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Contents 05 Forum ON THE
This issue’s postbag
06 Action replay
Wales Rally GB at Celtic Manor How the MSA is shaping karting’s future, p20
All the latest motor sport news
Tightening regulations keeps younger drivers safer
19 Talking heads
Should historic cars have to meet modern safety thresholds?
20 Cover story
A new structure should allow karting to flourish at all levels
46 Buyers’ guide
Products to help you organise your workshop
28 Beginners’ rallying Novice Dan Prosser tackles his first event
35 Role play
53 Techno file
How to ensure your car is eligible
How to be a timekeeper
36 Waiting in the wings The karting system in the UK is recognised worldwide for the drivers it produces. Manufacturers from other countries really believe our system is second to none
New products on the market this winter, p46
Is James Calado Britain’s next F1 star?
Making the most of the off season
57 Ask the experts
Understanding the judicial process
61 National Court
40 Winter testing
66 Simon says
Testing your car off-season doesn’t cost as much as you might think
Simon Arron on his karting experiences
David Tremayne David Tremayne is a freelance motor sport writer and author. On p36 he tells us why James Calado could be Britain’s next F1 star.
Glenn Freeman Glenn Freeman is news editor at Autosport. Having raced karts from 1994-2004, he writes about the sport on p20.
Tom Dymond Tom’s images regularly feature in national and international publications. He shot the stunning images for our karting cover story.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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EDITOR’S LETTER No area of motor sport is immune from the difficult
financial times our nation finds itself in, but it is heartening to see the hard work that is going in to weathering the storm – from venues who must compete with other kinds of entertainment to win spectators’ cash, to clubs keeping membership numbers alive. Karting is one category that is tackling the cost of competition. Starting on page 20, MSA General Secretary Rob Jones tells writer Glenn Freeman how an extensive review of the sport has helped it keep competitor numbers buoyant. We also look at how the sport is laying foundations for the future. Speaking of the future, James Calado is a driver tipped to become Britain’s next Formula 1 star – and renowned grand prix journalist David Tremayne highlights why he could be a special talent on page 36. Also in this issue, we catch up with our rallying rookie Dan Prosser and cast our eye over venues for winter testing. With 2013 around the corner, we want to know what technical topics you would like an insight into during next year’s editions of MSA. In this issue we ask, how do I prepare my car for scrutineering? We also consider ways in which you can develop your competition car during the off-season. See you in the spring…
Gemma Briggs, Editor
GO GREEN MOTORSPORT I read with interest the article by Brian Sims relating to sponsorship on page 57 of the Autumn MSA magazine. As a keen club racer, I too have identified the issue of ‘environmental awareness’ and sponsor reticence as obstacles to participation in motor sport activities because of the perceived stigma. For this reason, I have developed the ‘Go Green Motorsport’ initiative, aimed at educating YOUR competitors with the prospect THOUGHTS! We want to know of achieving the internationally your opinion on which As part of our work, we ask stars recognised environmental standard motor sport issues MSA of sport to be supporters and for ISO 14001. You can find more details magazine should cover. them to share a favourite memory. at www.gogreenmotorsport.co.uk Email us at msa@ thinkpublishing. We’ve had a phenomenal response David Fenn co.uk from the world of motor sport. We only
Really enjoyed the article on Sir Frank Williams in the Autumn edition of the MSA mag. I’m a director of a social enterprise registered in England, Wales and Scotland. We are aiming to spread the use of sports-based reminiscence activities with older people to improve their wellbeing. We use archive images and memorabilia to stimulate cognitive functioning and discussion, particularly with older people with dementia, but we are just starting to work with people with depression.
Competition winners In Autumn’s issue we offered you the chance to win one of five bottles of Autoglym Super Resin Polish. We wanted to know who the first British Formula 1 world champion was. Our inbox was filled with correct answers – the driver was Mike Hawthorn – and the five winners, picked at random, are: Philip Bryans, Peter Johnson, Henry Fryer, Andy Pedrick and Charles Jones.
Gemma Briggs PUBLISHED ON BEHALF OF MSA BY: THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE MOTOR SPORTS ASSOCIATION (MSA)
Think The Pall Mall Deposit 124-128 Barlby Road London W10 6BL Tel: 020 8962 3020 www.thinkpublishing.co.uk
launched the website and project at the end of June and we now have David Coulthard, Ross Brawn, Karun Chandhok, Liz Halliday, Lee McKenzie, Jennie Gow, Maurice Hamilton, Louise Goodman, Sonia Irvine and Lawrence Tomlinson supporting, among many others. We’d love to ask readers to share some of their favourite moments in motor sport in support of older fans. Tony Jameson-Allen www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com
COMPETITION: WIN A FITNESS ASSESSMENT AT THE PORSCHE HUMAN PERFORMANCE CENTRE!
We are looking for an amateur competitor to take part in a series of fitness articles for MSA magazine, in conjunction with Porsche Human Performance Centre. The driver will be given a fitness and hydration test, as well as tailored advice. To enter, email a short paragraph to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining which category you compete in and why you should win this competition. Entrants must be willing to be photographed and interviewed for the magazine, and make their own way to Silverstone circuit. Closing date is 4 January.
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
Tim Swietochowski SUB-EDITOR
Cathi Thacker ADVERTISING
Adam Lloyds adam.lloyds@ thinkpublishing.co.uk
Ian McAuliffe PRINTED BY: Wyndeham Press Group Limited, which holds to the ISO14001 environmental management system. MSA magazine is printed on 90gsm UPM Finesse Silk.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE MSA. EQUALLY, THE INCLUSION OF ADVERTISEMENTS IN THIS MAGAZINE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES CONCERNED BY THE MSA.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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WHEN: 15 September WHERE: Celtic Manor EVENT: Wales Rally GB
When it comes to hosting world-class sporting events, Celtic Manor may be best known for bringing golf’s Ryder Cup to Wales, but it has now had a taste of motor sport. Wales Rally GB’s super special at the famous hotel was one of the highlights of this year’s event. The rally attracted 31 international crews with Ford’s Finnish star Jari-Matti Latvala taking a second consecutive victory in Great Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He delivered a home victory to his Cumbrianbased M-Sport team, with his team-mate Petter Solberg (pictured here) capping the weekend by finishing third. But it wasn’t only the international stars who wowed the crowds in Wales, as 42 cars took part in the third Wales Rally GB National event, which was won by the Subaru Impreza of Bob Ceen from Malvern and co-driver Andy Bull of Birmingham. The Croeso Trophy – awarded in memory of the late Welsh co-driver Gareth Roberts - was presented to the all-Welsh crew of Sara Williams and Patrick Walsh, who finished sixth in their Impreza.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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APRacingMSAsummer_Layout 1 16/04/2012 14:57 Page 1
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New website; Liverpool motor club; Closed road campaign
COUNCIL ACTS ON SINGLE-SEATERS AND LIFING
GO MOTORSPORT GETS A FACELIFT GO MOTORSPORT
New and improved website is launched
It is now easier than ever to find out how to get involved in all areas of motor sport, thanks to the launch of a new Go Motorsport website featuring a slick new look, easy-tonavigate format and updated content. The revamped GoMotorsport.net features new pages about the cost of competing, how to get a competition licence, how motor sport can engage with schools and the ways in which Go Motorsport can help local motor clubs. This adds to information on all of the major motor sport disciplines and volunteer roles, as well as FAQs, contacts, and the unique club and events search function.
“Go Motorsport is about encouraging new people into our sport, and this new site will help us to do that by providing a much clearer message to people looking to get started for the first time,” said Ben Taylor, MSA Director of Development and Communications. “The site will support the valuable work of the Regional Development Officers who are spreading the word on the ground and helping our clubs to attract new members.” MSA clubs are reminded that they can improve the accuracy of the club search function by logging on to the MSA website and inputting a secondary post code.
35,489 metres The combined length of all 33 MSA-licensed kart circuits in the UK. That’s 25.5km or 22 miles
MSC A higher age limit for singleseater racing and the extension of a reprieve on rally seat ‘lifing’ were among the rule changes approved during the latest Motor Sports Council meeting. From January 2013 the MSA will stop granting waivers allowing 15-year-old drivers in singleseater championships. This will align MSA and FIA regulations so that no driver under the age of 16 will be able to race single-seaters in the UK. Additionally, all junior formulas will be required to run on treaded, rather than slick, tyres. Meanwhile regulation (R)220.127.116.11. has been extended for a further 12 months. This means that until the end of 2013 the seats in any rally car issued with an MSA Competition Car Log Book prior to 1 January 2009 do not need to be currently FIA-homologated, provided that they have previously been homologated and have been mounted appropriately in accordance with R48.10.6. This extension is to allow for further testing and research of lifing, and to help competitors to finalise their plans for 2013. These rule changes and all others recently approved by Council can be found on this magazine’s carrier sheet.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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NEWS IN BRIEF dates confirmed NMW Next year’s National Motorsport Week will run from 29 June to 7 July, provisionally beginning – rather than ending – with the British Grand Prix. To find out how you can support NMW 2013, email info@ GoMotorsport.net
Ron Smith recognised Awards The MSA has presented its Lifetime Achievement award to Ron Smith, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sport. Ron became an RAC Steward in 1952 and has since worked on numerous RAC, MSA and FIA Committees, Panels and the Motor Sports Council.
