Tag Archives: iame x30 karting

IAME factory visit

Since Karting magazine’s last visit in 2006 to the IAME factory in Zingonia, near Milan’s Bergamo airport, there have been several improvements worth a mention and of course new engines to see.  With its 55 employees the factory can turn out up to 7,000 engines per annum including the new KZ 125cc gearbox engine, and a new line of watercooled MiniMoto engines.  These jewel-like power units come in either 40cc or 50cc varieties producing 12 or 14bhp respectively at 16,000rpm.  “We decided to start at the top end of this sport,” explained Technical Manager Andrea Bossaglia.  Already there are a few being raced in the UK, supplied through importer John Mills Engineering.   The other UK importer for IAME engines is Simon Wright Racing Developments.

2
This CNC machine is a new addition since our last visit four years ago

The KZ engine is being developed by the UK’s Jack Hawksworth on the International scene and is steadily being improved as the season progresses.  Shelves full of the X30 Shifter version with on board starter motors were on display in the factory as well as the standard CIK model.  It’s noticeable how small the gearbox part of the engine appears compared with rivals and the gear lever is mounted high up.  Compared with other KZ engines, the Parilla is provided with ground teeth in the gearbox, helping efficiency through low friction and the cylinder has a cast iron liner instead of the more usual Nikasil.  This allows for extremely precise port shape and position, making production performance differences minimal and also helping with maintenance, especially after a piston seizure.

3
X30 engines which are popular on the continent

Since the article in the June 2006 magazine from George Robinson and Chris Walker’s visit, two new CNC machines have been installed.  One is a 5-axis used for liners and the other is a 4-axis for crankcases.  The dyno cells have been overhauled and upgraded and a new dyno installed, capable of taking anything from a 60cc up to a KZ engine.  Temperature, humidity, winter or summer, all conditions can be simulated and repeated reliably.  Both air cooled and water cooled engines can be accommodated.

IAME is very involved with the Sudam classes in South America, and has most of the market for these 125cc engines which have now shifted to water cooling.  The older engines were CIK homologated, up to 31.12.09.  These countries have not converted to the KF philosophy, the feeling being it would be too expensive for the local economy and so are now undertaking their own national homologations.

4
The new dyno which can simulate any possible conditions

Not (yet) being promoted in the UK, the X30 engine is very popular in many European countries, being a 125cc water cooled TAG engine, and many shelves were filled with them at the factory.  IAME is a very serious endeavour, very dependent on the health of kart racing in all its facets, and of course they are continually improving and developing engines.  Work has been going on with electronic fuel injection, this being only economically viable for the more expensive engines.   Low emission is a target for everybody these days, and IAME have experimented with the use of E85 bio ethanol fuel and catalytic converters.  However the engine must run very lean and it is not so easy to optimise with simple carburettors.  Also the ‘cat’ runs very hot and so must be very much protected.

I would like to thank board member Filippo Fagnani, Technical Manager Andrea Bossaglia and Marco Moretti for facilitating the visit to Italy.  As George Robinson explains in the June 2006 article, IAME has its roots at the very birth of European kart racing, starting from the Moto Parilla motorcycle factory.  IAME was formed in 1968 and over time absorbed Siro, Komet and BM brands as well as of course Parilla giving an almost unrivalled heritage in kart racing engines.

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

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.”

IAME: The Kart Engine Makers

 

1Iam sure that everyone who has raced seriously in karting will have heard of IAME. If you have raced 100cc machinery then you will have either used one of their products or been beaten by one of their products at some time in your career. The IAME story starts a long time ago when only a handful of those still involved today were karting back in 1959. The Parilla motorcycle factory decided to put their toes in the water of the burgeoning kart market by producing a bespoke engine for this growing sport. The engine was a fan cooled 2-stroke of 100cc capacity with a 48mm bore and a 54mm stroke running up to 11,000rpm. The engine probably produced about 11 horsepower and was suitably called the V11. This engine was designed by Cesare Bossaglia, a name that was to become synonymous with famous models of kart engine for many years. At that time Bruno Grana was export manager for Moto Parilla.

2
A very good relationship developed between Grana and Bossaglia and, following the success of the V11, many other Parilla kart engines were produced such as the S12, S13, BA13, TG14 and the GP15. All these models were Bossaglia creations, culminating in the first World Championship win for the GP15 in the hands of Guido Sala in 1964. In 1961 Grana founded a new company named Komet Italiana and contracted Bossaglia as his designer. The product of this relationship was the Komet K12 with an ‘over square’ bore and stroke of 51 x 48.5mm, this was also a fan cooled engine and its success was guaranteed when a single order for 750 units was received from ItalKart. Incidentally, Tal-Ko took their name from these two manufacturers, ItalKart and Komet, for whom they were the UK concessionaires. Cesare Bossaglia continued to work for Grana on a freelance basis and through the following few years Komet and Parilla continued to compete against one another with definite divisions between their supporters. All the popular Komets were short strokes and the Parillas long strokes. Komet users would always have bigger rear sprockets and tended to feel superior in that era.

