About

The Association of British Kart Clubs (ABkC) was formed in 1990 to act as an interface between kart clubs and the sports governing body, Motorsport UK, with whom there is a high degree of discussion and co-operation. The clubs are represented by the ABkC Steering Group which is elected each year during the A.G.M. held each year. Over thirty of the kart clubs in the United Kingdom are members. The Steering Group also has representatives from other kart associations, which are usually regionally based, Motorsport UK and various championship organisers and other stakeholders. The Steering Group doubles up as the Regional Association for karting so new clubs can join the ABkC instead of a local Regional Association. Decisions taken by that group will have a direct influence on all existing and proposed kart class regulations.

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Clubs and Regulations

Every year the ABkC publishes its regulations which represent the class structure being used by the Association in its direct drive and gearbox national championships. These are contained within the Kart Racing Yearbook, the “Gold Book”. We ask that clubs affiliated to ABkC use the regulations contained within this document for their race meetings. Without this co-operation it would be impossible for drivers to move from club to club during the racing season and find the same race classes. The ABkC Regulations should be used as an addition to the Club’s Supplementary Regulations, used as the reference point for the classes.

All ABkC clubs must run their meetings according to the regulations set down by Motorsport UK. The officials and all safety regulations must conform to the current Yearbook, the ABkC Regulations are only the class regulations.

Championships

ABkC National Championships used to be organised by the Super One Series for 60-125cc direct drive classes up to 2018 whilst the Super 4 Challenge series gearbox class championships are with the Northern Karting Federation (NKF) for 250 National and KZ UK. ABkC single event National Championships – the ‘O’ Plates – may be organised for all these and for the other less popular existing classes and any newer classes as they become established, as do the new E Plate championships. From 2019 Karting UK Operations – part of Motorsport UK – is taking over the promotion of the British Kart Championships, almost all the National Championships are now ‘British’.  The 2019 registration lists are here: https://kartinguk.alphatiming.co.uk/entrylist/classentries

Seeded Drivers

It should be emphasised that the Super One Series awards the seeded numbers 1 – 10 in all Cadet, Rotax and TKM classes and the 1- 10 numbers from KZ UK and 250 National are allocated from the Super 4 Series in the NKF for 2018 and will be honoured in the new for 2019 British Kart Championship series. Numbers from other series are not permitted to be used at club racing. Here is the list of authorised seeded numbers

Why join the ABkC

To summarise, the benefits of membership include:

  • An input to the Motorsport UK and ABkC regulations, with a strong and recognised representation to Motorsport UK.  Close co-operation in drafting the Kart Race Yearbook regulations.
  • Common regulations and tyre choice throughout the U.K. for all the popular classes avoiding damaging regional or local vested interests.
  • Recognition by Motorsport UK that ABkC represents karting in the U.K. through membership of the Regional Committee alongside other disciplines and Regional Associations.
  • Club members have the opportunity to enter any ABkC Championships
  • Member drivers knowing their seeded numbers will be recognised (now enshrined in the Motorsport UK Regulations)
  • Regular newsletters offering advice, seeking comment on proposals, giving early warning of changes in regulations to pass on to their own members and seeking feedback from clubs.
  • Annually updated publication of a Start Karting colour brochure to give to potential new members, with advice on classes and how to get started.
  • Provision of a brochure to promote karting for distribution to local hotels and tourist information centres.
  • Advice and help to clubs from expert sources.  Occasional financial assistance and opportunity to apply for club development grants (usually up to a maximum of £500).
  • Seminars to assist in training Clerks, Scrutineers, Timekeepers etc
  • Purchase and loan to clubs or championships of expensive scrutineering equipment, arrangements for preferential purchasing of scrutineering tools.
  • A website full of information on current matters, and present and past seeded drivers and champions, and a Facebook page for immediate dissemination of information.
What does Motorsport UK do?

Newly licenced drivers will come into contact with Motorsport UK when they apply for their first competition licence.  Thereafter they will have more immediate contact with the local club officials, and licenced volunteer officials.  Some of those they meet in the course of their kart racing career may well be on one or more of the Motorsport UK or Karting UK specialist committees who propose and amend the regulations.  The 24-strong Motor Sports Council is actually the body that ratifies any changes to regulations, and also appoints the National Court.  Any disputes or appeals which are not held at the actual race meeting will be referred to the National Court for adjudication.  Occasionally a driver may meet with the salaried members of Motorsport UK which can be thought of as the Civil Service, and the Council as the parliament but would be more accurately described as the Sporting Commission.

Motorsport UK is the appointed body (the ASN) for the governance of 4-wheeled motor sport in the UK, whilst internationally the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) with its subsidiary the CIK (Commission Internationale de Karting) which is responsible for kart racing.

MOTORSPORT UK
The RAC (Royal Automobile Club) embraced the new sport of kart racing in 1959 and set some initial regulations.  In the early years there were up to 100 different manufacturers and the sport attracted famous racing drivers and many spectators.  The RAC rules set minimum age limits, which over the years have been gradually reduced until now when youngsters can compete in Bambino karts from the age of 6, and race in Cadets at 8.  The RAC formed a Kart Committee to look after the sport.  In 1975 the RAC formed the Motor Sports Council and in 1979 the RAC Motor Sports Association was created.  When the RAC was sold, the Motor Sports Association became an independent body, a not for profit organisation.  It is headquartered at Colnbrook, near Heathrow airport.  From 12th November 2018 the MSA was rebranded as Motorsport UK with our discipline as Karting UK.

