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. About twenty-five of the kart clubs in the United Kingdom are members. The Steering Group also has representatives from Motorsport UK and may include various  other stakeholders when needed. 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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The ABKC’s Safeguarding Policy is available here

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Clubs and Regulations

ABKC information and membership is included in the Motorsport UK Karting Yearbook, known as the “Gold Book”.  This Yearbook has the regulations for the most popular kart classes in the U.K.. 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. These regulations should be referenced in the Club’s Supplementary Regulations, so that competitors are clear about which regulations are in force.  And if a class is raced that is not in the Yearbook, there will be a clear reference to where to find that class’s regulations.

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.

Championships

From 2019 Motorsport UK took over the promotion of the British Kart Championships, all the National Championships are now ‘British’.  Visit the British Kart Championship website for more information.  Previous to that the ABKC National Championships (and British Kart Championships) were promoted by ABKC.  The Super 4 Challenge series gearbox class championships are with the Northern Karting Federation (NKF) for 250 National and KZ UK. There are other single event National Championships – the ‘O’ Plates – which 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 newer E Plate championships. 

Seeded Drivers

It should be emphasised that these British Kart Championships award the seeded numbers 1 – 10 in all their classes and the 1- 10 numbers from KZ UK and 250 National are allocated from the Super 4 Series promoted by the NKF and the 1 – 10 from the 210 Challenge. Numbers from other series are not permitted to be used at club racing. You can get to the more recent seeded driver list from the relevant websites.

Why join the ABkC

To summarise, the benefits of membership include:

    • Being a member of the only official body representing Motorsport UK licensed kart racing clubs in the UK
    • Being part of an association dedicated to responding to member club issues
    • Use of ABKC experience and expertise in resolving technical and organisational questions
    • Collating and forwarding requests for changes to Motorsport UK
    • Provide recognised representation for member clubs with Kart Council and Motorsport UK on all relevant karting matters including classes, technical, safety, circuit matters and safeguarding
    • Support Kart Council in providing a unified representation of all member clubs
    • Full compliance with Yearbook A2.7 and A4.1 (Approval to organise a meeting, and Club Recognition) through ABKC being recognised as the Regional Committee for kart clubs
    • Being able to offer a British Kart Championship round
    • Full access to ABKC Social Media outlets for publicity and information purposes
    • Regular informative newsletter
    • Club official’s link with Motorsport UK and it’s senior personnel
    • To represent and aid its member clubs in the safe organisation and operation of kart racing in the UK
    • Providing a unified shop window at kart shows and other events
    • Benefiting from promotional activity for those looking to start karting
    • Receiving potential new competitors from inquiries

The 2024 Membership Application form is here

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.  (Regulation changes are put out for consultation via the Motorsport UK website, inviting comment before ratification.)  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, the Council as the parliament, and the Executive as the government, 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 Bicester Heritage from February 2021.  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 the Rules Committee and then the Executive 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 were 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 Yearbook (the ‘Blue Book’) and the Karting Yearbook (the ‘Gold Book’) containing all the regulations.  It has also formulated many guideline and policis including a Child Safeguarding Policy, which extends to all clubs involved with minors, and organises DBS checks for motor sport volunteers where required.  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 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 three to six years, extendable to more.  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: Nigel Edwards
  Tel 07883401205 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: Mrs. Ann Smith

 

The elected members of the ABkC Steering Group are:

  • Chairman: Nigel Edwards; Secretary: Graham Smith
  • Operations: Grahame Butterworth
  • Other positions:  Malcolm Fell, Jim Thornsby, Rob Dodds, Paul Skipp
  • Treasurer: Ann Smith.  The 2022/23 Annual Accounts are here.
  • Honorary Presidents: Steve Chapman and Russell Anderson;
  • Motorsport UK: Cheryl Lynch, John Ryan and Dan Parker
  • Chairman of Kart Committee: George Robinson

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