Category Archives: F100

F100uk – 20k revs and a whole lot more

Since my experience of the F100 festival at Fulbeck back in 2017 I have craved getting behind the wheel of a 100cc rocket again. Thanks to Jay Fairbrass who leant me his pride and joy, a 1994 Tonykart Esprit along with an ex Bobby Game IAME TT75 engine, I was able to take part in round 1 of the F100UK championship at Llandow in the Pre95 class a week ago, and what a weekend it was!

The ‘F100 – spirit of the 90s’ is a championship run by 100cc karting enthusiasts who loved the era of the late 80’s and 90’s. Walking around the paddock you can really feel the passion for the sport, and speaking to the drivers everyone is in love with their light, 100cc, 20k rev screaming karts. The combination of, the light and nimble chassis, the hours spend restoring their equipment, combined with the simplicity of the direct drive engines gives them the same excitement about karting that many of them had at the time – something few get from modern karting.

FormulaA world Champion Colin Brown finding the limits, and looking awesome!

I arrived at Llandow, a new circuit to me, on Saturday morning where I was introduced to the team once again for the first time since Fulbeck, and the excitement ahead of the upcoming race weekend was palpable. Chris Derrick, 2017 Pre95 champion and a competitor of mine for the weekend was quick to offer me a track walk to help me get my eye in. Moreover a few words of wisdom from Formula A world champ and all round legend Colin Brown meant I was as prepared as I could be.  My Tonykart had been prepped beautifully by GMS on behalf of Jay and looked as ready to get on circuit as I was.

The Pre95 Tonykart felt great during testing

Warm temperatures and sun bathed the Welsh circuit as I got to grips with the kart in the morning. The Pre89 & Pre95 class run on Mitas SRC slick tyres, a fairly hard tyre designed to be usable for hundreds of laps, and this seemed to be the case. Once I got my eye in I was able to lap within just a couple of tenths of champion Chris Derrick on tyres nearly a year old. The Pre2000 class run on the popular Komet K1H tyre used in X30 both for performance and availability giving great grip and performance similar to the tyres of the Formula A era.

This was not the first time I’d driven Jay’s beautiful Pre95 Tonykart…

If you’ve seen the article I wrote from the F100 festival you will know how much I enjoyed driving these karts, and for me this weekend was a huge treat. I love driving karts, and kart was an absolute pleasure to drive; nimble at just 148kg in race trim, the kart glides around the circuit effortlessly, it felt like the kart was encouraging me to back it into every corner – of course I obliged, would be rude not to wouldn’t it…

The kart encourages pushing hard into the corners

Cold, windy and wet, Sunday was to be a very different day. First practice was just about dry enough for slick tyres, however for heat 1 the Komet K1W treaded tyres were certainly needed. My first lap on wets was the formation lap, and add to that, I was starting from pole position, I was being thrown straight into the deep end.

Pinching the fuel pipe while rolling up to keep the engine clear

After nearly falling flat on my face while trying to bump start, and taking my mechanic Dave Wooder with me, I had a guess at the wet line. The lights went out and away into the unknown I drove. Miraculously I held the lead until lap two when whilst hitting approximately 18k revs the big end on my ex Bobby Game IAME motor let go and ended my race practically before it had begun.

Colin Brown showing us how bump starting is supposed to look

One thing I especially liked about the karts was how amazingly simple everything was, the only setup changes we made from full dry to full wet was a small increase in front width, a few extra teeth on the rear sprocket, and of course wet tyres. The karts are much stiffer with fewer adjustments than a modern kart meaning it is harder to get lost with setup.

Heat 2 I was to start from 7th on the grid, the was track still wet, new engine bolted on in a hurry, I had an awesome race. After a good start, I made it into 2nd position and I was closing the leader, meanwhile Alistair Topliss was closing on me fast. A Three way fight ensued with Alistair making it past me before passing the leader in the very next corner, which also allowed me to follow him through; 2nd place is where I would finish.

