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Karting in the year 1989: a history

JANUARY 1989

An article on kart racing indoors helped to stimulate global interest in this soon to be very important branch of the sport. Former bus garages at Clapham and Chiswick were amongst the venues being used. Roger Norman from Jersey, the proud owner of 16 historic karts, stated the case for introducing historic kart racing. Technicalities from the World Junior Champs and compulsory club static noise test rigs were both featured in this issue.

FEBRUARY 1989

The 100cc Rotax was investigated. Tal-Ko released details of their 125cc KW125 gearbox class engine. Alex Zanardi won 135cc Formula K at the Hong Kong Kart Prix on Kali/Komet/Vega. Deavinsons opened a temporary indoor track at Rye House while Bill Sisley announced big plans for Buckmore Park. The new long circuit champions were George Bett (210), Derek Rodgers (250N), Colin Mason (125N), Chris Stoney (125 Open) and Tim Parrott (FormulaE).

MARCH 1989

Midhat Hanna of Dubai won the Oman International from Britain’s Mike Mills. The USA beat the USSR racing indoors at Peoria and Rosemont , the Rosemont circuit covered in Coca-Cola syrup! Dino 100cc karts were used and John Andretti won both rounds. The issue contained a photo feature on the 100 and 135cc World Champs. Daniel Wheldon picked up his trophies for winning the RACMSA British Cadet Champs at the prize-giving at Pall Mall.

APRIL 1989

The International Kart Show at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire was a great success. Sky TV were on hand to film F1 driver Derek Warwick carry out the official opening, and the RAC MSA launched a major competition to win a kart, race gear and back-up. We visited Red Dragon at Dyfed, importers of Swiss Hutless karts and French RKD motors. Jenson Button beat the reigning British Champion Daniel Wheldon in Cadet at Wombwell.

MAY 1989

Dino held their annual Open Day at their factory in Denmark which was attended by around 700 visitors. We reviewed the new Sirio Zenith 50 motor. Playscape launched a series at Buckmore Park for twin-engined Honda Pro-Karts. A successful kart show was staged at Trier in Germany, close to the borders with France and Luxembourg. The Rotax 125 and 250cc gearbox motors had major updates including new crankshafts and cylinders.

JUNE 1989

Emmanuel Collard (Formula K) and Jos Verstappen (Formula Super Hundred) won their classes at the opening Euro Champs round at Montpelier. Drivers had to have their names on their sidepods for the first time and would be penalised if they didn’t attend all 5 rounds. Tim Parrott won 250cc Formula E on Easter Monday at Silverstone. The Dino 500 8K and weird-looking Tecno R.V. 100cc motors were featured as were intake silencers.

JULY 1989

Christian Pescatori (Super 100) and Mike Wilson (135) were the winners of round two of the Euro Champs at Jesolo. Bruno Ferrari opened his new showroom and factory at Harrow while Dartford Karting showed us their new power-bender. Gianluca Malandrucco beat Giancarlo Fisichella and Danilo Rossi to win the Euro Junior Champs at Parma. Guy Smith was the best placed Brit in 11th and all seven Brits qualified for the World Junior Champs at Zaragoza.

AUGUST 1989

Electronic timing using AMB transponders was a new attraction at the Fontenay round of the Euro Champs. Alain Corbiau (Tony/Rotax) won Super Hundred while Andrea Boldrini (Tony/Komet) took the honours in Formula K. The RAC Short Circuit Gearbox Champs at Rissington were won by Ian Mason (125N), John Haigh (210), Stuart Ziemelis (125 Open), Mark Webster (250N) and Ian Shaw (250I). Jos Verstappen won the ICA Euro Champs Qualifier in Finland.

SEPTEMBER 1989

The final round of the CIK 250cc Euro Champs was held at Cadwell Park with Derek Rodgers, Anderson/Yamaha, winning the singles title and Sweden’s Stefan Rindestrom, Anderson/Rotax, the Formula E crown. An indoor circuit was opened at Biggin Hill. Future car stars at the World Junior Cup at Zaragoza in Spain included Jarno Trulli, Giancarlo Fisichella and the winner Jan Magnussen, Tony/Rotax, who was hounded afterwards by an aggrieved ‘Rambo’ who was 2nd.

OCTOBER 1989

Cover photo: The Silverstone Kart GP’s move to the new National circuit met with some grumbles but free spectator admission for brought in a healthy crowd. We interviewed multiple World Champion Mike Wilson. Tim Parrott won the 250cc World Champs round at the Nurburgring. The CIK Intercontinental A meeting at Three Sisters only attracted 9 entries for the feature class. Stephen Day won from Belgian Wim Eyckmans and Andrew George.

NOVEMBER 1989

Mike Wilson (CRG/Komet) won his sixth 135cc World Champs title at Valence. Giancarlo Fisichella and Jos Verstappen raced in the 100cc class which was won by Gert Munkholm (PCR/Atomik). Tim Parrott was 250cc World Champion by the Le Mans final round. Jenson Button won Cadet at the televised TVS Superprix at Clay Pigeon but was beaten by Daniel Wheldon at the RAC British Champs at Wombwell. Jamie Davies took the Junior Britain title.

DECEMBER 1989

Thirty years as a kart trader were celebrated by John Mills. Super One champions were James Matthews (Junior Britain), Steve Cook-Martin (100 Britain), Ricky Flynn (100 National) and Gary Moynihan (100 Super). Roger Norman was the CIK Historic Champs winner once again. We had the spec. of the latest Rotax 250. The CIK announced that it would be introducing starting lights for from 1990 and would be studying the feasibility of electronic timing.