Billed for the first time as “The Karting Show” at Autosport’s International Racing Car Show, held at the vast NEC near Birmingham in England, it suffered from the competition of other karting shows in England. Karts returned to the Live Action displays following several years of absence, but they did not race and merely put on a short run through at the start, highlighting Lewis Hamilton’s roots.
Report G.Smith / Photos C.Walker
The Karting Show at the NEC, Birmingham, England 10 – 13 January.
Billed for the first time as “The Karting Show” at Autosport’s International Racing Car Show, held at the vast NEC near Birmingham in England, it suffered from the competition of other karting shows in England. The racing car show itself was full of the usual attractions, from a full Formula 1 grid, through a Colin McRae Tribute with all of his early rally cars, and there were lots of historic vehicles for sale. Karts returned to the Live Action displays following several years of absence, but they did not race and merely put on a short run through at the start, highlighting Lewis Hamilton’s roots. However drag racers and Formula 1 stock cars made plenty noise during their demonstration runs and races. Rally cars leapt over ramps to a backdrop of a sheet of flames. The Karting Show presented some interesting news: a popular half way house is Club 100, which launched a new fleet of Birel karts to take their long life version of the TKM 100cc 2-stroke engine. This is an arrive and drive series, which attracts many ex MSA kart racers, for a total all in price of £1400 (1900 euros) for a ten round sprint championship and similar well priced endurance racing. Club 100 also launched a European series, with promoter John Vigor explaining: “The series will cost a team £1200 (1600 euros) for three weekends of racing at Whilton Mill in England, Spa in Belgium and Essay in France. Each weekend will offer ten hours of actual racing in four two and a half endurance races.” This is budget racing on what are practically full spec racing karts.
Stars KF3 champion Sam Jenkins basked in the glory of a high profile GT and Formula Renault team launch, CR Scuderia, for which his brother Scott Jenkins has signed for 2008. Sam will race Tonykarts with Strawberry Racing, with support from the Cobra Group, with the race team being sponsored by Sky, the satellite TV operator.
Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber gave out the awards in the KF3 class, where Sam Jenkins won a huge trophy to signify his three Stars titles in a row, two in Cadets. He also has won a Formula Renault test. In his address, Webber said he still enjoyed watching kart racing on television, and added: “It’s very important to learn how to win and how to lose, if you drop a chain or something. There’s a lot of guys putting pressure on themselves to get into single seaters, but you’ve got to get the results in karts first and be ready when the chance comes along. You can be a legend on the kart track and rush out too soon and be nowhere in cars.”