ABkC News July 2004*

An expert group has been appointed to draft a framework for the processing of N.1.3 applications.   The procedure would be used for the assessment of new classes, including the impact of any new class on the sport as a whole.  The procedure will also be used when clubs or championships seek a variation on an existing class, asking them to justify the request, with scope for the Kart Regional Committee to give its opinions in both cases.  It is hoped that this framework be in operation for 2005.

Another group is looking at the age break points for progressing through the junior classes.  It is possible that the juniors’ weight and size may be taken into account when moving up a class, or the maximum weight of the kart without the driver.  The Steering Group / Kart Regional Committee were shown a petition to reduce the age of entering the JICA class.  Noting that the top end of the class is being creamed off into 15 year old single seater race-car options, a vote was taken asking the MSA to reduce the age to 12th birthday for those holding National A licences, otherwise the year of 13th birthday.  It was noted that the JICA engine is not so powerful as in the past, and is also currently very reliable and more drivers should be encouraged to partake in the MSA Junior British championship.  The Chairman asked for views on the age limits to be sent to him (chairman@abkc.org.uk) for collation.  Comments are also invited on the possibility of drivers upgrading to say Junior Rotax be banned from further competition in the lower power classes such as Junior TKM or MiniMax.  It was also noted that the MSA is considering a change to the licensing requirements for National A.  The Kart Regional Committee voted to recommend that novice to National B should be four signatures, and National B to National A a further three signatures at two different circuits.  Other views would be welcomed.  The MSA is also considering setting an entry criteria for drivers in national championships, although this might not take effect until new contracts are issued.  They are doing this because the progression between Club racing and Championships needs to be clear and based upon merit.  The MSA are also seeking bids to run the Kart Grand Prix for 2005 onwards.

On the technical front, the MSA are reviewing the Yearbook bodywork regulations, so they are based on the CIK regulations with UK specific variations such as for gearbox, handled through class regulations in the Gold Book.  A series of regulation amendments for the Comer W60 Cadet class have been issued, and are available on the MSA website.  These include use of the listed Bosch W2AS and W08AS spark plugs or direct equivalents only, use of a wet or splash box permitted, addition of a main bearing type, exhaust component clarification and stating that the Tillotson carburettor with series number 227 is illegal because they are copies and not genuine.  The MSA have proposed a regulation for immediate effect that ‘the fitment of a steering lock is not permitted when the kart is being driven.’  This is to prevent the locks used with certain steering alignment instruments accidentally engaging while the kart is racing.  The MSA are investigating health and safety concerns about having no specific current regulations for guards on the chain, sprocket and rear axle.  As promised Tal-Ko has informed the ABkC of their 2005 proposals and discussions on these are on-going.  Minor changes to the Rotax regs for 2005 are also expected to be discussed soon.

The ABkC have issued a Tyre Testing procedure and are calling again for bids to both undertake the 2005 World Formula tyre testing and the tyres to be tested.   The committee proposed that for 2005, World Formula chassis must conform to the CIK design, but need not be CIK homologated. * LATER NOTE: THE NEXT STEERING GROUP MEETING  AGREED TO DEFER THIS CHANGE UNTIL 2006, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PERMIT NON-CIK CHASSIS DESIGN CHASSIS IN 2005.  They deferred for twelve months a request to have a Junior World Formula category, preferring to see how the senior class grows first.  Proposals were put forward for changes in the 125 gearbox classes.  In ICC there is a consensus to defer the mandatory use of a homologated exhaust pipe for 12 months, but to adopt the CIK port height limitation, to keep internal gears ‘free’ and to take no action on limitations on driver experience or results for 2005.  The group noted there has been a very poor take-up for the 125 Super class at national championship level, although it is still healthy at some clubs, in other words it has become virtually a club class only.  Therefore the weights in the 125 classes may need revising.  There are two options, to have a lighter weight Super ICC class, leaving the 125 Super and ICC as now, or to put the current 125 Super up in weight to suit club drivers and reduce the ICC weight (still with a heavier option for championships similar to the current weight.)   The gearbox group will make its recommendations at the next meeting.  The proposal to have only CIK homologated chassis in the lighter weight ICC class is certain to be deferred.  It is expected that a lighter weight ICC class will become the premier championship class.  They also noted with concern the diminishing numbers of 250 National racing at short circuit club and championship level.   The Formula A slick tyre will be changed for a newer Dunlop CIK version from 2005.  The opportunity to put forward new engines for the 2005 Junior Gearbox class currently exists, and requests should be made immediately to the MSA’s John Ryan with a copy to the ABkC secretary.  Engines must be freely available off the shelf as a stand alone unit.

