2 or KF4 engine, from the list of engines homologated now or in the next period. Tyres will remain as the Bridgestones for both classes for 2013 only.

The MSA requires that tenders must include Championship Regulations comprising Sporting and Technical Regulations, and the Championship format which includes a requirement for a maximum of six rounds.

Tenders must arrive at Motor Sports House no later than 12 noon on Thursday 26th July 2012. Email submissions will not be accepted.

Meanwhile, the CIK-FIA is working on updated regulations, as after six years of KF the concept hasn’t seen the success that they hoped for, particularly on a national level. For 2013 a simplified set of technical regulations will come into force.

“There are several requests that we must meet”, explained the Vice-President Kees van de Grint. “On the one hand, the current KF engines are too costly and, on the other hand, they necessitate too many investments in electronic means from ASNs and/or Organisers to control efficiently the conformity of clutches and rev limiters. It is a project on which the CIK-FIA must work in the next few months. For the time being, it will be proposed to the World Motor Sport Council to lighten the technical regulations governing the existing KF engines, in particular by deleting as from 2013 the control of the cylinder transfer ducts volumes and by standardising certain components as well as the general sketch of ignition systems.”

The engine manufacturers have agreed with the CIK to postpone the new engine homologation for a year to 2014, and as we went to press we were waiting for the FIA to ratify this. We also understand that it is likely that the classes will be simplified to just a Junior and Senior class in 2014.

Van de Grint said that “The idea is to draw up a new set of engine specifications to allow for a simple and above all cheaper engine to be homologated as of 2014.” This has led to suggestions, particularly from long-standing team and track owner Paul Fletcher, that the MSA should delay their plans to coincide with the CIK changes.

The MSA General Secretary Rob Jones has said that they aren’t in a position to wait for the CIK to complete it’s review of the KF classes before announcing the British Kart Championship format for 2013 onwards, and has also said that the proposed class format “mirrors that which is run by other ASNs with greater success than the current KF2 format.”

However our research indicates that the only country that does this is Australia, with it’s Pro Light (KF1) category using Parilla engines from a single supplier. They had 14 entries at their last national championship round, just one more than the latest round of the British Championship, at Larkhall. Ireland only allows two engines, the Parilla and the TM.

When we asked the MSA which countries they were referring to, a spokeman said “I’m afraid that we can’t comment on an on-going tender process.”

Gordon Finlayson of engine tuners GFR says that “the only way to do this would be for one company to supply the engines and service them at the track. That isn’t going to be much cheaper than what people are spending now. Most people are spending £800-950 on engines at a Super One round, having one engine of their own serviced and hiring another, so I don’t think that’s the biggest issue.”

He points out that he, Ricky Flynn Motorsport and Paul Fletcher have kept KF2 going over the last few years by helping out drivers.

Ricky Flynn also feels that the problem with KF2 isn’t the engine costs. “There is a lot of competition for KF2, we shouldn’t have let drivers go to cars at 14 and a half, 17 was the right age as then they are ready physically and mentally. There isn’t a single 14-year-old who is ready to do 150mph at Thruxton. That’s the real problem, not the single make classes. If people want a single make class there is Rotax which succeeds because it is the same everywhere.”

Van de Grint’s response to the news that the the UK was to have a single-engine British Championship was “It would be a pity if karting in England (sic) drifts away from the CIK by going the single brand engine route for KF2. Especially as we would like the PF circuit to host the 2013 CIK/FIA KF2 World Championship.”

The MSA were also unable to comment on any repercussions for World Championship events.

But it’s never ending…

DPE’s new Arrow X2 CIK

arrow_x2

 

Written By: Mark Wicks

They’ve measured up to 100 dimensions, driven it over as many bumps as they can find and evaluated every component: now Arrow think they can seriously rival the Italians.

The CIK kart is a completely new chassis design to cater for the 125cc classes. It will begin to be shipped to dealers in 30/32mm spec immediately and 30/30mm and 32/32mm spec karts will come online later in the year.

