Tag Archives: cik karting

New Birel ART package capable of winning CIK-FIA European KZ Championship

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Jennox Lamb chassis preparationJordon Lennox-Lamb says the new Birel ART package can fight for victories in this year’s CIK-FIA European KZ Championship.

The 23-year-old Brit, who switched from the works CRG squad to the new Birel ART tie-up over the Winter, began the season in style by winning the Rotax DD2 class title of the Florida Winter Tour in the United States, last month.

Lennox-Lamb believes the team can now push on to score European wins after switching its focus from its American commitments.

“The brand is proven in Rotax, it’s very competitive in all classes, not just in DD2,” he said. “In KZ, it’s more about the fine tuning. There has been more attention focused on the USA recently. Now that is all complete, we need to make sure that the focus moves on to the European racing.”

Despite scoring numerous titles, including the 2012 KZ2 World Cup, Lennox-Lamb has yet to win a European crown in any KZ class.

“The European KZ season is spread out throughout the season, so we will need a month or two before we can say if we can go for the title,” he said. “The first target is a podium this weekend, and then we’ll be in a good position to push on from there.”

Lennox-Lamb says the professionalism of the Birel ART team has helped him make the quick transition and to take early wins.

“The diameter of the tubing of CRG chassis is 20mm, whereas at Birel ART it’s 30mm,” he said. “That help the kart to be very user-friendly out of the box. It’s much like a Tony Kart in KF in that way. As a professional driver, that enables me to focus on refining the finer details of the kart.

“Birel ART has a more professional attitude, it’s more like a formula outfit, focusing on each driver as a team and on data. Whereas at CRG, it was more traditional, and performance was more left to the driver and mechanic.”

Lennox-Lamb has targeted defending world KZ champion Marco Ardigo as a benchmark this season.

“I’ve always looked up to Marco since my childhood,” Lennox-Lamb said. “Now that I’m racing against him, I like to hunt him down.”

Alfie Brown and Callum Bradshaw to represent Britain in CIK-FIA Academy Trophy

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Callum BradshawJunior X30 racers Alfie Brown and Callum Bradshaw will represent Britain in this year’s annual CIK-FIA Academy Trophy.

The duo teamed up last season with the BKC Racing squad within club competition. They are both racing in the Junior X30 Tour this term, with Brown scoring victory at the series’ opening round last month. Brown has significant karting experience and was supported by the Racing Steps Foundation in 2013. But Bradshaw, 14, has only completed two full seasons’ of racing. Bradshaw’s dad Peter owned a British Superbike outfit until 2010 when the family opted to focus on Bradshaw Jr’s karting career.

“I’m stunned that I’ve been chosen,” Bradshaw said, “seeing as though I’ve not been competing in karting for long or been around the paddock. The Academy Trophy will hopefully improve my ability as I’ll be racing against some top drivers and it will really help my racecraft. I’ve never been to the circuits on the calendar other than Le Mans which I managed to be very quick at.”

Bradshaw added that he will look to further learn from Brown: “I’ve gained so much from being Alfie’s team-mate last season and into this year. We work really well alongside each other, and I’m learning each weekend. I’m always looking for top spot, so I’ll be going out there to impress.”

Brown, who has former British karting champion Jake Dennis as a friend and mechanic added: “I’m over the moon to be selected, it’s a great opportunity to race abroad. I’m currently karting just for fun, but this could open up doors to other sponsors and more of a career in motorsport.

“I’ve known Jake Dennis since I was eight years old. I’ll use his experience of making the switch from club to international karting as I’m always learning from the steps that he’s taken. Hopefully he’ll be able to spanner me at some Academy Trophy weekends.”

CIK-FIA fail to test new front bumper fairing correctly

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Bosses of the CIK-FIA have admitted that they failed to test the new front bumper fairing for safety on uneven ground, away from the track.

The use of the fairing, which was introduced at the start of this year, was suspended last month following criticism from drivers and concern at the possibility of the bumper being ripped off and travelling under the kart.

“If the front fairing drops down onto the lower bar, it could, under certain circumstances, pass underneath the kart,” said CIK-FIA executive secretary Kay Oberheide. “This could only happen if the front of the kart is lifted upwards which is possible if a driver leaves the track and the kart crosses the verge or if the driver is off the track on a surface that is not flat, for example on grass. We should reproach ourselves for not having tested this system away from the usual track, on uneven ground. We have conducted a successful test in which we found a solution. I am confident that we will be able to implement this system for all international events at the beginning of May.”