Clubs are requested to put forward nominations for Club of the Year and Marshal of the Year.  These should be sent to the ABkC secretary (secretary@abkc.org.uk) by 24th July for the Kart Regional Committees nomination decision.  Clubs are initially screened on the basis of their competitive activity and success on the actions taken to increase membership and participation levels.  This year, entries are being taken through the Regional Associations and Kart Regional Committee, unless due to a club’s remoteness it is not a member.

Clubs are reminded to send their 2005 race dates when known to Paul Gladstone, Kart Race Yearbook (gladstone_paul@yahoo.co.uk) , and copied to ABkC Secretary.  Championship dates should also be sent in the same way.  The MSA informed the group that the Kart Control Board members had asked that the Board continue to convene, and to focus on bringing together leisure and competition karting.  The title of the group may be changed though.  The steering group were also informed that public liability insurance for ARKS Examiners is only valid if a permit or exemption of permit certificate is in force.  Clubs should be aware that if the test day insurance at the track in use does not cover their ARKS Tests they must take out an ‘Exemption of Permit’ for a training day.  This can now be done over the internet on the MSA website and is free.  ARKS Examiners must always be signed on as an official.  ARKS Examiners should be especially aware of this insurance limitation and ensure insurance is in place before carrying out tests anywhere.  However the Personal Accident insurance for Examiners is in force at any time they are carrying out ARKS tests.

The ABkC intends to organise training seminars over the winter for all disciplines of kart officials, whether licensed or not, and will be writing to clubs with the dates and venues.  The chairman of the Kart Committee urged clubs to make use and adhere to the guidelines issued by the MSA for the use of incident marshals for the junior races. 

Clubs are requested to apply for the 2005 ABkC ‘O’ Plate meetings by 15th September.  The steering group have decided to set a flat rate, rather than blind bidding on the fee payable to the ABkC.  This is to be £200 plus £5 per capita per entry.  This income from the O Plate meetings helps to keep the club subscriptions at a lower level and allows the ABkC to help the sport such as purchasing expensive scrutineering equipment, publishing Start Karting brochures and running training seminars and meetings.  It should be noted that the TKM O Plate date at Llandow has been changed to 24th October. 

The clubs that replied to the class numbers survey were thanked, although less than half the member clubs responded.  It was considered that the survey be done at regular intervals, and maybe made a condition of membership.  The steering group agreed that every member club should have an ABkC notice-board, and these will be sent out shortly.  Hoddesdon Kart Club has re-joined the association, they were welcomed back.   The ABkC intends to take up the offer of a stand in the new karting area at the Autosport International Show at the NEC in January, and hopes that club officials and drivers will drop by for a chat.

Lesley Allen indicated she would be resigning from the Super 4 at the end of the season and she was thanked for all her hard work for the gearbox championship.  Sue Fairless has joined the steering group to represent the NKF.  The steering group will be having a special meeting on 27th July to discuss its future strategy, its targets, structure and relationships with other bodies, and to draw up a ‘roadmap’ for the future.  It is also hoped to make decisions on the 2005 regulations and championships, eg in ICC and gearbox.  Then the last chance to finalise regulations will be at the Kart Regional Committee / Steering Group meeting on 23rd September.

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

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