ABkC – February Newsletter

Welcome to our February 24th News

We have had lots of feedback following the ABKC re-launch with plenty positive but some questioning.  So now the dust is settling we thought it was appropriate to make fuller explanation of our new direction and agreement with Motorsport UK.  We apologise if our message was not clear at the time of the Annual General Meeting. 

Annual General Meeting (picture of attendees above)

For those not attending, the new agreement with Motorsport UK and the new Constitution of the ABKC were both approved by a large majority.  Nigel Edwards was confirmed as the new Chairman, Graham Smith continues at Secretary and Grahame Butterworth becomes the Operations Manager and Vice-chairman.  The further members of the Steering Group are Rob Dodds (Forest Edge), Malcolm Fell (Cumbria), Paul Skipp (Clay Pigeon) and Jim Thornsby (Fulbeck) along with the Honorary Presidents Russell Anderson and Steve Chapman.  All these roles are voluntary and we are grateful to all these individuals for their support.  Motorsport UK Karting Manager Dan Parker will normally attend meetings.  Discussion highlights at the AGM included the problems clubs had in the devolved administrations, and we have already made representations to the Motorsport UK and had meetings set up.  Also discussed was the role that NATSKA could play in the future, and the problems that small clubs are having to hold Motorsport UK meetings whilst there are more and more unlicenced travelling championships.  Some clubs have successful strategies for reduced cost classes under the Libre regulations.  There was a suggestion that clubs should nominate a Training Officer to help newcomers learn the sport. The full draft minutes will be available soon.

Our Agreement and Responsibilities

The ABKC has been given greater responsibility as the Regional Association for kart clubs.  For the first time the Motorsport UK has recognised us as a Regional Association that is UK-wide.  From that stems the agreement that ABKC has seats on Kart Committee, Kart Council, Regional Committee and the Kart Technical Advisory Group.  That gives us an important voice on behalf of our member clubs.  Clubs affiliated to Motorsport UK have never been permitted to hold unlicenced events. Unlicenced events do not have the protection of holding an operating permit issued by a governing body.  Therefore the ABKC is there to represent and aid its member clubs in the safe organisation and operation of racing in the UK under the general regulations of Motorsport UK.  We have clarified that this includes clubs running “TEST DAYS” with no competitive element (the preferred term is test day rather than practice days) and taster days.  We have also clarified that there is no objection to arrive and drive corporate racing for those clubs who have a fleet of such karts.  But we have undertaken to give a commitment to reducing non-Motorsport UK kart racing and where possible assisting Motorsport UK in absorbing such racing into their jurisdiction.  So we will not publicise or endorse any racing that runs outside such jurisdiction and we ask our member clubs to do the same.  But to be clear there is no change on an affiliated club’s responsibilities with regard to racing without a permit.

But we recognise that any such transition will take time and there are many if not most circuits and independent clubs that hold such unlicenced racing where members of our clubs whether drivers or officials may well be involved.  Although these personnel should check that appropriate public liability insurance and personal accident insurance is in place. 

Budget

The fees for membership are reduced for most clubs but we do need enough income to pay for the association’s running costs including insurance, administration, media outlets and publicity.  As you know it is a condition of holding a British Kart Championship round that the organising club must be a member of ABKC.  We believe that it is appropriate for these clubs to have a slightly higher fee, they are the highest profile clubs.  We no longer have the income from tyre contracts for championships.

Social Media

Our social media outlets are fully available and we urge all clubs to make use of these by sending information to display on our Facebook page. We are restricting who can appear there so if you send direct it will be rapidly approved to appear. Any questions on this please email operations@abkc.org.uk  .  Affiliated trade or championship organisers can also purchase an associate membership for £75 and then make use of our social media.

Promotion of Karting as a Sport

We see the increased promotion of licensed karting as a sport as very important in these days of so many alternatives. We are currently updating our websites to provide a much more targeted approach and as you will have seen we are assessing the effectiveness of the previous Let’s Go Karting campaign. We will bring you news on the progress of our new campaign in due course.

Benefits of Membership

To summarise the benefits of membership include:

  • Being a member of the only official body representing Motorsport UK licensed kart racing clubs in the UK
  • Being part of an association dedicated to responding to member club issues
  • Use of ABKC experience and expertise in resolving technical and organisational questions
  • Collating and forwarding requests for changes to Motorsport UK
  • Provide recognised representation for member clubs with Kart Council and Motorsport UK on all relevant karting matters including classes, technical, safety, circuit matters and safeguarding
  • Support Kart Council in providing a unified representation of all member clubs
  • Full compliance with Yearbook A2.7 and A4.1 (Approval to organise a meeting, and Club Recognition) through ABKC being recognised as the Regional Committee for kart clubs
  • Being able to offer a British Kart Championship round
  • Full access to ABKC Social Media outlets for publicity and information purposes
  • Regular informative newsletter
  • Club official’s link with Motorsport UK and it’s senior personnel
  • To represent and aid its member clubs in the safe organisation and operation of kart racing in the UK
  • Providing a unified shop window at kart shows and other events
  • Benefiting from promotional activity for those looking to start karting
  • Receiving potential new competitors from inquiries

