The first major meeting at the refurbished Buckmore Park circuit saw Jenson Button win the Cadet class ‘0’ plate. Bruno Ferrari gained RAC homologation for the water-cooled TM 125 cc motor. Oran Park Raceway near Sydney, Australia, staged The Kart GP. Australia’s David Besnard beat Simpson for the CIK Junior title and fellow Australian Jon Targett won Formula A.The RAC MSA announced increases to fees and charges in the 9% to 13% range. Bruno Grana launched Formula NAP which specified a single Italian made chassis, long life Italian tyres and a Komet 135cc reed valve motor.IAME launched Formula NAP which specified a single Italian made chassis, Italian tyres and a Komet 135cc motor.
The Association of British Kart Clubs and the British Kart Industry Association agreed to work together in the best interests of the sport. The first round of the Winter Series at the Three Sisters circuit attracted 220 entries for the hectic schedule but the gathering gloom caused the finals to be shortened. The move of the International Kart Show to the Bingley Hall was a success. The CIK now required all Formula A and K karts to have a front fairing conforming to CIK measurements. The Indoor Trans-Atlantic Challenge for teams from the USA, Canada and the UK was staged at three tracks using borrowed equipment, the UK won 2:1.
His father having produced the Saetta and Parilla engines, the first to have a rotary valve, and his brother Angelo owning DAP, it came as no surprise to learn that Achille Parrilla founded the ital-sistem company. The result was a very successful line of rapid kart engines and MARI karts, the latter taking the name of Achille’s wife. A new CIK rule for Intercontinental A Seniors and Juniors required driver’s to say on the entry form the make of tyres they were to use. They were issued with a voucher to exchanged for a set of tyres by the agent. They had to be fitted in the parc ferme. The WKA Daytona USA Kart Week with 2800 entries was the largest event in the history of the sport and 1288 entries took part in the Kart Dirt Track races. Mark Probyn of SRK launched a mono-make class using the 4 stroke Briggs & Stratton motor but the concept failed. However, towards the end of 2001, Briggs & Stratton was the first to apply for the proposed new CIK World Formula class.
ALICK – the newly formed Association of International Long Circuit Kart Clubs, took over the championship for the ‘1’ number plates from the RAC MSA , the first round being at Cadwell. Another first was the Honda Pro-Kart Challenge for twin-engined karts using two Honda 4-stroke motors, the 10 round series starting on April 5th at Larkhall. Race-Pro offered a 14 round endurance series with three 24 hour, two 12 hour, two 9 hour and seven 6 hour events at Rye House, Le Mans, Buckmore Park and Clay Pigeon. A record 425 entry applications were received by the Super One registration date.
147 drivers entered the Super One qualifying round at Clay Pigeon. Hetschel, the largest kart manufacturer in Germany, homologated their KZH 100M motor with the CIK. Rye House attracted 200 plus entries for the penultimate round of the Winter series. Thunder Karts at Watford held rally kart racing on an indoor circuit using Pro-Karts powered by 250cc Honda four stroke motors.
The CIK Euro Champs for Formula A and K were held at Valence in France with all the karts sporting the new compulsory nose fairing. The winners were Thiry on a Tecno Rotax in Formula A and Beggio, Kali Rotax in Formula K. Australian Kart Speedway races staged at the Nepean Raceway near Sydney and at Fairbairn Park near Canberra were enthusiastically supported by riders who enjoyed close racing at an economical cost.The 100cc Spanish IDK was CIK homologated with a twin spark plug ignition. Russian made karts complete with engine were imported by Regent Kart to sell at £599 plus VAT. At the Shenington Super One Qualifier, 110 drivers fought it out to try and get one of the six places available in each class for the ABkC and RAC MSA Championships.
This was a time of great interest in carefully refined and selected versions of so-called “Pump petrol” that was marketed as racing fuel by the major oil companies at a much higher price.Ryder Brown won the Prokart Cadet Scholarship out of 1000 hopeful entries.The Junior Britain class at the Clay Pigeon round of the Renault sponsored Super One Series was dominated by Matthew Davies, Jenson Button came home 5th.The excellent Assen circuit in Holland hosted the 250cc European Champs. The final was won by Stoney and British drivers occupied the top six places.Rotax introduced a new 125cc motor with gearbox designed to take on the rival Italian makes.Daniele Parrilla won the Mondercange round of the CIK Euro Champs in Formula A and led the championship with a Mari kart and Ital Sistem motor. Allesandro Manetti won Formula K.
