ABkC News July 06

ABkC Championship and Tyre Choices for 2007

Two of the main issues to be discussed at the June meeting of the ABkC Steering Group were the allocations of the ABkC national championships and the nominated class tyres for 2007 onwards.  Sub-groups had been appointed to deal with each of the issues, and make recommendations to the full steering group.  The championship sub-group held a full day’s meeting in Birmingham, with each bidder given a time slot to present their case and answer questions.  After careful consideration, and after consultation with the commercial class owners Tal-Ko and JAG, the recommendation was to maintain stability, essentially continuing with the present suppliers but adding some extra requirements on the promoters.  Discussions are going to take place about additional promotion of the Rotax and TKM series as well as giving the paddock a more colourful image.  Super One will continue with all the direct drive classes, Stars with Super ICC and NKF with ICC UK and 250 National.  It is understood that the MSA has also offered Super One the British Championships for Formula A and JICA, Stars the Cadet and the SuperKart organisation the Long Circuit British Championships, all subject to contract.  On the tyre front the sub-groups were very pleased to find a reduction in prices offered across the board and again there was insufficient reason to move away from the current suppliers.  There will be some changes.  In 250 National, subject to satisfactory test results the Maxxis MH tyre will replace the XP5.  In 100 National the Vega SL6 will replace the current tyre and in Junior Gearbox the Dunlop SL4 will take over from the Burris.  The wet weather tyres in JICA and ICA will change to the Bridgestone YGR.  No decision has been made yet on the tyres for the Rotax classes in 2007 and an announcement is expected by the end of July.  The main meeting voted overwhelmingly in favour of the recommendations. 
PS The Rotax class tyres will have no changes in type or price for 2007.

National A Series Competitors to have more prior experience

It is intended that new entrants to the national championships will have to have additional racing experience after getting off their black plates, i.e. five extra signatures.  However the Kart Sporting Committee is looking into making the qualification for National A licences a further six signatures after drivers get off their black plates, i.e. a total of eleven or twelve signatures to get a National A licence.  This would make checking qualifications for entering the national championships a lot easier to administer and would boost club racing.  Either way drivers should be collecting signatures on their licences ready for an upgrade or entering the national series.

Low cost entry to Karting

Subject to Motor Sports Council final agreement the MSA is to introduce a new Clubman licence in 2007, which will replace the Endurance licence brought in this year.  Drivers should be able to bring a licence application form and fee to register on the day of the race.  No ARKS test or medical is required but karts are limited to 6bhp for Cadets, 11bhp for Juniors and 15bhp for Seniors.  Whilton Mill Kart Club has already announced they will offer the new format starting from their March meeting and others are expected to follow.  The ABkC hopes that local kart traders will have a number of karts suiting the bill for hire so family and friends can try karting without the usual entry barriers.  The MSA has decreed the sprint races can only take place during a normal kart meeting and the provisional name for these new races is Kart Tyro Cadet, Junior or Senior.

Maximum kart weights for Junior Classes

As flagged up in recent ABkC newsletters junior classes will be subject to a maximum all-up kart weight in 2007.  This new rule is so that very small drivers do not move into classes where they may not be fully capable of handling the kart.  The weights proposed are as follows:

  • Junior/Intermediate TKM: 94kg
  • MiniMax and Junior Rotax: 108kg
  • Junior Gearbox: 115kg
  • JICA: 100kg

Class weights for the other junior classes will be announced in due course.  The weights mean that an average junior kart can have no more than 25kg of ballast, which might be reduced in future years.  Coupled with this new safety rule Cadets will be able to stay in their class until the end of the year of their 13th birthday, so they are not forced to move into juniors even if of small stature.  The Kart Committee has also proposed that subject to class regulations, that non-novice Cadets could move into the lower powered Junior classes in the year of their 11th birthday and Juniors could stay in the junior classes until the end of the year of their 17th birthday. The ABkC steering group expressed concerns at these changes as it could mean someone of 10 years old plus a day or two could race in some Junior classes using adult karts, if they were heavy enough.  It could also mean light weight drivers of almost 18 years old could stay in the junior classes competing against eleven year olds. 

Crash tested CIK Bodywork to become compulsory

Cadet drivers should note that the ‘shovel’ nose fairing as commonly used will not be permitted from 1st January 2007.  Front fairings with a flat area at the front will be required.  All short circuit karts will need to have CIK homologated bodywork fitted from 1st January 2008 and Cadets probably from 2010.  2007 homologated karts in the TKM classes will all have to have full crash tested CIK bodywork.  There are no plans at present to allow the new CIK rear bodywork, which replaces the rear bumper.

CIK TAG Engine Discussions

The Steering Group heard more opinions from teams and traders about using the new CIK TAG engine in Formula A next year, but decided to defer a final decision until September.  The ABkC and MSA position is that it is agreed in principle that ICA and JICA will remain with 100cc for 2007.  It was noted that Italy have decided to go with CIK TAG in their Open Masters Series and France are going to run both TAG and 100cc together but in two classes.  But some engine manufacturers have warned there could be a shortage of supply of the new engines for national championships.  The CIK have named the new formulae as KF1 (replacing Formula A), KF2 (replacing ICA) and KF3 (replacing JICA).  Super ICC is to be renamed KZ1 and ICC to be KZ2 all for 2007. There will also be a new basic Formula 125 class called KF4.