Membership

Renewal membership forms have been sent to clubs and we ask your club to return these as soon as possible to keep the membership active. Once renewed we will send you our new logo for club media.  We are also successfully seeking membership from clubs that were not previously members or lapsed.  It was clear at the AGM that member club representatives welcomed the opportunity to chat and air their issues so we plan to have regular open Zoom meetings with the steering group, most likely in a weekday evening.   We are working with Motorsport UK to have the post lockdown circuit opening requirements soon.   We will issue another news update after Kart Committee which is on 9th March, if not before.

A British Kart Championship event at Rowrah
by kartpix

Motorsport UK News

Here are some updates from the recent Motorsport UK meetings:

  • A survey is being sent to clubs for their views on the proposed new class structure, which are still available on the website www.motorsportuk.org/the-sport/regulations/proposed-changes-for-consultation/  . 
  • Track licences will not be issued until a permit is needed post lockdown
  • Kart Technical members had a presentation on a possible plan for tyre disposal. 
  • Motorsport UK have issued a number of releases about the definitions of elite athletes (drivers in this case) and the need for carnets for those proposing to travel abroad with kit.  Those involved should read these very carefully and not that under 16’s are not eligible for exemption letters.  Currently anyone returning from a red zone country must have the hotel quarantine. 
  • Final approved regulations should soon be available for Classic Gearbox (the Formula C & ICC karts of the 90’s) and Junior Gearbox which is revived by using restricted 125cc KZ engines. 
  • The 2021 210 National regulations were also approved and are on the website. 
  • The CIK are making a change to their homologation numbering system so that instead of say 10-CH-20 it would become e.g. 028-CH-76 where 028 would be the manufacturer identification, the CH still the acronym for a chassis and the last number being random for the approval. 
  • Still on CIK the engine homologations have been delayed a year but not ignitions which remain on timetable, and RPS rear bumpers can now be homologated as adjustable width. 
  • Discussions about KZ carburettors and fuel injection will be referred to the Gearbox Working groups.  

Bambino and Cadet licencing

Due to some confusion over licencing Bambino drivers and their upgrades to Cadet, Motorsport UK have asked it be clarified. 

Drivers from 6 years of age can race at approved circuits, specifically licensed for Bambino racing, if they purchase the Go Karting starter pack from Motorsport UK and take and satisfactorily complete the ARKS Novice Driver Test.  Drivers will then apply for the Kart Interclub (Bambino) licence, see U1.7.1. and this must be the normal route now.

Race regulations must state that the format will be for timed qualifying and standing starts, to set the grids for the heats.  Kart Teams are specifically prohibited from involved in any Motorsport UK Bambino event, whether Time Trial or Racing.

It is still possible to obtain a Kart Clubman (Bambino) licence for Bambino Time Trials, follow the training schedule which is available on the ARKS website and enclosing the completed Bambino Record card, signed off by an ARKS Examiner or Instructor, and put it in with the licence application form (downloaded from the www.motorsportuk.org website).  But remember hardly any clubs are offering Bambino time trials so the majority should do the test for a race licence.

Upgrade to Cadet Racing

Honda Cadet racing at the British Kart Championship

By kartpix

A driver in the year of their 8th birthday who has satisfactorily completed at least 3 Motorsport UK Bambino races (not time trial) may move into the cadet category if they are at least 125cm in height and 27kg minimum weight.  No further ARKS test is necessary.

Alternatively if they have signatures from at least three time trials and have passed the ARKS test a driver can apply to move to Cadets in the year of their 8th birthday.  The licence application must be endorsed and submitted by a recognised kart club and any licence would be restricted to a single venue until the driver has either reached their 8th birthday or been specifically observed by the Motorsport UK Steward at a minimum of three Interclub Kart races (U.15.1.1.1).

TAG Heuer

We have also learnt that TAG Heuer are no longer involved in timing, their website states: “TAG Heuer has decided to transform its approach to Timekeeping.  As a result TAG Heuer has discontinued its traditional timekeeping service in regards to third parties in sports.”  It would seem that the manufacturer of the transponders and decoders, Chronolec, is continuing with the products.

We welcome the restart of karting from 29th March and await further detailed information from Motorsport UK.  Note hotels are not due to open until 17 May.

Finally, we also send our best wishes to long time chassis manufacturer Tim Gillard who has retired.

Association of British Kart Clubs

www.abkc.org.uk

secretary@abkc.org.uk

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