The ABkC Steering Group, which is also the MSA Kart Regional Committee, held a busy meeting in mid-March. MSA Executives Cheryl Lynch and John Ryan attended as well as regular MSA member Bruce Goddard. Following a smaller meeting discussing championship formats the previous month, recommendations were accepted to have a minimum of ten race signatures before competitors can enter the major national championships. In other words, competitors need to have their five signatures plus ARKS test to move on from novice status and gain qualifications for a National A licence, plus another five race signatures. Competitors looking to enter the 2007 Super One or BRDC Stars of Tomorrow are therefore prewarned of the need to collect these signatures. Other pre-qualification ideas, such as position in club championships were discussed but put aside for the moment. Another outcome is for Super One and Stars to have guidelines on not clashing too often with any particular club’s meetings. Recommendations are being put forward to the Kart Sporting Committee to increase the upper age for Cadet classes to the end of the year of drivers’ 13th birthdays.
This is so smaller, young drivers can stay in the class if desired. Coupled with this, it is likely that the 2007 Junior class regulations will incorporate a maximum kart weight including ballast. This means small drivers will not progress into a class where they would be forced to carry too much ballast to make the class weight, which is potentially unsafe. The maximum ballast is likely to be set somewhere between 25kg and 30kg and added to an average kart weight. The current contracts for the promotion of the ABkC’s national championships come to an end in 2006 and the ABkC invites any interested parties to contact the secretary for further details. Any formal bids need to be lodged by the end of April so the Steering Group can make a decision at its June meeting. The various classes are currently promoted by Super One, Stars and the NKF. Similarly, ABkC tyre contracts are coming to an end this year. Any interested parties should contact the secretary for further details on the same timescale as above. The MSA are currently inviting tenders for the promotion of the MSA British Kart Championships for 2007 onwards and full details will be publicised shortly. Following discussion after the last AGM, it was decided to publicise the 2006 AGM widely in the hope that competitors, the trade and others would come to make their views known after the formal part of the meeting is concluded. It was noted that MSA kart licences have declined from 5419 in 2004 to 5277 in 2005, with a corresponding decrease in new ARKS licences from 900 to 720 in 2005. Everyone is concerned about the decline and putting forward ideas to boost karting at the entry level. NatSKA, the schools’ association, have joined the ABkC as an association member and their representative put forward the suggestion for clubs to have teach-ins for newcomers, maybe in a section of the paddock, especially reserved for novices.
Often it is the dads who need the help. NatSKA also asked clubs, teams and traders to give their old karts and especially 4-stroke engines to them for use in the school clubs. It was also agreed to explore setting up a formal coaching system in kart clubs. The promotional DVDs have had a good take up and sales have even contributed to the Association’s finances which remain healthy. The new ARKS Start Karting DVD is now expected for 1st January 2007. The Association has purchased the www.startkarting.co.uk domain name, to help publicise karting. The 2006 Start Karting brochure is available for clubs to help promote karting in their areas. It was pointed out that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport offer discounts on corporation tax, rates, capital gains and tax on income and interest by registering as a community amateur sports club. For further information go to: www.hmrc.gov.uk/casc/ and motorsport is eligible to apply. A circuit operator pointed out that he had been advised that VAT does not apply to circuit hire in excess of 24 hours. John Ryan expressed disappointment regarding the poor attendance by kart scrutineers at the recent seminars and urged club committees to encourage their scrutineers and indeed all officials to attend relevant MSA seminars. The Direct-Drive Sub-Group has held meetings with traders and teams regarding the introduction of the new CIK TAG engines. The Steering Group has decided that the CIK TAG engines will not be introduced for JICA and ICA in 2007 and a further meeting will be held in the summer regarding whether or not to introduce the Formula A engine in 2007. Rumours of problems and a possible later than usual homologation date were noted.
The group is also considering a rev limit in 100 National, either through a add-on rev-limiter as used in Portugal, or by setting a maximum sprocket size for each track. Comments are invited. This would be to keep engine rebuild costs down, especially when reed valve engines are permitted from 2007. Tal-Ko is having ongoing discussions with the ABkC and the trade regarding any changes in their classes for 2007. The WTP B5 TAG engine on-going situation is causing much concern. The MSA has yet to receive a fully substantiated application meeting the conditions set at the September meeting of the Kart Regional Committee and so the 2005 regulations currently apply for the WTP Cadet class until further notice (they are on the ABkC website). The ABkC is especially concerned about the suffering affecting existing and new competitors who may no longer own the older B1 engine. The Little Green Man championship will start by using the 2005 regulations and indeed may have to stay on these regulations all season. The ABkC also wants to ensure the B1 engine and the new B5 engine can race competitively together for the same trophies. It should be noted that wedge style nose fairings will not be permitted in the Cadet classes from 2007. An error has been made in the Blue Book regarding the height of the rear bumper in Cadets and this will be clarified by the MSA. The 1.8mm minimum diameter of brake secondary cables will be made mandatory in all classes from 1.1.2007. Both the London Kart Show and Autosport International are offering deals to kart clubs for their shows. Further details from the secretary but the London Show in particular is offering very good discount pricing and the thought is that in both a karting ‘village’ of the main associations and clubs could be set up. Finally, concern was expressed about a survey in a popular weekly which purported to allege that 100% of karters thought cheating was rife. This was considered very wide of the mark and has done karting a disservice. The next Steering Group meeting will be in June at which point a call will go out for invitations to hold the 2007 ABkC ‘O’ Plate meetings.
Graham Smith, ABkC Secretary