ABkC News July 2001

Stop Press: Some recent MSA Approved amendments to kart regulations:
Cadet front fairing:

If the latest style CIK fairing is used the requirement for the front bumper to incorporate two vertical uprights is waived. If there are no front uprights the bumper must incorporate at least one aluminium or steel securing block as described in N.14.13.2, Fig. N9. The fairing may be attached by a non-temporary, safe and secure method in two places, not necessarily using the CIK type clips.

Plug Caps
Competitors are reminded that scrutineers will be checking that ignition suppressor plug caps are fitted as per regulations. The RadioCommunications Agency has filed a complaint that ignition noise from karts is interfering with masts.

Radiator blinds fitments for Rotax Max, Rotax Junior UK
Clarification of Kart Race Yearbook 3.4.1: The method of blanking the radiator is free, providing it does not necessitate the modification of the original components other than by simple attachment.

and for Rotax engine technical specification fiche:
There are a amendments to the official MSA Rotax fiche. Copies are available from MSA.

(Checklist/Club Actions – See underlined sections)
Relations with MSA / Honda Challenge

At its June meeting, the ABkC determined to work more closely with the MSA and commercial class operators.  The ABkC will be putting forward a delegation to the MSA hierarchy to find a formal procedure to become part of the decision making progress when commercial class operators want to change their regulations.  Some of these operators already informally copy planned changes to the ABkC, others do not.  The outcome of the discussions will determine whether the ABkC seek an exclusive part of the Kart Race Yearbook (the Gold Book) next year for their own club’s class regulations.  The Honda Challenge will be re-titled to become fully recognised as an ABkC championship but seeded numbers from the premier Super 1 and 4 will always take precedence in a mixed class.  They were granted a waiver so they did not need to use control fuel and tyres.  This applies to Honda Cadet, Junior, Senior Prokart and 4-Stroke open libre class.  The ABkC agreed to fund team clothing for the British drivers who have qualified for the ICA European championship meeting at Braga.  Good luck to Chris Trott, Jack Willis, Sam Quinlan and Andrew Swales and there could be one or two reserves admitted in addition. 

InterNations – 9 September - Llandow

Martin Capenhurst attended to present the proposals for this year’s InterNations, hosted by St. Athan Kart Club.  As usual there will be a dinner for all participants on the Friday evening, and a barbeque on the Saturday evening.  This is always a great social occasion for karting.  This year a three hour enduro race for prokarts to EKC rules is proposed on the Saturday evening for its own title, not counting towards the overall team points.  One Junior may be entered in each team.  The other classes will be Formula Libre (with the wet tyre restricted to the Bridgestone YEJ K0), National 125, Cadet-Comer, Honda Senior Prokart and for the first time Rotax Junior UK.  Engines are being made available by J.A.G. for teams coming from nations where this class does not run, so the drivers can just bring their JICA chassis.  Six drivers per country race in each class, and drivers wishing to be considered should urgently contact the relevant team manager.  These are Martin Capenhurst for England, David Walsh for Eire, Paul Preston for Northern Ireland, Ian Hart for Scotland and Richard Dowers for Wales.  Enduro teams are especially welcomed.  Now that the five year cycle of visiting each nation has completed, suggestions for next year’s meeting are invited.  For instance should invitations be extended to France, Holland and Belgium?

Kart Control Board at the Kart Open Day

Anyone wishing to attend the Kart Open Day on 19th July should contact John Ryan at the MSA.  The meeting will be used to present the Kart Control Board proposals, whereupon corporate promoters will be able to become licensed with suitably trained instructors able to award signatures on licence documents leading to an exemption on the ARKS driving test.  The promoters would guarantee not to allow inexperienced drivers on powerful karts like Rotax Max without appropriate training and experience.  The system will have no impact on the current route into karting, through the ARKS novice driver test.

250cc Future

The future of the Rotax 250cc single cylinder engine is assured with an ABkC decision to allow the engine, in five-speed form only, within the 250 National class, subject to ratification at the next meeting to take club views into account.  The engine, which is no longer manufactured, is used in the 250 International and MSA Long Circuit British Championships in its unmodified 6-speed format, but it is relatively simple to blank off one gear. The Super 4 will drop the 250 International class but will allow the Rotax in 5-speed format in the 250 National class, or it can be used in the 250E class in unmodified form.  The class will continue in the long circuit championships and at club level, but from 2003 it is proposed to have only one 250 mono-cylinder class in the U.K.  The CIK are proposing to adopt 5-speed 250cc single cylinder engines for a new Intercontinental E European championship, likely to be similar to Britain’s 250 National class.  After feedback from clubs, it was decided not to allow the Honda TRX250R engine into 250 International.  The ABkC also wished Russell Dell, the Europa class owner, a speedy recovery from his recent heart attack.

Too many new slicks used….

Reports indicate that some club drivers are putting on new slicks for the finals, pushing up the cost of karting.  Clubs are to be encouraged by the ABkC to put in their supplementary regulations that only one set of new slicks per meeting is permitted.  If the track is particularly abrasive then clubs may need to take the further step of marking tyres and permitting only one set of slicks for the whole meeting.

Bridgestone shortages….MSA Matters

The ABkC was very concerned about the current short supply of Bridgestone tyres, especially the YEQ slick.  They are contacting the importer to discuss the situation and if necessary will have an alternative tyre nominated for the relevant classes.  They have also asked the MSA to put in place a system for adding novice signatures to licences when the novice is racing using his application form at their first meeting, before the licence is issued.  The MSA’s representative said they feel it is a matter for club supplementary regulations to control the disposal of sticky tape from radiators out on the track.  A modified cooling system catch-tank regulation is proposed for 2002, now only recommending a catch tank for systems with vented caps.  The use of titanium or magnesium on the chassis frame will be prohibited.