Alistair looking fast in testing, adding to the already competitive field

This is quite a convenient point for me to talk about an observation I made from the viewing gallery and on circuit. Everyone at F100 is there to race, however every overtake, battle, and move I witnessed was carried out with not only respect for the other driver, but also the equipment. Whether this is because everyone knows how much time and effort has gone into each kart’s restoration, or the lack of bumpers making the risk of a move higher, or the respect shown is higher overall, I’m not sure but the fact its there is important.

Close, hard racing but with respect between drivers and their restored equipment

Heat 3, A choice had to be made, slicks or wets. The track was drying, dark clouds were overhead, it’s would be a gamble either way. I decided on slicks to save my only wet tyres for the final. Wets were the tyre to have, with only my last couple of laps being faster than any wet tyre runners, however I enjoyed having a play sliding the kart around in the greasy conditions.

Shortly after our final Pre95 heat the Pre2000 grid were all lined up and waiting, the majority on slick tyres. The heavens preceded to open triggering a frenzy of tool wielding and nut running. The whole grid lending each other tools, an extra pair of hands, all to make sure everyone made the grid. The community spirit meant everyone could start on wets and a great race it was too!

Chaos on the dummy grid as the rain fell, but everyone was keen to help each other

The time had come for the final race of the day, this time there was no doubt about tyre choice, it would be wets for all, despite some having severely worn their only set out in the previous heat. Starting 7th once again the start was going to be crucial, however a situation I have never experienced meant I lost a little ground over the line due to my toes getting caught under the bumper of the kart in front (no pods here remember).

Around the outside of row 3 I gained two positions at turn 1, then one more place further round the lap; the kart was on fire and I felt I could place it wherever I wanted. My master mechanic and former British/European karting champion Dave Wooder had given me the perfect setup, tyres, gearing, front width were all spot on. I had great pace in the early stages allowing me to pick off the drivers ahead one by one as I went. I’ve rarely felt so at one with a kart as I did during this final, before I knew it I was tucked up behind leader and No.1 kart Chris Derrek, ‘how have I got here’ I asked myself. After sitting behind Chris for a lap or so I made my move and was able to drive away and extend the gap to about 3 seconds by the flag.

The karts are just as fun to drive in the wet as the dry

From the outside, the last few laps may have looked fairly eventless, however having had my motor go pop from the lead once, and my revs hitting 19k and above twice a lap I was far from chilled. Choking at every opportunity, I wound the jet out further and further in the hope of prolonging the ticking time bomb by my right hip as I felt the heat radiate on the side of my seat. Thankfully I could bring it home, and in first place! What a buzz, I did not expect to be fighting for a win in my first race in the series, and I was delighted which was fairly obvious from my face for about half an hour after I stepped out the kart.

What a buzz, awesome kart, awesome race, and a win! What a weekend

What a weekend indeed. Looking back now, I don’t think I could have had a more complete F100UK experience, I sampled it all; dry running at maximum speed, getting drenched in the rain, blowing and engine (a rite of passage from what I’ve heard), even driving on slicks in the wet. Every moment I spent on circuit I felt alive and with a smile on my face, and almost as importantly I had an amazing time off track, in the paddock, dummy grid, wherever I went everyone was there together enjoying the ‘golden era’ of karting, now. The atmosphere was amazing and not like I’ve experienced before and it’s a credit to everyone in the series, and the whole F100 team.

A huge thanks must go to Jay Fairbrass without whom this would never have gone ahead, he sorted everything from the kart, my mechanic, to the engines, as well as all of his normal duties leading up to and at the race weekend. He deserves a medal, but should you have the pleasure of knowing him, he will tell you he wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the huge enjoyment and satisfaction he gets from being a part of the wonderful series.

Thanks of course must also got to the whole F100UK organisational team, Chris Derrick, James Fox, the scrutineers, marshals, Lee Crampton for his awing space and everyone I met throughout the weekend and made it so enjoyable. Finally, Dave Wooder who ‘spannered’ away on my kart all weekend giving me a great and sturdy machine to drive and putting up with my indecision and changes of mind when the weather looked changeable.