3
The Komet K77 and later the K88 in particular, were very successful indeed. In 1968 Bruno Grana was approached by three American industrialists and together they formed the new company of Italian American Motor Engineering (IAME). After a while the American interest died away leaving Bruno Grana with total ownership and control of IAME, a position he was to retain until he died in August 2005. In 1975 IAME took over the Sirio company that belonged to the Rovelli family, and in 1976 they also took over the BM company. The four big names of Parilla, Komet, Sirio and BM then formed the nucleus of IAME with these four names 44still branded products today. Bossaglia was a vital part of IAME until he died in 1985. While the company has always concentrated on kart engine production they did produce engine for light aircraft under the KFM brand between 1981 and 1991. These engines were produced in both 2 and 4-stroke models. At that time they became the reference point in their field for quality and performance. I believe it is true to say that Bruno Grana was IAME. He ran the company with a passion for the sport he loved. While he was ultimately competitive by nature, he also believed in the future of the sport as a whole and he would often sell vital components to his arch-rivals. The quality of IAME components is well known and many winning engines of other makes will be found with an IAME connecting rod.

IAME manufacture their own crankshafts and conrods, generally respected as being the best. Some years ago, pistons were the Achilles heel of 100cc engines, Grana set about finding where the stress came from that was causing piston failure and the IAME piston developed almost 15 years ago solved the problem. This piston has been copied but never bettered and remains the preferred choice to this day. Anther important figure joined IAME in 1978, Paul Conde. Well versed in international business, Conde became Grana’s right hand man. As IAME expanded Conde gave the company extra flexibility that meant that they could be 55represented in more than one place at a time. Paul also took care of the international distributors. Cedi Nap in France is a wholly owned subsidiary of IAME managed by Thierry Seminger. France is an important market for IAME, the infrastructure for karting and their unrivalled circuits make it an ideal testing ground for new products. France was among the first to run TaG engines in any quantity and they now have strong sales for the Leopard, X30 and 80cc Gazelle models. IAME currently produce in excess of 6,500 engines a year in about a dozen different model types with the factory employing 55 people in total. It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity recently to tour the factory and see everyone quietly going about their business. There is no rush or panic here, just well ordered, quality engineering taking place.

The factory is on one floor with plenty of space between workstations and machinery. There is a wide range of lathes and milling machines with both manually operated and modern, multi-axis, numerically controlled examples. There are production build areas and a specialist build shop for race team equipment. No one seems to be in a hurry but the work gets done quickly and efficiently. While we were walking through, I saw one man assemble a JICA engine in a matter of minutes. True, all the correct tools and equipment were to hand, but it was easy to see that this bloke knew what he was doing and getting it right was second nature to him. There is a separate design and development department where I saw a piston being measured on a shadowgraph. Next to the R&D offices were three dyno rooms. In fact this was the only area that our happy snapper Chris Walker was not allowed to photograph in detail. There was a new model TaG engine revving away on one dyno and another on the bench being examined. I have to say they look the business! Probably 50 or 60 race engines all prepared, labelled and ready for action also really looked the part. There is no pretension at IAME, just solid purposeful manufacturing of a world-leading product. The best quality raw materials are a prerequisite and quality is controlled right through the factory until the finished article is produced. IAME have a reputation for best quality products and many other manufacturers aspire to equal them. It is a matter of opinion whether any of them achieve it. Since the death of Bruno Grana, Mr. Fagnani has been appointed as Managing Director. With no disrespect to Grana, Mr. Fagnani has a modern attitude to business and management.

6
Well ordered, quality engineering produces in excess of 6,500 engines a year, and all for karts

While the industry has unlimited respect for the memory of Bruno Grana, it has to be accepted that things will change and these changes will be for the better. While Grana had a very successful, if autonomous management style, Fagnani has a much more open and modern approach. He believes that every member of staff has their special skill and that they should have a voice. In this way he has opened up the lines of communication within the factory to unprecedented levels. Every member of staff is now able to put their point of view to improve any aspect of the IAME product. A board of directors has been formed including Paul Conde and the production manager Guiseppe Mioso. Other important names in the management structure include Mr. Molinari, head of design, Mr. Pelizzoli the purchasing manager and Pinuccia Donatelli who keeps them all in order as head of administration. The final jewel in the crown came last December when Mr. Fagnani managed to woo Cesare Bossaglia’s son Andrea on board. While there are still strong ties with the past and sound foundations are essential to the success of any business, IAME are dedicated to the future. They are a stand alone kart engine manufacturer and do not make any other products.

