ABkC News April 2001

Review of ABkC Objectives
Last month’s steering group started, as promised, with a review of the objectives and procedures of the Association.  The group was joined by representatives from Trent Valley, South Yorkshire and Ulster Kart Clubs, and the discussion was chaired by Russell Anderson.  To recap, the perceived problems included non elected steering group members being able to vote on pure ABkC matters such as O Plate allocations, that representatives of invited associations and championships were not bound by decisions made by the steering group, and that the MSA too easily permitted new kart classes without consultation.  The outcomes of the discussion were that non-elected members should abstain from voting on ABkC championships or business, that a more formal process of agreeing decisions would take place, and that more use of the specialist members and their sub-groups be undertaken.  This includes Derek Price for gearbox matters, Neil Hann for Class 1, Paul Klaassen for Cadet and Graham Smith for admin and regulations, all to help take the load off the Chairman.  The ABkC would also fight for formal forwarding of their decisions to go through the MSA procedures into regulations without unnecessary change.  In other words the MSA should recognise and make use of the expertise of the ABkC steering group members. To begin with the MSA will be asked to route N.1.3 class change requests through the ABkC for comment.  Although the formal process would take longer, in future any important decisions would be held off until the following meeting to allow representatives to canvass opinion from their own clubs, groups and associations to allow an informed and hopefully binding vote at the next steering group.  To start this process Clubs are requested to put forward to the secretary any requests for changes in the constitution.  It was also suggested that clubs let the secretary know which classes they offer, so this can be published in the annual brochure.

Insurance Matters - Chairman to leave
Steve Chapman took the chair and intimated that this would be his last year as ABkC chairman, and the clubs should start the search for a replacement.  He welcomed Nigel Hayden of Alexander Forbes, the MSA’s insurance broker, who gave a presentation on motor sport insurance matters.  He said that the government has set up a review body on medical cover in sport after the boxer Michael Watson case.  This could have far reaching effects, for instance on practice days.  He believed that test day medical cover should roughly equal that of race days.  He also thought that clubs or circuits who provided better safety at test days would benefit from cheaper insurance cover than those who did not.  Answering questions he said that the MSA policy was that any official signed on or going to be signed on and involved in running or setting up an event is covered by insurance.  This includes travel directly to and from the event.  He noted that minors under eighteen years have until they reach 21 plus three years and four months to lodge a claim so clubs must keep paperwork, witness statements, photographs etc of incidents.  His firm is working with the MSA to consider issuing an Insurance Accident Check List document, incorporating an Incident Pack.  This would contain a disposable camera, witness and claim forms and emergency numbers.   They also plan to roll out a pro forma risk assessment guideline with a recommendation on the use of accident books at non-commercial circuits.  They are also taking legal opinion on whether volunteer marshals are to be considered employees or not.  The changes in the marshals and officials signing on forms were as a direct result of a complaint to the OFT, who then gave the MSA a deadline for changes to be made.  Nigel also pointed out that it was quite common and correct for the MSA insurers to pass on claims to other insurers where there was cover, e.g. to circuit owners for matters such as grandstands or general spectator safety.

ABkC gains full regional status, O Plates, Honda Challenge to be ABkC
In general business, it was noted that the ABkC are now full voting members of the MSA Regional Committee.  This means that clubs can use ABkC membership to support development grant requests and gives the ABkC the same status as a Regional Association.  Clubs and circuits should note they may be eligible for a reduction in business rates if affected by the Foot and Mouth crisis.  The gearbox O Plate has been rescheduled for the 15th July, to run at Rowrah’s Super 4 round where guest drivers will be welcome.  They should note specific Super 4 regulations such as the requirement for CIK style bodywork in the 125 classes.  Control fuel is needed from ATOL and the slick tyres will be marked.  Clubs are invited to submit applications to the Secretary for the 2002 ABkC O Plate meetings, at latest by September.  The 2002 Honda Challenge is to be upgraded to full ABkC national championship status with the provisional title of Super 2 ABkC National 4-stroke Championships, all subject to ratification at the next steering group.  Honda give considerable administrative support to the championship, whilst Dunlop provide prizes and the series is supported by various other sponsors such as Karting Magazine, KartSmart, Tillet and Kart Components. The series welcomes the new TKM 4-stroke.

2001 Gearbox Engine List
The MSA have confirmed the following new engines have been registered:

National 125
CRS srl 588
TM Racing K9 (Ferrari)
Vortex VL125
Hetschel KZH
Pavesi LAM98
Motori MC Kart MCBAT-1
TM K9 (Modus)
250 National
Yamaha YZ250 (Schuurmaan UK)
KTM 546 Update (Shrewley Kart Shop)

An application for the 6 speed Honda TRX250R for 250 International has been lodged but engines in that class are only permitted if homologated by CIK.  This has not been done and is probably unlikely to happen so the steering group invite comment on whether this engine should be permitted in 250 International next year.

Transponder timing, racesuits, helmets, anti-freeze
The Kart Sporting Committee is finalising the regulations for official timing using transponders.  The operator will need a Kart Timekeeper licence and the decoder box will need certification on an annual basis.  The ABkC has recommended to the MSA that given the specification for kart race suits is to be upgraded next year, that the old CIK plus 3 letter suits be phased out from 1.1.2003 (a year later than originally intimated) and the current homologations be phased out from 1.1.2006.  Apparently some car suits are being marked “Suitable for Karting”.  If traders are found to be selling these for kart racing, they should be reported to the Trading Standards Office. The MSA emphasised that the new EN22 European crash helmet standard is NOT acceptable for motorsport, and that the BS6658-85 continues to be the British standard.  They also confirmed that the use of anti-freeze in karts is now permitted. 

Tyres
It has become apparent that there are different versions of the Bridgestone YEJ wet tyre.  Both Super 1 and Champions regulations state only the KO type can be used and the 2002 Gold Book may need amendment.  In Rotax Max, Vega W2 tyres with NJR markings that are also marked CIK are not permitted as they are not to the current JAG specification.

Junior Gearbox 2002 Engines
Applications are invited for additional 85cc 6-speed engines in the Junior Gearbox class from 2002.Letters of intent should be with Paul Gladstone at the MSA by 1st July.  The engine may require testing to prove its compatibility with the current TM engine and will be registered complete with carburettor type.  The Gearbox sub-group, chaired by Derek Price will be considering if any rule changes are needed in the class for 2002.

The next meeting of the Steering Group will be held on Tuesday 19th June.  Potential guests should contact the secretary for details.

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