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There was coverage of technical matters at the top 100cc events. Originally conceived by Neil Hann, 100 UK (Formula TKM), using the TKM BT82 motor, was announced by the RACMSA as the new entry level 100cc class. No British Championship was scheduled for 1998 and it was suggested that series racing shouldn’t be allowed. We were shown over Dartford Karting’s new ‘Supertune’ premises.
Deavinsons showed us their new Sprint CIK-2 chassis. After a lengthy gestation the 125cc with gearbox TKM KW125 motor saw the light of day. We reviewed the Formula E technicalities at the World Champs. The CIK ‘Silencer’ Working Group found that intake noise was greater than exhaust or mechanical noise in tests on ICA engines and called for the compulsory use of CIK spec. intake silencers.
The latest version of the Rotax 250cc twin was announced as was a slide carb made by South West Karting. There were new karts revealed from Gillard, Wright, DAP, SuperDart and TKM. The annual end-of-year event at Daytona International Raceway in the USA was as spectacular as ever. Lane Racing were the only karting exhibitor at The Racing Car Show, Olympia. The RAC got tough over Cadet illegalities.
The International Kart Show at the King’s Hall in Stoke-on-Trent in early February was the first karting exhibition for many years and was a great success. Charles Prior took over ownership of the 100cc EME motor barely a year after we had revealed its existence. The technical regulations for the TKM BT82 powered 100 UK class were released. Virtually every competitor at Tilbury on Valentine’s Day was excluded for being over the noise level.
We gave details of how to check and maintain the BT82 engine for class 100 UK that was set to commence on May 1st. Christian Pescatori (100 International) and Jan Magnussen (Junior International) were victorious at Oran Park in Australia while Mike Mills won an invitation race at Ahmadi in Kuwait. The RACMSA were advertising for a new Kart Manager to coincide with their move from Belgravia to their current location at Colnbrook near Heathrow.
A visit to the USSR by CIK President Ernest Buser brought the startling news that they had 110,000 karters and three production operations, each with an annual production of 8,000 karts. Tillotson revealed their mods to the latest HL-334A carb. Roger Goff, on an Anderson, won Formula E at Cadwell Park, Snetterton and Silverstone. The CIK’s new Formula Super Hundred class debuted at Montpelier in France. Gert Munkholm won from Jeremy Cotterill
Gert Munkholm (100cc) and Giampiero Simoni (135cc) won the Euro Champs round at Magione, Italy. Jeremy Cotterill was quickest in the 100cc time trials but DNF’d in the Final. Alex Zanardi won the 135cc invitation event. The RACMSA moved on May Day Bank Holiday from Belgrave Square to Colnbrook, near Heathrow, their present headquarters. Well known Scrutineer and Kart Committee member Ron Brassey was appointed as the new Kart Manager.
Gary Chapman (Wright/Parilla) won the RAC 100 Britain Champs for the 3rd year running. 145 drivers entered the single round meeting which was held at Rissington. The RAC organised a noise test day at Clay Pigeon. Mark Webster (Anderson/KTM) and Ian Shaw (Zip/Rotax) won the RAC 250cc short circuit championships at Three Sisters whilst Eric Gassin (Nissag/Rotax) of France won the Donington round of the Formula E Euro Champs.
Italian Gianluca Malandrucco (Tecno/Parilla) won the World Junior Cup while in the Time Trials Giancarlo Fisichella was fastest, Jos Verstappen 6th and Dario Franchitti 20th. The Euro Champs round winners at Genk were Sandro Zani in Super Hundred and Mike Wilson in Formula K. The CIK announced that as from 1989 an inlet silencer would be mandatory to reduce noise. Chris Stoney won both 125 National and Open at the RAC S/C Champs. Mark Allen took the 210 victory.
The Silverstone GP had 343 entries that included 34 Cadets racing on a makeshift course on Woodcote bend. Daniel Wheldon won Cadet while the GP plates went to Poul Petersen, Phil Featherstone, Mark Webster, Graham Sykes and Roy Patterson. Graeme Melville beat over 100 drivers including Dario Franchitti, Guy Smith, Oliver Gavin and Ralph Firman to win the RAC Junior Britain Champs at Clay Pigeon. The CIK introduced a standard for kart wheels.
Emmanuel Collard won the reinstated, after a gap of 7 years, 100cc (Formula Super Hundred) World Champs at Laval. Mike Wilson took his 5th World 135cc title at the same event, also on a Kali. The 250 World Champs final round was at Le Mans and was won by Eric Gassin with the title going to Poul Petersen. Tyre controversy threatened to ruin the RAC British Champs at Wombwell. Daniel Wheldon (Cadet) and Darrell Beasley (100 Super) took the titles.
The 250 National Long Circuit Championship title was awarded on a tie-breaker to Derek Rodgers ahead of Mike Doble because Rodgers had beaten 191 drivers over the six-round championship to Doble’s 179! The Langbaurgh kart circuit opened at Teesside. Dario Franchitti was one of the 115 competitors at that first meeting. Stuart Capstick, Richard Weatherley, Gary Chapman and Paul Rees were the new Super One Series champions.