7

While their race engines for Formula A, ICA and JICA are of great importance to them, they do have a very good feel for the commercial needs of the industry. At the moment their top selling model is the 125 TaG Leopard, followed by the newer model TaG X30. This has a more modern appearance with a very neat crankcase housing a balance shaft and starter. While the engine still has an external water pump at present, the Cedi Nap team in France have mounted the pump on the engine with a belt drive from the crankshaft. One of the advantages of the IAME product is the cast iron cylinder liner, allowing a wide range of piston sizes to be retro fitted, giving the engine a very long life expectancy. IAME also make all their own clutches, a quality example is the clutch drum that is machined from cast iron.

8
Engine assembly is second nature to these experts

The JICA engine is third in their popularity poll which is not surprising really. JICA has become a Parilla benefit in the last couple of years and the PV100 Swift is the reference point in the class. It is a short stroke ‘over square’ engine. Perhaps it should be called a Komet! Chris Walker and I very much enjoyed our visit to IAME. We both thank Mr. Fagnani for changing his busy schedule in order to see us. We would further like to thank Mr. Bossaglia for his very informative factory tour. It has been a pleasure to write this article, I hope I have done IAME justice, at the very least it is an insight into the production of kart engines. IAME have been at the top of their game for many years and they look set to stay there for the foreseeable future.

9
Mr. Fagnani (right), the new boss of IAME, explains the company’s philosophy to our man

George Robinson

YORK EYES UP X30 TOUR SWITCH

1

Former MSA British IAME Cadet champion Oliver York is considering a switch to compete in next season’s X30 Tour. The 2013 title winner, who struggled throughout his season in MiniMax this year after numerous mid-season team switches, has eyed up either the X30 Tour with the Zip Kart squad or a graduation to Junior Rotax with AIM Motorsport. Despite his poor season, the 13-year-old ended his domestic campaign on a high, claiming the Super One season’s final race win at PF International last month. He was also nominated as one of the two Motor Sports Association’s drivers which raced at this year’s CIK-FIA Academy Trophy. Attracting its first British champion would be the first major coup for the club-based X30 Tour which only began running in Britain this year as a support category to the Little Green Man series. Excellent reviews and star guest drivers throughout the season have boosted its profile, with Super One bosses rumoured to have enquired to move it on to its calendar for 2015.

York competed in October’s X30 International Final at Le Mans with the Zip Kart team. “We are working with Luke Hynes and Zip Kart in X30 and see the partnership as a long-term project towards singleseater racing,” York’s father Garry said. “This past season in MiniMax has been a shocker but the final victory at PFi really gave Oliver a confidence boost. He was over the moon with it. But now we have the tough decision to make. The X30 Tour just got better and better this year and the tie-up with Zip Kart would be good for the future. But we also have an offer from AIM with Preining-prepared engines in Junior Max.” York Sr said the mid-season team changes heavily affected York’s performances: “Looking back it was the wrong decision to move from Coles to Strawberry Racing. We should have stuck with Coles and had some consistency but we came through it and have good options next year.”

IAME Cadet 2014 Season Review

50 Little Green Man contenders turned out at PFi on October 5th for the final round of 2014. Six drivers were in with a title-winning chance. What followed was a fitting finale to the season. Dave Bewley looks back on an eventful year for the IAME Cadet class. Photography by Kartpix.net

Saturday March 29th had been an eagerly awaited day on the Cadet calendar. 37 young competitors had entered the opening round of the British Championship at Shenington and were greeted by warm sunshine. Tom Wood, Teddy Wilson, Kiern Jewiss, Jonny Edgar, Alex McDade, Lewis Thompson, Dexter Patterson and Zac Robertson were starting the season as championship favourites, with all eight looking very quick during Friday’s practice sessions. Edgar won both of his Heats and Wilson claimed the other. Jewiss, Edgar and Thompson took turns at leading Final 1. Eventually it was Jewiss who crossed the line 1st ahead of Joe Turney, with Alex McDade claiming 3rd place ahead of Thompson, Edgar and a delighted Albert Carter.

Jewiss was initially excluded for a last lap incident involving Thompson and Edgar. After taking supporting evidence from Edgar into account, however, the Stewards reinstated him. Jewiss led Final 2 until just after half distance when Wood took over. With a couple of laps remaining, Edgar moved up into 2nd place behind Wood and these two immediately opened up a large gap before Turney came around in 3rd position ahead of McDade and Patterson. They remained in that order up to the chequered flag, but a last-gasp effort from Robertson brought him up to 6th place. Because Heat results are included in the Super One points tally, Edgar left Shenington holding a narrow lead from Turney, Jewiss and McDade.

