ABkC News September 06

ABkC News: September 2006

At this time of year the 2007 edition of the Gold Book (the MSA Kart Race Year Book) has to be in final draft ready to go to the printers so many final decisions are taken by the steering group.  This made for the usual full agenda.  We were lucky in having two guests from Warden Law Kart Club, as well as the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow co-ordinator present.  The meeting heard a report on the WTP Cadet B5 engine class, and that WTP karts were breaking Comer lap records.  The question of how to slow down the class was referred back to John Mills Racing for an urgent solution.  The ABkC will take a booth at both the London Motorsport Show and the Autosport Show.  Both organisations are offering special deals for ABkC clubs.  The BKIA have kindly offered a £120 voucher to raffle at each of the shows.  Information on the London Kart Show has already been distributed.  The Karting Area at Autosport International, 11-14 January 2007 at the NEC, will be a one-stop shop for karting.  For the first time, a special Karting Information Point will be a new feature of the Karts to Cars display whilst Motorsport News has some exciting new initiatives planned, and their team will be on hand to meet visitors and answer questions.  Industry experts will be giving up their time across the show on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th January to float around the Karting Information Point and give advice to visitors.

Shows

For visitors looking to get started in karting the ABkC will be a good point of contact, whilst for national level karting BRDC Stars of Tomorrow and Super One will have stands.  In addition to this, there will be an inaugural BKIA Karting Pavilion to further promote the sport and ensure it is top of the agenda of the show as a whole.  For further information please go to www.autosport-international.com or contact Kate Woodley on 020 8267 8301.

Volunteering and Have Your Say

Volunteers in Motorsport were thanked for donating three marshals overalls to each ABkC club.  They are provided free to be made available to new marshals, pending newcomers buying their own.  Clubs that haven’t received their three overalls yet should contact the ABkC secretary.  Please note all the resources available for publicity events on the www.volunteersinmotorsport.co.uk website.  Club and Marshall of the Year nominations were discussed and a recommendation made to the MSA.  The steering group wants to provide an open forum for clubs, teams and drivers after the annual general meeting.  The date is provisionally set to be Saturday 16th December in a central location, hopefully this is a suitable date for most people after the majority of race meetings are over. 

O Plates 2007

Next the applications for the 2007 ‘O’ Plate meetings were discussed and a vote taken.  The successful clubs were (with provisional dates where known):

Rotax – Whilton Mill – 29/30 September

TKM – Shenington – 18/19 August

MSA – Three Sisters – 24/25 February

Cadet – PF International - 5/6 May

Gearbox – Rissington 6/7 October

Thank you to all clubs who applied, commiserations to those not successful this time.  The ABkC is continuing to work on a criteria to build back up these prestigious championships.  All significant dates known are listed on the 2007 Calendar page on this website.

Publicity and Child Protection

As the bank balance is healthy, it was decided to purchase a further 5,000 ‘Come Karting’ DVD’s to give out at shows and sell to clubs at a subsidised rate of £50 per 100 copies.  Please send orders to the secretary.  Allan Dean-Lewis of the MSA joined the meeting to give more information about the MSA’s Child Protection guidelines for clubs.  All officials that have ticked the box on their renewal form indicating they have contact with minors will be CRB checked and the licence issued provisionally pending the check.  Note that CRB checks are not portable, one done for an employment cannot be used for MSA activities, but the MSA check counts at all clubs.  Although appointing a Child Protection Officer is optional for clubs, questions will be asked if a club has members under 18 years of age and no CPO is appointed.  The CPO will have to attend a course, usually run by Sports Coach UK or the District Council.  Small clubs could share a CPO, they don’t have to be present at every meeting and they are appointed as much to protect officials as children.  The guidelines have suggested some very strict recommendations regarding photographers and videographers but it was noted already some clubs have built a regulation into Supplementary Regulations or entry forms along the lines of: “By countersigning as parents/guardians/guarantors of minors they agree that they have no objection to still or moving images being taken of the driver / volunteer official undertaking their sporting activities.”  Something like this should ease the recommendation to take the names and addresses of anyone taking telephoto pictures.  Bruce Goddard of the MSA reported he was in discussion to obtain funding to widen participation in karting. He also reported a 3% drop in kart licences.  Many present reported much lower entry levels at race meetings this year and the ABkC will do all it can to publicise karting as a sport, helped by other organisations such as the BKIA. 