 

This series deserves every credit it given, everyone goes about their racing in amazing spirit and the feeling of community and belonging is what causes people to get hooked and want to come back, much like I now do…

Written by Piers Prior

Photos courtesy of ‘Jessica Maund – Busy Bee Photography’, F100UK, and Elizabeth ‘Mummy’ Guest (who’s son won Pre2000, congrats Glenn!)

 

 

 

 

…oh, and sitting at 20k revs before hitting some choke while backing it in, that’s pretty good as well.

British F100 Championship Round 3

It will not be news to many of you that Three Sisters Race Circuit, has had more than its fair share of drama just lately.  Despite the great uncertainty surrounding the track’s future, Manchester and Buxton Kart Club (MBKC) joined forces with historic series – F100, to put on an awesome show.  F100 and MBKC, set a new precedent by combining an MSA club meeting with a none MSA regulated series showing what can be achieved.  Kudos goes to all involved, over the last few months, in figuring out how to make this work, especially with the difficult situation at the track.  It’s great to see, outside the box thinking deliver great kart racing.

A huge shout out goes to everyone who made it happen on the day too.  Feedback from the drivers confirms what a great job Carly Latcham and Greg Mcilwraith did in running the F100 meeting with the Mutation Motorsport bus as central point of contact for drivers.  These guys did an awesome job, ensuring drivers all had a point of contact all weekend and making everyone’s life easy.

Pre 2000

Following five practice sessions for each class the track lay clear and dry – anyone’s for the taking!  At 4.30pm with the weather still holding out warm and dry pre-2000 kicked off on Saturday evening for heat 1.  Tyler Poole lead the grid for heat 1 but had no chance against James Fox who claimed 11 places to take the lead.  Consistently quick, Francis Stewart held onto second while a phenomenal Steven Cook-Martin climbed 22 places to finish third!  Kudos to F100 newcomer, Adrian Dickenson, for holding onto fifth in his first race out with this highly competitive field.  With a wet track on Sunday morning the grid kept us intrigued with a split decision regarding tyre choice.  Dan Street lead the rolling lap but Oliver Smith took full advantage of his tyre choice to take the lead with Cook-Martin annihilating the field on wet tyres, climbing 16 places to finish just 0.2 seconds behind Smith.  Glen Guest’s smooth driving style brought him home in an incredibly close third and Neil McKernan managed to take fourth despite starting way back on grid 23.  Recognition to Gary Watling for climbing 21 places from back on grid 27.  By heat 3 the track had dried substantially and the sun was making intermittent appearances.  Lap times crept down and Neil McKernan set a scorching pace from grid 13 to take the lead and earn himself pole for the final.  Adam Wardiell shook off his earlier engine problems, finding the pace to climb 4 places, following McKernan past the chequered flag thanks to an engine loaned by Dave Hunting (DHR).  Glen Guest sneaked into third and Donall Regan climbed 15 places to finish fourth.  Points for the final grid were close but Neil McKernan and Oliver Smith’s consistent performances took them to the front row with James Fox and Steven Cook-Martin on the second row.

Off to a flying start, McKernan was unstoppable, showing he still knows his way around his home track.  Lap one had a near missed disaster when Gary Dean found himself pointing backwards on the valley.  Joel Pointon and Jeff Donovan did well to find their way round leaving Gary disappointed to be out but relieved to be out of trouble.  Quickly opening up a comfortable gap, McKernan lead to the finish ahead of a chasing pack of Oliver Smith, James Fox, Glen Guest, Steven Cook-Martin and Gary Watling who all finished inside a 1 second window.  That was close racing!  The newcomer to F100 from Aberdeen, Chloe Scott put in a notable performance gaining 10 places in the final after a challenging weekend learning a new setup.  We predict she’s one to watch in the future!

