Following the success of Rotax MAX for Seniors it was announced that a dedicated engine without powervalve would now be produced for Juniors. There was some consternation at the news that water-cooled engines would soon begin appearing in the Formula A and ICA classes in the UK. Mugen of Japan were set to start producing gearbox karts using Honda CR80 and CR125 engines.
F1 stars stayed away from the 7th Elf Masters indoor kart race at Bercy, Paris with Minardi’s Stéphane Sarrazin winning on both days. Jeleniowski and Kubica each took a Junior class victory. Vitantonio Liuzzi (CRG/CRG) won the Formula Super A World Cup at Suzuka. The CIK was back in charge of karting after a year of the FMK being at the helm. TKM’s new 4-stroke motor was pictured for the first time.
There were plenty of karting exhibitors at the Autosport International show. TKM’s 4-stroke made its world debut, Modus showed off the Titan WL2 liquid-cooled engine and a Karting magazine team came last but one in the Elf Media Kart Challenge race. Team members included Martin Capenhurst, Mike Hayden and Chris Walker. Warden Law was extended from 775 metres to 1,100m and we carried a profile of Paul Fletcher.
There was a huge turnout for the Winter Cup at South Garda – 115 Juniors, 136 ICA, 82 Formula A and 20 Super-A. Carlo Van Dam, Davide Gaggianesi, Nelson Van Der Pol and Davide Fore were the respective victors. John Mills Racing were profiled. Whilton Mill near Daventry was about to open a 856m kart circuit for MSA competition use, the Northamptonshire venue had previously been just a corporate hospitality and entertainment venue.
Eddie Irvine and David Ginola helped open Daytona’s new Park Royal circuit in London. Lewis Hamilton was 7th in Formula A at the Margutti Trophy at Parma. Dean Panrucker (Top/Comer) won the Formula A ‘O’ Plate at Rowrah from Michael Conway, but Conway sealed the Winter Series title. We put Gary Paffett, Luke Hines and Neil Dodson through a day’s fitness training. An article examined kart steering, physical forces and set-up.
David Griffiths won the ICA European Champs Qualifier that was held as part of a Kimbolton club meeting. As there were 24 UK places up for grabs and only 17 had entered, many questioned why they had to race. As it was the final was cancelled because the meeting over-ran. Alessandro Manetti lost his Formula C Race 1 win at the Mariembourg Euro Champs round because of a broken engine seal.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis enlisted the help of both Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley in his efforts to overturn the Stewards’ decision that Lewis Hamilton would not be allowed to race in the Euro Champs round at Val d’Argenton because of his fractured wrist. Eventually the Stewards gave way and Lewis won both finals. Heikki Kovalainen won both Super-A finals at the Genk round, the first CIK event with water-cooled 100cc motors.
Jamie Green (PCR/PCR) won the first Formula A final at the Valence Euro Champs round while fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton (CRG/Parilla) won the second final and secured the title. Toni Vilander (PCR/PCR) and Sauro Cesetti took the Super A victories. We profiled Jamie Green in this issue and also travelled to North Cyprus to witness the opening of the lavish new 1200m ZET International circuit near Nicosia.
We tested the new TKM 4-stroke engine and a Junior Gearbox outfit. Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could be an F1 podium but in fact it was the top three in Race 1 at the Oschersleben Formula A Euro Champs round. Hamilton had already secured the title and was profiled in this issue as was leading Junior racer Paul Di Resta. Mario Siegers of Holland made sure of the Super A crown.
Julien Menard (Tony/Vortex) of France won the ICA Euro Champs at Angerville. Pembrey hosted the Kart GP for a third time with Fell, Petersen, Riley, Tinker, Hurst and Nash taking the titles. Mark Litchfield and Gary Catt took 1st and 2nd at the TKM Festival in Senior TKM. Alan Turney demonstrated the new TKM 4-stroke. Poul Petersen broke two standing start world speed records aboard one of his PVP Formula E outfits.
The World Champs at Braga almost had to be cancelled as the track surface broke up. Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) won Super-A while Colin Brown (Top/Parilla) took the honours in Formula A. Kubica, Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Piquet, Liuzzi and Fabi all raced at this meeting.The CIK outlined their vision for karting including the introduction of high performance 4-strokes.
Gianluca Beggio (Birel/TM) won the last ever World title for the 125cc Formula C class at Mariembourg.Just 4 weeks after his World Champs success, Colin Brown (Top/Comer) was again victorious in Formula A, this time at the Monaco Kart Cup. Jérome D’Ambrosio won Juniors.We tested the Parilla Leopard engine and Lewis Hamilton (World) and Ben Hanley (British) were the winners of our Kart Driver Rankings in association with Champion spark plugs.