ABkC News July 07

At the June steering group meeting several new guests were welcomed.  Garry Manning had come from Motorsports Ireland to view the proceedings, whilst Mick and Shelley Barrett were representing championship teams and drivers.  Anne Laws made a welcome return, on behalf of Warden Law Kart Club.  The MSA’s John Ryan had sent his apologies but the MSA was represented as normal by Cheryl Lynch.

CIK Report
Chairman Russell Anderson reported on recent CIK meetings he had attended on our behalf.  World Council are about to approve an amended system for drivers racing abroad, insofar as the NEAFP scheme is abandoned and National events wishing to have foreign driver participation must only tell their local ASN, in our case the MSA.  Such drivers are not permitted to accrue points in multi-round championships unless the rounds are International status, but they can take part in individual events for the same day trophies.  Zone racing should be able to continue, for instance the reciprocation with Ireland.  Bona-fide professional drivers with the EU endorsement on their licences can continue to race anywhere.  The CIK have introduced a ‘slow-board’ race neutralisation system similar to our yellow/black quarter flag.  Two new Spanish International circuits have been constructed, largely on the back of the Alonso popularity.  Discussions on the use of a spare chassis at CIK events next year is still under some debate but it is confirmed that this will not go back into our regulations for Super One and Stars, only one chassis will continue to be permitted.

The FIA Institute for Safety has set a new standard for Junior race helmets with a weight criteria relating to helmet size.  This standard has been licenced out to test houses and crash helmets conforming to it should be available soon.  From his MSA Safety Panel attendance, Russell urged clubs to always take plenty photographs if any claim is likely from an event.  He also asked clubs to look for trends in similar incidents and to look for remedies, reporting back to John Symes at the MSA, and especially in an incident leads to hospitalisation.  The meeting decided to write to the MSA opposing the proposed reduction in age to 14 for junior rally driving.

Tyres and classes
Following the various regrettable tyre shortages in some classes this year, the secretary was tasked to write to the tyre suppliers reminding them to hold back the agreed reserve stock unless they had ABkC permission to release.  250 National competitors had written to the NKF after a recent Super 4 round and their comments were discussed. 

Dunkeswell Kart Club had requested an over-35 year old Rotax Masters class at 177kg and this was supported but it would need to have a maximum chassis weight so that smaller drivers did not carry too much ballast.  It was thought other clubs might like to mimic this class, noting each would need N.1.3 approval from the MSA.

Funds healthy
The Treasurer reported that all clubs had now rejoined for 2007, plus the new Cheshire KC, which was very welcome news after some had experienced difficulties at the beginning of the year.  A letter from Hoddesdon KC was read out, and their recent efforts, and those of other clubs, to build up their grids was applauded.  Ian Rennison reported that the bank balances were very healthy.

It was noted that an exemption on fitting CIK crash tested bodywork for 210 and 250 National karts, and long circuit 125’s and Superkarts has been approved.  A request for an exemption for the 2001-3 homologated TKM class karts was supported and will now be put to the relevant MSA committees.  Remember all other karts must fit crash tested bodywork from January 2008.  ICC (KZ1 & 2) ages will be brought in line with the other international CIK classes so that young drivers with International A or B licences can compete when 15.

The plastic CIK Rear Protection system will be permitted in all classes from 1.1.2008, so long as the kart is CIK homologated and post 2006, in other words has been designed to take the RP bumper.  It will not be mandatory in any class.  Because the plastic rear bumpers are susceptible to being burnt by exhaust gases, the MSA are asking clubs not to put a regulation in their SR’s about pointing exhaust pipes downwards.  There needs to be freedom to move the exhaust clear of the plastic.

Cadet Carbs & Direct Drive
It is still anticipated that there will be a new carburettor for the Comer Cadet class for 2008, coupled with a 2kg increase in weight.

The direct drive and gearbox sub-groups met earlier in the day to formulate their recommendations to the main Kart Regional Committee, as the steering group is known.  After receiving a petition from potential 100 National drivers and other interested parties, the proposal is to rename the class 100 National / K100 for 2008, then probably K100 thereafter once everyone gets used to it.  The tuning rules would remain open with the possibility of a maximum sprocket size for certain tracks to limit excessive revs.  The weight would remain at 160kg and it is hoped there will be a resurgence in interest in the class, using ex Formula A and ICA engines. 