The X2 CIK kart (full specs at kartingm.ag/On6OCt) from Arrow marks a new chapter in the iconic Australian kart manufacturer’s history. Already known around the world for quality, performance and presentation, the tech boffins at DPE have undertaken unprecedented analysis of materials and design to come up with the X2. It would have to be the most understood chassis to come out of Arrow.

Arrow’s Research and Development Manager, Bart Price, said that the number of items that are measured and considered in the design and build of the kart has blown out compared to the past.

“We are now analyzing the material of every single component of the kart and the effect each has. In the past we might have looked at the material of the chassis and 40 to 50 dimensions that we focused on. But now, that number of items has gone up to 90 or 100. That is one of the biggest things that has changed. There is just more and more that we analyze.”

As a result, Price said that things they didn’t realize were having an effect on the performance of the kart were actually having a dramatic effect.

“For example, in the seat mounts, we’ve had the same material for years and never really thought much of it. But that’s all changed. With the CIK kart, we’ve gone a lot softer in the seat brackets than where we’ve been.
The change in material properties through the kart has been quite dramatic, and while the seat brackets are softer, the chassis’ rear axle bearing brackets are far stiffer.

“With the steel bearing hanger material, we’ve gone the opposite way. When we were comparing ours to several opposition brands of kart, it was obvious we were too soft in the bearing hangers (tested by putting a bar through the rear end and measuring the load and flex through the bearing hangers).

“The main thing that changed in performance there was – the first five laps, really, it made no difference. But after five laps when there was a bit of heat in the tyres, and especially on the Mojo tyre where you get a fair bit of tyre shudder, the different bearing hanger material tended to make us last a lot longer.”

The main chassis rails are wider apart at the rear of the kart which has settled its behavior, particularly on corner entry.

“With our karts, we’ve found that, while they could be fast, they were quite nervous to drive. What that meant for – and I wouldn’t even say your average driver, but any driver that’s not David Sera (Australia’s equivalent of Mark Litchfield or Michael Simpson) – it was very difficult for someone to post lap after lap at top speed, myself included. The consistency was the biggest problem. It was nervous entering the corner without making a mistake and the extra width in the back of this chassis has really helped stabilize that.

“But probably the key thing that’s had a big impact on (reducing) the nervousness of the kart is the front end geometry – the angles at which the track-rods mount from the stub axle to the steering shaft.”

The revised angles mean the amount of toe-out due to Ackerman as more lock is applied, does not increase to the extent it did before.

“As we were, as you turned on more lock, the Ackerman was increasing and we ended up with a lot of Ackerman. But by bringing the (steering shaft) pickup back we’ve reduced the amount of Ackerman on turn-in, making it a lot less nervous to drive on the entry to the turn.”

The braking system is the same as the previous model. “We’ve been working on a self-adjusting system which we hope to introduce a bit later, but it’s not finalized yet.”

When it comes to the general layout of the X2 chassis, the kart’s overall shape has its roots in the original development for the previous kart, the X1-E.

“The basis of this design (the X2) was considered as part of that development and we were really knife edge at the time over which kart to go with before we went with the X1-E shape.

“And while that’s been a good kart, I couldn’t say it’s been the kart of choice for a lot of people. Therefore we’ve continued to focus hard on this design.” One of the problems this kart will face is the various tyre compounds that it will potentially race on. However, Arrow are confident they’ve now got an effective tuning tool to cope with the different grip levels.

“By changing the way the main rails pick up the front beam, we’re now getting a bigger difference when the front torsion bar is in or out, and this helps us tune for the different tyres. “This kart’s going to have people racing it with MG Reds – and we could be talking a beginner with 4 or 5 race meeting old MG Reds – versus someone going out in Leopard on brand new MG Yellows. The grip level difference is dramatic.

