Tag Archives: wsk karting

The KF Column: Demise of WSK Euro Series

Written By Mary-Ann Horley

sudam-kart11

Rumours of the demise of the WSK Euro Series for this year have been much exaggerated.

Although as the WSK have now been confirmed as the organisers for the European and World Championships it would be no surprise if this is the last year of the Euro Series.

I have heard a suggestion that the Belgian and French KF2 Championships should be joined by a one-off British Championship to become a Northern European Championship, I thought that could be quite a good idea in the future.

Alan Dove of karting1.co.uk has highlighted the success of the Sudam formula in South America, with a test last year (http://kartingm.ag/11C24AZ) and a follow-up article last month (http://kartingm.ag/WMcvLn). The engine is a 125cc direct-drive unit which until relatively recently was part of the CIK-FIA homologation procedure. Several European manufacturers make engines, such as Vortex, Parilla, Maxter and Italsistem, as well as local manufacturers KTT, Raptor and Riomar. Vortex, Maxter and Italsistem are new this year, a big sign of confidence from the Italians. The same basic engines seem to be used in Brazil in a variety of classes as needed, adapted for Juniors, Seniors and more experienced drivers.

Now BMB and Maxter have dropped out, there’s more manufacturers making Sudam engines than there is making KF engines! Local site Allkart.net says karting in Brazil is more successful than it has ever been, although their columnist Jeison Teixeira would prefer there to be more TAG engines. Sergio Jimenez, a Brazilian driver and businessman who raced in Europe for many years, also says that KF hasn’t taken off in his country because there are high import taxes.

The MSA has released their class homologation regulations which come into effect from 2014 and as it stands they don’t make any allowance for multi-engined classes like Sudam unless they are CIK classes, but we’re waiting to see if that is changed after further meetings.

Unless it is, anyone who wants to see simpler and cheaper engines and an end to the rocketing costs in both KF and Rotax will have to wait to see what the CIK comes up with. CIK-FIA Vice President Kees Van De Grint has finally gone on record with some future plans for world karting.

“First of all, the choice of Luca De Donno as promoter of the CIK-FIA European and World Championships is good news. CIK will be able to focus on its main role: drawing up rules and improving the situation of karting in general.”

I know a lot of people have reservations about the WSK being closely affiliated with the big manufacturers and yet running all of the major championships, but reading between the lines it seems that the CIK have fallen into the common trap of reacting to immediate issues like getting championships organised but not being able to work on the future, so some delegation was probably necessary.

“We have an agreement with the major engine manufacturers concerning a new engine concept. We had hoped for the homologation of a simple type of engine suiting all drivers and not exceeding 1500 €. Currently the project amounts to around 2000 €. A good solution requires some compromise. A more detailed proposal will soon be submitted to the ASN representatives.”

This should be a vast improvement, hopefully the cost savings come from simplification not cheap substandard parts.

“As concerns races, European championships are becoming increasingly important in future, while we are going to reinforce the different National Championships that need support, all in the framework of those categories that are appealing both for amateurs and high-level drivers.”

I’d love to know what form this is going to take. Link-ups between national championships, the removal of excess international championships? It sounds like there might be more recognition of single-make classes, some of which are a law unto themselves in terms of approved sealers, technical compliance and communication and could do with getting their house in order.

“As for CIK office, we are in the process of restructuring the organization so that everyone is heading in the same direction.”

In other words, there’s going to be blood in the corridors…

“It has been a difficult step to take, but a fundamental one for the future. I have two or three more goals to achieve in order for my mission to be accomplished, after that, I’ll be able to dedicate myself to my passion for historic karts!”

I hear there’s to be a 135cc historic race at Rye House later in the year, it might be a useful reminder about fast crazy engines that were ultimately a dead end!

2012 CIK-FIA Awards

CIK-FIA Karting Awards

 The CIK-FIA started 2013 in dignified fashion by rewarding the 2013 Champions on 19th January in Paris,not far from the FIA headquarters. Opened in the presence of the FIA President, Jean Todt, the ceremony honoured nearly 30 award-winners.

