Karting in the year 2003: a history

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The Formula A World Cup at La Conca was won by Jerome D’Ambrosio (Birel/TM). The first Brit was Paul Di Resta down in 17th place. We took a look at the Brooklands circuit that was to hold a round of the Stars of Tomorrow series later in the year. Unfortunately the event didn’t take place and the series was curtailed two rounds early. The Inter Nations Challenge at Rowrah was abandoned because of unacceptable driver behaviour.


Biland held a World Finals for their 4-stroke engined class in the South of France. The CIK announced four 4-stroke classes that were expcted would be progressively introduced into their championships, replacing the existing 2-stroke categories, over a 9 year period. K2, K3 and K4 would share a common base engine with different rpm limits and carburettor sizes, while K1 would be unrestricted on those two parameters.

MARCH 2003

Mark Cronje won the Rotax Max World Finals on home soil at Zwartkops in South Africa. The UK’s Ian Parsons was 2nd ahead of two other South Africans, Claudio Piazza-Musso and Michael Stephen. We unveiled the venue for the 2004 event – the Ghibli Raceway in Egypt designed by British concern Protrain.We took a look at Keith Campbell’s awesome 500cc beast powered by two twin-cylinder Rotax Superkart engines.

APRIL 2003

Oliver Oakes (Tony/Vortex)dominated 100cc Intercontinental A at the South Garda Winter Cup on his Senior debut. Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) and Andy Zanella (Top/Comer) won Formula A and Juniors respectively.Three British kart manufacturers – Dartford Karting, Gillard and S.W.R.D. – homologated chassis with the CIK, whilst Aerostar (bodywork) and Kelgate (brakes) were also successful with their applications.

MAY 2003

Oliver Oakes won ICA at the Margutti Trophy. Leaving it very late the CIK decided that the World Championship should be for Formula A at a single event instead of the multi-round championship for Formula Super-A.It was announced that the Comer W60 would take over as the British Championship Cadet engine from the existing Comer S60. Mark Rochford’s running costs and net equipment costs for winning Formula A Super One were put at £1676/round.

JUNE 2003

For the first time, 4-stroke karting was represented in the Super One Series with a debut season for the Junior and Senior TKM classes. Alex Zanardi had a kart seat fitting at CRG less than two years after his horrific Champ Car accident. Driving standards at the Fulbeck round of the Rotax Super One Series were described as diabolical. Carlo Forni demonstrated the importance of matching pistons to cylinders in his latest Tech Talk column. We interviewed Paul Carr.

JULY 2003

Bertrand Grooten (Tony/Vortex) and Bas Lammers (S.Hutless/Vortex) both took wins at the opening round of the Formula A Euro Champs at Angerville. Major upgrades were completed at Buckmore Park and Rye House. Carlo Forni  guided us through the various reasons for engine seizures. Damien Payart won both races at the opening round of the European Superkart Champs at Brno in the Czech Republic. We tested the Rotax RM1 kart that would evolve into the DD2.


Davide Fore (Tony/Vortex) took a win and a 2nd place at round 2 of the Formula A Euro Champs at Alaharma in Finland.In response to the CIK pushing ahead with their plans for the top level of karting to be 4-stroke, Ed Wassenberg, Chairman of the Dutch Autosport Federation, suggested setting up a rival federation, the World Karting Federation. The CIK did not adopt 4-stroke for their premier classes and the WKF was never heard of again.


Bas Lammers and Carlo Van Dam won the two finals at the Braga Formula A Euro Champs round. David Gregory was on the podium both times. We tested a Junior Biland kart but the class never got under way. Adam Christodoulou won both the Minimax and Junior Rotax O Plates at the same meeting. We ran a feature on Dean Warner who had lost the use of his right arm after a motorcycle accident and had taken up karting, initially Rotax Max before moving into 250 National.


Motor-sporting legends and dignitaries gathered at Buckmore Park for the opening of their new clubhouse and announcement of ambitious future plans. Damien Payart (Div.1) and Andrew Agnew (Div.2) were crowned European Superkart Champions at Donington Park. Michael Simpson won his 5th Kartmasters title. It was announced that Honda Cadet & Senior would adopt the GX160 T1 engine from 2004.


Ben Hanley took a win and a 2nd place at the final round of the Formula A Euro Champs at Mariembourg, with Bas Lammers winning the title. The Stars of Tomorrow series came to a premature end when the final rounds at Kimbolton and Brooklands did not take place. The Corridonia Euro Champs saw titles go to Nicholas Risitano (Juniors) and Nicola Bocchi (ICA). TKM announced that Seniors would get a engine capacity increase from 100cc to 115cc.