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Karting in the year 1982: a history

JANUARY 1982

The magazine leader article referred to an increase in track side brawls and the resultant shortage of officials, a similar situation to that of today, 20 years later. 2001 British Touring Car Champion and TV Presenter, Jason Plato, won Junior Britain at Felton. The Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Menorca enjoyed sun-blessed kart racing with the support of the Spanish Kart Commission. We took a look at the perennial karting problem of noise and highlighted some of the measures that could be taken.

FEBRUARY 1982

Art Ingels, the co-inventor of first kart in 1956, died aged 63 in California. The CIK introduced a system of Super licences and graded drivers with holders of the former not allowed to compete in Intercontinental events. In Hong Kong Lars Forsman won the Hong Kong International race and Peter de Bruyn the CIK Open Champs. Tyres continued to cause controversy when it was revealed that the RAC MSA testing and evaluation of each sample was based on just 4.65 miles of use. The TKM S89, RS98, RL66, R135 and V135 motors were now homolgated and in production.

MARCH 1982

Waddon Performance Engines caused a stir by advertising Rotax 250cc model 256 in-line twin cylinder motors at £850. Future F1 driver and millionaire Monaco resident, Johnny Herbert, won £40 for coming fourth in the 135cc class at Rye House. Meanwhile Nigel Mansell, then driving for the Lotus formula 1 team, started a kart and car racing equipment business at Alcester.Based on the Tillotson, the Black Widow carburettor was made in Sweden and had inserts to enable the bore to be varied.

APRIL 1982

Planning permission for conventional kart tracks outdoors continued to be a major problem. An attempt in the early 1970s to stage a  kart GP series at seaside towns around the UK failed due to the difficulty in getting road-closing orders. As a result 1982 saw renewed interest in racing indoors and quiet 4-stroke power units that would revolutionise the technical and commercial aspects of the sport. A feature in Karting magazine went into detail on Mike Wilson’s victory in the 1981 World Championship. Roger Mills, using a DAP kart and engines,  won for the second time the Middle East Champs at Kuwait, scene of the subsequent Gulf war.

MAY 1982

At Cadwell there was a 35% drop in Superkart entries compared with the previous year. Martin Hines won with a Zip Rotax. The CIK proposal to restrict Juniors to reed motors caused uproar with claims that they would be less powerful than the existing rotaries. Few anticipated that in the ’90s, rotary motors would need protection from the reed units. The highly successful West Australian Kart Prix at Perth was supported by the works’ teams and was won by Harm Schuurman for DAP.

JUNE 1982

The European Kart Show was held at Limburg in Germany. Newton, Ziemelis, Stoney and Buttigieg won at the Snetterton RAC Champs. The Green Man Series commenced at Three Sisters with everyone getting an Easter egg. Sweden’s Lennart Bohlin unveiled his new Aero kart with a 250cc Rotax mounted directly behind the driver’s seat. Future F1 driver Johnny Herbert raced a 135cc at Rye House. Also present was Champion boxer, Henry Cooper, as his two sons were racing.

JULY 1982

The Champion of Champions race at Jesolo was for 135cc and was won by Terry Fullerton on a Zip PCR. Mallory Park was the venue for the RAC Long Circuit Champs with class wins going to Luby, Boston, Stoney and Hines. The 4th Global Cup at Rye House was sponsored by Philishave. Terry Fullerton won the 135cc class. The NatSKA Enduro Champs had an entry of 280.

AUGUST 1982

29,640 spectators saw Denmark’s Allan Kronow win the JPS World Cup at Morecambe.The subject of illegal fuel, and particularly Avgas, flared up again.At a televised Donington event the kart lap times were faster than the Superbikes. The Camberley KC appealed for donations to pay legal fees in their fight to keep Blackbushe open. All was eventually resolved and the track flourishes. The Hewland Arrow was enjoying great success including Junior Britain with Allan McNish, now a F1 Toyota driver.

SEPTEMBER 1982

A protest held up the prize giving for the RAC Britain championships at Clay Pigeon. Happily it was withdrawn so Tony Negal, who had only taken up karting recently, could have his trophy.The splendid National Schools Individual Champs at Fulbeck involved 2000 supporters, 30 practice sessions and 60 races and resulted in the crowning of 10 champions. The RAC short circuit gearbox champs at Shenington were enjoyable but a financial headache due to an entry of just 83. Lap times were improved by 2 seconds due to changes to the permitted tyres.

OCTOBER 1982

There were 346 entries for the Silverstone Kart GP. The class winners were Kurt Luby, Richard Boston, Alan Mugglestone and Reg Gange. Despite many complaints made in advance, few delegates turned up at the RAC Open Day where the main discussion was about tyres. Peter de Bruyn (NL) won the 135cc European Champ series of GP meetings. At the Cadwell round of the RAC Champs, Dave Buttigieg won 250 Superkart  with his Memorex. Derek Rodgers was first in 250 Nat. The Italian Kart Federation completed a most successful competition for 8 to 12 year olds using 25 karts loaned by Kali to promote the sport.

NOVEMBER 1982

Mike Wilson won the World Champs at Kalmar in Sweden using a Birel/Komet. The entry included Senna and Herbert, the former having his last attempt at winning the kart title. Dave Buttigieg won the Oulton Park round of the 250 Int. RAC Champs. Future F1 drivers were in the news with Johnny Herbert winning the 135cc British Champs on a Cobra/Komet at Fulbeck and Allan McNish winning Junior Britain in the Scottish Champs at Boyndie. Steve Brogan and Biff Harris won the Junior and Int. RAC Champs at Wombwell.

DECEMBER 1982

Steve Brogan and Biff Harris won the Junior and Int. RAC Champs respectively.There was a very close finish for the Superkarts at Cadwell with Graham Roscoe just beating Nigel Smith.Future racing drivers were in the news with Johnny Herbert winning the 135cc British Champs on a Cobra/Komet at Fulbeck and Allan McNish winning Junior Britain in the Scottish Champs at Boyndie. Racer and TV personality, Jason Plato, won Junior Britain at Felton.