Tag Archives: karting news

DOUBLE MACX – Dave Bewley talks to Max Goff & Mackenzie Taylor

WordPress database error: [Table 'kmuk_db.wp_fblb' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_fblb WHERE id = 1

They come from different backgrounds, one with very firm Scottish roots and the other steeped in Northamptonshire tradition. They have different ambitions and each has his own distinctive driving style. They are teammates who have also been fierce rivals 1in at least one championship this season. As drivers they have at least one thing in common. Both have given maximum effort in pursuit of their goals as anyone who has followed the major championships will no doubt testify. Max Goff, a tall lad by Cadet standards, has earned a big reputation, especially in the WTP Little Green Man Championships which he dominated virtually from round 1onwards. Mackenzie Taylor is smaller in height and weight but the impact he made in Comer Cadet this year was positively huge. After winning the S1 title with a round to spare, he finished as runnerup to Sam Jenkins in Stars of Tomorrow and actually led the series for much of the year.

Mackenzie was born into a motor racing family. His father Rod was an accomplished motor cycle racer who finished as runner-up in the British Championships on three separate occasions. Douglas, his uncle, was also an accomplished star on two wheels, having won the Scottish ACU title no less than five times. Mackenzie is named after multiple motorcycling champion Niall McKenzie, a friend and former rival of Rod’s. “Niall christened his own son Taylor McKenzie after me, so I thought that I’d better return the compliment,” claims Rod. “Obviously I encouraged him on to two wheels at a very early age and he soon started competing in Motocross events but
then we met up with Ted Taylor who won the first ever Kart GP at Silverstone. Ted convinced us to buy a Comer powered Swiss Hutless and Mackenzie soon decided that four wheels were better than just two. He made his debut at Blackbushe almost four years ago and collected the prize for 1st novice. After that he had some good races at Rye House and actually finished his first season by taking 6th place in the 2002 WTP series, although competition back then wasn’t quite as severe as it is today.”

The following season, Mackenzie concentrated on WTP using an ex-Thomas Arme Zip chassis and repeated his 6th place in the championship. “It was still a good result for me,” he maintains. “That was the year when Jack Harvey became champion ahead of Jordon Lennox-Lamb and Jesse Smart. I had a bad accident in the opening round of last year’s competition at Fulbeck. It prevented me from racing for a good while and meant that I couldn’t win the championships or even finish in the top six. I decided to drop out of this competition and concentrated on Comers instead. Racing in WTP taught me a lot about competing up at the front and I found all this very useful when I moved into Stars and S1. Last year I missed a couple of Stars rounds and finished 26th, which wasn’t too good, but I was quite pleased to take 14th spot in S1. Twelve months after Mackenzie made his
karting debut, so Max Goff entered the sport. “We bought a Mari kart initially,” says Max, “but as soon as I came off my novice plates I switched to a Zip. I had some good results in the Comer class but it wasn’t until last year that things really started coming together. I finished 12th in the Stars of Tomorrow championships and 11th in S1 which wasn’t bad for a first attempt. Our plans were to just do Comers this year but Rory Campbell persuaded me that I’d have a good chance in the WTP Little Green Man series. Rory can be very persuasive but he kept his promises and I finished up winning the title. My teammate Ashley Bibby, finished as runner up so that says a lot about Rory’s set up. Doing all three championships has meant taking part in 19 rounds so, along with events like the ‘O’ Plate and TV Masters, it hasn’t left a lot of time for clubbies. Racing with Fusion and Rory’s Racecraft outfit has obviously made things a lot easier for us and without their support we couldn’t have managed.” As an interested onlooker at Little Green Man rounds this year, I spent most of my time secretly hoping that someone would beat Max. His domination of this competition, at least for the first five rounds, was such that it seemed as though no one else would get a look in. The opening round at Dunkeswell did produce a win for Ashley Bibby, but 2nd placed Max still managed to look every inch a potential champion. After that there seemed to be no stopping the Corby flyer as he won four consecutive rounds in convincing style. Only at Wigan did a slight chink appear in his armour as he finished 5th. However, this was achieved after setting off from 16th position and it seemed good enough to secure Max the championships. “We’d done the maths and left for home convinced that he’d scored sufficient points,” says Ian. “I got quite a shock when Mike Mills rang later in the week advising me that the bonus points were being awarded differently to how we’d all expected and that this now made it mathematically possible for Ashley to win. We turned up at P.F. and everything went wrong for us. Fortunately from our point of view, Ashley didn’t quite manage the maximum score he needed, but it was a closer call than we’d expected.”