Super One wins short circuit tenders Karting Super One will promote the MSA British Kart, Junior Kart and Cadet Kart Championships for five years from 1 January 2013. S1 will also run the new MSA National Comer Cadet Kart Championship for three years.
BSA & BSRC chosen for Superkart Karting The British Superkart
Association (BSA) and British Superkart Racing Club (BSRC) have won a tender process to promote the MSA British Superkart Championship and MSA British Superkart Grand Prix respectively.
MSA takes full control of development work Development
Mangement of schemes is brought in-house
UK – the pinnacle of the MSA Academy – has been run by David Brabham’s Brabham Performance Clinic (BPC), as was its predecessor the Race Elite programme. “When these schemes were originally set up, it made sense to use external consultants,” said Ben Taylor, MSA Director of Development & Communications. “Not only did it offer instant access to a level of David Brabham has overseen the expertise that the governing body development of didn’t possess at the time, but it The management of the Team UK also allowed a degree of flexibility MSA’s development activity – as no one knew how successful or predominantly the Go Motorsport important the projects would become. and the MSA Academy projects – will now “Four years down the line and the MSA be undertaken entirely in-house. has accumulated a great deal of experience After four years’ hard work by MPA and is now able to make the necessary Creative, Go Motorsport was brought commitment to the various development within Motor Sports House earlier this programmes. However, I am delighted that year, with new recruit Jess Fack [My Motor both MPA Creative and David Brabham Sport, page 11] joining the team in October will continue to bring their considerable to assist the campaign to get more people knowledge and expertise to the table for the involved with the sport. benefit of the MSA’s activities.” Since its creation three years ago Team
club development hits the road Go Motorsport Go Motorsport is touring the UK’s 13 Regional Associations holding club development evenings to generate ideas and explode myths around grass-roots promotion and membership growth. Delivered by MSA Club Development Officer Richard Egger, the first two sessions have already been held in conjunction with the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs and the Association of North West Car Clubs, where the MSA’s Ben Taylor joined the discussion. “Two successful evenings have already motivated clubs to approach their development with refreshed enthusiasm,” said Egger. “Any club member with an interest in their club’s future is welcome to attend one of the events, so get in touch with your association and keep an eye on MSA News to find out when we’re in your area.”
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MY MOTOR SPORT
Closed road motor sport events would be of great benefit to local communities in terms of tourism and economic prosperity
A Q&A with new MSA Development Officer Jess Fack What’s your motor sport background?
I was very much born into it. My uncle, Julian, my father, Jerome, and his twin brother, John, are all long-standing sporting trials competitors. I went to my first event when I was knee-high to them and as I grew up I went from spectating to marshalling to passengering and now driving.
CLOSED ROAD EFFORT TAKES STEP FORWARDS MSA
MSA calls in Portland to help deliver law change support that we have within the motor community in order to demonstrate, not only to government but also to other important groups, that this would be of great benefit to local communities in terms of tourism and economic prosperity, at no cost to the public purse,” said Hilton. Research commissioned by the MSA and conducted by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University has shown that a closed road motor sport event could generate more than one million pounds for local communities across the UK. While the MSA is closer than ever to making closed road motor sport a reality there remains a long way to go, and should the campaign be successful the first events would be unlikely to run before 2015.
CLOSED ROAD PETITION More than 7,500 people have already signed an online petition supporting the MSA’s campaign. To add your name, please visit www.petition.co.uk/msa
I studied Geography with Sport Management at Loughborough University and then found my way into a volunteer development job at British Judo. The role took me to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, which was a fantastic experience and a great note on which to move on from judo and into a professional role in motor sport. How important is it to get more young people involved in motor sport?
It’s certainly important but I think it’s perhaps even more important to focus on bringing in first-generation competitors and volunteers, whatever their age. Many people currently involved in the sport, particularly the younger people, are second or third generation such as myself, and while those people will keep coming through you can’t rely on them. We need to work out how to attract brand new people without prior connections to the sport if we really want to grow the grass roots. How do you think we can do that?
Go Motorsport is a grass-roots participation drive and it’s great that we’ve got ambassadors on board to help grab people’s interest, but I think the trick is to spark that interest in the right way to actually show people that it’s a lot easier and cheaper to get into motor sport than they might think. I think working with motor clubs will be key to this and should be one of our priorities, because ultimately it’s the clubs who are running grass-roots motor sport. Ultimately Go Motorsport is saying, “Go and find your local club and get involved.” That’s a message we need to back up with real action, and it’s going to be an exciting challenge trying to make that happen.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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The campaign to bring closed road motor sport back to mainland Britain has been bolstered by the MSA’s appointment of leading public affairs agency Portland to the brief. The Portland team, led by Head of Portland Local Kevin McKeever, will combine grass-roots campaigning among MSA clubs with a targeted Westminster, Whitehall and media effort to deliver a change in the law to allow local authorities to close a road without needing a costly Act of Parliament to suspend the Road Traffic Act. “The MSA’s campaign plays to Portland strengths: strong understanding of the local government context, combined with an industry-leading track record at Westminster and with the media,” said McKeever. “We’re looking forward to working with the MSA on this exciting campaign.” MSA Chief Executive, Colin Hilton, is confident that Portland will be able to help the governing body convince power brokers of closed road motor sport’s potential social and economic benefits. “Portland will assist the MSA in mobilising the resources and
What about your career background?
LIVERPOOL MOTOR CLUB CLUB FOCUS
Celebrating 110 years of motor sport excellence
Above: Self-Propelled Traffic Association Winner’s Certificate 1898; Left: LMC display at 2011 Oulton Park Gold Cup Meeting
Established: 1902 Membership: 240 Website: www.liverpoolmotorclub.com
The MSA Centenary Club trophy is currently one of the most seldom-awarded accolades in UK motor sport, as the sport itself is barely old enough for most clubs to have yet racked up 100 years’ continuous activity. It is therefore remarkable that Liverpool Motor Club is currently celebrating a decade since receiving its golden MSA flag. Although not the oldest single club – Midland Automobile Club, established in 1901, is believed to hold that honour – Liverpool MC can arguably trace its roots back further, having been spawned by the Self-Propelled Traffic Association, which began life way back in 1895. “A great deal of the club’s history prior to 1945 was destroyed in the Blitz,” says club chairman John Harden. “We know that in 1895 the Association ran a hill climb on Everton Brow and the Liverpool branch of the Association ran it the following year.
“The current club began life in 1902 as the Liverpool Motor Cycle Club, which was formed by people who wanted to run motorcycle events. The Association folded soon after, so we became Liverpool Motor Club in 1904 to accommodate four-wheel motor sport, which became the club’s main focus in the 1930s when more affordable sports cars became available.” Liverpool MC’s early events were trials of one sort or another, with meetings at Colwyn Bay and in Blackpool. The club later became known for organising the Jeans Gold Cup Car Rally, for which the winner’s trophy was presented by Sir Alexander Jeans of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo. Today the club runs all four-wheel motor sport at Aintree, a track that may have become dormant if it were not for Liverpool MC. “In 1998 the club that had been running events at Aintree folded, so we stepped in to take over and ensure the circuit’s future,” explains Harden. “Had we not run those initial events in 1998 I think the venue would have been lost to motor sport, which would have been a real shame because it
has a great history going back to 1954.” The on-track action at Aintree now comprises three multi-championship sprints and two track days, all of which are highly respected by competitors, according to Harden: “Our philosophy is to produce the most professional events that can possibly be run by a voluntary organisation, which I think is why we get roughly a 70 per cent return rate at our track days. It’s motor sport for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts.” The club’s other main activity is the highly successful Chester & Liverpool Motor Clubs’ Speed Championship, which takes place at 20 venues in the North, Midlands and North Wales and is organised, as the name suggests, in conjunction with Chester Motor Club. Liverpool MC meets at the Unicorn Inn in Cronton, Cheshire on the second Monday of every month from 8pm.
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GOVERNING BODY RETURNS TO ASI
MSA The MSA will be back at Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham on 10–13 January, with staff on hand to welcome visitors to the governing body’s usual stand right inside the main entrance. Representatives from all departments of the MSA, from technical and sporting to Go Motorsport and the MSA Academy, will be available to field any questions, while the licensing team will also be available to process renewals and first-time applications. Meanwhile the Go Motorsport stand will provide an interactive experience shedding light on the volunteers who
NEWS IN BRIEF RALLY THEME CONFIRMED RALLY The theme for the 2013 rally display will be a tribute to England’s only WRC champion, the late Richard Burns. The feature will showcase some of the 2001 title winner’s most famous rally cars, alongside a look back at his many great achievements behind the wheel.
make motor sport happen, such as marshals, scrutineers and rescue crews. “Autosport International is the first real opportunity of the year for the MSA to meet face-to-face with the motor sport community,” said MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton. “Whatever your query, there will be somebody who can help you. Of course if you don’t have a specific question, feel free to drop by for a chat anyway!” The MSA has again teamed up with Autosport International to offer licence holders a £5 discount on trade tickets, available on all four show days: quote MI3A when buying.
REPEAT PERFORMANCE ASI Show organisers have confirmed that The Performance Car Show: Powered by PistonHeads.com will return once again in 2013, with a range of the world’s most exotic sports cars on display, including the Lamborghini Aventador LP760-2.