KF Classes next year & World Formula
The new KF classes will come in for 2008, Formula A and ICA will disappear from the Gold Book and the major championships but JICA remains as a CIK class.  It was noted there are potential markets for the JICA engines in Ireland and the US, as Ireland will continue to offer JICA.  Although the MSA had received reservations about allowing the youngest drivers in KF3, it was noted that 12 year olds would need to have held a National A licence for at least a year, and to get a National A licence will need 12 signatures (six more after being no longer a novice).  Otherwise they will need to be 13.  The driver will also have to be a sufficient weight so the kart is less than the maximum weight laid down in the regulations.   The CIK class weight of 145kg for kart and driver is recommended.  But in KF1 and KF2 the Kart Regional Committee believe the weights are too low and are proposing 160kg for KF1 (Formula A replacement) and 165kg for KF2 (ICA replacement).  This is to make KF2 more accessible for the older driver in our championships, noting that in CIK events it is mostly 15 year olds who compete.  KF1 will be the MSA British Championship class for 2008, and KF3 the Junior British Championship class, also offered in Stars.  However drivers should be aware that because there are major engine homologation changes to designs at the end of this year, the latest engines could be in short supply at the beginning of 2008.

The meeting did not wish any changes in World Formula for 2008, despite some traders wanting the class to be restricted to CIK WF chassis. 

Junior Ages
The meeting re-visited the age range for the junior classes but no general agreement could be found, even after a ‘hung’ vote, so the matter was referred back to the sub-group.  It was noted that the maximum kart weight for MiniMax is likely to be reduced to 104kg for 2008 and the MSA representative reminded the group that a Kart Novice licence is to be introduced next year.  This will make it easier for competition secretaries to know when a driver is no longer a novice.  Clubs need to check that there are no conflicts in their regulations in the references to National B licences.

TKM Junior 2008 Regs
Tal-Ko put forward their class proposals for 2008.  There would be no significant changes in the 2-stroke Extreme or the 4-stroke classes but the Junior Intermediate class would disappear to be replaced by three tiers of weight / restrictor power band groups in Junior TKM, all racing for the same trophies and points.  There would be the current 129kg / 20.5mm, plus a 135kg and a 142 kg category.  Different colour anodised restrictors would clearly identify the groups. 

Gearbox matters
On the gearbox side, it was agreed to keep Junior Gearbox in the Gold Book in 2008, in the hope it could be grown at the clubs that offer the category.  The group discussed whether to adopt full CIK regulations in ICC, but this was rejected in favour of keeping the existing regulations.  The classes would be called ICC
UK (KZ2 UK) and Super ICC (KZ1), helping a transition to the new CIK class names for 2009.  However the group is recommending that Super ICC (as offered in Stars) has a softer, but still durable, tyre for 2008 to make a faster driving environment and help to differentiate from the club class. If successful then Super ICC/KZ1 could adopt full CIK regs from 2009. 

Clubs are reminded that the Rotax DD2 class is a gearbox class and gearbox rear bumpers must be fitted if running with any other class.  The BKIA were concerned with an alleged drop in driving standards and sought advice.  They cited inconsistencies in penalties, a different perhaps less authoritative approach in the UK compared with International events and suggested better training for officials would help.  The MSA have written to Clerks on the matter.  There was also concern expressed on the use of bad language on the grids and parc fermé areas, especially when it is in front of youngsters. This should be cracked down on by club officials.

The NATSKA representative reported that the course on Motor Sport Operations Level 2 that is currently being accredited by NCFE, should be rolled out to schools within the next couple of months.  Its target base will be 14 – 19 year olds. 

O Plates, 2008 bids and Champs Reports
Clubs are invited to put in bids for the 2008 ABkC ‘O’ Plates by the first week of September, in writing, to the Secretary.  Clubs should indicate why they think the class chosen would be popular and well supported at their venue and chosen date.  The ABkC  takes a fee of £200 plus £5 per driver.  The plans for this year’s InterNations at Warden Law on 1st and 2nd September at Warden Law are well advanced.  Four teams will compete, Scotland, England, Wales and an all-Ireland team, competing in Cadet Libre, Junior Max, Junior TKM, Senior Max, Honda twins and 125 gearbox.  It is expected that the event will be held in southern Ireland on the first weekend of September in 2008. 

Rowrah will hold the World Formula, Honda Junior and Senior ABkC championships and O Plate over the weekend of the August Bank Holiday, with the O Plate on the Monday. 

Kart Shows
Clubs should have had information from Martin Capenhurst, who attended part of the meeting, about his KartMania show in November, where clubs are offered a free 3mx3m stand.  Clubs should also have received information about the London Kart Show.  The meeting agreed that the ABkC would have stands at the London Kart Show and the Autosport International. 

Club & Marshal of the year bids invited
Finally clubs are asked to put forward to the ABkC Secretary nominations for MSA Club of the Year, and Marshal of the Year by the first week of September.  The criteria this year is participation in the National Motorsports Week and media coverage.   The next Kart Regional / ABkC meeting is in mid-September.

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

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