A week afterwards, the Little Green Man opening round got underway at PFi. 67 competitors turned out and Patterson bagged a pair of Heat victories. Jewiss also won a couple, with Edgar and Thompson successful in the other two. Wood displaced Turney for the lead but lost out to Edgar shortly afterwards. Jewiss retired with mechanical problems three laps from the end. That gave Wilson victory over Wood by the narrowest of margins. Patterson had done well in recovering from a dreadful start to finish 3rd ahead of Robertson and Thompson, while Turney grabbed 6th following a last lap incident with Edgar.

Two weeks later the LGM series moved up to Larkhall where 11 drivers took part in the first ‘C’ Final ever run for Cadets. Edgar claimed pole position for the ‘A’ Final by winning two of his Heats and finishing 4th in the other. Tom Wood, Teddy Wilson, Ben Wooldridge and Mario Mills also emerged as Heat winners. Edgar and Patterson swapped places a couple of times in the Final closely shadowed by Wilson. Onto their last lap Patterson led but Edgar overtook him halfway around the circuit to notch up his first victory in an LGM final. It was also the first major win for Gary Byatt’s Synergy kart. Patterson narrowly beat Wilson across the line to take 2nd place, with Wood a distant 4th ahead of Turney and Robertson. That left Wilson holding onto a championship lead of two points from Edgar and Patterson

A fortnight later, Rowrah staged Round 2 of the British Championship with 32 drivers turning out. Edgar thought he’d won both of his Heats but was hit by a 5-place penalty. A big change in weather conditions meant that Sunday’s Finals all took place on a wet circuit. Wood claimed a narrow win over Jewiss in Final 1 with Fin Kenneally and Dexter Patterson a good 50 yards behind as they contested 3rd place. Wilson and Robertson made up the top six. Kenneally, Jewiss and Wood pulled out a big lead right at the start of Final 2. Jewiss soon moved through into 1st spot and remained ahead until the finish. Wood lost out to Kenneally right at the end with Edgar taking 4th place ahead of Patterson and Wilson. Jewiss now headed the championship table, 13 points ahead of Edgar, with McDade lying 3rd.

Next up on the championship calendar was Glan-Y-Gors, where 57 LGM contenders turned out for Round 3 of the series. A heavy rain shower just before the ‘A’ Final got underway was good news for Thompson who generally performs well in such conditions. During the early stages of this race he was content to sit in 5th position behind Robertson, Wilson, Wood and Jewiss. Another heavy rain shower was all the impetus Thompson required and he nipped past Wood to take the lead with just over a lap remaining. Wilson finished 2nd ahead of Wood and Jewiss with Turney finishing behind Robertson in 6th spot. That result extended Wilson’s points lead to eight, with Wood now replacing Edgar for 2nd position.

Glan-Y-Gors had also been selected to host Round 3 of the British championship, with just 30 drivers entered. Wood and Thompson had emerged as Heat winners but it was Wilson who came out on top in Final 1, winning by a margin of around ten yards over Jewiss. Thompson made it into 3rd place ahead of Edgar and McDade, with Wood slipping down to 6th position. Wilson led Final 2 up until the halfway mark when Jewiss took over. Edgar managed to get into 2nd place but was then forced off the circuit. Thompson saved his best effort until the end when he relieved Jewiss of 1st place. Wilson followed in 3rd spot, with Edgar recovering to 4th ahead of Fin Kenneally and Owen Marlow. That left Jewiss holding a championship lead of 18 points over Edgar who had Wilson breathing down his neck just a point behind.

Any LGM title ambitions Edgar may have harboured were dispelled during the club meeting at Little Rissington when he suffered a broken right arm that would put him out of action for two weeks. At Rowrah he could do no more than watch as drivers from the AIM camp dominated proceedings. By this time the LGM entry had dropped slightly with 53 contenders making their way to West Cumbria. Patterson bagged a couple of Heat wins, with Carter, Thompson and Fin Kenneally victorious in the remaining three. From pole position in the ‘A’ Final, Patterson held onto 1st spot right up until lap 13 when Wood made what appeared to be a decisive move. Patterson fought back almost immediately to claim his first ever LGM ‘A’ Final victory. Wood finished some five or six yards behind in 2nd place with Carter replacing Jewiss for 3rd position right on the line. Also making a last gasp effort was Zac Robertson who snatched 5th position from Teddy Wilson. There was now a change of leader in the standings as Wood moved out in front by a single point over Wilson, with Patterson taking over 3rd place.

A week later, 50 drivers arrived at Buckmore Park for Round 5. Notable absentees were Edgar, still waiting for his arm to heal, and McDade. From pole position Jewiss and Robertson worked together to pull well clear of the chasing pack, led by Wood and Thompson. Jewiss made a small miscalculation on the final lap and Robertson seized 1st place which he held to the finish. Wood resisted Thompson’s determined efforts to seize 3rd place, with Finlay Bunce finishing 5th ahead of Josh Rafferty. 7th spot for Wilson meant that he was now lying six points behind Wood in the championships. Robertson moved up into 3rd position, 4 points ahead of Patterson.