STARS AND CARS TO LIGHT UP ASI ASI Celebrity guests, live racing, a kart track, supercars and a host of specialist exhibitors will combine under one roof at January’s Autosport International. Broadcaster Jake Humphrey is scheduled to appear, while exhibitors confirmed so far include suspension experts Eibach, high-performance transmission producer Quaife Engineering and temperature coatings expert Zicotec. “We pride ourselves on the important position that Autosport International now holds within the motor sport industry, attracting the biggest and most influential names to the show,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show director.
MCNISH CONFIRMED SPORTSCARS Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and former F1 driver Allan McNish will return to the NEC in January. “I am delighted to once again be part of Autosport International,” he said. “The show is a great chance to catch-up with fellow drivers before the new season.”
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Keeping performance in check The regulatory process is a vital tool in the ongoing risk management of the sport, especially for junior drivers, says Alan Gow, MSA Chairman Within the rule changes on the carrier sheet of this magazine, you may notice two important amendments concerning motor sport and young drivers. One eliminates slick tyres from junior racing, while the other dictates that competitors must be at least 16 years of age before they can compete in a single-seater racing car. Junior categories should be about Both these changes were learning and discussed and approved at the development – building skills for latest meeting of the Motor Sports the future Council. They relate to general concerns felt within the sport and which have been raised specifically by both the Safety and Technical Advisory Panels in recent years. Keeping junior competitors as safe as possible is a vital part of the risk management process and is indicative of the MSA’s commitment to the well-being of its younger licence holders. It is in keeping with the position of the FIA, whose International Sporting Code requires that any young driver is already 16 by the start of the year in which he or she applies for their international race licence. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues in other ASNs take a more ‘relaxed’ view of this age requirement, but we understand that the FIA will move to bring them into line next year. Next year a new engine will power the MSA
Taking steps to control performance in motor sport may seem to be counter-intuitive, but it is employed right across the board - all the way up to Formula 1 British Cadet Kart Championship and this has provided a welcome opportunity to also address the issue of speeds for young karters. The new IAME engine will be restricted to achieve marginally slower lap times and the outgoing Comer unit, which will continue to run at national and club level, will itself be restricted to a similar level. Some may ask why we are doing this, but it is clear that engine tuning, chassis development and tyre technology continually combine to deliver performance improvements. Analysis of lap times around Shenington indicates that cadet karts are now more than two seconds quicker than
they were 10 years ago – a substantial gain given that it is only a 50-second lap. Taking steps to control performance in motor sport may seem to be counterintuitive, but it is a vital tool that is employed right across the board, not just in domestic motor sport but right the way up to the World Rally Championship and Formula 1, where more than half of the championship’s lap records still stand from 2004. Primarily it is a safety and risk management issue but where young competitors are concerned there is also a developmental argument. Experts in every sport will confirm that trying to climb the ladder too quickly
might get you ahead faster, but the longerterm trade-off is that it will rarely allow you to reach your maximum potential. Junior categories should be about learning and development, building skills that can be called upon in future years when the going gets tough. The MSA’s coaches confirm that if drivers try to move up through the categories too quickly, they will never extract 100 per cent from any of the cars they drive and consequently will never learn how to reach the limits of a car’s potential. That can only hold them back in the future. The Motor Sports Association has always taken its duty of care extremely seriously and we make no apology for continuing to balance the needs of the sport with the duty of care we owe to the sport’s participants. It is a fine line to tread, but our track record indicates that we make a pretty good job of it. Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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SHOULD HISTORIC CARS BE ALLOWED TO USE MODERN TECHNOLOGY?
Steve Tandy, historic racer
In terms of safety equipment, I think it’s a given. If you’re talking about performance enhancers, that’s a grey area. My Group C Nissan runs a Motec engine management system because no one understood the original Japanese system. I would’ve had to employ a Japanese engineer! We also have to accept that modern braking materials and that sort of thing will be used. If you want to be strictly period there are parts that are very difficult to get. There’s a difference between sensible modern developments and cheating, such as we have seen
at certain events. Improvements for safety and longevity of components are acceptable, but when you’re doing it just to go faster that’s wrong. I think organisers generally get it about right. You have to remember that if you start really Jim Campbell, historic policing everything, they would racer and FISCAR have to find people with lots of committee member technical ability, which is a burden. If someone sticks their head above the parapet the I’m happy enough with competitors sort of police it – modern technology everyone knows. being applied if it improves I think continuation reliability. In FISCAR, cars [recent cars built we’ve accepted alloy to historic spec] are heads on Austin WHAT DO accepted now. I’ve Healeys to stop YOU THINK? never tried to dress warping, but if you Should historic cars only be classed as such if they have no my Lola T70 Mk3B use that as an modifications? Or is it crucial up as anything excuse to run other they meet modern safety else. It’s a genuine modern things – thresholds? Let us know Lola and if you larger carbs or what you think at msa@ thinkpublishing.co.uk compare it to original different manifolds cars the construction – that’s not acceptable. techniques are pretty near You do need full grids so identical. Anyway, if you have a there is a bit of leeway. Once we dodgy or weak part on an get full grids the cars we think original you should replace it for have too many modern bits will safety reasons. be the first to go. Some go too
far. If someone goes off into the distance, the field tails off and the whole of motor sport suffers. You can ruin cars. The more honest you can make a car the more desirable it is to have on a racetrack. Modifications out of period devalue the whole thing and genuine cars disappear. You go so far, then you have to stop and go back. Genuine cars attract genuine cars. I’ve got no objections to replicas, but it’s a different motor race. You think twice before going side-by-side into a corner with them. You don’t think about the cost of the car when you’re racing, unless you are racing a more modern car. The organisers dictate what’s acceptable. In the end, if we see a car going outstandingly quickly we will look at it. If it is bending the rules we won’t invite it back again. If it becomes all-enveloping and you feel you have to go beyond the boundaries, then historic motor sport isn’t for you.
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 19
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KEEPING KARTING ON TRACK
The troubled economy has hit all forms of motor sport, but the MSAâ€™s review of karting is helping it weather the storm, says Glenn Freeman
Thanks to an extensive review of karting and forward-thinking of all involved, grid numbers are buoyant
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Karting is fighting against the recession. As a leisure activity which can be somewhat pricey, it should have been ripe for picking when Britain’s economy crashed. But somehow, and even to the surprise of many in the sport, it is holding up well while other businesses have hit very hard times. By the end of August this year, there had been 23,791 entries in long and short circuit karting. That compares to 24,266 entries by the same time last year, and 25,352 in 2010. The numbers are down, but not by a lot considering the pennypinching that is going on elsewhere. MSA General Secretary Rob Jones, who describes himself as “a former karting dad,” is the
current chairman of the governing body’s Kart Committee. And he is pleased with the state of the sport. “The variation in numbers since 2010 is minimal considering where the economy is,” he says. “I think karting is healthy and there are plenty of reasons for optimism. We’re not saying we’re 100 per cent satisfied, but I feel very positive.” Jones has overseen an “extensive” review of karting in recent years, with a lot of effort going in to getting feedback from those directly involved in the sport. The fact that cost control came out as the top priority surprised nobody, but there were many more areas that were highlighted by the Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 21
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Behind the scenes at Shenington: the club is one of several that has continued the Let’s Go Karting scheme and has worked hard at including people of all ages and abilities
review. “We’ve spent three or four years canvassing the views of those in the sport,” Jones adds. “From that we’ve got a list of priorities. Obviously costs are at the top, but we’re also putting a lot of effort into the structure of the sport, the judicial process and, of course, safety.” The restructuring at the top of karting has resulted in all of the major British titles falling under the Super 1 banner again, although Jones is quick to praise the work done by Carolynn Hoy’s Formula Kart Stars organisation over the years. But the new structure also enables the MSA to place more restrictions on the top championships, with a limited number of rounds considered to be one of the best ways to slash costs. Super 1 promoter John Hoyle adds that his championships are doing all they can to control expenditure on the competition side as well. “In some areas, it’s not cheating we’re talking about, it’s gaining an edge,” he says. “So we do things like clutch monitoring and controlling tyre usage, and then you can have 20 karts covered by a tenth of a second. If you can make it a level playing field, then most
people are happy.” Hoyle accepts that karting is “down on where it was at its peak”, but he agrees with Jones that the sport has rallied well against the stormy economic climate. “From our side numbers are good considering the economy,” he says. “You only have to walk around your local shops and see how many are closing down to see how badly other businesses have been affected. The same can be said of car racing too; championships are either losing drivers or stopping altogether, such as Formula Renault UK. But at our end of the spectrum we’re doing well on the whole.” If the big championships are doing well, then the same can be said for the top clubs in the country too. The large catchment area of the Midlands seems to be the strongest, and while some clubs have faltered in recent times there are plenty of others still going strong. Russell Anderson, chairman of the Association of British Kart Clubs, believes
the responsibility falls to the clubs if they want to survive. “Clearly the Midlands clubs are pretty healthy, but there are others out there that play to their own strengths,” he says. “Places like Buckmore Park and Bayford Meadows are doing very well with Honda Cadet, which looks very strong in a lot of places at the moment. “What I urge clubs to do is be proactive. In good times they can be guilty of sitting back and waiting for the entries to come in. But I tell them: ‘Don’t sit there and think somebody else is going to do your promotion for you.’ We’ve got to look after the club scene, because we need the people to start off at their local tracks if we want to continue to have people filtering into the big championships.” Some clubs appear to be taking Anderson’s advice to heart. The success of Honda Cadet in the South East is being built on with a ‘Clubman’ class, where there are further restrictions on cost including a scheme
Numbers are down, but not by a lot considering the penny-pinching that is going on elsewhere ... the variation in numbers since 2010 is minimal
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Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 23
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Britain has a long heritage of producing world-class karters and the signs are that it will maintain this position long into the future
There’s no crystal ball telling you how many people are out there, but if the sport keeps its head above water and promotes itself, it’s got a healthy future where any competitor can buy a rival’s engine for a flat fee of £550. That was introduced with the aim of frightening people away from spending thousands on their engines, and it has worked. Elsewhere, Shenington introduced a TKM Clubman class for the senior market at the start of 2011, and grids have gradually grown to the point where it was included in this year’s TKM Festival at Kimbolton. Shenington Secretary Graham Smith, who also holds positions with the ABKC and the MSA’s Kart Committees, believes that the TKM Clubman approach of running a championship for older-spec equipment is key to its success. “To say we need a ‘new’ economy class is no good,” he says. “To get something together using new kit could cost you three grand. If you can use second-hand equipment you can be race ready by spending something like £1,200.” Shenington is one of several clubs to have continued the Let’s Go Karting scheme this
year, after its three-year period of MSA support and subsidising came to an end. Clubs have reported reasonable conversion rates from the initiative, which aimed to get kids to have a taster session in a kart for just £5. Circuits such as Rowrah and PF International are still attracting a lot of interest with their sessions, which suggests that there is always going to be interest in karting provided there is the promotion in place to hook people in. The ABKC’s Anderson adds that the recent struggles karting has fought against could prove crucial to it enjoying a prosperous future. “We’ve possibly all been guilty of a little bit too much focus on the top of the sport,” he says. “Hard times tend to make you look at the base of the pyramid, and we are doing that now. There’s no crystal ball that tells you how many people are out there and want to take up karting, but if the sport keeps its head above water and promotes itself then it’s got a healthy future.”
