Karting in the year 1986: a history

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Gianni Morbidelli, who would later graduate to F1, won the 135cc CIK EUR-AM Cup at Las Vegas with a DAP kart and Komet motor. Andover Norton brought news of the latest mods to the 125 and 250cc Rotax gearbox motors. Brian Lord contributed an assessment of the 50cc Motori Minarelli P4 gearbox engine for possible use by the National Schools Karting Association.


Dennis Callingham review-ed the season’s 135cc events and tipped Tom Kristensen of Denmark for future stardom. Kristensen went on to be a highly successful sports car racer. We visited Tal-Ko’s engine dyno facility. There was an article on the TM factory and their 125cc motor, and another on the latest in carburettors from DAP and Dartford Karting. Future Formula 1 drivers, Stefano Modena and Alex Zanardi, dominated the 100cc Hong Kong Kart Prix.

MARCH 1986

CIK homologation of both motors and frames put the manufacturers under intense pressure. We pictured the new models from PCR, DAP, TKM and Wright. We were very impressed with the latest DAP factory and the substantial investment in machine tools and measuring equipment. All of the 50cc entry at Wombwell passed the noise check. John Haigh took the 210 Challenge, having scored at every round to take eight 1sts, two 2nds and a 3rd.

APRIL 1986

Despite snow and being the second coldest February of the century, the first Cadwell meeting of the year went ahead with Steve Gill winning Formula E. In lovely hot weather Alessandro Zanardi, DAP/ DAP, won the Oran Park International in Sydney, Australia. There were photographs of the latest SuperDart National chassis from Dartford Karting and one of the two new DAP 135cc engines that had just completed the CIK homologation process.

MAY 1986

The third televised Winter series at Rye House had 180 entries. Paul Molloy and David Armstrong provided data on new developments to the 125cc Minarelli and Rotax motors. There were hopeful signs that a Cadet class would be introduced into the UK following the success of such a class in Italy. John Mills highlighted the plight of Fulbeck which was being considered as one of four sites for the dumping of nuclear waste.

JUNE 1986

Lennart Bohlin of Sweden won the 250cc World Champs round at Le Mans from Martin Hines, Tim Parrott and Poul Petersen. A change to the Parilla crankcase mould caused debate. Rotax won three classes at Wohlen in Switzerland including the Juniors which were now using reed valve motors. There was controversy over the suitability of Bridgestone YCK wets for the Britain classes.

JULY 1986

There was an entry of 200 for the Donington round of the RAC Champs. Jorn Haase (Tony/Komet) won the Liedolsheim round of the Euro Champs against future F1 drivers Gianni Morbidelli and Stefan Johansson. The Kali-Kart version of the new box shaped side pods were the only ones legal without modification but accentuated noise levels.The 250 Mantorp Park CIK champs round was won by Mikael Janson of Sweden on a Zip/Rotax.


Lennart Bohlin won the Donington round of the 250cc Euro Champs. David Coulthard and Allan McNish won their classes in the Super One round at Kimbolton. Tim Parrott took the honours at the Hesketh Trophy event at Three Sisters. Gert Munkholm was victorious at the 100cc Euro Champs at Gothenburg in Sweden from Michael Schumacher and Allan McNish.


Richard Weatherley, Fullerton/Komet, won the European Championship round at Jesolo from future F1 drivers Mika Hakkinen, Alessandro Zanardi, Stefan Johansson and Gianni Morbidelli. Fabrizio De Simone won the CIK Junior Cup on a Birel/Parilla. The Kerpen round of the European Champs was won by Yvan Muller who would go on to great things in touring cars. Jonty Millward won the 100 National British Champs.


Wade Nelson of South Africa rocked the established order with wins at Silverstone and Nurburgring on Dino/Rotax to lift the Formula E World title despite missing a round. Dino also won the ICA European Championship at Oppenrod in Germany with Sweden’s Linus Lundberg using their chassis and engines. Michael Schumacher was 3rd after winning the Pre-Final.


The World Champs were held at Jacksonville, USA. Safety concerns caused a boycott by 64% of the entry, including the Europeans. After a protest hearing Guga Ribas of Brazil was awarded the win. Wombwell hosted the RAC 100 Britain and Super Champs. Britain, won by Gary Chapman, required 12 heats and an ‘E’ Final. Allan McNish beat Steve Tillett in Super but had to wait two months for final confirmation.


A new British engine, the EME, began production in Sidcup, Kent and was accepted for use in the UK. David Coulthard won the Junior Britain Super 1 Series. Andy Martin (210), Mark Webster (250 National), Chris Stoney (125 National) and Martin Hines (Formula E) clinched the RAC British Long Circuit Gearbox titles. The RAC announced the launch of a new Cadet class for 8 to 10 year olds using the Comer S60 engine.