Committee Structure
Specialist committees for each motor sport discipline review their relevant regulations and advise the MSC when changes are needed.  There are also specialist sub-committees and advisory panels on such as Safety, Judicial, Medical, Technical, Timekeeping and Volunteer Officials.  The committees and panels are largely made up of volunteers drawn from competitors, officials, clubs, organisers and administrators.  Most often the secretariat for each committee will be from the permanent (approximately 35) members of staff of Motorsport UK.  Many clubs belong to a Regional Association, and are represented through them onto Motorsport UK Regional Committee.  The ABkC has positions on the Kart Technical sub-group, which considers any changes to the technical regulations and if agreed forwards these to Kart Committee for discussion.  If Kart Committee agree they add them to any sporting regulations they wish to change and the drafts are put on the Motorsport UK website for consultation with the general motorsport community.  That time is the opportunity for drivers or clubs to make their comments which will be reviewed at the next Kart Committee meeting.  Then the final proposals will be sent to Council for final ratification (or rejection).  Some of the regulations are also sent round the other committees or panels, like Safety, Medical or Judicial.  Likewise Kart Committee can make comments on proposed new regulations that affect karting, e.g. from Race Committee.  We have people on Safety and Regional Committee, the latter where a representative of each Regional Association come together to discuss the sport on a quarterly basis.  So unless there is an urgent safety need, new or amended regulations for the Blue Book can take well over a year to be ratified.  Generally any major change to the class regulations are promulgated 4 – 6 months before the start of the following year.  The ABkC is one of the prime contributors in suggesting changes to regulations in kart racing.

Other Motorsport UK activities
Motorsport UK also has a commercial subsidiary named as the International Motor Sports Ltd which organises such as the British Grand Prix and the International Rally of Great Britain amongst other things.  They put out tenders and awards contracts for British Championships in all the disciplines.  It is funded primarily from the licence and event permit fees and promotes motor sport in many ways including young driver support.  Go Motorsport and Lets Go Karting are examples of initiatives designed to involve the public and make them aware of the possibilities of participating in motor sport activities.  There are funds available to help clubs and relevant organisations.  Motorsport UK is also empowered to authorise the use of public highways in England and Wales for motor sport and has an arrangement with the Forestry Commission for the use by rallies.  Of course Motorsport UK publishes the Competitors Year Book (the ‘Blue Book’) and the Kart Race Yearbook (the ‘Gold Book’) containing all the regulations.  It has also formulated a Child Protection Policy, which extends to all clubs involved with minors, and organises CRB checks for motor sport volunteers.  There are training schemes for officials, with regular seminars to keep them updated.

Facts and figures
Most of Motorsport UK’s income is derived from the sale of 30,000 plus competition licences, of which almost 4,000 are for kart racing.  An important part is the arrangement for insurance of motor sport events.  Drivers pay for this through a ‘per capita’ part of their entry fees.  Some 750 clubs are recognised, of which about 30 are active kart clubs.

The National Court
If a dispute from a race meeting is referred to the National Court, they may sit to adjudicate.  Appeals against the decision of the Stewards of the Meeting can be made on the grounds of a gross miscarriage of justice or that the penalty is wholly inappropriate.  If accepted then a hearing will be set up.  Usually one or more of the members of the National Court will be an experienced lawyer.  The appellant is also allowed to have an advocate and call witnesses.   If the dispute is over an alleged technical eligibility issue, then the Stewards at the race meeting will not be deemed competent to make a decision, and will refer the matter to an Eligibility Appeal Panel. Generally this is adjudicated on the written submissions of both parties and there will be no right to an oral hearing.

The CIK and the FIA

As mentioned above the FIA is the internationally recognised body for controlling motor sport.  Its headquarters are in Paris.  The CIK-FIA regulates karting activities around the world and is one of the Sporting Commissions of the FIA.  The CIK is headquartered in Geneva. Very often Motorsport UK will be able to appoint representatives to the CIK International Karting Commission (one of the ABkC Presidents currently represents the UK) and to the CIK Technical Working Group and thus influence the regulations.  The CIK also organises World and European race championship events and sets the safety, sporting and technical regulations for the internationally recognised classes.  Through a process called homologation, chassis, engine, tyres, bodywork and ancillary components such as air intake boxes and exhausts are regulated and approved for a period.  This is usually for an initial six years, extendable to nine.  The CIK will also award contracts for such as tyres, fuel and carburettors for their championships.

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Senior Officers

Senior officers of the Association

Chairman: George Robinson, c/o Cylinder Head Engineering, 25 Bridge Industries, Broadcut, Fareham, PO16 8SX
  Tel 07715 161546 E-mail: Chairman
Secretary: Graham Smith, “Stoneycroft”, Godsons Lane, Napton, SOUTHAM CV47 8LX.
  Tel & Fax 01926 812177 – E-mail: Secretary for all general inquiries
Treasurer: TBA – contact Secretary

 

The elected members of the ABkC Steering Group are:

  • Chairman: George Robinson; Secretary: Graham Smith
  • Class One Technical: Vacancy; Cadet Technical: Paul Klaassen;
  • Other positions: Nigel Edwards (Non Gearbox Sub-group Chairman and vice-Chair), Gearbox Sub-group Chairman: Phil Featherstone, Malcolm Fell, Steve Wren, Jim Thornsby, Kelvin Nichols, Rob Dodds, Martin Bean, Paul Skipp
  • Treasurer: TBA
  • Non-elected positions from Kart Regional Associations and Championships etc:
  • Carole Blanchard (Scottish), Stephen Tosh (N.I.), Sue Fairless (NKF), John Hoyle (Super One);
  • Ian Rushforth (Superkart); Not all attend on a regular basis.
  • Honorary Presidents: Steve Chapman and Russell Anderson; Motorsport UK: Cheryl Lynch and John Ryan
  • Chairman of Kart Committee: Nigel Edwards

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