24 www.msauk.org Winter 2012
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PUTTING KARTING ON THE CURRICULUM The TKM Clubman class encourages the use of second-hand equipment so a season can cost as little as £1,200
Jones promises to make sure that the MSA’s extra effort of recent years does not fall by the wayside in the future. “I want people to go karting, I want them to enjoy it, be safe and go home with a smile on their face. Youngsters and their families get so much more from karting than just racing; it’s about self-respect and respect for other competitors and for authority. It’s about keeping fit and about science and technology but mostly it should be about a family having fun.” “This healthy environment breeds champions. Everyone is well aware that Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta, for example, were all successful kart racers, but they may be unaware that year on year we are still producing European and World Kart Champions. We have a very exciting package and we are clearly doing something right.” Anderson adds: “The system in the UK is recognised worldwide for the drivers it produces. Manufacturers from other countries really believe our system is second to none – we are out of proportion really considering the number of drivers we produce on the international scene.” That’s not bad for a sport that has supposedly hit hard times of late.
There are plenty of initiatives around the UK aimed at making karting affordable. One that is clearly working is the British Schools Karting Championship, which attracted 617 threeperson teams to its national competition last year. Set up by the same people – and therefore under the same principles – as the British University Karting Championship, the BSKC is growing rapidly in the UK. Mark Turner, championship organiser, takes up the story. “Will Tew, who set up the BUKC, thought why not roll it out for schools as well?” he says. “At the end of the day, the earlier you can get people interested in karting the better. But it was also borne out of a desire to make competitive karting easily accessible, without everything that comes with starting up in MSA racing.” Based around arriveand-drive karting, the BSKC offers schools the opportunity to enter teams of three competitors for just £150. That gets each driver a 20-minute acclimatisation session and entry into localised heats. Semifinals and a grand final await those who proceed, and no matter how far a team goes it will not
have to pay a single extra penny, as the original entry fee covers everything. Travel costs are also subsidised as much as possible. The value for money comes with help from the MSA, BARC, ARKS and ABKC, who all do their bit. “These kids are likely to be the competitors, spectators and marshals of the future,” says Turner. “So there is an investment element to it, particularly from the BARC.” Championship chiefs admit that were they to double the entry fees they could do a lot more with the concept, particularly from the point of promotion and getting major outdoor circuits involved. But, as Turner stresses, that would only work if the same number of teams entered, and at £100 per driver that would not be the case. “We feel that keeping the price low is key to us being easily accessible,” he says. “£50 per driver is what we think the market can take, so we need to work to that.” Entries tend to come from students hearing about the competition at their local tracks, and then pleading with their teachers to put a team together. The BSKC has worked to get itself in the education press to add some credibility in
the eyes of the schools, and it has to push the educational benefits of motor sport as well. “We have to make sure there is a link so that it is beneficial to the schools,” says Turner. “Some teachers really get behind it, and we have schools that enter 14 or 15 teams. “We show schools how they can use it. Some use it to motivate pupils that are not interested in normal subjects or usual PE sports, others use it as a treat for the students who are doing well. Then there are the links to science, technology, maths, PE – there are all sorts of ways to use karting as additional material.” While the BSKC is a notfor-profit enterprise by the BARC, Turner hopes that if entries continue to increase, then there is a chance of breaking even this time round. “We’re not too far away from that,” he says. “If we can get closer to 750-800 teams from the 617 we had last year, then it will start breaking even and we can start spending more on the championship, and finally start marketing it.” The 2013 BSKC begins in February and is open to any school or college student aged 13 to 18. To register, visit www.bskc. co.uk
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 27
020-027 Karting.indd 27
Tales from the Tarmac
With Dan Prosser’s old shed – aka his BMW E30 rally car – having finally passed its MOT, it was time for the novice to tackle his first event
Following the debacle that was my first attempt at rallying, I decided that a more professional approach would be necessary if I were ever to make it to the start line. My colleague Chris Harris – who had bought a decidedly worn-out BMW E30 325i rally car so that we could embark upon a budget rallying adventure – and I were due to compete on the Mid-Summer Caerwent Rally in late June. When the car failed its MOT just a few days before the rally, however, it was clear that we were more than a little under-prepared. I delayed our modest programme by almost two months to give us plenty of time to get the car up to scratch. I also enlisted expert input in the form of rally-mad Jim Dunkley, a local mechanic and welder who could get the BMW through the necessary test. A couple of wheel bearings, a full set of brake discs and pads all round, a smattering of light bulbs and a couple of patches of welding later, the old shed had finally been granted that elusive ticket. The event I’d chosen was the Hutton Kitchens Brands Hatch Summer Stages, which uses parts of the legendary race circuit and its pit lane, paddock, car park, rally school and a load of tyres and cones to create an eight-stage, single-venue event. A tarmac rally of this sort would be perfect for a total novice, I was assured, for it would be challenging Dan chose the without being completely terrifying. Hutton Kitchens
Brands Hatch Summer Stages, held at the legendary race circuit, for his first rally ever
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beginnersâ€™ rallying part 3
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beginners’ rallying part 3
Having successfully run the gauntlet of the scrutineers, Dan was ready to tackle the course with his best mate Adam Gould as co-driver
Although the BMW had passed its MOT, there were no such assurances that it would fare quite so well in scrutineering ahead of the rally. I’d sought the expertise of Andy Gould, father of Adam Gould (more of whom later) and veteran of the sport both as a competitor and mechanic. Aside from the very basic fluid and spanner checks, however, there wasn’t an awful lot he could do until the scrutineers had presented us with a list of failures, which – surely – they would do. As the apparently immaculate Ford Escort Mk2 ahead of us got a hard time for its roll cage mountings, I turned my gaze back to the 325i. My heart sank. If that Escort was marginal, the E30 wouldn’t stand a chance. I was fully anticipating the humiliation of a team of scrutineers pointing and laughing at my humble slice of Bavaria, but instead a jolly nice fellow peaked under the bonnet, poked and pulled at buttons and levers, glanced at the MSA logbook and checked our suits and helmets. When he gave us the approval sticker without making a single objection I almost fell over. Rarely have I experienced such surprise and relief in a single moment. Owing to prior arrangements (or, as some have suggested, an increasing concern towards my total lack of experience) Chris wasn’t able to co-drive. My first thoughts
I was fully anticipating the humiliation of a team of scrutineers pointing and laughing at my humble slice of Bavaria but instead... he gave us the approval sticker
turned to the handful of young professional co-drivers with whom I have become quite friendly, but since this rally used maps rather than proper pacenotes and because there were no complicated road sections to navigate, I instead called upon my best mate Adam Gould. Despite having competed in rallying as a driver for seven years, during which time he racked up four MSA British Rally Championship podiums, Adam has never before sat in the silly seat on an event. I knew I’d feel more relaxed with Adam in the co-driver’s seat. He’s perfectly capable of describing a map, but most importantly, he’d be able to offer feedback on my driving. Plus, he owes me big time after many years of unwavering support…
As I pulled up to the steeply-sloping start line, ready to tackle my very first rally stage to fulfil a lifelong ambition, my heart was pounding through my overalls with terror and excitement. As Adam counted down from five, I suddenly became utterly convinced that I wasn’t capable of coordinating the release of the handbrake, the dumping of the clutch and the mashing of the loud pedal in time with the green light illuminating. When I pulled away with the tyre squeal and engine roar of a convincing race start, my surprise almost matched that at scrutineering. A much less encouraging sign followed as I shifted up from third to fourth for the first time – the gear knob came
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beginners’ rallying part 3
Tightly harnessed in
his bucket seat, Dan off cleanly in my hand as if the car enjoyed feeling every was saying, “No way am I getting move the car made to the end!” Throughout that first stage I drove within the car’s limits and mine. An SS1 retirement would not have been the ideal start to a clubman rallying career. The 4.6-mile stage was repeated for SS2; I went 28 seconds quicker, such was the release of pressure having got my first rally stage cleanly out of the way. Over the course of the day I became infinitely more confident in the car and my ability to control and extract performance from it. When I really started pushing the sheer joy of a deep bucket seat, a chestcrushing harness and a small, suede steering wheel really came to the fore. Showing up the shortfalls of many a fast road car, these few items enabled me to feel every single movement the car made, for only my limbs could move independently of it. The sensation of oversteer around a tight corner – effective, not gratuitous – whilst strapped in tightly and grasping a grippy wheel rim on opposite lock is, as I know now, the ultimate joy of rallying. Although the car ran without fault for the duration of the rally – which is utterly remarkable given the minimal preparation and its dubious provenance – it did reveal itself to be much better suited to gravel than tarmac surfaces (the extra wear and tear of a loose surface notwithstanding). The suspension set-up is too soft to control the cornering masses, the completely standard
