ABkC News June 05

Steering Group Meeting Report

The steering group had a busy time at their June meeting discussing the recommendations of the various ABkC sub-groups for the 2006 regulations.  Recommendations are to be passed to the MSA Kart Sporting Committee for new rules on a maximum chassis weight for junior classes.  For instance in some other countries Cadets are allowed no more than 20kg of ballast, and MiniMax would have a maximum chassis weight of 105kg, or else drivers would have to stay in Cadets until bigger.  All this is in the interests of safety, if a kart should land on top of a youngster.  The group will refine its ideas, and perhaps next year’s Gold Book will have a maximum kart weight as well as a minimum for Cadet and Junior classes.  Clubs are invited to comment on this and any other current recommendations. 

Entry Ages for drivers

It was noted that the CIK have relaxed their age entry criteria by an average of six months, so for instance a driver could enter the Junior European qualifiers if 13 years by June, rather than January.  It is thought this applies to ICA and Formula A as well but some of the group had reservations about allowing even experienced drivers to race in these classes at fourteen and a half so the ABkC recommendation is to make no consequential changes to our regulations.  The ABkC is opposing the lowering of the age limit for certain new car racing classes e.g. the Ginetta. 

O Plates & Invitation to clubs to apply for 2006

Although in the longer term the ABkC may invite applications from specific regions for the ABkC O Plate meetings, in the meantime any club is invited to run an O Plate in 2006.  Applications should be with the secretary by 12th September giving full details of the proposed event including the date, format, entry fee and prizes and clubs should note the ABkC takes a fee of £200 plus £5 per entry from the event.  It was agreed to change the Honda senior and junior O Plate from Clay Pigeon to run at Rowrah on 30th/ 31st August, alongside the single Super Two championship event.  The winner of the last final will receive the O Plate, whereas the Super Two numbers will be given out on the overall points gained over the weekend.  Congratulations to all recent ABkC O Plate winners.  Details are always kept up to date on the website, dates on http://www.karting.co.uk/ABkC/cal2005.html and seeded drivers on http://www.karting.co.uk/ABkC/seeds04.html which now includes the 2004 Rotax Junior and MiniMax final positions.

Internations

Northern Ireland have pulled out of this year’s InterNations, which is being held at Golspie on the first weekend of September.  Team Managers are currently choosing their drivers for the event, which brings together teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England.

Kart Promotional DVD / Child Protection

TSR Video Productions have been commissioned to provide a karting promotional DVD.  Copies will be sent to all clubs and may be used in schools, colleges, universities and so on to attract new drivers, marshals and officials.  BRDC Stars of Tomorrow are the newest ABkC club members.  Clubs are reminded that the MSA will be rolling out its new Child Protection Guidelines later this year, which will be one of the items focussed on at the next MSA seminars.  If not already in place, clubs should start to be thinking about appointing a Welfare Officer to deal with any Child Protection issues.  All clubs should have a Child Protection policy in existence. 

ARKS

The 2006 Blue Book will include the procedures for under-18’s racing immediately after passing their ARKS test, using the validated ARKS Application form in lieu of a licence.  Remember this only applies to drivers aged UNDER 18.  Clubs have earned an approximate total of £116,000 from the start of the ARKS testing system in 1997.  434 new licences have been issued to the middle of June this year.  The table below shows the statistics for previous years.

Year

Total Licences

New Licences

2004

5422

900

2003

5675

959

2002

5704

1036

2001

5535

1061

2000

5414

1008

1999

5382

1014

1998

5477

994

1997

5675

736

1996

6368

 

1995

5808

 

1994

5047

 

1993

4885

 

1992

4740

 

1991

4687

 

1990

4648

 

New licences and endurance racing

The Kart Sporting Committee is formulating new regulations to encompass and encourage low power (15bhp maximum) endurance racing, which could later be rolled out to include sprint racing.  This new endurance category would not require an ARKS test and experience gained would count towards an exemption of the driving part of the ARKS test, like the current ProRacer card.  Suggestions from clubs, teams and drivers on how to encourage lower cost karting at MSA meetings would be welcomed, to try and counter the downturn affecting all motorsport right now.  For instance should clubs try an arrive-and-drive class to run alongside owner drivers? 

Tyre ‘Sniffer’ regulations

Following Adam Christodoulou’s successful appeal on his exclusion for alleged chemical treatment of tyres, regulations are being drawn up to use the ‘tyre sniffer’.  In the meantime the ‘sniffer’, the MiniRAE 2000, can be hired for £75 plus vat and carriage for a weekends use.  Once the regulations are in place, the ABkC will be purchasing a unit.  It is hoped the regulation will be in the 2006 Gold Book.  The one year ban from ABkC racing that is already in the Gold Book for cheating on tyres will be extended to fuel as well. 