Just a few days later the championship circus moved from Kent right up to Lanarkshire where Larkhall hosted the ABkC ‘O’ Plate for IAME Cadets. Fortunately for Jonny Edgar, the postman arrived just a few minutes before he was due to set off on Thursday morning. The MSA had written. instructing him that he couldn’t compete in the event due to his injury sustained three weeks earlier. That gave him time to make some urgent phone calls and a letter faxed from the fracture specialist finally succeeded in this ban being overturned.

Wood emerged from the Heats at Larkhall as a firm favourite with two wins. McDade won the other. 21 laps were required to settle the final outcome. Wood led for all but one of these, followed closely by Jewiss. The pair pulled out a good sized gap right up until their final tour when they were caught by McDade and Edgar. At the final corner Jewiss and Wood collided, allowing Edgar to nip through for his second ‘O’ Plate title in just over 12 months. McDade was unlucky to be penalised, allegedly for causing the collision, which put Owen Byatt through into 2nd place with Wilson locking out a Synergy podium.

There was scarcely time to breathe before we were back at Larkhall on June 28th for Round 4 of the British Championship. Sadly, the number of contenders was now down to just 26.

From pole position, Wilson took an early lead and held it to the end. Jewiss almost lost 2nd place to Patterson and Edgar, who had each made substantial inroads during the latter stages. Thompson finished 5th with Wood 20 yards or more behind in 6th spot. Wilson got away in Final 2 but Jewiss lost no time in taking over 1st place. Edgar then led from half distance right up until just before the final lap when Jewiss found a way through. At the line there were just a few feet separating Jewiss, Edgar and Wilson. Thompson finished 4th ahead of Wood and Turney. “That’s the title race over,” declared John Davies afterwards. “There’s no-one can catch Kiern now.” It’s not often that John’ gets his predictions wrong, but this one turned out to be slightly wide of the mark.

We had to wait a couple of weeks before Round 6 of the LGM series took place at Kimbolton, where 54 young drivers signed on. Teddy Wilson completely stole the show with three immaculate Heat wins. Edgar and Kenneally were successful in the other two, Wilson, Patterson and Wood all took turns at leading the ‘A’ Final before Teddy made a decisive move with less than two laps remaining. Tom had his hands full trying to hold onto 2nd place as Thompson, Carter, Robertson and Kenneally all lined up behind him. That result, along with three bonus points for pole position, placed Wilson back on top of the standings. Wood moved down to 2nd place, 2 points behind, with Robertson still holding 3rd and Patterson 4th. Allowing for a dropped score, Wilson’s lead over Wood increased to 7 points.

35 IAME Cadets contested the Kartmasters GP that took place at PFi on August 1st. Josh Rafferty caused a stir by emerging from Friday’s Timed Qualifying as the fastest contender. There were shocks further down the field as Jonny Edgar could do no better than 14th while Lewis Thompson was even slower as he finished 19th quickest, actually 5 places above Teddy Wilson. Friday’s Heats were won by Wood and Patterson. On Saturday Rafferty again headed the Timed Qualifying list, but this time it was Thompson and Wilson who emerged as Heat winners. That put Wood on pole for the Pre-Final followed by Thompson, Kenneally and Jewiss. In the end, McDade secured 1st place, just inches ahead of Wilson. Wood finished a good distance behind in 3rd spot while Robertson took 4th ahead of Finlay Bunce and Fin Kenneally. Jewiss should have been on row 4 for the main final, but his starter cord snapped at a crucial moment. It meant that he started this race from the pit lane.

Wilson led the Final early on, with Edgar making a lightning start from grid 9 to slot into 2nd place halfway around the opening lap. McDade was never far behind in 3rd place and he actually went into the lead just past the halfway stage. By then Jewiss had moved up into 10th place but was more than 100 yards behind the leaders. Patterson entered the fray and went into 1st spot for a couple of laps. The pace upfront had dropped dramatically as Wilson assumed control once more. With a couple of laps remaining, Jewiss moved through into 6th but was still 40 yards behind the leader. Wilson began his final tour with a lead of some 15 yards, surely enough to secure the GP title, However, he was still in defensive mode and the pack bunched up behind him. Jewiss went through with a couple of bends remaining to claim an impossible victory. Harry Thompson surprised even himself by taking 2nd place, closely followed by Robertson, Edgar, Patterson and a disconsolate Wilson.