Permits and Licences

The Kart Championship Control Panel had met the previous day, and Russell Anderson wished to remind clubs that if they apply for a permit for a series – and the same applies for a single weekend event – it is assumed that there will be strict adherence to the regulations in the Gold Book unless specifically brought to the MSA’s attention and specifically authorised.  Some clubs have slipped through changes to tyres or weights in the past.  John Ryan for the MSA said he had asked the ABkC to circulate a letter to that effect only last month, stating N.1.3 specific approval is needed for any changes and any requests for permits where changes have not been approved earlier will be rejected.  Russell also said in the extreme clubs could be brought before a tribunal.  Rod Taylor, who is Chairman of the Kart Sporting Committee, ran through all the changes recently approved by Council (see summary later).  It was noted that all new entrants to the ABkC national championships will require five extra signatures after no longer being a novice before being eligible to enter the ABkC series in Super One or Stars next year.   In practice this means five signatures on a National A licence, or a total of eleven on the back of a National B licence, one of which may be the ARKS test, so ten in effect for the majority coming straight off a novice.  The MSA has suggested that the championships take measures to publicise this requirement on websites, registration forms etc.  It appears they might accept proof of competition via results sheets as an alternative to the licence signatures, but this would be a last resort.  It also transpired that for their MSA British Championships they require five signatures or proof of competition via results sheets for all entrants, not just first time Stars or Super One which is what the ABkC asks for.  This requirement will be dropped in 2008, assuming Council ratify the new requirements for obtaining a National A licence, which will be six extra signatures after gaining a non-novice National B licence.  Then the only requirement will be a valid National A or above licence.  The ABkC championship for Junior Gearbox will allow novices next year, to try and boost numbers. 

Ages and Weights

The increase in permissible upper age limit to the year of the 13th birthday for Cadet drivers was confirmed, but there will be no other changes in ages for junior classes for 2007 even although the way has been opened by Council for the future.  This Cadet age increase is coupled to the maximum chassis weights coming in for all junior classes. 

Technical

It was decided to recommend to the MSA and Super One to stay with the 100cc engines for the 2007 British Kart Championship for Formula A, as will be the case for the majority of countries.  Formula 250E and Formula Libre regulations will be removed from the Gold Book, as 100 National and F. Libre will be practically identical and 250E is no longer raced at short circuit.  250E will have a reference at the beginning, but Ecomoto and Yamaha will be removed completely.  Tal-Ko supplied their draft 2007 regulations which show optional new air boxes and exhausts for the 2-stroke classes.  Many of the chassis rules are simplified and the junior and Intermediate classes will be unchanged.  100 National engines are to be restricted in some way as to their maximum revs, possibly via an inlet or exhaust restrictor.  The sub-group is still working on the exact measure to be adopted for 2007.  In World Formula the Briggs and Stratton engine has been re-homologated for another three years, the engine price is rising slightly and competitors are reminded only the official exhaust as sold by Zoom is permitted.  The weight will go up to 162kg and the slick tyres have changed to Bridgestone YJL.  In 250 National an application to include the Gas Gas engine was turned down, as it is not homologated in 5-speed format.  It was noted there will be new homologations for the ICC engines in 2007.  The regulations were more closely aligned with the CIK version, but a decision on whether to have compulsory exhausts or gear ratios was put off for another year. 

Kart Tyro / Seats

The Kart Sporting Committee is producing guidelines to clubs who wish to run the new Kart Tyro class, for newcomers with a simplified non-ARKS licence, obtainable on the day of a race.  This was approved for seniors only, with a 15bhp engine power limit.  Clubs can consider which classes and engines fit the bill, for instance Whilton Mill are working on the basis of TKM karts fitted with a junior restrictor.  The MSA technical department’s John Ryan reported on the FIA Safety Institute’s work on reviewing the need for a standard for high backed seats, for the junior classes. There is no current intention by the CIK or MSA to make these compulsory.  However he asked club officials to feed back reports on kart inversions, with or without injury.  

Champs News

The InterNations Challenge moves to an English track in 2007, and despite clashes it is still determined to be held on the first weekend of September.  Congratulations were passed to all new ABkC and MSA kart champions, noting Mark Litchfield’s unique third time in a row, and Sam Jenkins second title in Cadet.  The success of the British Kart Grand Prix held at Cadwell Park was noted, and Ian Rushforth was congratulated on all his association’s hard work.  A request to consider the use of bio-ethanol fuel was discussed but it was pointed out that since the consumption is doubled, so would fuel tank capacity.  It is to be further considered.  Most of the 2007 dates are now available on the www.abkc.org.uk website. 