Over the course of the day I became infinitely more confident in the car and my ability to control and extract performance from it
brakes overheated and became spongy, the steering was so slow that I had to cross my hands too often and the upright handbrake resolutely refused to lock the rear wheels. Despite all that, I don’t believe that anyone had more fun than I did that day. Having started 80th, I finished 47th. Next time round I’ll be sat in the other seat, calling notes for Chris who, I’m sure, will be able to clear his diary. I’m an awful lot more anxious about my co-driving debut than I was for my first time behind the wheel. Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 33
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23/10/2012 14:25 8/10/12 10:05:24
Without a timekeeper, a race meeting couldn’t happen. Would you be up to the job? Somewhere in your house there’s sure to be a pile of timing sheets. If you dig them out and take a look you’ll notice a signature at the bottom of the page. That belongs to the office timekeeper, who is possibly the most important person in the paddock. For without them, a motor sport event could not take place. Ian Rogers is a seasoned timekeeper for both MSA and ABKC karting championships, who on weekends can be found at his local club, Trent Valley, or at circuits up and down the country. “My job is timing a kart from one control line to another control line,” explains Rogers. “We time vehicles through the circuit over a given period and then issue the results. On top of that, we’ll issue any grids and apply any penalties to results.” In fact, one of Roger’s interests in the role of timekeeper is how the job is moving
forward; kart meetings now feature live timing, TV feeds in the paddock and sector times for the drivers. This is no longer a position that simply requires a stopwatch, pencil and clipboard (although “spotters” manually record each car’s lap as one of several back-ups). An understanding of how a race meeting works, ability to use computers and a meticulous eye for detail are all characteristics needed to do this job. Rogers adds: “You also need to be motivated as you could be getting up at 3am to travel 200 miles to an event and then spend two hours setting up in the rain!” While many timekeepers work on a voluntary basis, many championships offer payment for the role rather than simply covering fuel expenses. They are likely to supply kit, too, with a handful of laptops as well as decoders for processing the
The timekeeper is possibly the most important person in the paddock
transponders, photocells, printers and scoreboards. Gethin Rees is the operations manager for timing company TSL and is chief timekeeper for major championships such as British F3/GT. “The best thing is being involved at the heart of the sport,” he says. “If you are on a rally stage you are heavily involved and get to meet the competitors and give them the time they’ve completed a stage in; you see their elation if they’ve won. At a race meeting you are the first to know what is happening. You are really at the heart.” Rogers recommends that budding timekeepers start by making contact with their local clubs and offering to help. “It is a licensed position, so you have to go through a training programme,” says Rogers, “but local clubs are a great place to start – they always need help.” Rees, who has been a timekeeper for over 30 years and sits on the MSA’s advisory panel, adds: “If you want to progress through the ranks then contact the MSA. They will give you a log book and put you in touch with various timekeepers who will act as mentors.”
Visit www.msauk.org for information on becoming a timekeeper
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 35
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Waiting in the wings
The Formula 1 grid currently features three Britons, but James Calado may soon be joining them. David Tremayne reports on our bright new hope The cut and thrust of the battle in Valencia was so precise that you could have been watching Lewis Hamilton defending against Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen, as the leading driver was always scrupulous in his tactics and choice of racing line but hard enough to resist the insistent attack of his challenger. But it wasn’t Hamilton. It was 23-year-old James Calado doing everything he could on fading tyres to keep fellow title contender Luis Razia at bay in the GP2 sprint race. In the end those tyres, older than the Brazilian’s, consigned Calado to second place, but the fight that he demonstrated, allied to his results since he graduated to GP2, are why he is so widely regarded as the next British driver who will race in Formula 1. He has the same aggressive passion, speed and acumen that Hamilton showed in his title-winning GP2 season six years ago. Calado’s pedigree is impressive. He won the British Cadet Kart Championship in 2001 and was second to Daniel Rowbottom in the Super 1 Cadets, after a measure of controversy that was not of his making, just 13 points adrift. He was second to Nicholas Risitano in the 2003
European Championship, beating Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, who went on to race in F1 for Toro Rosso. Two years later he won that title, ahead of current Toro Rosso incumbent, the highly rated Jean-Eric Vergne. Graduation to cars bought further success, in Formula Renault and then in the 2010 British F3 Championship where he finished second to Vergne after five wins; in 2011 his GP3 campaign saw him win in Valencia and amass sufficient podiums to take the runner-up slot behind champion Valtteri Bottas. Calado had been cheated out of victory in the feature race that weekend in Valencia when Lotus GP made a poor call on the mandatory pit stop as he was leading when the safety car was deployed. But he had already proved himself to be a winner in the series. He staked his claim to F1 attention when he won his second-only GP2 race; after finishing eighth on his debut in the feature race in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2011, he won the sprint race in style and earned his spurs by keeping his head despite serious pressure from experienced racer Marcus Ericsson. He could have been forgiven if he Victories in Kuala Lumpar, Valencia had overdriven, but he didn’t.
and Hockenheim are why Calado is regarded as the next British driver who will race in Formula 1
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Calado crosses the line to take victory at Hockenheim, July 2012
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driving talent I feel less pressure when I’m at the front. I think of it all as a procedure I’ve learned in testing... just concentrate on not making mistakes
“Actually, I feel less pressure when I’m at successful racing driver must have. Does he the front,” he says. “I think of it all as a feel pressure to become the next Briton in F1? procedure I’ve learned in testing, don’t look “No, no, no! I’m not thinking of stuff like in my mirrors, just concentrate on looking that,” he says calmly. “I don’t think of anything after my tyres, not making mistakes. One other than just trying to do my job properly. mistake, and the tyre temperatures go up 25 Taking each race step by step. I just want to degrees and then never cool down again. I improve all the time and do my thing, forget was reasonably calm and had plenty left in about everyone else. I’ve just got to try and do the bag as well. I just stayed focused.” my best this year, that’s all.” At the Malaysian GP in March 2012 he won Funding for 2013 will be crucial, but again, starting from pole position and such is the momentum Calado controlling the sprint race to finish is building that so long as it ahead of much-fancied Mexican remains forthcoming, his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez and performances will only become The Racing Steps Foundation has Brazil’s coming-man Felipe Nasr. even more compelling. funded Calado’s He was also set fair in Monaco until racing since his Formula Renault another driver’s rashness finally days (above) and put an end to a streak of 56 Calado is currently their poster boy consecutive finishes; when you consider that he’s raced in Formula 3, GP3 and GP2, testosterone-fuelled junior formulae all, that’s nothing short of amazing. He won again at Hockenheim, and added seconds in Barcelona and Spa to the one in Valencia, as thirds in Bahrain and Spa and fourths in Barcelona and Hungary helped him to third spot in the title chase going into the finale in Singapore. That’s highly impressive for a rookie in a very tough series. There is much of Hamilton’s calm assurance about Calado. That’s helped by the mentorship he enjoys from the Racing Steps Foundation which was set up in 2007 by businessman Graham Sharp to provide the impetus of crucial funding for talented rising British racers. RSF has funded Calado’s racing since his Formula Renault days. He’s intelligent, takes good advice on board, and seems remarkably devoid of the dogmatic mindset that can be a bi-product of the ego that any
how MSA Supports new talent
James Calado is a graduate of the MSA’s Team UK national squad of elite drivers, who are hand-picked to represent the pinnacle of the MSA Academy talent development pathway, led by MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, the 2001 World Rally Champion co-driver. The Team UK drivers are mentored by National Race Coach David Brabham, the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, and National Rally Coach James Wozencroft, the former British Super 1600 Rally Champion. Nicky Grist, who navigated the late Colin McRae to a host of WRC wins, joined the project in 2011 to oversee the development of Britain’s top young co-drivers. The programme is designed to ensure the drivers maximise their potential to increase their chances of reaching the top of the motor sport ladder. Individual fitness programmes and dietary consultations keep the drivers in peak physical condition, while advanced sports psychology under former UK Athletics Performance Director Dave Collins equips them mentally to perform at the highest level. This is bolstered by communications training to arm the drivers with vital media handling skills. This coaching is supplemented by visits to leading F1 and WRC teams. Other activities range from exclusive test sessions with top international squads to military-style exercises to test the drivers’ endurance.
