The Max Column

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The final round of the Super 1for Rotax Max was held at Buckmore Park over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd October, the entry level has remained very strong throughout the season. Champions in all classes were confirmed. This amounts to four now that the 177 class is included. Although it was a late decision to run the 177s they have had a solid core of support throughout the year, there seems to be several more drivers who are looking forward to entering this class for next season’s hostilities which are now set to kick off at the end of March at Clay Pigeon. Danny Pennall who is the mover and shaker behind the Dadson Gentleman’s Challenge has been successful in persuading some of his drivers to take their racing a little more seriously and to dive into the Super 1. The Gentlemen’s Challenge has now stood the test of time and these guys are a shining example of going racing for its original intent of having fun! There may be the occasional rubbing of wheels on the circuit, but when all is said and done they get along brilliantly and thoroughly enjoy themselves. Almost as an aside to their racing the “Gents” have continued to raise considerable sums of money for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

The Super 1at Buckmore was slightly spoilt by the only thing that no one can control, the weather. This was the second time that Paulo Mantese from Vega has attended a Super 1, at Warden Law we froze him and at Buckmore we soaked him! Please come again next year, things can only improve. The Vega rookie awards were also decided at Buckmore, the winners in each class will be invited as part of their prize to go to the Vega factory in Saronno to see how it is all done.

Michael Simpson the senior Max class winner receives a drive in the DD2 Class at the World finals in Portugal. He was able to collect a test kart from JAG at Buckmore in order to get in some vital test mileage before making the trip to Viana in mid November. Other Brits making the Finals are those that qualified through the Euro Challenge, Martin Pierce in Senior Max, Jack Hawksworth in Juniors and Colin Davies in Masters. I think that gives us a very good chance to come away with some of the candy. I think this is the first time that the World Finals is far enough North to be threatened by rain, in a serious way. British drivers are always feared for their rain-meister abilities, it is certainly high time that we made our mark on the top step of the podium, we have been the bridesmaids for long enough!

Venues for next year’s Super 1 meetings look good for Max. Clay, Larkhall, Wigan, Rowrah, PFI and Buckmore. See the AbkC website for the definitive Calendar.

At Buckmore JAG instigated a questionnaire for the drivers and team managers to complete. This was well received and the results will make interesting reading when they are analysed.

From the 1st of January a new type air box will be allowed alongside the existing model. All the parts are the same with the exception of the Top and Bottom plastic mouldings. The new unit has the air inlet trumpets angled in towards the seat and a much more streamlined appearance. It looks as though the new air box will have less volume inside. Tests will need to be carried out to prove any changes in performance. There is bound to be speculation but until it is proven it is certainly best to say nothing! A new bracket has to be used to mount the new air box; this is smaller than the original and has lugs on the side to allow an alternative mounting for the pump. If the pump is mounted on the side it makes it possible to change the jet without removing the Carburettor. The new air box will be neater and not as close to the seat. The Larger seat owners should find this a significant advantage.

A service centre recently had a bizarre fault that is such an easy mistake to make. An engine was brought in to him suffering from water loss. He pressure tested the engine found no fault, rebuilt the engine and again found no fault so the engine was resealed and returned to its owner. As soon as it was refitted to the Kart it again lost water. The dealer asked the customer to bring the whole kart in and soon all was revealed. The engine was fitted with a two-piece mount. The two centre bolts that hold the top half to the chassis clamp were too long and had come right through the mount. The result being that one of the bolts was bottoming on the base of the engine in the middle of the join in the crankcases. This was exerting just enough pressure to break the gasket seal and allow the coolant to escape. Fortunately the damage was only slight and when the bolt was released the crankcases were still holding water and effectively undamaged. These mounts are excellent and make chain adjustment very easy but do be sure that all the bolts are the originals with their washers and in the right place.

At Buckmore Super 1, JAG took delivery of the new Gillard DD2 kart and very good it looks too. There are plans to test as soon as possible and then to encourage some racing. Whilton Mill has offered to host the class as soon as there are ten entrants. With the existing RM1 owners that are keen to race we only need a couple more to make it a reality. There is no doubt that the interest level is substantially greater now that the class is opened up to all chassis manufacturers. The RM1 is certainly a groundbreaking machine from many points of view. Even the bodywork was quite different to anything that had been seen at the time. Now that mainstream manufacturers such as Birel and Gillard have taken the opportunity to produce a chassis specifically for this engine unit with its direct drive system, the world dealer networks have a real live product to take to their markets. The DD2 has the best possible chance of success now; I understand that there will be various models on display at the London Kart Show in December. Date for your diaries 9th and 10th December at ExCel London, Go to for more details.

If you are one of those sensible Max owners that prefer to stay in the warm during the winter months, now is a good time to do some preventative maintenance before laying your Kart up until the spring. It is always a good idea to give everything a really good clean and then lubricate all the unpainted components against attack from cold and condensation. The only way to do this is by a certain amount of disassembly, engine off etc. You may consider at least having the engine checked by a service centre or it may be time for its annual overhaul. I believe there are some sealing agents offering special deals for winter servicing, now would be the time to take advantage of that. The most obvious but easily overlooked task is to check that the engine has been filled with anti freeze and not plain water. I know I say it all the time but perfectly good cylinders are about to be destroyed by the first hard frost of the winter. If a little time is spent on the outfit now it will stand you in good stead when you want to get it out in the spring, ready for action!

Next month; DD2 news. News from the World Finals in Portugal and technical stuff including first tests of the new air box.