World Formula changes

Some changes to World Formula 2006 regulations – the chassis waiver is to continue for another year as it would seem only a very small number of chassis available fully meets the CIK WF regulations.  So any chassis conforming to MSA regulations can continue to be used next year.  Because starter motors are continuing to fall off, the 2006 regulations will state that starter motors must be removed, and MSA permission is being sought to make this ruling immediate.  The price limit for the Briggs & Stratton engine will increase to £580 plus vat in 2006.  Neither WF nor Biland regulations will be in the Gold Book next year, they will continue to be N.1.3 classes.

 WTP & Comer Cadets

John Mills are seeking WTP Cadet regulation changes to accommodate the new TAG (electric start) engine.  The steering group are asking for more details and performance comparisons with the current engine.  The feeling is that there should be a year’s notice and they will ask for confirmation if the current engine is no longer in production.  Clubs are asked to comment on whether the increased pace of the Comer W60 compared with WTP and Honda is giving anyone a problem.  Please ensure your club has purchased a Comer Cadet oil testing kit from ATOL for use by your scrutineers.

100 National /TKM / CIK TAG & Junior Speeds

The 100 National class will admit ex Formula A and ICA reed valve engines from 1.1.2007, the start of the next engine homologation period.  The group noted that spares for the current rotary valve engines are already in short supply.  For next year the class weight will be increased to 155kg, 5kg above Formula A and ICA.  It was noted that Tal-Ko are not proposing any changes for 2006.  Clubs are asked to comment if the slightly different lap times and speeds of the various junior classes is leading to any problems.  The direct drive sub-group is working on regulations for a generic 125cc TAG class, incorporating current 125cc (and maybe current 100cc TAG engines) as well as the new CIK classes coming from 2007.  This would be so all 125cc direct drives could race equably together. 

More Regulation changes for 2006

There will be a change of slick and wet tyres in Formula A in 2006, and consequently also the wet tyre in ICC, Super ICC and Junior Gearbox, all Dunlops.  Dunlop also apologised for the recent shortage of ICC tyres.  The situation should be normal from late June.  They have been air-freighting tyres in meantime.  The ABkC plans to issue its own Club Circuit Guidance Code of Practice, to replace the existing Kart Control Board version.  The MSA Kart Technical Expert Group is working on revised bodywork and bumper regulations for 2006, which would permit the use of the new style ‘08’ CIK bodywork on older karts.  The draft will shortly be published by the MSA.  The chain guard rules are slightly amended with immediate effect, as are regulations for number plates on sidepods.  The new Honda Technical regulations have now been approved by the MSA and are in effect. 

Greener kart racing?

A demonstration has been given of running a kart engine on bio-ethanol fuel, which is much ‘greener’ than petrol. This might be the salvation for the future of 2-strokes, so that accusations of causing fumes are no longer valid.  Only water vapour would come out of the exhaust.  The main changes needed are to seals and carb jetting.

Championships

It was agreed to continue the current arrangements for the ABkC Gearbox Super 4 Championships in 2006, i.e. Super ICC and Junior Gearbox with BRDC Stars of Tomorrow, and ICC UK and 250 National promoted by the NKF.  The official Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland championship winners number plate letter (e.g. S or C) will be officially recognised by ABkC clubs from 2006, but only when it is an ABkC class fully in accordance with the Gold Book regulations.

Gearbox Standing Starts & Miscellaneous

The Gearbox sub-group have drawn up recommendations for a Gearbox Standing Start procedure, which will be incorporated in the 2006 Gold Book, and considered for the 2007 Blue Book.  The ABkC have asked the MSA to provide a weekend contact telephone number so that any problems on a race day can be resolved with the appropriate MSA advice.  It was said there were changes to the law in the pipeline concerning the amount of fuel that can be legally dispensed into containers at a filling station, and that it is no longer legal for anyone to leave old tyres at a club or circuit.  Clubs probably need a licence to store old tyres anyway.  More information is being sought and it might be that the tyre companies will be asked to take used tyres back.  The next meeting is in late September, when the 2006 Gold Book (MSA Kart Race Yearbook) will be finalised.  Many of the Committee members have ‘adopted’ a club, and this seems to be working well.  If any club would like a visit from a ABkC steering group member, please advise.

Next Steering Group meeting is on 22nd September.

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

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