Five British drivers won international championships in 2012:

  • George Russell – European KF3 Champion
  • Ben Barnicoat – European KF2 Champion
  • Henry Easthope – U18 World Champion
  • Jordon Lennox-Lamb – KZ2 World Cup
  • Lee Harpham – European Superkart Champion

Tom Joyner won four races from the World KF1 Championship and finished 2nd in the points and Super One regular Jehan Daruvala from India won the Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship.

Some 175 guests attended the gala, and they were also called upon to vote for the photograph of the year. A picture taken by Philippe Kalmès, of the KSP agency, was selected.

Two other special prizes were awarded during the ceremony: the Honorific Trophy for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Karting, awarded posthumously to Ernest C. Buser who was President of the CIK from 1978 to 1999, and the Trophy for the Best Event of the 2012 CIK Season, which went to PF International.

Circuit owner, Paul Fletcher, attended the evening and was presented with the trophy by the President of the CIK- FIA, Shaikh Abdulla.

Trent Valley Kart Club’s Chairman, Nigel Edwards also attending the prestigious occasion and commented “An absolute 100% endorsement from the highest level that the PFI facility (and the TVKC organisation) is the best in the World! Paul deserves a massive thank you for his undiminished support of Karting both in drive, enthusiasm and financial support – he has made PFI a ‘World Leader’ in our great sport of Karting – bring on the 2013 CIK-FIA KF World Championships!”

The pairing of PFi and TVKC are set to host the 2013 CIK-FIA KF World Championship on 1st September and will, no doubt, be out to impress once again!

International Insight

Chris Walker
Chris Walker1

By Gary Catt

The last month I have been again very busy as the season is in full flow now.

I had a race in the WSK in La Conca, I also had to go to another race in Italy with the Mini kart driver I manage for the Italian championship and then I had some tests at Zuera to prepare for the final round of the WSK championship.

So on to the race I had at La Conca. The WSK championship has been a disaster for me so far this year, in the first round I had a big crash in the Final and broke a bone in my chest which meant I had to miss the second round in Portugal and this race in La Conca was the third round out of a four round championship. The weather in La Conca was very hot and there was a lot of rubber on the track.

During the tests I was fast and in qualifying I ended up 7th overall on the Friday. On Saturday morning we changed some things and I was quickest in the warm-up, however I only ended up with a 9th and an 8th in my two heats but my pace was OK compared with the leaders but where we were all so similar it was very hard to pass.

So after my results in the heats I would start 7th for the first Final on Saturday. I had a good race and managed to finish 4th so I was quite happy with this and knew my speed was OK for the heats and main Final on Sunday.

Sunday however didn’t go quite to plan, in the first heat there was a scuffle in front of me and I got caught up in it, and the front of the kart lifted off the ground as I hit the driver in front and as I landed I bent the chassis so had to drive round slowly in the heat and only managed to finish 9th. But what was worse is that we couldn’t repair the chassis for the rest of the weekend so I had to use another kart which I had found not as fast in the tests. The next heat I had problems and had to retire so after these two heats I would start the main final in 17th position which was disappointing really as my pace had been OK.

Anyway, I drove through to 11th in the main Final and was quite fast in the beginning of the race and ended with the 3rd fastest time of the race, but I really struggled with the tyres at the end of the race. I came away encouraged by the pace I had during the weekend but still disappointed as I hadn’t achieved the result I should’ve done.

The next week I went to Viterbo to help my driver, Max Fewtrell in the Italian championship in the mini kart category. He drove well to finish 12th in the Final after starting 31st and he’s improving a lot at the moment. After that I had a week at home before testing at Zuera for two days to prepare for the final round of the WSK which was the last week of July.

I’m hoping to build on La Conca and finish the championship with a good result, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Gearbox News: Gearbox Roundup

Division 1 Superkarts, Silverstone

KSP_102_5451

The familiar face of Gavin Bennett claimed pole position with a time of 55.090s, which was inside the existing lap record and he held the lead in the first race. But the leader was in trouble and dived into the pits with a broken seat bracket which was causing problems changing gear. After making some adjustments he rejoined the race a lap down. This handed Malcolm Crowe the race on a plate and he won comfortably by 11.658s. In Race 2 Needham took the lead early on, then Crowe, and finally Bennett took the lead helped by traffic although he couldn’t get away by more than 1.3s.