Summary of changes to the regulations (refer to the MSA regulations for the exact wording):

Licences and ages:

  • From 2007, Cadet upper age will be year of 13th birthday.
  • Subject to final approval, from 2008, a driver will need six signatures when no longer a novice, to obtain a National A licence.  The novice licence and National B are separately identified.
  • The Clubman licence (senior only) comes in and replaces the Endurance licence. It can be applied for in the usual way, on-line, or with an application form at the track.  No ARKS test or medical is required.  The Clubman licence can be used for Kart Tyro events or Endurance races, the karts must be 15bhp maximum engine power.
  • Credit card style licences with photo will come in for next year, with a separate paper record of signatures.

Race rules:

  • From 2007, unless SR’s state otherwise, all drivers who take the start will be classified as finishers (on a roll back of laps basis.)
  • From 2007, repairs will not be permitted on the track after the start, unless in the pits or a designated maintenance area.
  • The red flag rules have been clarified so that karts which are forced to stop because of the incident, may take the restart.

Technical – All karts:

  • The seat reinforcement regulations change – all four mounting points need a minimum of a 40mm washer with the same recommended for seat stays.  (This washer size is smaller than the current top mount one).
  • From 2008 all short circuit karts will have to have CIK crash tested bodywork.  Discussions are on-going regarding 250 National and 210 National but at the moment they are not exempted from mandatory bodywork in 2008, but they will not need bodywork in 2007.
  • All junior classes will have a mandatory maximum kart weight without driver, approximating to a maximum of 25kg ballast.
    • Junior TKM and Intermediate – 94kg
    • Junior TKM 4-stroke – 105kg
    • Junior Max and MiniMax – 108kg
    • JICA – 100kg
    • Honda Junior – 117kg
    • Junior Blue – instead the minimum driver weight is 27kg.
    • Junior Gearbox – 115kg.

Class rule changes:

  • Cadet – all Cadets must have a front fairing with a flat front, as do other classes.
  • Honda Cadet – The engine seal is no longer required. The engine must conform to the RATPRO technical regulations version 2.
  • WTP Cadet – a method of further slowing the karts is awaited.
  • Junior Gearbox – slick tyres change to Dunlop SL4.
  • JICA and ICA – wet tyre stays with the YEJ, (earlier proposed to be YGR)
  • TKM 2-stroke – optional new air box and exhaust, some chassis regulations e.g. seat stays, are simplified.  All new 2007 homologated karts must use CIK homologated crash-tested bodywork.  Karts and components from overseas are permitted for the new homologation and also the brake is ‘free’. 
  • TKM 4-stroke – an updated list of permissible spark plugs will be issued.
  • Rotax Classes have new official names:
  • Rotax Junior Max
  • Rotax MiniMax
  • Rotax Senior Max
  • There are some minor changes to the regulations, a new battery is added to the list, a new optional airbox and bracket is expected to be announced along with fuel pump position.
  • Rotax Junior Max class weight increases to 148kg.
  • Rotax 177 gets its own number plate – green plate with white numbers.
  • Formula A, ICA and JICA will continue to use 100cc engines but the new regulations for the CIK 125cc TAG engines for the replacement classes of KF1, KF2 and KF3 will be referenced in the Gold Book.  Only Formula A, ICA and JICA will be permitted to use the new CIK rear protection system in place of the ‘British’ rear bumper.
  • 100 National will allow reed valve engines, and the weight goes up to 160kg.  The tyres change to Vega SL6 marked GB.
  • ICC – the tuning rules have been brought into line with the CIK words, but non-homologated exhaust pipes and gear ratios are still permitted in the UK.  This will be reviewed for 2008.  Any CIK homologated ignition for the class is permitted.
  • 250 National – made clear that bodywork and front fairing are not mandatory. Ignition rule revised to allow programmable ignitions.  Slick tyre changes to Maxxis MH.
  • 210 National – made clear that bodywork and front fairing are not mandatory.  Dunlop KT10 added to list of wet tyres.
  • World Formula – the weight increases to 162kg and the slick tyre has already changed to Bridgestone YJL.  There is a price increase on the engine.
  • Noise – the dimension of the gearbox exhaust can is revised to allow for oval cans, 100mm minimum cross section.
  • Head volume method of measurement for JICA, Junior Gearbox and ICC is clarified.

 
The new for 2007 Rotax airbox allows more airflow to the radiator

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

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