Formula TKM: July, 2010 Formula TKM News

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Written By: Grahame Butterworth

Well I return from holidays to find something of a revolution blowing up over the MSA’s decision to push forward with a new class at the direct expense of other junior classes such as Junior TKM. Talk about being judge and jury!

They propose putting back a year the entry age into all Junior classes. So at one stroke of the pen the MSA seems to have managed to get a large majority of karters combined in their annoyance at what is being suggested, and quite rightly so the majority are making their presence felt.

If the MSA want to create a new class in what they and everyone else has agreed is a sport with too many classes then good luck to them. But to do that and help strengthen the class by kicking the existing competitors where it hurts, is not only grossly unfair but also I’d suggest a serious attack on the trading rights of commercial businesses.

In this politically correct era I’m quite sure that must be a breach of human rights and wouldn’t it be fun to see the MSA hauled over the coals by the Court of Human Rights!

There have been unprecedented open letters from Tal-Ko Racing. I hear word of petitions, suggestions that karting as a sport should kick the MSA into touch, and many an angry word at local club committee meetings. If the MSA ploughs on and pretends not to take note of the feeling among karters then they are in for a bumpy ride.

So let them start their class and good luck to anyone who wants to spend a fortune on different engines to race within it… but leave our Junior TKM classes alone. That’s the message that we all need to put across to the MSA. You can see the proposals on their website and you can comment on them by emailing Go on and tell them NOW!

OK rant over… And now let’s move on to a rather more positive and interesting thread – the rapidly forthcoming Maxxis TKM Festival, once again this year being held at Whilton Mill, home of the event for the past two years.

The Whilton Mill team lead by club chairman Steve Chapman have put all their effort into the event since stepping in to host the event after Kimbolton lost their ability to hold Friday test days after some planning differences still as yet in something of a battle zone.

This year’s event will take place over the weekend of 6th-8th August with set up from Thursday afternoon, testing on Friday, and then two full days of official practice and then racing. And once again the emphasis is on giving every driver as much track time as possible.

There will be a short Saturday morning practice session to bed in new tyres before a timed qualifying session for each class to set the grids for the heats. I must admit I was a little concerned last year this might spoil the racing – but none of it the racing was excellent and if anything it made it all the more competitive.

Heats over the unique format developed by Tal-Ko will then kick in with the larger classes then creaming off the top 30 for an Elite group, the remainder in the Festival finals. Each will have a pre-final and then a final. And of course suitable B and C finals where required.

As ever the entry is open to anyone from most inexperienced novice through to top international racers. It is a format which has consistently produced some tremendous racing and huge competition to take the top step on the podium.

Tyre supplier Maxxis will again be sponsoring the event and joining with Tal-Ko Racing in funding the excellent TV coverage which will appear afterwards along with post event DVDs.

With the development of new additional buildings at the Mill, one added feature this year will be extra careful control of the slick tyres being used. Since virtually everyone racing buys a set of new tyres for the event this year use of new slick tyres will be mandatory – but with the bonus that every competitor will be able to buy the tyres at a specially discounted price saving everyone money.

Watch out for some lap records too given that this year you’ll all be on the new spec Maxxis tyres which have seen just about every record in the country lowered.

Control fuel will not be mandatory, although can be used if wished. Again a saving for every competitor in these days of ultra high fuel costs. Oh and on the subject of cost… The entry fee stays the same at just £80 for two days racing and £30 for testing on the Friday. Excellent value I am sure you will agree.

The full range of classes will be run including the ever popular veterans and heavy, this year of course with slightly tweaked regulations to create the Extreme Clubman class with any driver from 35 years upwards. Hey if there was an old gits class I’d do it myself!

By the time you read this all the regs should be up on the websites of Tal-Ko Racing and Whilton Mill with the added benefit this year that you can do the whole entry process on-line. The addresses are and

I look forward to seeing you there.

And finally back to tyres. The new Maxxis slicks are working superbly and winning countless friends for their double whammy of better performance and even better life. But now that we have some real summery weather it is important to remember that they will need to use far lower pressures than their predecessors. Where the old Maxxis slicks used to run at maybe 14 or 16psi in really hot weather, on the new breed those temperatures should drop to more like 8 or 10 psi.

And remember that old advice – treat your tyres right and they will give back to you the very best of performance. Don’t get them too hot, and do try to give them a heat cycle before you go for broke on them.

A few gentle laps to bed in and then stop for a few minutes to let them cool. That small heat cycle will give them a longer life. You’ll hear all sorts of different techniques in F1 – but their tyres are totally different.