The ABkC had it’s AGM on 27th November, where the issues facing British karting in the coming year were addressed.
Russell Anderson was re-elected as Chairman of the Association of British Kart Clubs and in his address to the sixteen clubs attending, he said: ÒThe role of the ABkC will be to generate proposals and review those from others to feed the new MSA committees, some people have missed the point of the work we do.In the immediate future we will formulate our response to the MSA Green Paper then turn our attention to new contracts for tyres and championships to start in 2012.The MSA have told me they want us to continue the dialogue with the championship promoters.
Anderson added that in future he could visualise the ABKC O Plate championship meetings rotating round each of the new regions, with each regional representative picking an appropriate club.
Graham Smith was re-elected as Secretary and Lesley Richardson took over as Treasurer from Colin Wright who has not put himself back up for election. Those attending enjoyed presentations from Mervyn Rundle of Solicitors Title on how Dunkesell Kart Club fought off a Noise Abatement order through the courts, from Reinier van der Steege of Mylaps on transponder and race timing developments and from John Hoyle of JKH on a proposal to supply subsidised Honda Cadet karts to clubs participating in Lets Go Karting.Meryvn Rundle has kindly made his presentation booklet available to all through the ABkC website www.abkc.org.uk
The 2011 Steering Group was elected with the following members: Russell Anderson (Chair), Graham Smith (Secretary), Mike Coombs (Gearbox Rep), Lesley Richardson (Treasurer), Paul Klaassen (Cadet Tech), Keiran Crawley (Non-gearbox Tech), Phil Featherstone (Gearbox Tech), Nigel Edwards (Non Gearbox Rep), Malcolm Fell, Kelvin Nichols, John Eastwood and Steve Clayton.The vice-chairman position, currently held by Mike Coombs will be confirmed at the February meeting.In addition to these elected members there are positions on the steering group for representatives from the Super One and FKS championships, and all regional kart associations.
Russell Anderson thanked Colin Wright for his valued work as Treasurer, and reviewed a busy year in dealing with such issues as the forthcoming changes in tyres in Rotax and KF classes, plus the new Super Cadet and KGP classes.He noted that with the formulation of a new over-arching MSA Kart Committee, that the ABkCs role as the Kart Regional Committee had effectively been taken in-house.The senior members of the steering group had meetings with the MSAs Chief Executive during the year and the ABkC had been granted a place on the new Kart Committee and had their place on the MSAs Regional Committee confirmed.
Secretary Graham Smith noted that clubs have reported that membership of clubs reported to the ABkC has fallen slightly from 5234 in 2009 to 4931 but we now have 34 clubs in membership, a record number. The revised ÔHow to Start Kart Racing brochure has been well received and will shortly be updated for 2011. He said the ABkC regretted the disturbance to the KZ class tyres this year, and have decided to adopt the CIK homologated tyre for 2011.
The ABkCs non-gearbox classes have all enjoyed extensive coverage on Motors TV, thanks to continued innovations in Super One.The MSA has approved a TAG Heuer transponder for karting but currently our clubs have all agreed to use the AMB TranX-160 and this could only change with steering group agreement.Graham Smith noted that the number of new drivers taking ARKS Tests now comprises 60% under-16s.The ABkC supported the Lets Go Karting clubs with a free suit and helmet, and will support the first ten applications for the JKH offer of Honda Cadet karts.
The Treasurer Colin Wright noted that the new membership fee structure comes into effect for 2011 but expressed his concern that current expenditure exceeds income and would continue to do so in 2011 as the fees for the O Plate meetings have been waived for that year. In 2010 there was expenditure of £9,480 against income of £8.391. There is £21,760 in the deposit account and Russell Anderson noted that the ABkC wish to maintain at least £20,000 in reserve in case it is needed to fight off any legal challenges. He said he is minded to call a meeting of the tyre suppliers to discuss the new contracts and the share of the prize money, and the possibility of setting up a club development fund on a percentage of the tyre fund income. President Steve Chapman said in his opinion any grants to clubs should be biased toward clubs that did not host Super One ABkC Championship meetings.
At the open forum following the official business, club representatives expressed concern about the decline in senior karting, and in the costs of entering and continuing in the sport.
Steve Clayton of South Yorkshire Kart Club said: ÒThere are no truly low cost classes in MSA karting any more, but thats what we need.
And Kevin Meynell of the RAFMSA asserted that the MSA needs to stop the persistent changes in regulations which renders equipment obsolete overnight.
Kelvin Nicholls of Buckmore Park Kart Club added that there were plenty of seniors racing prokarts in non-MSA racing, both in sprints and endurance.
There was concern that kart drivers are moving too early into race cars.
Another suggestion was for clubs to have rookie awards to encourage newcomers.
Some felt that the influence of teams encouraged drivers to fit new tyres too often and it was noted that the MSA Green Paper sought to address tyre usage.
Most of the tyres will now come with bar-coding and equipment is available to monitor the codes, and hence possibly to limit the tyre use.