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You may be tempted to sit with your feet up this winter, but the off season is a great time for testing, says Gemma Briggs How often do you test your competition car? Is it on the Friday or Saturday of a race weekend, in front of the eyes of your rivals? Or perhaps in the days leading up to a crucial event, with a new set-up to try out? The chances are that some of you won’t have dreamt of hitting the track when the season is done and dusted. Or, if you have, you’ve probably discovered that your local circuit doesn’t offer anything outside of track days between October and March (and few would enjoy the prospect of mingling on track with drivers who don’t hold a race licence). Yet testing is available year-round at dedicated test venues and some of the country’s biggest racing circuits, and can be a tantalising chance to get out in your car
during that long drought. What’s more, it doesn’t cost as much as you might think. A spare £50 will get you an hour at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire, the country’s foremost testing centre where everything from the latest supercar to high-spec tanks and cutting-edge tractors are put through their paces. “Bruntingthorpe is popular for testing right through the year,” says Paul Atkin, general manager business development. “We are not a race track and we have no intentions of becoming one – our track is used for testing of automotive, racing, military and agricultural. Although we have noise limits, we do have lots of people testing motor sport. Every third vehicle on our track is motor sport, but they have to be quiet. We
cannot test most single-seaters – just perhaps the smaller ones like Jedis – and rally and touring cars are fine but sometimes they need to fit extra silencers.” Incredibly, Bruntingthorpe’s four-mile circuit has a two-mile straight – the longest in the country. “If you want to go fast at any other test track you have to go on a banked circuit like Rockingham, but if you want to go fast here you can do it on the flat,” says Atkin. “We rarely have more than six to ten vehicles on track in any day, and you don’t have to come on designated track days, you can come any day of the week.” What makes the venue particularly attractive is that you hire by the hour – £50 plus VAT – and although the more notice you give the better, it is possible to call the day
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winter track testing
Bruntingthorpe (above) is one of the country’s foremost testing centre; Donington (right) is open in the winter
before. “You turn up when you want, leave when you want and pay for what you use,” says Atkin. “If somebody is unfortunate enough to have a problem after half an hour, then they are not going to get stung for the whole day. “We are very accommodating in terms of recognising that certain tests require certain conditions,” he adds. “If you are looking at working on a dry set-up and it’s raining when you get up, we do not have a cancellation fee – we just hope you’ll book in again soon. We’re an ideal track for running-in vehicles, doing mapping work or setting up suspension.” If you’re looking for a venue where you’re unlikely to encounter any other cars on track, then Blyton Park offers exclusive testing
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 41
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Exclusive Weekday Testing: The Track to Yourself Half days for less than £200
• Three Circuit Layouts : 2 miles of new surface • Full Facilities : Covered area with light and power • MSA licensed for Sprint Events Used by : Caterham Cars, Ginetta, United Autosports, Audi UK, Mazda UK, JotaSport, Mtech, Raceworks Motorsport, Hall and Hall, Team Dynojet, Mansell Motorsport.
Call: 07967 442 352 circuit: 01427 628 922 Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Blyton Park, Old Blyton Airfield, Kirton Road, Blyton, Gainsborough DN21 3PE
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winter track testing
Some venues like Blyton Park (shown here) offer exclusive testing for a single car
for a single car at £170 plus VAT for four hours. Opened 18 months ago by former driver manager Richard Usher, he says it was designed to be “difficult, fun and fast – but also forgiving”. “At most of the corners you can spin off and not hit anything,” says Usher. “It’s only seven metres wide, so quite narrow. Caterham have done about eight or nine days’ testing of the SR3000 with Andy Wallace and he said it makes a good little test track because it has got lots of different corners and you can throw the car around a little bit.” Professional teams such as Frank Wrathall’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship outfit regularly test at the venue, which is also becoming popular with rally teams. “The track is all brand new tarmac laid over the old tarmac, but there’s a lot of broken surface around the track as well and the rally guys like to use that.” If testing on a major race circuit is what you’re looking for, then Donington Park runs unsilenced general testing days for competition licence holders throughout November and December, with marshals,
Winter testing is available year-round at dedicated test venues ... and doesn’t cost as much as you think
medics and recovery facilities. A full day’s testing is £330 per car, or £245 for a half day, and it pays to book well in advance as few UK circuits run testing during these months. Diane Hardy, circuit hire executive at Donington Park, says: “Generally we run general testing on a Thursday and we always run unsilenced and with an open pitlane – which is a big advantage as people can come and go as they please. For professional teams that find the money for winter testing, it is a great opportunity if they have a new driver to try out. And we charge per car, so it doesn’t cost extra for a second driver. “Donington is a challenging circuit: it goes up and down and round and round and a lot of teams like to test here because they can do the full set-up and test most things.” So if you were planning to while away your winter sitting by the fire and dreaming of being on track, then it is time to stick on your boots and get out there.
WHERE TO GO WINTER TESTING BRUNTINGTHORPE PROVING GROUND Where: Lutterworth, Leics, LE17 5QS When: Open 24 hours a day, year round (except Christmas Day). Why: Cheap and effective, can spend as little as £50 for an hour’s session. Contact: www.bruntingthorpe.com 0116 247 8000 DONINGTON PARK Where: Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2RP When: Selected dates throughout November and December, see website for details. Why: Great chance for a quiet test to prepare if you are racing there in 2013. Contact: www.donington-park.co.uk 01332 810048 BLYTON PARK Where: Kirton Road, Blyton, Gainsborough DN21 3PE When: Open most days of the year. Why: A new facility where you are likely to have the circuit to yourself. Contact: www.blytonpark.co.uk 01427 628922
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Winning is putting the car in the right place. SUPLEX - The professional’s choice SUPLEX provide springs for all levels of motorsport; From BTCC to the Dakar Rally, from F1 to vintage record breakers. The SUPLEX range includes metric and imperial racecoils (60 mm, 70 mm, 2.25” & 2.50” I.D.) and linear and progressive rate primary springs, all of which are manufactured from advanced spring steel. Lightweight design provides maximum deflection with minimum unit mass. SUPLEX also offers a bespoke design service, tending to the exact requirements of the customer, for both springs and anti-roll bars. Contact: Jack Durham/ Dan White
SUPLEX UK Ltd. Unit E, Vector 31, Waleswood Way, Sheffield, S26 5NU. Tel: 01909 770660 Fax: 01909 774177 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.suplex.com
Our courses teach you:how to �ind the right place on any track and develop the car control to get there. “Don Palmer is the coach’s ultimate coach.” www.donpalmer.co.uk 07769911911 email@example.com
23/10/2012 Don Palmer_MSA_Autumn2012.indd 11:37 1
Professional Motorsport Equipment
The Choice of Champions Compatible
Introducing our new range of high performance Brakelines
Seats l Harnesses l Tow Loops l Window Nets l Brakelines Tel: 01424 854499 l Email: firstname.lastname@example.org l www.corbeau-seats.com 17 Wainwright Close, Churchfields Ind. Est., St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex TN38 9PP
New for 2013 p45 Buyer’s guide p46 Preparing for scrutineering p49
GET KITTED OUT FOR 2013 If your thoughts are already turning to next year’s season of competition, it’s time to check that your kit is up to scratch. Whether it is racewear, seats or parts for your car, there are a wealth of options for updating to the latest gear – but where to start? We point you in the direction of some of the country’s best suppliers, rounded off with a special offer for MSA readers…
M68 BIOCERAMIC RACEWEAR
www.m68bioceramicracegear.com French motor sport clothing company M68 Bioceramic is at the cutting edge of sportswear and its 2012 M68 Multisport/Karting collection uses a new lycra material to ensure the softest feel. The range of tops now features a breathable mesh material on the neck to help with airflow and breathability of the garments. The company was established in 2011 by Alain Miran, gentleman driver and salt lake motorbike speed record holder/chaser, and Bruce Jouanny, a professional racing driver. He originally tried the bioceramic technology while skiing and was so impressed he decided that he had to bring the technology to motor sport. A number of professional drivers now wear M68, including Dakar Rally winner Stephane Peterhansel. The products have also been worn and tested by professional athletes and the French military, ensuring the clothes are continually developed. For more information, visit the M68 Bioceramic website.
www.corbeau-seats.co.uk Manufacturing race and rally seats for 50 years, Corbeau Seats is acknowledged as one of the world’s original motor sport seat manufacturers. Since 1963, the company has designed seats in partnership with the finest professional teams and drivers who have relied upon technology, reliability and quality in competitions around the world. The FIA-approved range of seats provides the ultimate in safety, comfort and security for use in all disciplines of motor sport.
MODE RACEWEAR offer www.moderacewear.com SPECIAL
Silverstone-based Mode Racewear are dealers for some of the sport’s biggest brands, including Sabelt, Puma Racewear and Koden SNELL-approved race and kart helmets. They are offering MSA magazine readers an exclusive mix-and-match package deal on FIA/MSA-approved race suit, boots and gloves from the Sabelt range. If purchased together, Mode Racewear will give 15% off the usual retail price to readers. Please call 01327 858349 for this offer or visit Mode Racewear’s shop at Unit 6 Silverstone Circuit NN12 8TN.