There was time for a fortnight’s rest before Round 5 of the British Championship took place at Rissington. By this stage, the IAME Cadet field had been whittled down to just 23 contenders. Wilson and Edgar were the Heat winners, with Edgar claiming pole position in Final 1. The pair rapidly pulled away from the chasing pack, with Wilson eventually finishing a comfortable winner. Wood and McDade both chased hard in the latter stages, but had to settle for 3rd and 4th positions. Owen Byatt finished 5th followed by Owen Marlow. Wilson stormed away at the start of Final 2 but was eventually caught by Robertson. The duo began their final tour more than 100 yards clear of the chasing pack containing McDade, Wood, Byatt and Edgar. The race ended in controversy after Robertson went through into the lead. He was then tagged by Wilson and sent spinning off the circuit. Wilson slowed dramatically but still won with over 70 yards to spare. Wood came through into 2nd place on the final turn, followed by McDade, Byatt, Edgar and Kenneally.

The race officials deemed that Wilson had sought an unfair advantage and he was subsequently docked a lap. The appeal hearing was postponed for a further month until the final round at PFi. There were smiles all around the Wilson camp on Saturday morning when Teddy won his appeal. It meant that he would start the final meeting of the season with a championship lead of 13 points over Edgar. On dropped scores, the position was much closer, however, as Jewiss assumed 2nd position just six points behind the leader. During Friday practice, Kiern looked to be curiously off the pace and he actually switched from his TonyKart to a Zip in time for Saturday’s racing.

The Heats were won by Robertson and Wood with Tom earning pole position for Final 1. Taylor Barnard did well to gain a place alongside him on the front row. Championship rivals Wilson and Jewiss shared row 2. Wood took an early lead but was overtaken at mid-distance by Jewiss. Wilson had recovered from a bad start and was lying 6th behind Edgar. McDade took over at the front and Edgar followed in 2nd. Wilson hit the front for a short spell but was then overtaken by both McDade and Edgar with these two pulling away. Wood took over 3rd place and he finished some 10 yards ahead of Wilson. Thompson claimed 5th ahead of Robertson, with Jewiss dropping valuable points back in 10th.

A reasonable finish in Final 2 would decide the title for Teddy Wilson. McDade and Edgar went in front with Robertson soon joining them. The trio quickly opened up a big gap over Wood. Wilson had made another poor start but soon fixed his eyes upon Jewiss in 5th position. Edgar and Robertson swapped places a couple of times but McDade held steadily onto the lead. They crossed the line with McDade winning by mere inches from Robertson and Edgar finishing a yard or so behind. Wood took 4th spot with Wilson finally overtaking Jewiss and coming home as the 2014 British champion. Jewiss took the runner’s up place with Edgar 3rd.

After this heady success you could hardly blame Teddy Wilson for feeling a little jaded when they regrouped at Shenington for Round 7 of the Little Green Man six days later. For the first time in this series entries had dropped below 50, with 47 drivers taking part. Edgar looked quick during the Heats, winning two and finishing 3rd in the other. Jewiss, Rafferty and Turney claimed one apiece. Edgar and Wood led the ‘A’ Final but were unable to pull away. It all turned into a game of musical chairs as positions were swapped on just about every lap. An official forgot to put out a last lap signal and, when the music stopped unexpectedly, it was Jewiss who celebrated victory ahead of Robertson, Wood, Thompson, Turney and Rafferty. Wilson finished back in 11th position and that gave Wood a championship lead of seven points, although it reduced to just two on dropped scores.

Entries picked up slightly for the final round at PFi and we were back to 50 once more. Hanafin, Wooldridge, Wood, Edgar and Jewiss were the five Heat winners, From pole position in the ‘A’ Final Hanafin led initially, but was soon replaced by Wood. Edgar then moved into the lead followed by Wilson and Robertson. These three then opened up a 10-yard gap and Wood dropped down to 6th. It was starting to look as though Wilson would emerge as champion until Thompson caught up with the leading trio. He moved into 2nd place, compromising

the lines of both Wilson and Robertson so that they were suddenly swallowed up by the chasing pack.

Thompson went into the lead as Wood slipped past Wilson and Robertson. Edgar regained the lead as they moved into the final lap, but this time there was a line of eight karts behind him. Wilson saw his championship chances evaporate when Turney knocked him off the circuit. Wood pulled off an incredible manoeuvre that brought him from 4th spot up to 1st and Robertson followed him through. Wood crossed the line just 0.04 seconds ahead of Robertson with Edgar just a couple of feet behind. Robertson set the fastest lap, collecting two bonus points. A few more inches and he would have tied on points with new champion Wood. By such narrow margins was the 2014 LGM title decided.