6th May 2012
WSK Euro Series, Val D’Argenton
Anthony Abbasse was Saturday’s KZ1 winner despite pressure from Marco Ardigo, with Armand Convers in 3rd. Jorrit Pex won Sunday’s KZ1 Final ahead of the much more experienced Ardigo and Convers. Patrik Hajek and Simo Puhakka had been having a battle in front of the stands for 2nd but this allowed the other two to catch up and pass.

Riccardo Negro won Saturday’s KZ2 Final from the hard-pushing Dylan Davies with Jordon Lennox-Lamb taking 3rd from Mirko Torsellini on the last lap. Torsellini won on Sunday in his first race for Tonykart, ahead of Lennox-Lamb who had fought hard for the lead, and Negro. Lennox-Lamb is now 2nd in the championship and would have been leading without a stub axle breakage at the previous round.

26th April 2012
Super Four Series, Rowrah
Richard Palmer took his maiden national win in KZ2 after making his move on Daniel Borton at the Rock with just a few corners left. Matt Dittman was 3rd after being the early leader, just holding on ahead of James Glenister who had been pushing him for much of the race.

In the growing 250 National class James Hassall and Lee Stamp set the pace, but in the rain Stamp was unbeatable and won by 24s from Alex Barrow with Hassall 3rd after struggling with his kart’s handling.

Sarno layout updated
Sarno has just had a new layout approved for the KZ1 and KZ2 World Cups in September and it should now be more flowing and more enjoyable to drive for the Gearbox drivers.

The long straight has been extended with a slight bend before the hairpin in an attempt to reduce crashes at the start and the shorter straight on the other side now now finishes with a less sharp and challenging right-hander. There is also a new grandstand here. After this the series of three tight bends in the infield have been replaced by to 90 degree left-hand bends. The start-finish straight is now shorter as the sharp right turn on to it has now been replaced by two wider bends. It is about 20m shorter at 1681m and will have a lower lap time. Dates for the official tests will be announced soon.

World Championships reborn!

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The entry list for the 2010 World Championships at Zuera in Spain came out in late August and it seems the move to KF2 has been a good one. There are 125 entries, a number that we haven’t seen since the glory days of Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica.

When I first started going to these races in the early 2000s there were over 100 in Formula A every time, and then with all the wrangling over a possible move to four- strokes and the KF engines it dropped like a stone until this year the main qualifying route for the Worlds, the European Championship, failed to attract more than ten entries. Something had to be done and a switch to KF2 was the only real option.

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Nyck De Vries has form both in 2010 and at Zuera

Established Super KF drivers have entered, although a lot of them weren’t eligible because they hadn’t raced in
the European Championships. British Champion Mark Litchfield was one of those disappointed. There are also many drivers who have been doing KF2 all year in the European Championships and in the WSK. There are also a number of frontrunning national drivers whose budgets wouldn’t give them a chance in Super KF. As well as the European Series’, drivers are eligible to enter if they have finished in the top 10 of a national KF2 championship in 2009 or 2010.

In what could be the first signs of a thawing of the relations between the factories and the CIK, there are official entries from both Tonykart and Birel.

The Zaragoza track is long and has been Nyck De Vries territory for several years as he won the WSK KF3 series there in 2008 then the European KF3 last year. At the press conference last year people joked that he would make it three titles in a row, and on his form this year it’s a highly possible prospect.

Other Super KF drivers to enter are Ben Hanley, Jordan Chamberlain and Yannick De Brabander. Nicolaj Moller Madsen, Teemu Suninen and Chris Lock head up the KF2 contingent. The race is on 19th September.

Article: Mary-Ann Horley Photos: Chris Walker

• Circuit – circuitointernacionaldezuera.es
• Event – kartingm.ag/bKSTKY