Tracking The Future Of The Sport

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Exclusive interview: CIK-FIA president Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa

What’s the man in charge of the CIK doing to ensure karting’s future is better than ever?

The international karting world is in rather a stagnant position this season. Over the past few years, costs have risen to the extent that a season in junior single-seater racing can be financially similar to that in the sport’s grassroots. For many at this entry level on the motorsport ladder, there is a view of it being a playground for the financially rich rather than the genuinely talented.

Karting costs rose again last year when governing body the CIK-FIA outsourced the promotion of its world and European championship rounds to its main event rivals, WSK Promotions which hosted similar European contests. Many viewed it as a bad move and for the majority of the season, both parties were at loggerheads over exactly who was in control. WSK heads wanted complete authority over the whole race weekend, while CIK-FIA bosses were keen to remind teams and officials who was still in overall charge. When the opening round of the World KF Championship arrived in the UK last season for the first time in 48 years, clerk of the course and chairman of the hosting Trent Valley Kart Club at PF International, Nigel Edwards, slammed the event’s organisation, stating: “The WSK tried to be both the promoter and organiser, as it does in its own series’, doing too many things.”

This season, the CIK-FIA has attempted to clamp down on rising costs. Race weekends have been reduced from five to four days, the number of tyres permitted to be used over the weekend has been reduced, and entry fees have been cut.

Last season’s two-round world championship has also been reduced to a single event, mainly due to pressure from teams. Events at PF International and Bahrain, where only the top 15 drivers scored points, left many refusing to travel to the second round along with losing costly machinery and parts to a container ship for weeks.

CIK-FIA president Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa says a second season alongside WSK will produce more effective governance. “Overall last year was very positive,” he says. “I think the link between the CIK-FIA and WSK benefitted both  organisations and especially the karters themselves. There were ups and downs, costs may have gone up because of such a merger but we have tackled this for this year. We are ironing out all the issues that we had last year so that in 2014 it will be a better season.

“It’s normal in any joint venture or partnership where two people are set in their own ways, to have differences of opinion. So when they sit down together, everyone thinks that they are correct. You hash out these problems and what I really want to know is how it ends up at the conclusion of the season, and looking back at it, it ended brilliantly.

“The racing was exciting and came down to the final races. Unfortunately in one of the world championships, the result had to go to the FIA Court of Appeal but that’s racing. At the end the outcome was exactly what it should have been. We encourage teams to going head to head even off the track to find a legal way to improve machinery around the rules and regulations.”

Al Khalifa, who became CIK-FIA president in November 2010, has a clear vision for the future of the sport: “My vision for the future of karting in simple: like all forms of motorsport, costs have escalated and become complicated. So my goal is to simplify the kart and to make it cheaper for the karter. Motor racing is expensive but it should be within reach of a lot of people. Unfortunately in previous years we have strayed off this approach and my goal is to bring it back.

“This year we’ve introduced rules and regulations where we limit tyres and test days and we’ve reduced the race weekend by a day. All these steps are to ensure that we have a control on the budget of karting and to make it more affordable. It’s something that I can’t do with a flick of a switch so it’s going to take a little time to curb it back to where it should be.”

Two of the world’s main classes, the KF-powered senior and junior championships, are in a state of transgression. The engine has been in use for a decade but when it was introduced, it was envisioned it would reduce costs. In fact, they’ve gone in the other direction and national domestic championships around Europe, including the British Super One Series, have shunned the senior class due to falling grid numbers. This season’s MSA British KF Junior class will for the first time use a pooled engine system.

In the meantime, the international karting community is holding its breath and putting its faith in the introduction of a new KF alternative, proposed for introduction in 2016.

Karting Magazine understands that Italian manufacturer IAME is one of the manufacturers asked to produce a new engine. However the CIK-FIA president, despite not announcing which manufacturers have developed and tested engines, says he is confident the deadline will be reached.

“All I can say is that there are powerplants out there which have been tested, they are very positive and very promising,” Al Khalifa says. “I’m extremely happy that we are going to meet the 2016 target with the budget we have set out to achieve. Now we have to hash it out and to make sure that they are more reliable. This year a team is only limited to two engines so we must make sure that we produce a product which is worthy of karting itself and not rush into it. We could have introduced the engine much quicker but I think we should take our time with it, make sure the engine is the correct one, not as a reaction to the current KF unit but to have something which is proper and sound, something that will be there for the future.