Mackenzie took the Super 1 title and was second in the Stars of Tomorrow British Champs

Mackenzie’s assault on the S1 championship got off to a steady start at Three Sisters when he claimed 4th behind James Godbehere, Ashley Jones and Nicholas Cristofaro. Max Goff served notice of his intentions here by taking 5th. Mackenzie’s hopes were delivered a hammer blow during the next round at P.F. when he was excluded for a nonperformance enhancing technical offence after seemingly finishing 3rd. Spirits in the Fusion camp were no doubt lifted by a storming victory for Max. They went down to Clay Pigeon for round three with Max in buoyant mood and Mackenzie probably feeling a little subdued after appealing against his exclusion. Third place here kept Mackenzie’s championship hopes alive but this round had devastating consequences for Max who was excluded from one of his heats due to a broken choke pin. By the time round 4 at Larkhall came along, Mackenzie had won his appeal and was now actually leading the championships. He celebrated with a fine win and Max made it a great day for the Fusion team by taking 2nd place. The calculators were busy at Rowrah and it became clear that Mackenzie needed only a top ten finish to seal the title. In fact he finished a comfortable 4th with Max once again demonstrating his ability by winning this one very impressively. Mackenzie was equally prominent in the Stars of Tomorrow series that got under way at Rowrah where he finished 3rd. He was upstaged at Shenington by Max who scored a brilliant win from 16th on the grid. Fifth place at Wigan was followed by a fighting 3rd at Larkhall but equally significant was the total number of points he’d amassed in his heats. This made him the championship leader by five points when they went down to Llandow for a double header. Second and 4th places in the two Finals would normally have been enough to stretch this lead even further. However, Sam Jenkins chose this particular weekend to be in supreme form. Apart from taking 1st and 2nd in the two Finals, Sam only dropped one point from six heats, leaving just about every competitor marvelling at his sheer pace. It placed Sam in a very strong position for the final round at Buckmore where a finely judged 2nd place behind Nicholas Cristofaro was sufficient to see him crowned as the new British Champion. “James Bradshaw is the only Cadet driver to have won the S1 and Stars titles in one year and it would have been nice to repeat his success,” confesses Mackenzie. “I gave it my best shot and I’m really delighted to have finished the year as S1 champion. I think that having a title like this is bound to be a big help when you’re looking for sponsorship and support. I’d like to thank Dan Hazlewood (Fusion) for all the help he’s given me this year and, of course, Leon from Soixante who supplied me with great motors. This year Stars and S1 have been very
competitive and we had at least ten different drivers who were all quick enough to become champions. It’s been a very hard year for me and I’m sure my dad has sometimes found it difficult as well. I’m very proud of him for what he achieved in his own racing career. At some stage I’d like to race motorbikes just like he did but I couldn’t see myself doing it for a living. Like most other Cadets, I’d like to try single-seater cars some day although that’s a long time away. Next year I’ll be moving up into JICA and that’s something which I’m very excited about, although the difference in speed might take some getting used to. I’ll be running alongside Oliver
Rowland in the Zip Young Guns team and that’s something else I’m looking forward to immensely.”

Away from karting, Mackenzie is keen on both soccer and rugby and enjoys watching F1 but doesn’t really have any favourite team or drivers. Max shares Mackenzie’s liking for soccer and rugby but also adds cricket to his list. He’s a fan of F1 too, naming McLaren Mercedes and Kimi as his favourites. In karting, Alexander Sims, Oliver Rowland and Mackenzie are the drivers that he respects the most. “It was also good to see Ollie Oakes winning the World Championships this year, although I’ve never actually seen him race” adds Max. “I think it’s bound to give British karting a boost, especially with Jon Lancaster finishing 2nd. Next year I’ll be moving into Minimax. I haven’t finally decided on the chassis yet but we recently bought a secondhand Intrepid quite cheaply and it seems very good. One decision we have made is to run our own team next year. That’s
no disrespect to Fusion or Racecraft. They’ve been superb throughout the whole year, but both Dan and Rory want to concentrate on Cadets still, so we didn’t have any option other than to leave.”