The second CIK World Cup for Formula A and Formula K was held at the magnificent Suzuka motor sports complex in Japan with the wins going to the Italians, Alberto Pedemonte on a Kali/Rotax/Dunlop and Danilo Rossi on a CRG/ Rotax/Dunlop.David Besnard won the CIK Junior European Champs on a Top/Comer at Vojens in Denmark. Random tests of clutch take up were done on the dummy grid but there was still chaos with the standing starts.BP Oil International issued a statement that no blame should be apportioned to Martin Hines after he was excluded for fuel irregularities at Knockhill. The World Karting Association Indoor Prokart Challenge was staged at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre. There were almost 400 entries and these included Patrick Walsh and the Mills family trio of Mike, Adrian and Roger from the UK. They finished second to the team from Canada.
There were new technical rules for the Junior World Championship (and a new name – Five Continents Cup) at Gothenburg in Sweden. They changed from reed valve motors with exhaust restrictors and a 19.8mm carb to piston port engines with homologated 24 mm carb, exhaust and clutch. Standing starts were also introduced. The drivers were divided into Cadets for those aged 14 to 15 and Juniors for 15 to 16 years, with different weight limits. A pool of tyres was provided by the tyre manufacturers with officials handing you a set to use that had to be handed back after each race. The winning Junior was David Besnard on a Top Kart/Comer and the Cadet class was won by Elran Nijenhuis, Dino/Rotax. Simon Cullen on a PVP/ Rotax won the RAC 250cc Long Circuit championship round at Brands Hatch. All but two of the 210 National entry at Three Sisters were excluded for not complying with the rules.
The staging of the CIK European Champs for Intercontinental A in the UK at the Three Sisters circuit resulted in fine racing and problems as the organisers struggled with unfamiliar procedures. The final started two hours late and when Biagi tangled with Luglio on the last lap, the win went to Fiorucci of France on a Merlin Atomik. Princess Diana took Prince William and Harry to race karts at Buckmore Park. Some 20 years earlier the Queen had bought a Trokart kit for Prince Charles and left instructions with the Royal Mews staff that they were not to help him assemble it so he could learn from the experience. The Silverstone Kart GP attracted over 300 drivers. The class winners were, Eamonn Talbot, Boyd Barrington, Stuart Ziemelis, Kelvin Bonarski, Mark Allen, Chris Stoney. This was one of the first meetings in the UK where the karts were equipped with transponders for lap scoring.
Ralf Schumacher helped out as a mechanic for a German competitor at the World 125cc Formula C Championships at Mariembourg in Belgium. The winner was Danilo Rossi who then moved on to Ugento in Italy for the World 100cc Champs. This event had 112 entries split between the two classes. Nicola Gianniberti, Tony/Rotax, won Formula A. In Formula K, despite tough opposition, Rossi using a CRG/Rotax pulled off the amazing double by winning the 100cc and 125cc World titles in the same season. Martin Hines gained his third CIK World 250cc title at Le Mans.
The Association of British Kart Clubs launched their ‘Green Book’ of regulations to replace those in the RACMSA’s ‘Blue Book’. The inaugural Honda Challenge for twin Honda GX160 4-stroke motors was won by Paul Bowler. The Super One finale took place at Rye House and the class champs were Matthew Davies, Darron Gibbs, Lee Whitney and Ralph Firman. The latter went on to win the Vauxhall Karting Challenge.The last major event of the year in Denmark attracted 200 entries with Gert Munkholm taking the honours in Formula A.Kimbolton staged the fifth round of the Short Circuit Gearbox Champs with class ‘0’ Plate wins going to John Riley, Bob Blight, Tom Thacker, Mark Haswell and Andy Martin.F1’s Jenson Button won the ABkC Junior UK Championship.