ASI GO KART SHOW, Coppa dei Campioni at Pista Azzurra

Columns: Legendary kart
Jesolo, Italy, May 17, 18 and 19 – The 2024 annual Jesolo ASI Go Kart show, which has become the premier vintage kart gathering in Europe, lived up to its usual high standards. The meeting programme listed 245 entries. There were also many other karts present that were on display to prospective new owners plus the vendors selling various parts such as wheels, engines, rear axle components, front spindles and plastic parts. Many of the parts were new remanufactured items such as DAP steering wheels, fibreglass seats and various rear axle components. Text and Photos: Frank Weir

ASI divided the karts into six sections for the meeting, namely CIK 1, CIK 2, CIK 3, CIK 4 and modern plus those karts that participated for the Tony Kart Historic Cup. The CIK 1 karts ranged in age from 1956 to 1964, there being 27 in total. CIK 2 featured 24 karts which were made between 1964 and 1971. Thirty six CIK 3 machines ranged in age from those manufactured between 1972 and 1980. The CIK 4 section featured karts made from 1981 to 1985 and was largest group at 65. The category that covered the karts sold from 1985 onwards to the end of that decade was classified as Modern and listed 57 participants. The Tony Kart Historic Cup attracted 63 entries and featured karts from 1991 to 2002. 

The CIK 1 group of karts as expected specified air-cooled motors and hard tyres. You needed to be on in years to recognise the karts in this section. Many of the Italkarts from that era participated on the on-track activities, namely a very nice Italkart Gran Prix Nassau powered by dual Garelli motors as well as slightly younger 1962 Italkart Record powered by dual Komet K12’s. A 1960 Silvercar Hurricane fitted with a modern Honda so that it could be driven slowly at the front of the parade was easily recognised because of its beautifully shaped fuel tank mounted behind the top of the seat hoop. Also present was a 1960 Bug Wasp made in California in the early 1960’s powered by a West Bend 820. Another old timer was a 1963 Hess/McCulloch MC7 owned by Andreas Kohler. The kart was purchased as a kit of parts and was constructed according to the 'Charter of Turin'. Later the original seat and floor were replaced because Hess in 1963 offered seats and floor pans made in glass fibre reinforced plastic which replaced the metal floor and seat back which was standard before. The form fitting seat did away with the upholstery thus saving weight. Hess karts were jokingly referred to as 'T34 tanks' because of their heavy robust construction; German joke. 

Long time French vintage karting enthusiast Claude Braye entered a 1961 Thunderkart that was made in Courbevoie, France. Claude also drove a 1972 Tecno Espadon kart powered by a Parilla HF17. The kart was designed by Franco Baroni, the engine tuner behind Francois Goldstein’s World Karting Championship successes. Baroni was said to have sold the design to French kart manufacturer Sovame who were also the French Tecno importers. At that time Tecno were supplying Sovame with components to build their chassis and their recently acquired 'Baroni' karts; hence the Baroni kart became known as the Tecno Espadon (Swordfish). 
Also in the French camp were a Globb/Garelli and a Faman/Sthil both from 1961. Claude Braye’s long time karting buddy Matteo Nicolle brought an interesting 1992 Go Kart Aero model fitted with a 
Parilla TT36. Although called Go Kart the company that constructed the chassis was in no way connected to Go Kart Manufacturing Incorporated that was owned by Duffy Livingstone which went into bankruptcy in 1963 at which time the name Go Kart was acquired by Fox Go Boy Karts of Wisconsin. 
Matteo explained that the Go Kart Aero model was basically a gearbox kart manufacturers ideas on what might work with a direct drive kart. A Sodi Futura 1994/Kilt KV103 owned by Dane Frederik Husted was another representative of French innovative kart design. When you know that Sodi metamorphosed out of Dino it’s ironic to discover a Dane now owns a Sodi machine. 

Another kart from the sixties that triggered the writer’s memory was Allan Christensen’s 1963 Quick kart Jet/Parilla GP15. Danish man Allen explained that the condition he found the kart in required the fabrication and fitting of a new left side chassis rail and seat fitting details. Allen was parked amidst a collection of Dino karts where there was a gentleman proudly showing a Dino International kart fitted with a horizontal Dino engine. The gentleman turned out to the one and only Mr Dino himself now an octogenarian. 

