ABkC News February 2000

Chairman’s Report

Steve Chapman has expressed deep concern that too many new series are springing up outside the MSA’s control.  This means the ABkC also has no influence.  Many of the series are even running to our Gold Book regulations.  We need to ask ourselves why the MSA has not found a way to encourage these new series into a controlled and licensed environment. Grass roots karting has the burden of rules only needed for top level competition, and if the MSA won’t or can’t take action, he is recommending that the ABkC takes matters into its own hands.  Drivers in these commercial or corporate series could perhaps earn points towards a waiver of the ARKS test.  One excellent suggestion is to have a first year novice licence free with the purchase and completion of the ARKS pack.  The MSA has sold some 1500 packs in 1999, an income of over 40,000.  In retrospect it may have been a mistake to let the MSA take back the publishing of the Gold Book.  Too many variations have been introduced, often outside the control of the ABkC, and clubs receive the book and use the regulations whether or not they are our members.  Another problem arising is that our member clubs are introducing local class variations, and not sticking to the ABkC Gold Book regulations.  Some clubs are allowing tyres not in the class rules and this should not continue.  A meeting has been set up to discuss these issues with the MSA.

Rotax Max

The senior Rotax Max class was adopted as an official ABkC class at the recent AGM, and it was now agreed to adopt a Junior class.  With the assistance and co-operation of JAG, the commercial sponsors of the class, new regulations have been drawn up for an ABkC/JAG class called Junior Rotax UK. These allow ‘free’ chassis, as in the senior class and will use Bridgestone YEQ slicks, and YEJ wets.  Only ABkC member clubs will be permitted to run the class from 1st April, on the ABkC’s N.1.3 application without further permission.  Clay Pigeon offered to hold an ABkC Rotax Max festival on 1st October, which would incorporate a Junior Rotax UK ‘O’ Plate.  It was noted that NKRA have organised a senior ‘O’ Plate for their member clubs in April, so ABkC would not conflict by holding a senior ABkC ‘O’ Plate this year.  Clubs need to be aware that the new Junior classes use a completely different barrel, without power valve and with different exhaust port heights, and Juniors must not be allowed to practise on any variation of the senior motor.  Regs for Junior Rotax UK will be distributed to member clubs once approved.

Tyre Contracts for 2001 – 2003

The new contracts were almost ready to sign.  100C would almost certainly move to the Vega XL, a softer tyre than currently used.  The new Dunlop DAH tyres had now arrived, for this year’s 125 gearbox classes. 

Transponders

The ABkC was disappointed in the small numbers of clubs that have already ordered transponder systems.  Naturally the organisation understands the financial difficulties small clubs face in acquiring the system.  HS Sports have extended the special offer through to June 2000, but the ABkC will negotiate for an easy pay delayed finance purchase system.  They will also look into having a group weekend telephone support system and Steve Clayton will make an application for training funds for lap-scorers conversion courses.  It was noted that the long circuit BSA championship will be using transponders, as will the Super One.  Clubs having difficulties in being able to purchase the system in time for 2001, when all ABkC clubs should be equipped, must contact the chairman.

ARKS

ARKS have announced they will be holding joint Club Examiner and School Instructor seminars on 22nd May at Three Sisters and 24th June at Playscape in Streatham.  Examiners are expected to attend one of these seminars.

MSA and Gold Book

It was reported only one ICA engine has been registered in water cooled format so far.  John Ryan reminded traders that registration of the water cooled options for JICA, ICA and Formula A is free this year.  The BKIA asked for a complete re-appraisal of the 100C class.  It is meant to use second hand engines from the previous Formula A homologation period, but because there are less Formula A’s there are not really enough to go around.  So competitors buy new engines, then find supply difficulties because they are obsolete.  They suggested allowing current rotary engines, possibly with a rev-limiter or other form of power limiter for economy.  A new carb type, possibly either an IBEA or Triton, is to be picked for next year’s regulations.  Suggestions from drivers and traders are welcome.  ABkC are going to consider having a Formula 100 Libre for next year, possibly with a water-cooled section.  The MSA will ask for anyone wishing to homologate 2001 Cadet chassis to register by June, and have chassis available for inspection by October.  They have also called for bids to supply a new type Cadet engine from 2004.  An Aprilia twin 250cc is to be allowed to test in Formula 250E.  In 250 National, a recent clarification has made it clear that the use of non-standard internal gear ratios is not permitted.  However it is clear a number of drivers have had ratios specially made and are using them.  The majority view tended to agree that they should be allowed, because to check the ratios is very difficult.  However, a change could not be legally made this year to the Gold Book, but it could be amended via championship regulations.  Also it was pointed out that drivers in the National gearbox classes, 125 and 250, are using carbon fibre parts such as wings or even dash panels which are definitely not allowed in the regulations.  Scrutineers would be cracking down on this.  Not everyone welcomed the increase in long circuit 250 weights, and driver weight and kart surveys will be taken during the year to see what adjustments should be made.   The increase will tend to force drivers to run without bodywork, so the karts will not look so good.  After some early meeting confusion, the MSA have confirmed that down-turned skirts at the rear of gearbox karts, where the chassis tubes sweep upwards, are still legal.  The downturn of the floortray must not be below the level of the main side chassis rails.

ABkC Championships and ‘O’ Plates

The qualifier championship for the European ICA meeting will be held at Kimbolton on 9th April. Drivers wishing to contest the meeting at Angerville, France, on 30th July must do this meeting first.  Bayford Meadow was awarded the Cadet ‘O’ Plate meeting and it will be held on 9th July.  The Inter Nations Challenge rotates around the countries and this year will take place at Nutts Corner on 10th September.  Hunts Kart Club will again organise the TKM ‘O’ Plates at their Festival meeting on 19/20th August, whilst the gearbox classes will visit Lydd for their ‘O’ Plate on 22nd October.  Rowrah will hold the ‘O’ Plates for JICA, ICA, 100C and 100C/160 at a date to be confirmed.  Hunts KC confirmed they would be holding a round of the Super 4 championship in 2001. 

Championship Series

The NKRA reported they had already held the first round of the new Junior Gearbox series, and entries were encouraging.  The class only permits TM 85cc engines this year, after the deal with Honda fell through.  Super 1 will be using transponders this year, with competitors buying their own units, which can then be used at all participating ABkC clubs.  There was some concern about the rising price of control fuel.  This year it will be supplied in 25 litre drums, but competitors can take unused fuel to be used at the next rounds.  Carolynn Hoy, for Champions of the Future, confirmed that due to the numbers in Cadets a qualifier may be required, and a press launch would be held at Silverstone in April.  Registrations are encouraging.  Rotax Junior is already fully subscribed.  Super 4 will be having control fuel this year, partly to ease concern about any possible fuel cheating and partly because of the limited availability of good Super Unleaded.  Many drivers already buy control fuels anyway.  A third of the registrations already in are from drivers new to Super 4, so the series is looking good.  The 250 International British Long Circuit Championships will also use control fuel this year. 

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