Breaking news on brakes….

If ratified by the MSA Council in September, from 2002 all karts will be required to have an effective dual connection between the brake pedal and the master cylinder, or the calliper if a mechanical system.  The secondary safety cable should be set slightly looser to act as a back up in case of failure.  The regulation is already in force for the International classes like Formula A, ICA and JICA as well as the Formula TKM classes.  The ABkC has asked that the secondary cable be at least 1.8mm in diameter as per CIK regulations.  They also asked the MSA to ban ABS from 2002 unless specifically permitted in the class regulations.  This would not affect the simple brake pressure regulators sold by some kart traders, although these cannot be used in classes with MSA registered chassis like Cadet and TKM, because the registration includes the brake system.

Water-cooled..Cadet..Transponders..Noise

The MSA have approved four water cooled conversions for 100cc engines in Formula A this year, one is reed, the others rotary.  Their eligibility for 100 National is still being determined (but if they conform to parameters below they should be legal. Another water cooled option was agreed for John Mills in mid July.). It was agreed in future that registrations would not become valid for use until thirty days had passed, giving time for publicity in Karting Magazine, the UKK and MSA websites.  The ABkC wished to clarify the 11.2 rule in the Yearbook about Super A engines not being permitted in 100 National.  This means that an engine that was made as a prototype and only eligible for Super A in 2000 is not permitted.  It means that engines used in Super A and also eligible for Formula A that year can be used.  In fact there were no prototypes made anyway.  A small MSA sub-group is working on tuning rule clarifications for Comer Cadet to be added into the 2002 regulations.  An amendment to allow the two vertical fixed front uprights on Cadet bumpers to be optional next year, so long as the securing blocks are used has been proposed.  This year’s CIK drawing on bodywork dimensions will appear in the Blue Book next year, for all direct drive classes.  It was agreed that the dimensions are to be taken ‘as raced’ except where specifically shown as relaxed for wet conditions.  The CIK are working on definitions for defining bodywork shapes and contact points.  The ABkC asked that wedge and shovel nosecone fairings be banned from 2002.  The regulations for fitting transponders will be amended to say the transponder must be on the left side of the kart, and between 290 mm and a maximum distance to be set from the line of the front axle.  The MSA are planning audits on the noise testing procedures at clubs.

Junior pushers….

The traditional use of fathers and team members on the track to restart Junior kart drivers who spin off may become a thing of the past.  Three clubs are trying out changes proposed by the MSA Kart Sporting Committee.  At these clubs only a limited number of signed on pushers are allowed on the track and they must all stand in marshal’s posts.  During the trial at one Scottish club, if the driver spins and cannot restart, the ‘Junior Pusher Marshals’ can only pull the kart to safety, neither they nor the driver is permitted to attempt a restart.  This is to prevent the bigger older Juniors who might be able to restart themselves having an advantage over the smaller kids.  If agreed for future years, the changes could mean more drivers adopting the use of clutches, to keep the engine running during a spin.  But clutches put up the cost in some classes and marshal’s posts may not be the most sensible place for the Junior Pushers to stand.  The changes are being brought on because of an incident where unqualified pushers allegedly hurt a young driver whilst trying to disentangle two karts and get them restarted.  Clubs and fathers or guardians are invited to send in their comments so that the matter can be discussed at the next meeting on 5th September.

Junior Gearbox….Training Days…Points system

So far only the TM and the Honda are approved for next year’s Junior Gearbox class.  A small sub-group will be carrying out tests to define the carburettor sizes used with each engine so that they are compatible.  At least three special training days will be set up for Clerks and Stewards in the Autumn.  They will be used to explain the new licence penalty points system being tried in Super 1 and Super 4 and coming into widespread use next year.  The days are not meant to be substitutes for the normal MSA seminars however.

2/4 Stroke future report….

There is no legislation in force or likely in the foreseeable future that would adversely affect 2-stroke karting in the U.K. was the main findings of the ABkC sub-committee on emissions.  Because of their desire to keep in step with emission regulations in the EC and UK, and to quash rumours circulating about the likely demise of 2-stroke karting, the Association of British Kart Clubs set up their sub-committee on the future of 2-stroke racing.  The CIK had announced that their major World Super A championship would go 4-stroke from 2004, although this has not found favour with several engine manufacturers, who have just invested in quieter water cooled 100cc engines.  The sub-group found that 2-strokes for leisure and off-road use will not be affected by legislation for a very long time, and not before 2010.  Both the U.K. and U.S. have consultation processes which take into account what is possible and when.  The biggest pollutant is unburnt fuel and this is where direct injection can help.  The low pressure injection of fuel mixture takes place after the exhaust valve closes, so minimising unburnt fuel leakage.  The kart engine manufacturers have told the ABkC that they will continue to produce 2-strokes for as long as there is a demand. Contrary to what had been rumoured, Honda have now announced a new 250cc motocross single cylinder 2-stroke engine for 2002.  Even in California where 2-strokes are banned from the road, they are still allowed for off-road activity.  Nevertheless the MSA representative pointed out that new generation 2-stroke engines will be welcomed but the legislation planned and already in place for 2004 and 2007 will affect the supply sources for the commercial engines used, whether from road motorcycles or industrial units – 2 and 4-stroke.  The ABkC would like to reassure drivers that 2-strokes will be racing for many years to come.

The next meeting of the Steering Group will be held on Wednesday 5th September.  Potential guests should contact the secretary for details.

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