CLUB100 hits another milestone and introduces Cadets to ‘Arrive & Drive’ with Rotax

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The success story of Club100 in the UK continues to build momentum with every season, having had a record number of drivers participating in 2021 in the increasingly popular ‘Arrive & Drive’ championships powered by BRP-Rotax 125 MAX engines. In addition to this, the British Universities Karting Championship (BUKC) celebrates 21 years and the new generation of Club100 drivers has just joined the ranks in the two cadet categories (J. Wade - Photo J. Patterson)

John Vigor, Managing Director of Club100 Racing Ltd, shares an insight into the encouraging growth of the Club100 classes and explains what is planned in an exciting season ahead now, as the incredibly successful ‘Arrive & Drive’ concept expands to include a younger community of drivers. The numbers are impressive and the ideas implemented in the development of the various championships are totally focused on the overall experience for the competitors. It’s proving to be a sensation in recreational karting for Rotax Racing.

The Championships and Classes of CLUB100
The main championships in Club100 are hosted over 11 weekends aimed at senior drivers only (16+ years). Each weekend consists of a team endurance format and an individual endurance format on the Saturdays with individual sprint racing on the Sundays, spread across several weight categories. Most drivers will race in just one of the formats, though there are some very keen drivers who do two or more of the formats as well! Typically, just over 300 drivers will take part in each of the main Club100 race weekends.
In 2021, the main Club100 championships were so oversubscribed that we ended up creating a new championship to cater for all the reserve entries. We named this the Club100 Experience with the aim that it would be a smaller championship (just 7 rounds) and appeal to drivers new to Club100. It sold out so quickly that we ended up creating another class within the Club100 Experience, aimed at complete novices – which subsequently sold out also. On average 72 drivers took part on each Club100 Experience day. 
We also ran the Club100 Young Drivers Championship (YDC) on the same days as those Club100 Experience events. The YDC was aimed at drivers aged 14 to 18 years and we were able to accommodate up to 52 drivers across the two weight categories in the YDC. This was really successful in 2021 (in only its first proper season) with every round sold out. We have renamed the YDC to Club100 Junior for 2022.

The Club100 Junior championships will this year be run over two weight categories: 
Junior Super Lightweight and Junior Lightweight 
A maximum of 52 drivers in each and both categories are already oversubscribed in 2022.
The Club100 Cadet series was announced in October last year (2021) and it has been very well received. We were very much looking forward to our first event at the end of March
There are two Club100 Cadet categories split by age:
Club100 Cadet   (7 - 10 years)
Club100 Super Cadet   (10 - 13 years)

Both the Cadet and Super Cadet Championships run over two “Academy days” and 7 race days. Many of the drivers will be completely new to 2-stroke karting so the two Academy days are there to give them time to get used to the Club100 Cadet karts. Our instructors will help the young drivers get up to speed quickly and in a pressure free environment. Each driver will be evaluated to ensure they can lap within a reasonable lap time without spinning off regularly. The first race day takes place in late May and the championship continues until the end of November, hosted by six different UK circuits. With a maximum of 40 entries in each category, we are currently oversubscribed in the Super Cadet class with only have a handful of places left in the Cadet class [at this time]. So yes, we are very happy with how well the new series has been received.
One of the key things we have done this year is to run the Juniors and the Cadets on the same day together so that while the Cadets are on track, the Juniors are getting ready and vice versa. It also gives the Cadets and Junior drivers a chance to get to know each other and for the Cadets, it provides an opportunity to see a clear progression for them to move up into the Junior category in the future. We are really looking forward to the new season, in particular with the new Cadet and Junior classes proving to be so popular from the start. 

Re-branding in 2022
With the introduction of the Club100 Cadet championships for 2022, we decided to simplify and consolidate the branding of each age category. 
Club100 Cadet    (7 - 12/13 years)
Club100 Junior    (13 - 18 years)
Club100 Senior    (16+ years)
Check out the CLUB100 official website at – www.club100.co.uk

CLUB100 is still gaining popularity after three decades
I believe our popularity continues to rise year-on-year purely because we listen to our customers, insist on a friendly atmosphere and pay attention to every detail to ensure the smooth running of the event. This is recognised and commented on regularly by our competitors, so they spread the word. Over 78% of new business comes from word of mouth! I even have a driver that has raced in Club100 since its inception year 1993 and still races today. That’s 30 years! We have good percentages of drivers that have been with us for 10, 15 and 20 years plus. We have all become good friends! Steve “Super GT” Brown is an avid fan of ours. Whilst his career has rocketed with his YouTube celebrity status, now racing top level karts and cars (for free), he still insists on coming home to Club100 a few times a season to race with and against his friends. 

There is no doubt the introduction of the Rotax 125 MAX engine [in 2019] has markedly generated more interest. The Rotax has made Club100 more accessible to the masses. The kart is more fun to drive and more forgiving now that we are running electric start and clutches. With this we are seeing drivers coming back year after year. However, the big major draw to Club100 is that it’s ‘Arrive & Drive’. The driver can turn up, put on his/her race suit and helmet, and race. Then drive home, leaving us to clear up. I think where peoples’ lives are far busier these days with work and family commitments, they don’t have the time to spend an entire weekend at the circuit. Instead a half day on either a Saturday or Sunday leaves them in a position to make other plans as well.

We also don’t stand still! We continue to innovate every season. We’re always looking to offer a format to suit everyone. For example, we have recently introduced the Club100 Experience Championship in which one of the classes is for novice drivers only. We offer Endurance racing for drivers that prefer to race as a team. There also two formats to choose from for individual drivers: SP60 for those that prefer the longer race and our main Sprint Champs which are based on the traditional three heats and a final format. Within these championships are sub-classes to suit ability levels, as well as minimum racing weight classes to ensure level playing fields.



to be continued on pocketmags
 

Created by: cggiuliano - 24/05/22

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