“By changing the front to what we’ve got now, we have a bigger tuning aide to deal with the different grip levels. In basic terms, the higher the grip level of the tyre, the softer we run in that section of the kart.

So, on MG Yellows we’ve had more success if the bar is removed completely, but on MG Reds we’ve had the most success running a chrome-moly bar across the front. That’s a little different to our opposition, who tend to use a standard mild steel which is fairly soft. This kart will have two different grades of torsion bar and the stiff version is the same material used in the chassis and has the greatest impact.

Further material changes – and not just in dimension – have been made in the main part of the chassis. The entire chassis is chrome-moly, but of differing tensile strength.

“In this kart we’re running a much softer main rail tube, but across ways – the rear bar, centre bar and front hoop – is higher tensile steel.

“Everyone is looking for as much grip as they can, obviously without getting to the point of robbing engine power. With going stiffer across-ways and softer long-ways, we’ve found it enables the kart to keep its momentum up when it’s sliding which also makes it more consistent to drive.

Price said they have gone to a lower tensile steel in the front C-sections that mount the stub axles (which have reverted to steel items once more), and this and the softer seat brackets have aided the kart’s ability to ride bumps.

“I think the C-section and the seat stay material has been the key ingredient to allow us to ride the bumps better. I didn’t realize it was such a problem for us until we made those changes.

“We have the perfect track to test that down at Oakleigh. It’s an extremely difficult and demanding track, it requires a kart to change direction more than any other track in the country and on top of that now, it’s become so rough that riding the bumps is critical. When we made those two specific changes, I couldn’t’ believe how many more kerbs on the track I could run straight over without it having a big effect on performance.

“Same thing goes with seat bracket material. When the kart gets a bounce up, when you’re running on a softer tyre, you might clip the inside kerb on entry and get into a bounce and the bounce might continue four, five or six times through the corner and you find yourself just trying to gather it just to get around the corner. But when we went softer through the seat bracket material, as the kart got a bounce, it tended to solve itself, or bring itself back down to stable after one or two bounces rather than continuing into five or six. So on that double-corner, by midway through, the kart was balanced again and ready to get the apex for the next part.

While the kingpin inclination remains unchanged, there is a slight increase in caster. “Karts are running much more caster than in the past. For example, only five years ago, we were running around 14° of caster, and now with it in the central position we’re running 19.5° caster. And tuning to get the optimum performance, we can use the adjusters to get to 22°.

A side-effect of more caster is heavier steering.

“Definitely, it’s heavier in the front, which is why we’ve also changed the distance between the king pin and the pickup point of the tie rod. That leverage point changes how heavy the steering is and now we’ve got two positions – as you bring that back, you get lighter steering but lose some of the feel, but move it forwards and it’s heavier and more physical to drive, but you do get a bit more feel. Also to cater for the heaviness in the steering, we’re slightly larger in the diameter of the steering wheel. A pretty common dimension was 320mm in diameter, but now we’re out to 330mm, and there are steering wheels on the market that have pushed on to 340mm.

Arrow are now fitting the Italian IMAF seat as a standard component for the CIK kart. “Personally, I find it to be a more comfortable seat and seem to be sitting more in the kart than on top of it. We have the option of different stiffnesses to play with down the track, but the one we’ve found works best all-round is what we are fitting.

Static ride height out of the factory has been tweaked and is now 3mm lower in the front. “We’ve brought the floor tray up to give a bit more clearance in the middle and eliminate some of the clearance problems some other brands have. We’re also thicker in the floor tray to offer more support through the waist of the kart.”
Rear ride height remains the same with 12mm of adjustment in three increments.

The kart comes with a 50mm medium ‘black’ axle. A black axle will now be supplied as standard in the full range of karts and will also be available aftermarket in the medium grade.

“One of the things Steve bought to us was getting back to giving every single component on the kart the best finish we can, hence why the black has ended up in there. In 50mm, we have 5 different tensile strengths, then you’ve got the different lengths they can be cut down to.