Following round 3’s final the championship tables are as follows:

 

  Pre 2000 Pre 2000 Heavy
1 Oliver Smith (262) Oliver Smith (372)
2 Glenn Guest (240) Lee Gadsby (154)
3 Drew Stewart (230) Bill Powell (100)
4 Alex Cobb (223) Alexander Newton (98)
5 Neil McKernan (211) Alisdair Cunningham (64)

 

Pre-95

With 18 entries including 3 heavies, and Dan Haigh flying the flag for pre-89, the line up looked sure to be competitive.  Nick Holland and Jay Fairbrass lead the grid for the opening heat, but neither could fend off the pace of Chris Derrick or Brian Parias.  With Parias setting the heavies fastest lap of the heat and gaining 3 places to claim the chequered flag and Chris Derrick storming through from grid 8, setting a new lap record of 46.188 and claiming second place (greedy), the competition kicked off to a flying start.  With the first wet track of the season, much debate took place, with typre choice split 50/50 in heat 2.  Chris Derrick was clearly unphased by a spot of moisture, reeling in 16 places to finish ahead of Robert Walton and Martyn O’Hara.  Heat 3 saw Derrick again set the pace from the off with Peter Schofield putting in a great chase, despite missing half of practice.  Schofield kept us all entertained with some awesome moves through the valley, but Derrick still had the edge.  Brian Parias also managed some storming laps claiming 7 places to finish 3rd and Alan Lamb gained an excellent 9 places to finish 4th.

Results from the 3 heats put Derrick and Parias on the front row of the grid for the final with Alister Topliss and Martyn O’Hara row 2 and Nick Holland sharing row 3 with Peter Schofield.

A shocking series of events produced an electric atmosphere in the viewing area during the first F100 final of the meeting.  Chris Derrick held a comfortable lead with Nick Holland reeling in 3 places despite last minute chassis repairs only on Friday.  Brian Parias continued his quick weekend in 3rd with Peter Schofield sneaking into 4th ahead of Martyn O’Hara who “struggled to nail” his kart setup.  Of course the most notable performance possibly came from Jay Fairbrass who’s HT cable decided to take a vacation leaving Jay to Valiantly return it to its rightful location while free-wheeling through the valley.  Hats off for managing that shocking feet!

The weekends results leave the championship as follows:

 

  Pre 95 Pre 95 Heavy
1 Chris Derrick (326) Brian Parias (322)
2 Alister Toplis (256) Jay Fairbrass (295)
3 Brian Parias (241) Matthew Bruce (218)
4 Nick Holland (226) John Priestly (87)
5 Martyn O’Hara (215) Ashleigh Curtis (75)

 

  Pre 89
1 Dan Haigh (150)
2 Carl Bryer (134)
3 Stuart Watts (122)

Special mentions:

Many thanks goes to Mike O’Neill of O’Neill Racing for sponsoring this event and supporting F100 by providing the fantastic trophies for this round.  A special trophy for Team O’Neill’s driver of the day was awarded to Pre 95 driver – Alister Topliss

Thanks also goes to Dartford Karting (www.kartstore.co.uk) for supporting F100 by not only going to great lengths to supply historic parts but also donating £50 in vouchers to the drivers of each class who show a strong “spirit of the 90s”.  This time the awards went to Pre 2000 driver Adam Wardiel and Pre 95 driver Sam Logan.

Arguably one of the northwest’s finest tracks, the valley layout at Three Sisters, located in Ashton-in-Makerfield provided some breathtaking racing!  As always the paddock atmosphere was superb and we all look forward to The F100 British Championship – the ‘Open’ at Whilton Mill (NN11 2NH) 28th to 30th July

To see and/or purchase images from the event go to www.mildredmillsphotography.co.uk

For more information about this fantastic race series go to www.f100.co.uk

Report by Charlotte Mills

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British F100 Championship Round 2

The 26th to 28th May, saw Rowrah play host to this incredible, fast growing, historic series.  As lots of you will know, this year F100 have teamed up with the RAFMSA in order to put on a format of race meeting that meets both series needs.  Cults Kart Club, independent Senior Rotax Max also joined the programme adding diversity to the line up.  In true Rowrah style we had a taste of Cumbria’s fast changing weather, opening on Friday with magnificent blue skys and many of us reaching for the SPF50, Saturday was another day of sun until later in the day.  Sadly the most important event of the weekend, the mechanics race, was rained off!  By the time we were all awake enough to care on Sunday, the sun was back with full force.