Max dominated the WTP series and won two Super 1 rounds

“I think that Fusion has easily been the best team in Comer Cadet this year but they’ll have their work cut out in 2006 when our own team is up and running” alleges Max. “It’s called Xtreme Motorsport and we’ve already
signed up Formula BMW driver Craig Boyd to act as mechanic. Apart from my own interests in Minimax, we’ll be looking after three Cadet drivers, Jordan King, Roy Johnson and Callum Bowyer who recently won the King of Clubs championship. Piers Sexton will be looking after me in Minimax and I’m hoping that Paul Munn will also be available although it’s possible that he might do a season racing Seats. After my time in karting, I’d like to take up a career in motor racing. Everyone wants to get into F1 and it would be very nice to think that I could do it, but, realistically, any job as a paid driver would be great.” By any yardstick 2005 has been a successful year for Max. “Winning the WTP Little Green Man title is something I’ll always remember,” he says. “I think I’ll also remember the round at Wigan when I wrote my kart off in practice. Rory was a fantastic
help in getting me up and running in time for Sunday’s race but we were also overwhelmed by the number of people who actually offered to loan me their karts so that I could score points if my own wasn’t fixed. I thought that was really good and showed there’s still a lot of sportsmanship in karting. Comers has been very exciting as well. Dan Hazlewood and Piers Sexton are both very good to work with. Apart from them, I owe my mum Mandy, dad and sister Ria an awful lot for the way they’ve all supported me all year.”

Dan Hazlewood meanwhile looks ahead to 2006 without the services of his top two drivers. “Max McGuire is staying on in the team and he’s shown tremendous improvement this year so I’m confident that he’ll be one of the frontrunners. We’ve also got Jacob Stilp and James Appleton joining us and I’ve been very impressed by their prowess. 2005 was a great year for us and I’m hoping for similar results in 2006.” With these words, Dan acknowledged the very significant impression made by Mackenzie and Max upon Cadet racing. His new drivers certainly have a hard act to follow.

Dave Bewley

Whatever happened to the World Cup

WordPress database error: [Table 'kmuk_db.wp_fblb' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_fblb WHERE id = 1

STOP PRESS! The World Cup spotted at the International Kart Show. Details on its future next month

I’m not talking about Sven’s tinkerings with the England formation and let’s not even mention Scotland against Belarus (we wuz robbed!) but probably the best ever series of events to grace short circuit karting. The event started off in 1968 at Heysham Head circuit near Morecambe. This was what was known as a ‘challenging’ circuit, unkindly described as a couple of straights with a hairpin at each end. In fact, the top part of the track was a sweeping double apex right hander and the downhill section had a kink in the middle of it that certainly sorted the men from the boys. As a scrutineer, you could always tell someone who raced at Heysham on a regular basis, as they had an additional mechanical caliper on their braking system just in case the hydraulic one failed. At Heysham, if the brakes failed, you didn’t end up in the ambulance but under it! The man behind the vision was Bert Hesketh, long time supporter of gearbox karting and the chap who ran the Heysham venue.

He even managed to secure John Players tobacco sponsorship for the event that lasted until around the early 1980s when such things became unspeakable. It was one of the longest lasting sponsorship deals in the history of the company and certainly did them and the event no harm at all. Players paid for the cup, named the World Cup, and the drivers raced for the first ever ‘O’ Plate, a red zero on a white background, distinguishable from the black numbers on yellow background the rest of the class raced. Indeed, for a number of years, the trophy was presented by the Mayor of Morecambe on the Monday evening after the event but that was before my time! One of the earlier meetings even saw a runaway kart narrowly avoid going over the cliff after taking off without the driver, a Mr. Hoyle from Todmorden. Going over the cliff wasn’t a very good idea, what with the 100ft drop just behind lap scoring. Although the first few years were won by single cylinder karts, the advent of the 250 twins saw the event rise in prominence to become the pinnacle of short circuit gearbox karting. The sound of a grid full of fully sorted Yamahas never failed to stir the soul and the non-PC part of me hankers back to the time when karts were allowed to make that sort of noise.

My first direct memory of the event was in 1980 when Lennart Bohlin won the last of his four titles on one of Kelvin Hesketh’s Star chassis and uniquely doing it with a reverse barrel Yamaha. I believe the engine is currently being restored and should be in a chassis sometime in 2006. I was spectating at the meeting, as many people did and was cheered by the sight of spectators going in their droves to the Shell bar and coming back with several rounds balanced precariously on trays. Such was the queue at the bar that this was the only way of quenching your thirst in the May sunshine and most were camping at the track anyway, so driving wasn’t a problem. I seem to recall a fairly spectacular shunt in the 210 race involving a driver clobbering one of the flagpoles halfway up it after tangling with another driver. The poor driver was dumped on one side of the track with the kart landing on the opposite side, in the face of oncoming traffic. The race was stopped, oddly enough. That was the last win for the Yamaha, watercooling was allowed the year after and saw Reg Gange the winner and the first World Cup won by the Rotax twin engine. The year after saw a record crowd of 29,640, absolutely unprecedented for short circuit karting and I was there as a scrutineer, just training at that time. Allan Krownow from Denmark won that year but the fastest ever time recorded by a driver on that track went to Britain’s Derek Price in 21.47s, that just shows how quick it was.

