Karting in the year 1985: a history


World Champion Jorn Haase won in Japan, John Pizarro won the Asian-Pacific in Australia and Mike Wilson was victorious in Hong Kong.The Long Circuit Review covered the 125cc and 250 Int. classes.ART announced a new foam carburettor filter and Surespeed a replacement Rotax clutch basket machined from Dural.The team comprising Kooyman and Bedingfeld won both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Finals and so cleaned up at the 6th Annual Goodyear Grand Prix organised by the Dubai Kart Club.


Dennis Callingham’s ‘135cc ROUNDUP’ revealed what goes on behind the scenes on the World Championship scene for drivers, equipment and organisers. John Pizarro won Intercontinental A at the CIK Asian Pacific Champs in Perth, Australia with a DAP/DAP. In the second part of a review of 14 Long Circuit events, George Bett and Mike Doble were chosen as the top men of 210 Nat. and 250 Nat. respectively. TV’s Blue Peter programme filmed a race at Tilbury with their presenter, Michael Sundin, racing with cameras attached to his kart.

MARCH 1985

This issue of Karting magazine contained the first episode of the ‘Kart Racing on a Shoestring’ series by Steve Chapman that would continue its popularity when later published in book form.With a great deal of help from Mike Austin, Chris Forster and Doctor Erlich, we were able to reveal the then ultra-secret details of the Rotax power-valve on their 250cc twin cylinder engine.The RAC champions were Game, Hart, Newman, Stewart, Walsh, Moynihan, Hunnisett, Goff, Atherton, Luby, Bett, Rodgers and Hines.

APRIL 1985

The winners at Cadwell were John Newton, Mark Webster, Chris Stoney and Roger Goff. Tee Jay introduced a three jet version of the Tillotson. A two round ‘Tranzealand’ series in New Zealand saw Lennart Bohlin of Sweden win the Superkart class.Heavy overnight snow at Wombwell was cleared by officials, drivers and others only for a fresh covering of the white stuff forcing the cancellation of the event.

MAY 1985

An erudite article on the aerodynamic effectiveness of aerofoils on Formula E karts revealed the considerable gains in performance that could be achieved. Allan McNish, future F1 driver and Le Mans winner, won Juniors at Fulbeck. John Newton, Mike Doble and Reg Gange took the long circuit class wins at Mallory Park. The 100cc CIK All-Africa champs at Zwartkops were won by Eglem, Tecno/Parilla, with Irving, Dino/Rotax, winning 250cc. After an 18 month gap, long circuit racing returned to Oulton Park but sadly the finals had to be cancelled due to torrential rain.

JUNE 1985

80 out of the 200 competing at the Easter Cadwell meeting were racing in the 125cc classes. Amongst the Juniors doing well at this time, and who would go on to illustrious motor racing careers were Dario Franchitti, who won Junior Booster at Wombwell, and Allan McNish and David Coulthard at the Clay Pigeon Super One round. Compulsory sidepods and steering column fairings were introduced at the Valence round of the 135cc Euro Champs. Marcus Grossmann took the win on a Taifun Komet.We pictured the new range of Phoenix chassis frames for export to the US for categories such as Speedway and Dirt tracks, the Briggs & Stratton powered classes and for double 135cc motors bored out to 150cc, plus traditional types for UK Sprint use.

JULY 1985

Jorn Haase won the 135cc Euro Champs round at the classic Jesolo circuit. Mike Wilson and Richard Weatherley, the latter on a Deavinson Sprint, came 2nd and 4th. Alessandro Zanardi took the 100cc honours. The Rissington Junior Britain Super One round was won by Allan McNish followed home by F1 driver David Coulthard who won the class at the Rowrah round of the Bridgestone UK Champs. Gary Chapman (Senior Britain) and Ricky Grice (100 National) were the other class winners at the Rissington meeting.


There were 170 entries for the Gearbox Champs at Rissington with Stratos and Zip taking two class wins each. In the Super One Series at Rowrah, McNish, Clark and Weatherley won their classes. The World Cup was held at Donington, attracting 215 entries. The winner was Martin Hines from Lennart Bohlin. Sweden’s Robert Amren won the Göteborg round of the Euro Champs after passing future F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen who later tangled with future multiple Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.


Famous names abounded at the World Junior Champs at Le Mans including future F1 drivers Michael Schumacher, Christian Fittipaldi and Allan McNish. The winner was Andrea Gilardi, for the second year running, with Schumacher 2nd and McNish 3rd. Mark Beddall and David Cuff won the RAC Britain and National Champs at Three Sisters. Perry Grondstra won the Hockenheim round of the World 250 Champs. Gert Munkholm won the Vojens round of the 100cc Euro Champs with Virtanen crowned champion.


No less than 327 entries turned up for the Silverstone Kart Grand Prix. By Bohlin taking the lead at the last corner of the Formula E final, Derek Rodgers lost the World Champs to Poul Petersen. G.P. class wins went to Andy Martin, Mark Allen and Stephen Coward. The results of the RAC Champs at Clay Pigeon were suspended pending appeals. We covered the German G.P. victory by Richard Weatherley at the Nurburgring. Mike Wilson won the last round of the Euro Champs at Liedolsheim but the title went to Martin Bott.


The RAC Long Circuit Champions were Coward, Newton, Allen and Hines. The Super One Series round at Fulbeck saw class wins for McNish, Hazlett and Weatherley. Mike Wilson, Kali/Komet, won his fourth World Champs, this time at Parma. The event was watched by the F1 drivers and former karters, Keke Rosberg and Stefan Johannson. Grondstra won the 250cc Dutch GP.


Allan McNish won all 6 finals in Junior Britain at the Super One Champs. He also took the class win in the Scottish Champs. We launched a series ‘Target Grand Prix Silverstone’ on how to take up long circuit racing. Trevor Roberts won 250 in the rain at the Peel Round-the-Houses event in the Isle of Man. Murray Walker presented the prizes at the final round of the Bridgestone Champs at Rye House, the overall winners being Dario Franchitti, Nicky Hart, Darron Gibbs and Ricky Grice.