With this kart, Arrow has gone right back to the design stages and analysed everything they were doing with their kart and also what their opposition was doing.

“I feel now that we’ve got the best understanding that we’ve ever had as to where our opposition sits in every area – and that’s no doubt helped us.

“I feel we have an edge over out opposition when it comes to our local classes, where you’re talking from Cadets through National class and Clubman type classes. But until now, in the let’s call it TaG-slash-CIK type classes, we’ve been a little bit behind the eight-ball at the top end of the market, and the process we’ve gone through with this CIK kart I feel has really brought us up to the top. And what we’ve learnt from doing the analyzing in the workshop – I can’t harp on enough how many more things we are taking into consideration now than what we have in the past.

“Every material on this kart and on the opposition karts we’ve analyzed gets taken and torn apart to measure the tensile strength etc and it’s melted down to measure every chemical in the material. It’s a big project and it’s costly.

“But it’s never ending…”

Adapted from an original article on KartSportNews.com
Find out more about Arrow from www.arrowkarts.com
Arrow Karts are imported in the UK by Walker Racing (walkerracing.co.uk)

Insider Information Matchams Kart Club

By Martin Capenhurst

 Club members' World Formula karts and Prokarts Martin Capenhurst


Club members’ World Formula karts and Prokarts
Martin Capenhurst

Although through my many years in karting I have covered all aspects of karting getting people into the sport has always been one of my priorities.

I was pleased to be recently invited by Ian Fisher to race in the monthly Matchams Kart Club series to be held at Thruxton Kart Circuit near Andover Hampshire, on arriving on a really great sunny Sunday morning I was met by a very nervous looking Ian, all became apparent when I realised it was Ian’s kart I was driving, he had obviously heard about my driving !!

Matchams Kart Club initially started in the 80’s at Matchams circuit near Bournemouth but did not really get promoted until Ray and George Lovell purchased the circuit in 2006. The running of the club was taken over in 2009 by Ian Fisher, Mark Davies and Kevin Mathers and was run in 2009/10 just at Matchams.

In 2011 there was an opportunity to race at Thruxton kart circuit and the club split the meetings between Matchams and Thruxton giving them a 10-round championship with seven rounds out of nine to count and an 0 Plate round. Over the last two years the club has increased its driver base from eight to present day 20 plus which is a respectable achievement for a club, even when I was there a new driver and a driver returning to karting after a few years absence register for the next round, all very encouraging. PKP Karts sponsor the trophies for each race meeting and are very active in promoting the club and race series

Thruxton Kart Circuit runs three different circuits and I have to say it is a better track than some MSA circuits I have driven! We ran on the National circuit which is 900m long and 7m wide in places, a combination of fast and very technical corners and “S” chicanes mixed with an assortment of straights gives lap times of around 50s, a great layout with plenty of overtaking opportunities.

Thruxton run the event with solid rules and regs and very good kart scrutineering for the mix of Honda Prokarts and World Formula karts competing.

All the karts were in very good condition with many new ones for the start of the season, they were well maintained and most had sticker kits making the grid look like the KartMania Honda Championship not a club meeting. Weights have been adjusted 175kg for Hondas and 156kg for World Formula to make both equal on the track and in one heat eight karts were separated by only 0.7s. They all use Duro kart tyres, helping to keep the running costs down as they will last a full season if you want them to, and they are perfect for the circuit giving the grip required for competitive racing.

Driving standards were good enough for me to give Ian his kart back in almost the same condition as it was when he gave it to me and with a great mix of abilities there is always someone you can race with. It is run as a club and that is the feel I got from everyone, it was friendly and inviting with plenty of paddock chat, and with membership at £25 and a race meeting at £40 it is a cost effective race day. If Ian was to offer his kart again I would definitely join them again for another race meeting.

For more information please contact Ian on 07831334420, email kartmatcham@aol.co.uk or visit www.mkclub.co.uk