Karting in the year 1975: a history


The RAC homologation for 250 International included the Suzuki GT250, Bultaco Mk 8 and the KTM. Nigel Mansell won the 210 National class at Shenington and he was said to be’unbeatable in the wet.’ On the1985 anniversary of this modest success, he would win the F1 Australian GP. The Dutch beat the British team at Eefde. An analysis of the British fixture list proved that there was no closed season for karts unlike cars. Held at the historic venue for the Grand National, the 500 mile kart event at Aintree was won by Jones, Bolton, Steel and Whittaker on a Hustler Montesa in pouring rain.


Reg Gange Jnr put up the fastest lap at 81.46mph and won on his 250cc Barlotti Bultaco at Brands Hatch.At the CIK homologation, the Italian IMI 100FVT motor was surely the strangest kart engine ever conceived. Despite being a 2-stroke it had two belt driven camshafts and poppet valves just like a 4-stroke. It was a lovely piece of engineering that incorporated a McCulloch engine block and reed valves.Dud Moseley revealed how he went speed hill climbing with an Ossa powered Motus kart. Details were announced of the new model Komet K75 and K78 engines.

MARCH 1975

The new model DAP T81, with a 50mm bore and stroke, had square shaped finning on the barrel and head while the T71 model, homologated jointly by DAP and John Mills, retained the circular fins of the T70.Howard Combee of the USA won the Hong Kong Kart Prix main feature race.Landia karts of Holland introduced a model for class 250 International with the engine mounted,100cc style, on the left hand side.Zip moved their operations from Rye House to an impressive large factory unit in Pindar Road.The new Blow Mistral was announced for 250 International.An informative article by J A Billing explored the technicalities of the Tillotson carburettor.

APRIL 1975

The meeting at Cadwell had to be cancelled due to fog. Nigel Mansell won 210 National and the club championship at Shenington with a Dale kart.Designed by Miguel Tapias at Tarrasa near Barcelona, the unusual Spanish Arisco 100cc motor had the cylinder angled at about 30° to the horizontal and a short stroke, given that it had rotary valve induction, of 47mm. Three important new models from BM were revealed, the FCL, K96/3 and FC52, together with an exclusive behind-the-scenes story of their preparations for the World Championship.

MAY 1975

Zip announced the ZED 100cc motor and Martin Hines admitted that if he had known how difficult it would be to source components in the UK then they might not have started the project. Dale produced a supplementary silencer for the gearbox classes that provided a ‘S’ shaped path for the exhaust to a TR8. Aubrey Upton started production of the 100cc Fieldhouse Upton Manx motor. Little Rissington scored the most votes as the best track in a questionnaire circulated by Paul Fletcher who would build his own superb PFI circuit some 20 or so years later.

JUNE 1975

Mills, Fletcher, and Steeds , all on Birels, were chosen for the British team at a special selection meeting at Wombwell which included reversed grid starts and tests of the time taken to change a motor. We reviewed the recently announced McCulloch MC92 motor with the customary generous assistance of Chuck Hammond. The Kozalin Technical College in Poland constructed several battery powered karts, hoping to show them at the Euro Champs. At Cadwell the marshals had to clear the track of snow. Now, 30 years later, TV’s 5th Gear programme has just screened the owner of a £500,000 Maserati supercar, driving (and crashing) his purchase in the snow at Cadwell.

JULY 1975

The British team, sponsored by Bell Fruit, came 4th in the Euro Team Champs at Wohlen behind Italy, Germany and Sweden. Nigel Mansell won 210 National at Shenington. The British 250cc team were victorious in Denmark. In the individual race Martin Hines led home David Leslie. A technical feature covered the story of the Rovelli family including young Felice, the World Junior champion and later to be a double World champion, their Sirio engines and privately owned test tracks.


The main feature was about Sweden’s Lennart Bohlin winning the World Cup at Morecambe with a Poker/ Husqvarna. New 250cc lap (84.86mph) and race records were established at Brands Hatch, the winner being Reg Gange Jnr. Yet again Nigel Mansell cleaned up in 210 National at Shenington. A photo-feature illustrated how the gearbox classes mounted bulky exhaust systems and secondary silencers at the World Cup.


With great sadness we reported on the death of Lorraine Peck in the World Junior Champs at Fulda. In an attempt to put the infrequency of such incidents into perspective, we published a review of kart accidents. An article covered tuning the Suzuki 250. The British team came nowhere in the Euro Champs in Poland but at least Terry Fullerton managed to overtake, and beat, Alain Prost in one race. A long circuit meeting at Aintree was limited to 100cc McCulloch motors.


Dud Moseley, on his shapely Motus, won the 210cc British title for the second year, running from two hundred rivals, including Nigel Mansell who finished 5th. Terry Fullerton took his sixth British champs title by winning 100cc International from Roger Mills at Rowrah. Swiss Adrian Wepfer won the World Junior Champs at Fulda,   with GB’s Martin Smart coming 3rd. After a series of serious accidents, Wyatt Stanley, on a Barlotti Suzuki, won at Brands Hatch with a specimen lap of 53.4 secs, 83.6 mph.


There was an excellent entry of 349 at Oulton Park for the 250cc RAC Long Circuit British Champs. The title went to Martin Hines on a Zip/Suzuki, taking the outright lap record to 69 seconds, equivalent to 86.3mph. In the Swedish round of the Euro Champs Alan Lane put up the fastest time and the GB team came 2nd. At Uitgeest in Holland, Bev v. Velzen won the CIK 125cc European Champs. There was a bitter dispute between Dutch and German officials over the scoring method used for the Coupe des Dames.


The legendary Francois Goldstein won his 5th World Championship at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The event had moments of high drama with tuners and drivers being lured to rival teams with promises of substantial financial rewards geared to the success achieved. Goldstein’s switch from IAME to BM could have been a risky move but the shrewd master defeated the likes of Elio De Angelis and Alain Prost. With the new Junior and Senior Britain classes about to be launched, we published the effect on power output of different sized carb restrictors. Reg Gange Jnr set a new Brands Hatch record of 51.2s, 87.19mph.