SUPLEX SPRINGS AND RACECOILS
www.suplex.com From Formula 1 to international rallying, the team behind the SUPLEX racecoil range have a wealth of experience in suspension technology which they believe makes their product one of the most technicallyfocused competition coil spring ranges in the world. Often the first choice for competition damper manufacturers – many of whom partner with SUPLEX for their own ranges of coil springs – they use new materials and processes to continually review and refine their products. Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 45
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A workshop that works fo
A well-equipped and well-organised garage makes looking after your competition car a ple Camozzi Air Lift
Price on application, www.camozzi.co.uk
Best for: Use at workshop and circuit Added features:
Prices vary, from £320 + VAT for a single cabinet, www.listacabinets.co.uk
Best for: Taking between workshop and track Cost effectiveness: lllll Added features: lllll Comments: Robust cabinets with a 10-year guarantee that can withstand use at home or circuit
Dura Fitted Garage
Comments: A pneumatic lift for competition cars, that’s tested and ready to use out of the box
£3,800 inc VAT (for the 504 combination package), www.duragarages.com
Best for: Professional team workshops Cost effectiveness: lllll Added features: lllll Comments: The 504 package gives a three metrelong run of stylish cabinets for tool and bulk storage 46 www.msauk.org Winter 2012
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buyer’s guide POLE POSITION
Christmas gi guide Ask Santa for these goodies and you won’t be disappointed
Whether karting is a hobby or a serious business for you, these Racewear karting gloves make a great stocking filler. Gauntlet length, they feature wrist adjuster, stretch cotton backs and padded faux-leather palms for great grip and feel. Available in three colours and nine sizes from bambino to adult XXL, there is an introductory offer price of £12.50 inc VAT. You can buy online at www.racewear. co.uk or telephone 08452 604104 for same-day despatch.
NEW ORIS WATC H
Keep your garage tidy and your workspace clutter-free
s for you
car a pleasure
If your loved one is planning a special Christmas present, then you might want to point them in the direction of the new Oris Artix GT Chronograph. Said to draw on the company’s motor sport heritage, it is powered by an automatic mechanical movement, with chronograph function and date. Oris are particularly proud of the retrograde mechanism, which allows the small seconds to ‘grow’ like the RPM counter in a racing car. For more information, including price details, visit www.oris.ch
KLEERS CLEANING KIT
If your partner is looking for something out of the ordinary to buy you this year, then how about Kleers’ new motor sport range of car care products? From helmet sanitisers to visor anti-fog cleaners, there are products to help keep your helmet in optimum condition. Prices start from just £6 and you can find out more at www.kleers.com
DRIVING MASTERCLASS Slingsby Folding Crane
Best for: A compact workshop Cost effectiveness: ●●●●● Added features: ●●●●● Comments: A light-duty crane which folds down in garages that are pushed for space
Here’s a Christmas present that might change your life (on track, that is). Don Palmer’s famed driving masterclasses feature personalised training at Angelsey circuit, with training vehicles provided and only six apprentice drivers per course. Masterclasses are £1,995 inc VAT. For more information call +44 77 69 911 911 or visit www.donpalmer.co.uk
Kids eyeing up a future in motor sport will love finding this book under the Christmas tree. Written by the secretary of the Association of British Kart Clubs, Graham Smith, Karting Explained features a foreword by grand prix star Paul di Resta. It gives a full insight into the sport, from choosing a kart class to what to expect on your first race day. Published by Crowood Press (ISBN: 9781847973795) the RRP is £14.99, and it can be bought at www.crowood.com Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 47
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Scrutineering the old way: in a town square in Italy, 1955
how do i…
prepare my car for scrutineering?
A signature from a scrutineer is a prerequisite at any motor sport event – so how can you best prepare, asks Ben Anderson Picture the scene: you’ve just bowled up for your first competition of the new season. You’ve spent painstaking hours re-fettling your car over the winter and finally you’re going to see if that hard work has paid off. You roll your gleaming machine off the trailer and sidle into the scrutineering queue. There’s not long until you’re scheduled to be
on track for practice (why does it always take so long?!). Ah well, soon that little signed piece of cardboard will be yours and next thing you know you’ll be strapped into the driving seat and opening up the throttle. “Sorry, mate, your harness is out of date,” says the scrutineer. “I can’t pass you.” The finality of the statement shakes you from your daydream. “But, I didn’t realise they’d run out;
they were fine last year!” you plead, as the car is turned back towards the trailer. “Sorry my friend – there’s nothing I can do,” says the scrutineer. “Those are the regulations.” There’s almost nothing worse in motor sport than being turned away from a competition because your car has failed scrutineering, but it isn’t done out of some sadomasochistic desire to spoil your Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 49
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The silliest thing people most commonly fall foul of is the rear rain light. If there’s one thing across formulas that causes problems, that’s it fun. As Steve Cobbold (an ex-Mini racer and MSA scrutineer of more than 20 years’ experience) points out, the scrutineers are only there to help you go racing safely. “You get the occasional person who gets bombastic and thinks you are victimising them, but most seem to understand that you have their best interests at heart,” Cobbold says. “It’s the usual thing: if you tell somebody something in a constructive way, they’re more likely to listen.” Although it can sometimes seem like a convoluted bureaucratic process, designed simply to force you to get up earlier and delay your petrolheaded antics, scrutineering is only there for the competitors’ benefit. Rules are laid down in the MSA Blue Book, with guidelines on all the crucial things, from what type of gloves to wear, to how your battery should be mounted and secured. However, Cobbold says it is usually something far more mundane that trips people up. “I think the silliest thing that people most commonly fall foul of is the rear rain light,” he says. “If there’s one thing across formulas that causes problems, that’s it.” Of significant concern for scrutineers is that fuel tanks are correctly installed, with fireproof bulkheads between the driver and the engine and fuel system; that exhaust silencers work properly to mitigate noise; that fire extinguishers are up-to-date and will work in the event of the worst happening;
encounter dishonesty from that rollover hoops are made of there to spoil your fun – just to help you race competitors and thus are often the correct material and welded safely on the lookout for apparently properly; and that seats and innocent things that may have harnesses are fitted and used an ulterior purpose on the car. correctly. “Going back a few years, I once “We once had a Legends car catch fire at scrutineered an MGB that still had its original Lydden when it was rear-ended, because the steering wheel, but tape was wrapped fuel tank was mounted so close to the bodywork,” Cobbold recalls. “I also once saw profusely around the spokes in the 10-2 position,” Cobbold remembers. “It looked a driver waiting to go out for a rallycross like it was there for comfort and thumb event whose belts were slack. I asked him to support, but I had my suspicions and when tighten them up and he said he had a sore the driver reluctantly took the tape off, all the shoulder. I told him he would have a far sorer spokes had separated from the steering shoulder if he went out and had an accident wheel; the only thing holding it together was with the belts as they were.” all this tape!” Cobbold says competitors often fall down Cobbold says it is often difficult to over little details, such as the time he saw one convince competitors of the consequences of racer looping his crotch belts through the allowing a suspect car into competition, but wrong part of the rest of the harness in a he is hopeful that the governing body’s plan single-seater, or the occasion when he saw a to phase in technical passports across all driver crossing his shoulder straps over each formulas over the next few years will help other because he thought that would stop his scrutineers better keep track of cars with HANS device from slipping. issues on them, while also creating a less Even the pros get it wrong sometimes. adversarial atmosphere between officials “When I was looking after the BTCC in the and competitors in the scrutineering bay. Group A days, a very professional team came “When I first started there did seem to be along with a BMW M3,” Cobbold recounts. “I an attitude among scrutineers of ‘let’s see looked over it, turned to the chief mechanic how many we can upset today’, but I think and said: ‘You’re taking the mickey, aren’t that’s pretty much a thing of the past now,” you?’ He looked at me very strangely, but says Cobbold. “Scrutineers do enjoy seeing there were no belts in the car – they had people having a good day, and they give up forgotten to put them in!” their time to help you enjoy your sport.” Cobbold says scrutineers sometimes Winter 2012 www.msauk.org
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If the regulations have changed for the following season, winter is the time to update your car
Time to get busy
From checking shock absorbers to replacing worn pistons, there’s much that can be done to your competition car this winter, says Ben Anderson The winter is rolling in and so another season of motor sport competition draws to a close. For some of you, this will be the cue to lock your car away in the garage, get ready to enjoy Christmas and not worry about racing again until the spring. For many others though, winter is the time to get busy dreaming up new schemes to go faster and outwit next season’s competition. Not every category permits extensive modifications to cars, but even if you aren’t fortunate enough to compete in a series that allows development, winter is still a good time to go to work. There are all manner of things you could change – and not necessarily for the better – so it’s important to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current package before you spend a lot of money on updates, or expend a lot of time and effort tweaking what you’ve already got. Mark Watts, general manager of Vauxhall tuning specialist Courtenay Sport, which also races in the Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy, advises a careful and considered approach.
