We met 1971 World Junior Champion, Harm Schuurman in Mariembourg at the World Champs, where he took part in the historic karts racing exhibition. Watching him tilting sideways in his kart brought back memories of what karting used to be. Here he tells us about his ceaseless passion for karting in the'60s
After a quick, yet intense glance, the 1971 World Junior Champion, Harm Schuurman, invites me to his tent, small but respectable, just like the good old days. 'I like things as they were in my days. I like doing things with simplicity, for sheer fun, and the love for competition. These are ancestral feelings that belong to the deepest part of our soul, just like karting did when it first started. Take a look at my toolbox: everything's original. There are few tools, but they're the same that I used back then. They still work and this is what matters to me.'
Like a father with his son, Harm asks me to sit down near his truck (this too looks original)and he seems to enjoy talking to me. He says: 'I take part in these events because karting is my life, even though my age would suggest otherwise (not at all like that, because he's a 50 year old young lad). Karting has been everything in my life: it's a passion, a hobby, and a profession. The museum I have built up (Vintage Karts Collection in the Netherlands) celebrates all this.'
The last revelation of the day, a piece of news that makes you feel as though you have somehow shared part of the history of karting: 'See my kart? It's original, the same one I used back in the early days. Take a look at the seat, there no lateral support, that's why I myself have to bend with the corner, as they do with motorbikes, if I didn't the kart wouldn't steer.' And of course, when you watch him driving you can see that the style is absolutely different. The ancestral excitement in watching him go sideways on his original kart is a much better way of explaining, better than words, how fascinating karting in the '60s was.
Report S. Murtas / Photos G.Heirman and P. Kalmés