Karting in the year 1999: a history

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JANUARY 1999

Johnny Herbert had a go in a twin 100cc engined kart at his charity event at The Raceway at King’s Cross. One engine was a JICA Vortex, the other a 100C PCR. Gianluca Beggio won his 4th Formula C World title in a row at Charlotte in the USA. George Robinson track tested two BRM chassis for the 100cc classes at Clay Pigeon while Martin Capenhurst sampled Honda 80cc & 125cc gearbox outfits at Rye House.

FEBRUARY 1999

Fernando Alonso and Giorgio Pantano were the top karters at the Elf Masters indoor event at Bercy, Paris. The 10th International Kart Show took place at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent. We tested the Matador composite rental kart and took a look at the German KZH 125cc liquid-cooled gearbox class engine, its most striking feature being the ability to easily remove the power unit from the gearbox and clutch.

MARCH 1999

Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren F1-decaled Zip kart was on next to Mika Hakkinen’s F1 car on the Bridgestone stand at the Autosport International show. Buckmore Park and PF International both had track extensions. We interviewed Allan McNish who, back in 1985, had won all six Junior Britain Super One rounds! The German Kart 2000 show had the new Bomber 60cc engine on display, now known as the WTP.

APRIL 1999

The first ever Winter Cup was held at South Garda and attracted 271 entries. Söderberg (Juniors), Ardigo (ICA), Dos Santos (FA) and Quintarelli (Super-A) were the victors. Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton were 3rd and 6th in Juniors. TKM S1 champion Philip Charles helped us compare Formula TKM with his new challenge – Formula A. We visited Bayford Meadows which was entering its first full year.

MAY 1999

Johnny Herbert and John Surtees helped open Buckmore Park’s new extension. PCR announced that they were collaborating with the space agency NASA on new materials for their engines. Robert Kubica dominated the Junior class at the Margutti Trophy, Lewis Hamilton was only 18th. Three ‘A’ Final leaders at the TKM S1 Qualifier at Three Sisters were flagged into the pits for noise violations.

JUNE 1999

John Riley beat Mark Owens in the 250 International UK Cup at Cadwell Park. The First Monaco kart was track tested. Graham Smith gave an insight into contesting the 125cc Formula C Euro Champs for the first time. There were also articles on Buckmore Park, Noise, Sodikart’s new premises, Racing the Ecomoto, and Ray Smith reminisced about a 1986 event in Spain where he raced against Alex Zanardi.

JULY 1999

Sauro Cesetti (Kosmic/Vortex) won both Super A Finals at the Genk Euro Champs round; Julien Poncelet (Swiss Hutless/Ital Sistem) and Patrick Pilet (Tony/Vortex) took the victories in Formula A. Recognising the growing importance of Rotax MAX in karting, this edition saw the first of a long running series of columns on the class by George Robinson. We track tested the RT5 and RT6 chassis produced by TRT.

AUGUST 1999

Giuseppe Palmieri (S.Hutless/Ital Sistem) won the Super A Euro Champs round at Valence while Riko Fürtbauer (CRG/Rotax) took the honours in Formula A. The Formula C 125cc European title at Ceska Lipa was won by Ronnie Quintarelli (Tony/Vortex) and Claude Monteiro (Birel/TM) was crowned ICC champion. Lars Sexton (Tecno/Vortex) won the ABkC Formula A ‘O’ Plate at Shenington.

SEPTEMBER 1999

Reinhard Kofler (A), Tony/Vortex, won the Euro Junior Champs at Angerville. Lewis Hamilton was 2nd, Nico Rosberg 4th and Robert Kubica 5th. Cyndie Allemann (CH), Hutless/Ital Sistem, won the Cadet Green Helmet Trophy with Paul Di Resta 3rd. Poncelet and Palmieri, both on Hutless/Ital Sistem, sealed the Euro Champs titles for Super-A and Formula A respectively. We tested a triple-engined Pro-Kart.

OCTOBER 1999

Stefano Fabi, Top/Comer, of Italy won the Intercontinental A Euro Champs at Sarno. Jamie Green and John Byrne were the only two Brits out of the thirteen in Italy to make the final. We tested a 2-seater kart powered by two TKM BT82 engines and gave an insight into two outfits from Mugen – the Playing Kart, a 50cc gearbox recreation kart, and the We Wheel for disabled competitors.

NOVEMBER 1999

Danilo Rossi (CRG/CRG) won the Super A World Champs at Mariembourg while Franck Perera (Tony/Vortex) took the Formula A crown. We track tested the French GoKart TX MAX and a Deavinson Sprint fitted with a Honda 360cc water-cooled twin cylinder 4-stroke. Davide Fore and Alessandro Piccini collided on the last lap of the 125cc Formula C World Champs at Carole allowing Francesco Laudato to take the spoils.

DECEMBER 1999

John Riley won six of the last seven rounds of the MSA Long Circuit British Championship to clinch the title. Champion jump jockey Richard Dunwoody tested a 125cc Stratos/SGM, Mike Hayden tried a twin engined Rotax MAX outfit while Martin Capenhurst gave us the lowdown on Bowman’s LPG-fuelled leisure kart. Robert Kubica (CRG/CRG) won the Monaco Kart Cup for Juniors from Paul Di Resta.