Karting in the year 1969: a history

Early-JANUARY 1969

The Flookburgh meeting had a ‘Devil Take the Hindmost’ race with the last man on each lap being flagged off. Alan Turney cleaned up in Juniors at Kimbolton.

Mid-JANUARY 1969

Gazelle made a neat conversion for their gearbox kart that enabled it to run as a laydown kart or as a single seater with a body. Our World Champs analysis said that GB drivers could do with more restraint on the night before the racing.

Early-FEBRUARY 1969

The Racing Car Show featured Blow, Zip, Tal-Ko and Karting magazine. A new type transistor ignition from George Elliot sold at £7.50. Juniors at Chasewater were dominated by K. May and Nigel Mansell.


Paul Fletcher wrote about circuit design and there was an article on ‘Volume tuned exhausts’. We had details of the latest Italian motors including the new Vega available in air and water-cooled forms.

Early-MARCH 1969

The new surface at Rye House for the team observation meeting started to break up. Nigel Mansell came 4th in Juniors and was selected for the British team.

Mid-MARCH 1969

Bernie Turney was considering supplying parts to enable one to build the fabulous, but by now obsolete, 100cc Komet K96 which had two rotary valves. This issue had a profile of the very successful organiser and kart trader Bert Hesketh.

Early-APRIL 1969

EARLY APRIL: After a three year gap, kart racing returned to Brands Hatch. The new Parilla HF17 was announced. There were also new 125cc gearbox motors – the Komet KZ 125 and Guazzoni VR125.

Mid-APRIL 1969

The British Team Observation meeting at Fulbeck had 157 entries. Roger Mills, Paul Fletcher and Alan Turney took the Class I wins. Peter Burgess started campaigning his special laydown kart, powered by a Bultaco, on car tracks.

Early-MAY 1969

The new surface at Rye House for the Team Observation meeting started to break up. Nigel Mansell came 4th in Juniors (Alan Turney was 1st) and was selected for the British team.

Mid-MAY 1969

We track tested the first in what was to prove to be the very successful Deavinson kart range – the Sprint. Purnell and Elkinton, on a Zip/Ossa, covered 387 laps to win the Shenington Class IV six hours enduro by 35 seconds.

Early-JUNE 1969

The first round of the World Champs at Vevey was held in pouring rain. A batch of quick BM motors were disqualified due to their con-rods being too short. Goldstein won as he pleased with Carl Peters 2nd and Mickey Allen 3rd.

Mid-JUNE 1969

The South African Champs were held in Pretoria and included engine capacity limits of 150cc and 300cc. Entries from Germany and Singapore raced at the RAF Champs at Rissington.

Early-JULY 1969

Graham Liddle, Zip/Bultaco, won his second successive World Cup at Morecambe. GB teams took the first three places in the Paris 6 hours. 1st were Ferris, Pudney and Barlow, 2nd S. & K. Owen, and 3rd Fletcher, Mills and Maxfield.

Mid-JULY 1969

Francois Goldstein, Peterson/Parilla, won the World Champs round at Rye House. Chris Merlin was the outright winner at Thruxton, with Betty, wife of Graham Hill, presenting the awards.

Early-AUGUST 1969

Martin Hines and John Stokes on a Zip/BM won the Shenington 6 Hours covering 453 laps. GB beat Sweden at Flookburgh.

Mid-AUGUST 1969

Class IV International at the Mallory Park Festival of Speed was won by Peter Burgess (Burgess/Bultaco). Rob Kerkhoven (Barlotti) won Class IV. The first round of the European Championships was at Jesolo with the GB team coming 3rd to Italy and Switzerland..

Early-SEPTEMBER 1969

Nigel Mansell came 12th in the Junior World Cup at Kalmar, Sweden. The winner was Sweden’s D. Carlsson on an Ihle Parilla.


The 100cc British Champs at Fulbeck attracted a very large entry. Mansell was 2nd in International behind Stephen South. Andy Winters won Juniors and Mark Steeds the Super class. The Isle of Man staged street kart races at Billown and Douglas.

Early-OCTOBER 1969

We examined the 250cc Spanish Ossa engine. The Singapore Grand Prix was won by Albert Poon using a Bug with two McCulloch 91As.

Mid-OCTOBER 1969

Peter Burgess and K.Gilbert, Burgess Special/Bultaco, won the Snetterton 9 Hours covering 626 miles. The four fastest times at a car and kart event at Lydden were set by karts with John Brise 5 seconds faster than the best car, a Lola Climax.

Early-NOVEMBER 1969

Mike Goodwin (IV International), Rob Kerkhoven (Villiers) and Tony Brise (IV Super) took the RAC Championships. Germany won the three round Euro Team Champs. A Dane built a kart equipped with Komet and Parilla motors mounted in-line.


British Team Manager Doug Jest, was presented with a salver upon his retirement. Players No. 6 announced sponsorship of 5 Morecambe meetings.

Early-DECEMBER 1969

We track tested the Gazelle Bultaco in sprint, laydown and bodywork versions. The last round of the World Champs was at Villacoublay. Overall, François Goldstein was the winner with great performances from Mickey Allen 2nd and Paul Fletcher 3rd.


Lydden staged its first all kart meeting, with Class IV Int. being won by John Brise at an average speed of 71.01mph.