 

Results

MSA British Championship Standings

1 Teddy Wilson

2 Kiern Jewiss

3 Jonny Edgar

4 Tom Wood

5 Alex McDade

6 Lewis Thompson

 

LGM Championship Standings

1 Tom Wood

2 Zac Robertson

3 Teddy Wilson

4 Kiern Jewiss

5 Dexter Patterson

6 Lewis Thompson

7 Joe Turney

8 Josh Rafferty

9 Lorcan Hanafin

10 Owen Byatt

11 Ben Wooldridge

12 Finlay Bunce

13 Brandon Martland

14 Jonny Edgar

15 Mario Mills

 

LGM Privateers’ Championship

1 Ben Wooldridge

2 Clayton Ravenscroft

3 Joe Willoughby

4 Daniel Butterworth

5 Matthew Hunt

6 Dylan Hotchin

Fusion To Enter FKS

British Cadet champion squad Fusion Motorsport will compete field a team in next season’s revived Formula Kart Stars championship.  The Cambridgeshire-based outfit, which claimed this year’s MSA IAME Cadet title with Teddy Wilson, will race in the series’ Super Cadet category for ten- to 12-year-olds.

The team has already signed  Maxwell Dodds, 8, who raced with the team this season, and Honda Cadet frontrunner Harry Thompson. Fusion team principal Dan Hazlewood hopes to add two further drivers to his line-up.

“The format and structure make FKS an exciting championship to be involved in,” Hazlewood said. “I think many people are going to sit on the fence, but hopefully our involvement will encourage other teams and individuals to commit. I am sure there will be a competitive field, especially as there are some great prizes on offer.”

IAME X30 To Enter Super One

Super One will add an IAME X30-powered category next season after national championship chiefs admitted they were impressed by its maiden outing in British racing in 2014.

The X30 Tour has raced as a non-championship support class to the Little Green Man series this season and will continue in 2015. But Super One head John Hoyle said the engine’s popularity this year convinced him to place a Junior and Senior class on the calendar next season. Although it will not crown a British champion, the racing will be points scoring to qualify for the X30 World Finals. It will take place over four Super One rounds with Hoyle confirming that he is proposing a further round at the early season O Plate meeting at Rowrah on April 18/19.

“The X30 Tour looks like it has taken off this season and it was impressive,” Hoyle said. “We tested the water with a guest race at the final round of the MSA season at PFi and received good, positive feedback from that weekend and have already received enquiries for 2015.”

X30 Tour chief Mike Mills said: “John [Hoyle] doesn’t want to miss the boat and has seen just how the X30 has taken off. I just hope that having both the X30 Tour and the Super One classes doesn’t dilute grid numbers. There were 48 X30 drivers at last weekend’s final round of the Trent Valley Kart Club championship. And there are Cadet drivers queuing to move up when permitted in January.”

Cadet Prize For FKS Competition Winner

Formula Kart Stars will award a funded drive in next season’s Cadet class worth £25,000 to the winner of a competition which will be staged at January’s Autosport International Show.

Boys and girls aged eight by April 3, 2015 and ten years old on January 1, 2015, can enter by enter a 200-word story about their desire to be an F1 star. The letters will be reviewed by the Motor Sports Association with 20 finalists invited to test a Cadet machine in a timed session at the ASI karting circuit on Saturday January 10. Five drivers will then be shortlisted and interviewed by a panel including ex-F1 racer Mark Blundell, McLaren test driver Gary Paffett, world champion Terry Fullerton, Anthony Hamilton and reigning MSA British Cadet champion Teddy Wilson. The winner will receive ownership of the kart, tyres and fuel, series entry and the appropriate racing licence.

Formula Kart Stars chairman Carolynn Hoy said: “The new format Formula Kart Stars has already attracted a considerable number of entries, and we are hoping that by partnering with Autosport International to provide this unique prize we will be able to help a competitor that may not otherwise have been able to take that next step in motorsport. I look forward to meeting the finalists at the Autosport Show.”

Visit formulakartstars.com for more information.

 

 

Mike Wilson drives 1981 World Championship winning replica

The name Mike Wilson may not mean much to modern day karters with no real knowledge of racing back in the 1970s and ‘80s. 1However, let me educate you for a moment. Mike was top of the shop as a driver and a very competitive personality as well. A formidable mixture that netted two European and six World Championship titles. Mike was born in 1959 in Barnsley, West Yorkshire. With Wombwell almost on the doorstep it was no surprise that karting was in the family blood. His father Brian was a competitor in the early years of karting during the 1960s and went on to run a successful kart business building engines and ultimately making a range of karts, the Wilson Premier. Mike started his racing career in 1972, he enjoyed a good level of success here in the UK but the big break came in 1978 with the invitation to go to Italy to work for IAME. The Italian lifestyle certainly suited the young Wilson.