It also marked for me Bert, the man. My tent was damaged in the night by some revellers worse for wear and I went to Bert in the morning to tell him I’d have to go home, as I’d nowhere to sleep that night. Nonsense, he said, and set Kelvin to work on repairing the tent poles, diverting him from the task of preparing his kart for the Finals day. That he also refused payment for the repair spoke volumes to me. 1983 was the last event run at Heysham before a couple of goes on Long Circuit at Donington, where Martin Hines, the ‘King’ of gearbox karting won his only World Cup in 1985 Bert passed on the reins of the event organisation to Audrey Ashe (very rapid 250 pilot John Ashe’s mother) and Else Price (Derek’s mum) and they ran it until 1990, by which time it had become the Hesketh Trophy in memory of Bert. The two ladies passed on the organisation to a committee organising events for 250 twins on short circuit on the condition that it would be run on short circuits for gearbox karts. The event ran as part of a series and was renamed the Hesketh Challenge. This ran throughout the ‘90s within the series, reverting to a one venue for the last three years until 2002, when the last event was run. The question now is, whatever happened to the World Cup? We know that Paul Kennings won the last event in 2002 but the trophy hasn’t been seen since and Paul hasn’t got it. So who has?

Iain Blair

World Cup Winners
1968                   Graham Liddle, GB
1969                   Graham Liddle, GB
1970                   Kelvin Hesketh, GB
1971                   Graham Liddle, GB
1972                   Graham Liddle, GB
1973                   Reg Gange Jr., GB
1974                   Dave Cullimore, GB
1975                   Lennart Bohlin, S
1976                   Dave Buttigieg, GB
1977                   Lennart Bohlin, S
1978                   Lennart Bohlin, S
1979                   Dave Buttigieg, GB
1980                   Lennart Bohlin, S
1981                   Reg Gange Jr., GB
1982                   Allan Krownow, DK
1983                   Richard Dean, GB
1984                   Brian Heerey, GB
1985                   Martin Hines, GB
1986                   Tim Parrott, GB
1987                   Not contested
1988                   Not contested
1989                   Ian Shaw, GB
1990                   Ian Woodcock, GB
1991                    Bob Kennings, GB
1992                   Andrew Bundy, GB
1993                   Andrew Bundy, GB
1994                   Andrew Bundy, GB
1995                   Paul Sydenham, GB
1996                   Carl Kinsey, GB
1997                   Paul Kennings, GB
1998                   Carl Kinsey, GB
1999                   Paul Kennings, GB
2000                  Christian Turner, GB
2001                   Richard Leitner, GB
2002                   Paul Kennings, GB

No kart show in 2006?

WordPress database error: [Table 'kmuk_db.wp_fblb' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_fblb WHERE id = 1

After 17 years, Kart Promotions have announced that they will not be staging the International Kart Show in 2006 When the show was first held back in February 1988, many of today’s generation of karters weren’t even born but, over many years and at six different venues, the show has continued to cater for the whole spectrum of karting whether it be indoors or outdoors, gearbox or non-gearbox, 2-stroke or 4-stroke. The show was the first dedicated to karting in this country and over the years became the pioneer and yardstick by which others were measured. When it first opened its doors at the King’s Hall in Stoke-on-Trent, the only other option was the Racing Car Show at Olympia. How many can still remember that? The Kart Show was even staged at the NEC, Birmingham in 1990 and was the first to have an indoor circuit within the show and all this a year before the Autosport International show even started.

The International Kart Show will be fondly remembered even if the move to Donington was not a great success

The organisers pioneered the Karting magazine Forums seven years ago but, most importantly, have always provided a platform that was dedicated to, and affordable for, both large and small karting companies. Throughout the years the show has grown and evolved with exhibitors from around the world. During this time many companies have come and gone but equally many have grown with the show and become partners in its success. Other business commitments have led to Kart Promotions deciding not to run the show in 2006 but discussions have been taking place with the hope that a new organiser will take the show forward to continue to serve the karting community.