The second test of prototype engines which will potentially replace the KF specification in 2016 have been tested at Lonato in Italy.
At the first test the engines from IAME, Vortex, TM and HHC, had both electric starters and direct drive. However the power needed to both start the engine and move the kart at the same time was putting too much strain on batteries and starter motors. This also caused weight issues.
At the second test the engines were much simpler, without any sort of clutch or starter motor. But with a decompression valve to make push starting much easier – the rear wheels don’t need to be lifted up. The engines do still have power valves and some have countershafts and internal water pumps.
Tom Joyner, the reigning World KF champion, and one of the drivers participating in the test, is not convinced.
“It wasn’t too bad, but I don’t think it’s the solution,” he said. “It was nice to see 1000RPM more as we could have a much larger sprocket and therefore more bottom end.
“But I think the Dellorto carb would be the worst idea as it would make it even more expensive as you require one person just to set up carb as it’s not adjustable. Plus that would kill off a lot of competition from Ibea, Tillotson etc.
“Something like Sudam or a new concept without a valve would be most appealing. I think we need a new concept where you have so much engine power that it comes more down to driver skill and chassis to put the power to the ground for KF. I think the KFJ is very good as it as but the jump from Junior to Senior is too small at the moment.”