Class Pre-89

Sharing the grid with pre-95, only two entries turned out for pre-89 including newcomer Dan Haigh.  With Haigh struggling with mis-behaving carb jets, heat 1 had Carl Bryer show Haigh how it’s done with Haigh retiring on lap 6.  Heat 2 had the newcomer turn the tables on Bryer who retired 4 laps early.  Bryer failed to start in Heat 3 leaving Haigh to go it alone and put in the fastest pre-89 lap of the meeting with a 53.251.  Starting side by side for the final, Bryer retired at lap 6 leaving rookie Haigh to take home the silverware.

Class Pre-95

With 18 entries including three from the heavy class, Pre-95 had a weekend full of action.  Chris Derrick showed why he’s #1 by gaining 4 places to take the heat 1 chequered flag and put in the fastest lap of the meeting with a 49.559.  Nick Holland finished close behind and Brian Parias gained 5 places to finish third showing that heavies can do the job.  Heat 2 wasn’t dull, with Biff Harris taking the flag, having gained 5 places, Peter Bracken finished close behind and Nick Holland third, having gained 10 places.  Peter Schofield put in a solid performance, starting and finishing fourth but huge shout out to Martyn O’Hara, Brian Parias and Alister Toplis for charging through the field each gaining 13 places finishing fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.  Efforts were well rewarded in Heat 3 with Martyn O’Hara, Brian Parias and Biff Harris took the top three finishing spots, eaching having worked their way through a competitive field.  The Pre-95 final did not disappoint the spectators!  Starting on pole, Nick Holland threw a chain whilst chasing Chris Derrick who had taken an early lead, holding off a charging Biff Harris, who had stormed through from 6th.  Martyn O’Hara again worked his way through from 7th to take a 3rd place finish ahead of Alister Topliss, Peter Bracken and Peter Schofield.  Showing consistent finishes pay off, Jay Fairbrass took the Heavy honours after Parias failed to start.

Class Pre2000

With a grid of 28 including 5 heavies and a bunch of newcomers to F100, pre2000 delivered as promised with plenty to entertain spectators.  Heat 1 saw James Fox lead from the front with fellow Fullerton driver Dan Street finishing a comfortable second and Drew Stewart claiming third from grid 15!  In heat 2 Glen Guest put in another fastest lap, finishing where he started in first with Chris Trott chasing him down, having gained 9 places and Adam Wardiell finishing third.  Trott set a storming pace in heat 3 claiming 4 positions and a fastest lap finishing first ahead of Joe McKernan and Daniel Deveraux.  After a DNF in heat 1 Trott started the final from fifth and despite setting the fastest lap of the meeting failed to catch Guest who had put his bad luck in practice well behind him.  Drew Stewart finished third ahead of Adam Wardiell.  First heavy driver over the line, Oliver Smith finished fifth, having gained 8 places in a competitive field.

At the end of round two, the table sees Chris Trott lead pre 2000, followed by Drew Steward and Oliver Smith.  Smith also sits at the top of the heavy class.  In Pre 95 Chris Derrick and Alister Topliss sit just above heavy driver Brian Parias.  And in pre89 Stuart Watts leads over Carl Bryer and Dan Haigh.

A special mention goes to Dartford Karting (www.kartstore.co.uk) for supporting F100 by not only going to great lengths to supply historic parts but also donating £50 in vouchers to the drivers of each class who show a strong “spirit of the 90s”.

This time the award went to Pre89 newcomer Dan Haigh for his perseverance with carb issues and Pre2000 driver Matt Puncher who suffered his share of frustrations.

I never cease to be blown away by the paddock atmosphere and camaraderie at F100 meetings.  The willingness to help out a competitor, to get them on the track, never seems to waver – long may it continue!

The F100 British Championship continues with round 3 at Three Sisters Race Circuit, Wigan (WN4 8DD) on 24th to 25th June.

To see and/or purchase images from the event go to www.mildredmillsphotography.co.uk

For more information about this fantastic race series go to

www.f100.co.uk

Report by Charlotte Mills with Dan Street contributing

 

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