He became very close to Mr Grana of IAME and raced almost exclusively for the Birel team. Mike also spent some of his successful years driving for Kali Kart, better known today as CRG. IAME and Birel were certainly his spiritual home and success followed the move to Italy with a win in the European team championships the very next year. Having made his home in Italy, Mike raced for 2the rest of his career with an Italian licence until his retirement from competition at the end of the 1989 season at which point he moved into manufacturing his own make of karts. As Mike was coming over to the UK to visit his British distributor, Delta Karting, Karting magazine had the idea of reuniting him with a replica of his 1981 World Championship winning kart. Through Jon Pearce it was possible to obtain such an animal in the shape of a Birel T12 chassis with an appropriate 135cc Komet K29 mounted and ready for action. I was able to sneak a preview of the outfit when I was invited by Jon to go down to Clay Pigeon to run it in. In as near showroom condition as I have seen for any historic machine, it even had the correct wheels, stickers and colour scheme. The main chassis rails are so similar to those of a modern design that it is easy to be fooled into believing that things have not changed very much in the past 25 years or so. There, however, is where the similarity ends.

The lack of bodywork is a pretty obvious difference. The steering geometry is completely different with plenty of negative camber and only a very narrow track width available. With stepped 17mm stub axles on the inside and 15mm on the outside, the whole stub is cast with the drag link welded to the back. Standard type track rods and only one choice of pick-up on the steering column NOV 1981spade highlight this kart as being from way before the advent of ‘Ackerman’ type columns. Only 10mm of adjustment is available on the stubs although, even at this early date, the front wheels were supported on magnesium hubs. The seat would be considered as a hard model by today’s standards, made from several layers of woven mat glass fibre and still very comfortable in totally unpadded form. The seat washers were original Birel equipment, quite heavy and standing proud of the seat surface. When running and jumping in to the seat in proper 100cc fashion I managed to catch the toe of my boot behind the washer and was stuck, choking, accelerating and riding side saddle! I couldn’t help thinking how funny this accident was going to look! Two regular front stays underneath and two of the bolt-on variety at the sides support the seat. On this kart there were two additional stays from the bearing hangers up to the top of the seat in traditional fashion. The axle was also very interesting. 30mm through the middle supported by two bearings and stepped to 25mm at the ends. A standard short loop rear bumper completing the package. A lot of the fittings were magnesium alloy and in amazingly good condition.

The engine had been recently rebuilt with modern bearings and a new piston. Running in time on these older rotary valve engines was long and laborious with a fairly high risk of piston seizure along the way. The problem was that the big bore carburettors were more than inclined to load up with fuel and then deliver it all at once, all but drowning the engine and then running lean through the mid range. I have to confess that I was not too happy with the carburettor at all but we struggled through and finished the day with the kart running well and a best lap time, still four stroking, of 37s. I happen to remember the British Champs round at Clay in 1981. The 100 Britain race winner’s time was 40.01s. So the 135 was fast in those days make no mistake. The most impressive area of power was bottom and middle but in spite of this the engine would still rev on to 18,000rpm. The day for Mike to meet up with this fine old machine dawned with driving rain and a pretty iffy forecast. Luck was on our side however, the rain stopped and although the clouds threatened, the rest of the day remained fine. Mike looked the kart over and had clearly lost none of his competitive attitude, he immediately identified that the seat was in the wrong position for him and for the best handling of the kart. However rather than move it he was happy to have a charge round to see how it went.

6184
Mike was immediately back in the groove

At this point it is worth mentioning that Mike had not driven a kart to any real extent for ten years and not at all for six. He insists that he kept himself fit for racing by spending as much time in a kart as possible and sees that as the best way for any serious young driver to train. He was suitably derogatory about the modern couch potato kids who expect their wealth to buy them success. When Mike stopped racing at the end of 1989 his fitness training also came to a natural halt. Perhaps without realising it his lifestyle continued but the very thing that had kept him fit was about to turn the tables on him. In 1990 Mike founded the Rakama Company building the MW range of karts. The usual pressures of business and having smoked from an early age culminated in a major health scare with a heart attack in the heat of the Italian summer of 2004.

DSCF5590
Mike with a type of kart he used to race and one he now makes

This forced Mike to take a fresh look at life and now also to get back in a kart for the good of his health. I think everyone was fairly confident that the Birel/Komet would stay together and we were more concerned that Mike would be comfortable to do the test from a personal and physical point of view. So I guess it was with some trepidation that he was pushed out of the pits. No one need have worried. On the first lap he was straight onto the carburettor jets while sliding into the pit corner. His style that has not been seen in this magazine for 25 years was there immediately. Mike completed about a dozen laps having managed to sort out the carburation that had baffled me for a day. He enjoyed his retro drive and said it brought back some great memories. It was certainly a privilege to see the master at work and, as with any great driver, it is a must watch situation. Having driven this kart myself the previous week I know how much more difficult they were than today’s very user-friendly models. A big thank you to all concerned for making this happen and an even bigger thank you to Mike Wilson.