“There are two to three manufacturers which have produced new KF engines. We will not narrow that list down to a single manufacturer, instead continue with the status-quo which we have now and will work together to standardise an engine which will be implemented and homologated by 2016 which all manufacturers could produce.

“By 2016 the new KF engine is going to be cheaper, lighter and less complicated. I’m a firm believer in market forces and if you create that competition, that’s how you have the control on price. I am very much against monopolies and single-makes.”

Al Khalifa has strong views on the format of the CIK-FIA World KF Championship. He openly admits that he was against the alteration to a single-round contest this season, and would instead prefer a truly global competition. This year’s main international championships will all be held within Europe.

“I was a firm believer that the world championship should be a multi-round contest,” he says. “But discussions between teams and other parties, everybody wanted a single round this year.

“It’s not the case that the CIK-FIA has decided to re-focus the heart of the racing to within Europe. It just worked out to be that way but I truly believe that if you are going to be crowned world champion, you should prove yourself more than once. The teams and drivers’ excuse is costs. So let me get costs under control and then increase the racing. They’re happy with four rounds of the European Championships this season so they are contradicting themselves a little.

“A world championship event has to go all around the globe. The FIA rules and regulations determine that if you are going to call it a world championship, and it’s not a single event, then it needs to be held on more than one continent. I would like us to provide a sensible global world championship.”

Teams will be hesitant to sign up for that during this period of austerity and uncertainty. Until 2016 comes around, the future direction of global karting is still to be decided.

Technical Analysis

IAME technical manager Andrea Bossaglia, says the Italian firm has been one of the manufacturers tasked in creating a new KF-alternative engine. He gave Karting Magazine examples of what has been requested by the sport’s governing body.

“The CIK has the target to simplify the KF engine philosophy,” he says, “and this target is supported by everybody I believe. We as IAME proposed a radical simplification of the engine, but the solution shared by the majority of manufacturers was more-or-less a re-styling of the current KF unit.

“Power valve simplification, not removal, has been proposed for KF, coming back to the single-slide without booster obturator rings. The water pump can also be placed on the rear axle at the manufacturer’s discretion. The carburettor would be a floating chamber-type for both the KF and KF Junior classes. Personally I’m not in favour of this option. I can only foresee two advantages:

1- once the carburettor is well setup, it doesn’t need much maintenance for semi-professional or non-professional use (admittedly KF will have such a use in the future).

2- Dellorto will not make any development or improved versions of the carburettor. Therefore customers will not be forced to buy more carburettors during the season, or between one season and the next.

“Saying that, I don’t see any particular advantages either. The ability to setup the carburettor on the trolley will be what makes the difference on the track, like it is today in KZ.

“The CIK would like to remove the current clutch, in order to remove the necessity of clutch control with a Unilog system or similar. This is because many ASNs don’t have systems such as Unilog. The balancer shaft will remain on the engine. A discussion is still in progress about how to start the engine, once the clutch has been removed.

With the target of simplification in mind, we can’t forget that electric starter removal we significantly reduce engine cost, weight and a potential source of failures.

In my opinion the CIK wants to finalise the regulations very soon, in order to leave adequate time for the manufacturers to build samples, test and finalise their design. We will see how long it will take.”

SuperOne bosses say ‘no’ to new fairings

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Next year’s Super One series will not use the newly introduced front bumper fairing mechanism which has been trialled during this year’s CIK-FIA Academy Trophy. The bumpers, which are scheduled to be introduced into international competition on January 1 next year, were tested at the final two rounds of the Academy Trophy. If severe contact is made with a driver in front, the mounting drops from its initial position, harming performance.

The driver must then pit to have it repositioned. CIK chiefs discovered its first example of cheating at the recent final round at Sarno where the fairing had been glued to prevent movement. “I would prefer to see how the fairing goes on in international competition first, I don’t want Super One to be a guinea pig,” Super One boss John Hoyle said. “I don’t want the fairing to be damaging someone’s championship chances when the mechanism is at such an early development stage in competition.”

CIK-FIA European – Round 4

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Round 4 of 4 – PF International, 28-31 August 2014

The Paul Fletcher International circuit played host to the fourth and final round of the European Championships and welcomed two new British champions in their respective KF and KF Junior classes.