A very early Tony kart using a Bultaco 125cc engine fitted into the CIK Division 1 category as did a similar shaped frame design but made by Italkart and was powered by a 125cc twin cylinder Rumi. 
Many of Evert Boss’ immaculate restored Landia karts on weekend parole from Joost Van de Hul‘s museum in The Netherlands looked certain to collect awards. A Landia Banbury circa 1961/Parilla V11 and a 1978 Landia Astro brought back glorious memories to the writer. 
Throughout the CIK Divisions Italian manufacturers were represented by various models from All Kart, Birel, BM, Clambo, CRG, DAP, First, Gold, Italcorse, Jolly, Kali, PCR, Sirio, Tecno, Tony, and Top. Fine examples of karts made by German constructors such as Mach 1, Taifun and LZ helped fly the flag for the Klassic Kart Klub of Germany directed by McCulloch 200/MC7 entrant/driver Gernot Stoecker. 
The United Kingdom was represented by the British Historic Kart Club. The UK contingent, long time supporters of the Jesolo meeting, brought both direct drive karts and gearbox machines to the event. Pete Adam’s Zip Mark II/Komet K33 was worthy of a prize as was the BM/BM of Jeff Donovan. Tony Barkas’ Blow Viking/Komet K77 with its knuckled jointed steering column was unique as far as steering columns went at the event. Examples of chassis from Zip, Stratos, Lane, Lancer, Fullerton, Gillard, Anderson, Kelly, Deavinson, Miere, and Phoenix, all made in the UK over various decades, could be seen. Daniel Thompson’s Phoenix/Yamaha TD3 was probably the fastest kart in a straight line at the event and Steve Cowell was particularly happy when his rare Kellykart/Vortex VR95 was awarded a first place trophy at the prize giving. 

Emilio Jarque Martinez and his father who was the force behind Strak engines and karts (Strak is karts backwards, clever or what) had a very informative stand close to the pit entrance displaying three Strak karts and engines; the Martinez father and son drove from Spain for the meeting. 
The show included two different models of immaculately restored Speedmaster karts that were manufactured in Zurich; both looked very collectable. One was the 1971 Tornado model and the other was listed as the Type 63 probably made in 1963. 

The entry list for the meeting listed BRM, CMP, Koszalin, Patriot, CMP and Sonder karts which were not seen by the writer; the paddock/pits was paced to almost overflowing. 
Some of the karts in the modern class catered for the liquid cooled motors as well as shifter type engines and plastic bodywork parts that were mandatory when the karts were made. 
Many karting personalities from days gone by such as Peter De Bruijn the 1980 World Karting Champion attended the gathering along with his Nivelles winning Swiss Hutless kart which incidentally he was said to have fabricated himself! Jan Magnussen’s 1990 World Karting Championship winning CRG/Rotax was another interesting kart present in the covered pits area. Magnussen’s CRG/Rotax was fitted with 6 inch wheels and was driven around the circuit by Lorenzo Travi on Sunday morning. The principal at Parolin Motorsport along with a young driver said to be a world karting championship winning driver together with a long time kart mechanic were seen in the outdoor interview studio. 
Track time was efficiently organised to the minute and everyone was given ample laps of the historic Italian circuit which is still operational despite being almost in the centre of Jesolo; it’s easily within walking distance from the main street in the attractive seaside resort; Italians must love engine noise. 

The circuit activities were concluded around midday on Sunday with the traditional walk from the paddock lead by a marching troupe of young ladies in spectacular glittering uniforms. The parade was made up by the different international groups taking part namely from Germany, Netherlands, Poland, France, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as the large group of hosting Italians. Riccardo Patrese, the 1974 World Karting Champion, was the principal guest of honour who along with a few other Italian karting greats from back in the day took part in the parade. 
Following the parade the prize giving was performed which took almost 2 hours; that’s how many awards were given out. Best in show went to a 1976 DAP Silver Carrera/DAP T80; only a batch of 25 such karts were said to have been made. 
If vintage karting is your passion start planning a week’s holiday in Jesolo next May; spectator admission to the Pista Azzurra is free. 


Created by: cggiuliano - 24/05/24

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