Seat Support rule changes

From 1.1.2007 all four seat supports will have to have a metal or nylon reinforcement washer of a minimum thickness of 1.5mm and diameter of 40mm.  At the moment only the upper supports need reinforcement, and the size of washer has been reduced in line with the latest CIK regulations.  The Kart Committee have also proposed that SRs can allow for everyone starting a race to be classified as finishers.  This is to prevent drivers carrying out running repairs at the side of the track in order to score a race finish so once a race has started no on-track repairs would be allowed.  A driver would still be able to change a plug for instance during the formation laps. 

WTP Cadet Class

The Steering Group had a long discussion on the future of the WTP Cadet B5 TAG engine and heard that it is still faster than the Comer.  They have made recommendations to the MSA and a meeting with the MSA and John Mills Racing was then held to decide what to do next.  The WTP B5 class is continuing with speeds being monitored.

TKM Class Changes proposed

Tal-Ko’s Alan Turney and Grahame Butterworth attended part of the meeting to present their draft proposals for next year.  Formula TKM will be continuing with kart homologations for a new three year period effective January 1, 2007. Rules for the class will remain as now but with the following changes:

  • Karts and components in them may now be manufactured abroad, although if made abroad they must have a UK based agent.
  • Choice of brakes used is free provided they meet current regulations on design.
  • Seat stay mounts will be free.
  • New designs of exhaust and air-intake box will be introduced on an optional basis.

Discussions are taking place on possible re-structuring of the Junior /Intermediate age categories but no decisions have yet been made.

The committee had mixed views on some of the proposals, including whether clutches should be compulsory or not in the junior classes.  Clubs were concerned about being able to run junior classes if they were significantly different in performance from each other.  The ABkC view, which had been communicated to Tal-Ko in advance of the meeting, was that the TKM 2-strokes should be simple economical start-up classes.  It was decided that the Direct Drive Sub-Group would negotiate with Tal-Ko over the next few weeks and come back with recommendations and the results of independently observed track tests.

100 National economy measures mooted

The committee is looking to find a way of improving engine life in 100 National by reducing maximum revs to about 18,000 or less.  The class will eventually become the only home for traditional higher power 100cc engines and of course permits reed engines from 2007.  There has been some opposition to mandating a maximum sprocket at each circuit so the direct drive sub-group is seeking advice from the BKIA on a suitable rev-limiter. 

More class changes for 2007

A change in number plates to Green background with White numbers was approved for the Rotax Max 177 class and the Junior Rotax weight is likely to increase by 2kg for 2007.  There have been some scrutineering worries in 250 National on reprogrammable ignitions and a revised regulation, based on the CIK rule, will be brought in for 250 National and 125 Open next year.  It reads: “The electronic unit box and the coil must receive only one feeding (energy source of the rotor/stator or of a battery) and one crankshaft pick-up signal in order to set the ignition signal. The advance and cartography may under no circumstances be modifiable from the driving seat under normal racing.”  This will permit ignition systems that can be reprogrammed between races or meetings.  The 250 National class could have new engine registrations for 2007, which should have been received by the MSA by 1st June.  In any case the Steering Group opposed permitting the so-called hybrid 68 bore/ 68 stroke Gas-Gas engine in the class, as it would render all other engines uncompetitive.  

ABkC Championship news

Following the cancellation of the ABkC Junior Gearbox championship in Stars, Mike Coombs has set up a new ABkC championship with the blessing of the ABkC.  The committee noted with regret the cancellation of the 100cc O Plate meeting, and also noted World Formula O Plate received little or no entries for Llandow.  It is proposed to hold the World Formula O Plate during the annual Super Two meeting on August Bank Holiday at Rowrah.  A small sub-group will examine the criteria for next year’s O Plate meetings and invite applications from clubs.  Any club wishing to be considered should write to the secretary with details of what they can offer, bearing in mind local support for the relevant class.  The committee heard a presentation from representatives of Llandow Kart Club about their InterNations meeting on the first weekend of September.  Full details of classes and regulations will be released shortly. 

MSA Training Seminars / Club & Marshall of the Year Nominations needed

There was concern about the low turn-out from kart clubs to the MSA Officials Training Seminars, and it was suggested holding them during weekday evenings next year. The MSA are looking for nominations for Club of the Year and Marshal of the Year.  Clubs should submit nominations to the ABkC / Kart Regional Committee Secretary Graham Smith in the first instance.    

London Kart Show

The ABkC have negotiated a special price for clubs at this year's London Kart Show which means that a club can exhibit in a 2 x 2 metre booth for just £250 + VAT.

It will give an opportunity to network with many existing and future drivers for a very reasonable price. The organisers are planning to create an area at the show which represents clubs and circuits and the ABkC will have its own presence at the Show, which has made a move to ExCel - London, the capital's brand new No 1 venue.  In addition to the London Kart Show, which is promised to be bigger and better than ever, a brand new London Motorsport Show will be launched which will run in parallel.  This will cover all forms of motorsport up to and including Formula 3.  For more information please call Philip Bunn on 01444 246446, visit www.londonkartshow.co.uk or email info@londonkartshow.co.uk.  The club package for the Autosport Show is awaited.

New Member / Open Meeting proposed

Cheshire Kart Club has joined the ABkC.  The ABkC/Kart Regional Meeting is going to hold an informal open Q&A session for all drivers immediately after this year’s AGM, which will be held in November or December.  The next Steering Group meeting will be held mid-September, when the regulations for the Gold Book are finalised.

(Editor Graham Smith, email secretary@abkc.org.uk)

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