Deposit a lot of heavy rain earlier on in the week, race day basked itself in glorious sunshine and some generously warm temperatures too.The Juniors went first and David Beckmann led Benjamin Lessennes on the front row of the pre-final with championship leader Enaam Ahmed down in seventh. A first corner coming together just a. er the Litchfield Bridge between several of the drivers brought out a red fl ag and at the restart, Ahmed made a great jump up into third before taking second and began hunting down and passing Beckmann for pole position in the final.Despite scoring only four points from qualifying, Ahmed was still the championship leader going into the final race. Beckmann was also in contention in second. Rokkas Baciuska would start in third and Mick Junior fourth. Ahmed had a great start with a gap of sixth tenths to second a. er lap one over Beckmann. Beckmann and Junior were racing close in the fight for second, but, although this was ultimately costing them time, they were still closing down the lead that Ahmed had originally built up. Before long Beckmann put a move on Ahmed, taking the lead and bringing Junior along with him. Ahmed stayed within two tenths of Junior for another three laps before executing a perfectly planned move, braking just enough to roll down the inside of the German at the first hairpin. He pulled off the move so well that there was no time lost to Beckmann ahead and by the very next lap, Ahmed was back in the lead and on his way to the race win and the championship. Junior lost his chance for the podium when he outbraked himself into the second hairpin, making contact with Beckmann and pu. ing himself on to the grass and down to seventh.

Alexander Vartanyan left it late to move past Beckmann for second and Max Fewtrell did the same with two laps left for third. Further back, Logan Sargeant, one of the title favourites before the weekend, had been caught up in the earlier pre-final clash, but had worked his way up from the back to a very respectable tenth place.Callum Ilo. was the only KF driver to win multiple qualifying heats on Saturday which earned him pole for Sunday’s pre-final. Championship leader Nicklas Nielsen started second, but the lead on the first lap was taken by home and local favourite Mark Litchfield. Ilo recovered from dropping to fourth by taking back a position a lap and had the lead by lap four. He finished in the lead and took pole for the final by a comfortable margin of 1.3s over Litchfield, with a further seven tenths over the Dane, Nielsen. Lando Norris came through from 11th to fourth.  Litchfield on row one in the final with Nielsen and Norris third and fourth respectively. Nielsen went for it on the first lap, passing Litchfield on the run under the bridge before diving up the inside of Ilo at hairpin one. Paolo Besancenez also followed through, but Ilo repassed him on the main straight.The Zanardi Strakka racer was on a charge, as he re-took Nielsen in a similar fashion and began to build up a lead. Behind, Pedro Hiltbrand had just taken third from Besancenez. Hiltbrand looked like he would catch Nielsen at one point, but ran wide at the final corner and his progress slowed. Ilo kept his lead comfortable and took the title with arms in the air. Nielsen finished second for the second time in two years. Hiltbrand seemed to run into Litchfield on the bridge on the last lap, allowing Alessio Lorandi to take third place.


CIK announce new bumpers

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Here's how your kart might end up looking...
Here’s how your kart might end up looking…

The CIK-FIA has announced a new front fairing fixing system to limit contact between karts to be used from 2015 in international competitions, and in other events if national organisations decide to adopt it.

The CIK-FIA announced in late 2014 that it would work to make racing fairer by fighting against bad behaviour on the track and this is one of the methods chosen.

The CIK put together a small group of experts to find a solution and then asked the bodywork company KG to translate the ideas into reality. It soon became clear that no viable solution could be found using the rear bumper, so research was directed towards the front of the kart. After several more and more successful attempts on the track, a satisfactory solution has been found. With this new fixing, if a driver pushes the driver directly in front of him with a difference of more than 5 km / h, the front fairing will come out of it’s initial position and will be shifted to the ground while remaining secured to the chassis. The offending driver will then go through the Repair Area to reposition the front fairing properly. The operation is quick and simple, but very detrimental to the driver’s classification, deterring drivers from making contact.

The World Motor Sport Council has already approved the new direction of the CIK-FIA. The technical regulation and the procedure for the approval of bodywork is ready to implement the new fixing from 1st January 2015 in the CIK-FIA competitions.

A sufficiently stringent approval process will ensure perfect similarity between all models, which will respond to impact in the same way and several models have already met the criteria.

“The new bumper system is currently under review at the MSA. It was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of the Kart Technical Working Group and will be discussed further at the next meeting, when it is hoped that more detailed information will be available,” an MSA spokesman said.