Vintage Travels with Max-Torque Jim: Jacksonville VKA Race Meeting

Columns: Legendary kart
Located at 103 rd Street Jacksonville the circuit is owned by the city of Jacksonville and is currently home to the North Florida Kart Club (Text and Photos: Frank Weir)

The circuit was the venue for the 1986 FIA/CIK World Karting Championship and caused major controversy back then amongst the European drivers who thought the track unsuitable resulting in many of the overseas competitors boycotting the meeting despite having invested considerable funds in getting themselves and their equipment to the venue. Incidentally the remains of the chicane that caused all the controversy on the long straight at the circuit can still be seen if you know what you are looking at.

The first day of the meeting was set aside for set-up but again rain appeared on the local weather forecast so the event promoter, Bob Barthelemy, ran the series of first heats that afternoon for 10 classes. Disappointingly only 3 rear engine karts attended the meeting two of which were only there for the kart show namely a beautifully restored late seventies Blackhawk powered by a McCulloch 101 and Mike Lotz’s SAE powered by a Komet K88. Mike’s SAE did not look right with the Italian motor perched high behind the seat although it was half way in the side air stream due to the mounting configuration. 

The other rear kart was Robert Rizzuto’s 1961 Dart/McCulloch MC93 and it took part in the racing. The total racing entry amounted to 44 karts of which 43 were sidewinder karts from manufacturers such as Invader, Bug, Margay, Swiss Hutless and Emmick all of which featured designs that were closely based on the 1964 Tecno design by the Pederzani brothers.
Rain overnight left the ground damp on Friday morning but soon it again started to sprinkle and Max-Torque Jim and the writer departed Jacksonville for drier climes.

The Bud Hanna Classic Car and Karts Collection

Created by: cggiuliano - 12/03/24

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