Karting in the year 1990: a history


Roger Norman described his team’s adventures at the Le Mans 24 hours. We compared Gert Munkholm’s world championship winning Atomik AKV90 100cc motor with an out-of-the-box version. The spec. was released of the latest Rotax 125 gearbox class engine. Playscape Racing staged the highly successful RAC Pro-Kart Challenge at the London Arena with all proceeds going to charity. Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill were among those taking part.


We had the first photos of Dartford Karting’s entries into engine manufacture, the Solo TT42 for the Britain classes and the TT44 for National. A street race was staged at Clayton, New York. The latest version of the Hetschel KZH 100cc motor had a revised cylinder head and larger barrel fins for improved cooling. The RAC reached agreement with the Super One Series organisers that the 1990 British Champs for four classes would be merged with the series.

MARCH 1990

We were granted access to the inner construction and workings of the new Solo rotary valve 100cc motors. B.R.K. announced their dynamometer with a computer interface for data storage and manipulation. On a power run the throttle was opened fully until the motor reached a pre-determined rpm. This provided data on temperatures, rpm, power and torque. Anthony Davidson wrote up the background story of his 1989 season in the Cadet class.

APRIL 1990

Almost 9000 people attended the International Kart Show held in a monster hall of 200,000 sq. ft. at the NEC Birmingham. Included was an indoor kart track which hosted a competition titled the Dunlop Indoor Kart World Cup between teams from Britain, USA and Canada. Martin Hines took the win when Carson Alt was baulked by a backmarker. The Australian Kart Prix at Oran Park was won by Australia’s Jon Targett from Jan Magnussen of Denmark.

MAY 1990

Andy Cox was not allowed to pre-qualify in Senior Britain if he also entered National at the RAC Shenington event so he entered both of the qualifiers with success . Once his National result was confirmed he gave up his Senior Britain place so another might benefit. None of the finishers at the Cadwell RAC Champs round in 125 P&R and 250 Nat. passed the noise test and after a protest was upheld the penalties were cancelled.It was revealed that some drivers were cheating by using Bridgestone YDG tyres with forged markings to make it appear that they were really YBNs. Track tests showed a 2.4 sec improvement on a 45.07 sec average lap time.

JUNE 1990

Round one of the RAC Cadet Champs saw a win for Daniel Wheldon. F1’s Jenson Button tied for 2nd with Paul Rivett. TKM revealed their new KA100 and K100B motors.Competitors from nine countries took part in the 14th South American Champs held at Santa Rosa near Lima in Peru. Stringent noise tests at the Cadwell round of the RAC Long Circuit Champs resulted in long queues and there were still some post-race disqualifications.

JULY 1990

At round 1 of the European Championships at Valence, there were just 4 entries for Formula K 135cc and they were combined with Formula K 100cc. The respective winners were Van Es and Pacchioni. In Formula A (100cc) Belletti took the win. RACMSA noise checks resulted in uproar. The rpm of the checks was changed to that of the equivalent to an average piston speed of 13 metres/second. When 34 karts out of 40 failed the noise test at the first round of the Super One Champs at Shenington, the results were allowed to stand.


The CIK Euro Champs at Paimio, Finland, were unusual in that the one meeting was for both the 250cc title and also a round for the 100 and 135cc brigade. Despite strong opposition, Ian Shaw won Formula E with Beggio and Orsini taking the wins in the two divisions of Formula K. At Le Mans, Belgium’s Bas Lenders won the CIK Juniors Euro Champs. The Dunlop Dirt Series opened at the Four Seasons Raceway in Ontario, Canada.The RAC Short Circuit Champs had a round in Northern Ireland at Nutts Corner, Bernadette Stoney winning the 125 P&R class.


The Junior World Champs were held at Garda, Italy. The winner was France’s Jeremie Dufour on a Dino Rotax with future F1 driver, Jarno Trulli, second. Best Briton was Guy Smith in sixth place. Eric Gassin won the pre-final and final at round one of the Formula E 250cc World Champs at Essen in Germany. Mariembourg in Belgium hosted a Euro Champs round with Fabiano Belletti winning Formula A and Martin Koene heading Formula K, Division 2. The RAC Open Day, held at the National Motorcycle Museum, benefited from the input of the Association of British Kart Clubs which had been founded just ten days earlier.


Silverstone 90 was round 2 of the World Formula E Championship, and the British GP for the National races. The CIK event suffered from noise level arguments and doubtful grid sheets, the win going to Roger Goff. GP class wins went to Brennan, Bernadette Stoney, Allen, Barrington, Molloy and Shaw. At the street race in Hull, Jenson Button came 4th in Cadets behind Wheldon, Sisley and Wilken. £500 first prizes and the television cameras resulted in exciting racing at the TVS Superprix at Clay Pigeon.A Prokart Challenge race was held through the streets of Ballston Spa in New York State. Jamie Davis won the RAC Junior Champs at Rye House.


A lack of entries resulted in the 135cc class being dropped at the World Championships at Jesolo near Venice. This left two 100cc class titles to be fought for – Formula K and Formula A. The former was won by Denmark’s Jan Magnussen and the latter by Danielo Rossi.Fisichella was knocked off the track on the warming up lap, he rejoined the pack and came home 2nd only to be excluded for having received outside assistance.The third and final round of the Formula E 250cc World Championship was held at Le Mans and was won by Tim Parrott who took the overall title for the second year running.Also gaining a second successive CIK win was Roger Norman who was again victorious in the Historic Championships held at Laval in France.


Darron Gibbs, Wright TKM, won the RAC Senior Britain Champs held at Rowah. Sadly there were reports of sabotage to some of the karts.After a gap of 9 years, kart racing returned to Thruxton with Ian Shaw improving the lap record from 102.8 mph to 112.63 mph. Baptiste and Price took the two 125cc classes for Stratos Minarelli.The CIK World Formula C 125cc Champs were held at Laval in France and won by Alessandro Piccini on a Birel Pavesi.At Langbaurgh the RAC 100cc National title went to Gordon Duncan and that for Super to David Cuff.