He says: “To be brutally honest, it’s difficult to make a car go quicker over the winter because you can’t always go testing – unless you’re in Australia! “Normally the winter is about preparation for the following season – having the car apart and going round it with a fine toothcomb – but whatever you do you still need to go and see if it pays dividends and you’re not going to know until you get out there.” Watts says it is important to make sure you don’t do something innocently that puts you outside of the regulations, like replacing worn pistons in an engine with ones of the wrong material and dimensions. Conversely, if the regulations have changed for the following season now is the time to update the car. “Our cars have an overhaul after every race anyway, so I wouldn’t expect to find too much wrong over the winter,” Watts adds. “If there is, you probably shouldn’t be racing – or certainly you won’t be competitive until you make sure things are as they should be.” If you are going to throw yourself into an
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053-054 Techno File Winter.indd 53
It’s important to identify the weaknesses of your current package before spending lots of money
off-season development programme, then it’s important to be disciplined and plan well. Russell Walton of Mick Gardner Racing, which is an official distributor for Ohlins dampers and supporter of the Lotus Cup UK racing series, says it’s important to go testing and collect as much information as you can. “When you’ve got new parts to test, you need to go to the track with a proper programme to go through,” says Walton, whose organisation has nearly 30 years of experience in motor sport. “You don’t want to just turn up and test willy-nilly, which a lot of people do! “Data logging can be a good tool, if you know how to use it, but some forms of racing don’t allow it. Autograssers are not allowed wheel sensors, so they have to tell improvements by feel.” Being a damper man, Walton is also well placed to extol the benefits of getting your shock absorbers checked from one season to the next. “If dampers go unchecked for a long time then the oil in them starts to deteriorate and loses the ability to absorb heat,” Walton explains. “They can also become damaged if you’re taking big kerbs. “You could spend £600-£800 on tyres to go testing and end up going nowhere because the dampers aren’t working properly. Even getting them dyno-checked to see if they’re taking the same force is quite cheap and would make sure the dampers don’t become an unknown quantity.” Winter development is not only about the car. British Touring Car Championship team boss Shaun Hollamby, an ex-Formula Vee, Formula First, and Formula Ford racer whose AmD Technik concern runs a VW Golf in the
BTCC, believes the average club competitor probably has more to gain from improving their own fitness and driving technique than from working on their car. “Most drivers in club racing are not driving every day and doing manufacturer days so fitness is a key thing,” he says. “If you know you’ve been down the gym three times a week and the guy on the front row with you in his MGB hasn’t, it’s easier to psyche yourself up to win the race. When you think of how much money and effort goes in [to racing], for the sake of three times a week down the gym it’s definitely going to make you sharper.” Hollamby also suggests spending time on track with an instructor, to help refine your technique and iron out any bad habits. “Last year I did a one-off BTCC race at Croft, but beforehand I did two 20-minute sessions with Phil Glew in a Clio Cup car,” he recalls. “That was worth more then pounding around on my own, and it was a hell of a lot cheaper! “Everyone can get better. I would say with more than 90 per cent of cars you could find more out of the driver than you could out of the car.” Turn to page 40 to find out where you can test your car on track during the off-season.
If you are going to throw yourself into an off-season development programme, then it’s important to be disciplined and plan well ... to collect as much information as you can
54 www.msauk.org Winter 2012
053-054 Techno File Winter.indd 54
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ask the experts
ask the experts Motor Sports Council chairman and FIA Steward Tony Scott Andrews on the whys and wherefores of UK motor sport’s judicial process Why does motor sport need a judicial system and how does it work? First and foremost, the FIA International Sporting Code (ISC) requires the FIA and each National Sporting Authority (ASN) to have an independent court of appeal. Fundamentally, motor sport needs a judicial system in order to protect competitors and ensure that the regulations governing the sport are upheld and respected. When a competitor takes out a competition licence a contract is formed with the MSA, agreeing to abide by the regulations. However, people can and do transgress the regulations, or have reason to protest a decision made against them, so a judicial process is required to sort things out. In FIA events the Stewards of the Meeting have the power to make a judicial decision but the competitor nearly always has a right to an appeal, which will go to the National Court of the event-hosting country’s ASN in the first instance. In domestic UK motor sport competitors are better protected because they potentially have
a double right to appeal; the FIA gives Stewards the power to make judicial decisions but the MSA goes further in empowering Clerks of the Course as the first judicial tier. So, the Clerk can make a judicial decision ranging from a time penalty or fine to exclusion from the meeting. If competitors consider a decision to be wrong or unfair they can appeal to the Stewards of the Meeting on the day. If they remain unhappy with the Stewards’ verdict they can then appeal to the National Court, if they can establish that there has been a gross miscarriage of justice or the penalty imposed is wholly inappropriate to the offence. The path to the National Court is slightly different if it’s an eligibility issue. Such cases begin with the Technical Delegate or Scrutineer filing a non-compliance report to the Clerk, who will give the competitor a
The MSA is required to have an independent court of appeal, just like the FIA
chance to explain. If a satisfactory explanation is not given the Clerk can impose a penalty, but if the competitor decides to appeal that penalty the case goes straight to the National Court rather than to the Stewards, who won’t necessarily be technically competent to deal with the matter. The MSA distinguishes between technical and non-technical cases in this way; in FIA events they are both dealt with by the Stewards of the Meeting. The National Court is the final court in UK motor sport, as decreed by the ISC. It used to be that a National Court decision could be appealed to the Stewards of the Royal Automobile Club, and while that is no longer the case their expertise is still available to the National Court, which can call on them if necessary. The National Court is totally independent of the MSA and has several heads of jurisdiction: appeals, disciplinary, investigatory, eligibility and arbitration. The court normally sits once a month. If it’s a straightforward matter the panel comprises a legal chairman and two colleagues with motor sport experience, usually
Rumquam quia quae la porerit autem. Fuga. Magnam nectias sam illa nobis est dis magnatin comnite caepellit Atum eos quate maxim qui Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 57
057-059 Ask the Experts.indd 57
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ask the experts THAT’S MOTOR SPORT Former British and European Superkart Champion Gavin Bennett recalls good and bad advice from 25 years in the sport
Stewards. If it’s an eligibility hearing or a technical matter, there will be a chairman and one or two technical delegates. When the National Court convenes, both parties are present at the same time so that each can hear what the other has to say, or at least understand what is being alleged. The theory for eligibility appeals is that each party will put in writing its argument as to why they think a particular component is legal or illegal. Those arguments are then exchanged and each party has 10 days in which to respond. Eligibility appeals are normally dealt with on paper, in the sense that the appellant isn’t present, but all other appeals are dealt with in person. The National Court is not empowered to enforce attendance and can deal with matters in the absence of a party. Anybody who does appear before the National Court is entitled to bring legal representation, which is not the case at an event. The evidence that the National Court has at its disposal is not only written or oral evidence but frequently photographic, either still or moving image, and sometimes supported by data recordings. The most severe penalties imposed by the National Court, but the most severe penalties tend to be long periods of suspension of somebody’s competition licence. That penalty can itself be suspended, allowing the competitor to continue but with the knowledge that the penalty can be enforced in the event of any further transgressions during the suspended period. Any fines collected by event officials or the National Court go to the MSA, which channels them back into the sport by way of provision of prizes, training or for charitable purposes.
An FIA official observes the McLaren team at work in the garage
The best advice I’ve ever been given was from Russell Anderson, who said that there is a lot more time to be found in a driver than there ever is in an engine. He said that the best way to get your lap times down is to prioritise track time, so the advice was: don’t worry about your engine, spend your time learning the tracks and getting laps under your belt. People in the sport are chasing too much in the engine and not enough in the driver; my engine hasn’t changed much in four years but my lap times are two seconds quicker. Plus, if you’re sat at the side of a track because your overtuned engine has broken down, you’re learning nothing. The worst advice I ever had was to save money by buying second-hand equipment from mid-grid teams and drivers. There are too many people with sub-standard bits of kit that they’re looking to sell off. It’s a false economy because you’re saving money but losing performance and often finding that you need to replace stuff you wish you’d
never bought, which ends up costing more than if you’d bought new gear in the first place. Yes, new equipment costs more initially but you know it’s a straight kart and you know the engine hasn’t seized. If you really do need to buy second-hand, make sure you know where it’s coming from and that you buy the component straight off a kart at a meeting so you know how it will perform. My advice now to a youngster getting started in karting would be to understand the importance of loyalty. If you’ve gone down a certain chassis or engine route with somebody, stick with that person through thick and thin. If you jump from kart to kart, team owners and manufacturers will think you’re not willing to work with them and will move on as soon as you spot something you think is better. I’ve certainly stayed loyal throughout my career to whoever I’ve driven karts for or bought karts from. Anderson Karts offered me a drive I couldn’t refuse and I will stay loyal to them until I pack it all in.
Motor sport needs a judicial system in order to protect competitors and ensure the regulations are respected Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 59
057-059 Ask the Experts.indd 59
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MOTOR SPORTS COUNCIL NATIONAL COURT SITTING TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 Guy Spollon (Chairman) Chris Mount Dave Scott CASE No J2012/09 Rob Tuckwell - Alleged Breach of General Regulations C1.1.4 and/or C1.1.9
On 19 May 2012 the Knutsford and District Motor Club staged their Plains Rally near Welshpool. Dan Gray and Rob Tuckwell entered the Plains Rally via the online entry system with electronic declarations and duly paid their entry fee of £375. Dan Gray and Rob Tuckwell arrived on Friday afternoon/evening to sign on and be scrutineered, both of which were completed successfully. As a consequence, they were issued with their time cards, rally plates and relevant documentation to start the Rally. Regrettably, prior to the actual
commencement of the Rally proper, en route back to the trailer park their vehicle succumbed to gearbox failure. Those at signing on were duly notified of the mechanical breakdown and the crew’s inability to participate further in the Rally. At this point refunds were discussed, but both Dan Gray and Rob Tuckwell were told that the issue would be looked at after the event and in accordance with the event regulations. After the event the organisers checked the precise terms of the event regulations which indicated that no refunds were due post signing on. As a gesture of goodwill £30 vouchers were offered to each crew member for the 2013 Plains Rally. There then followed an unpleasant and aggressive telephone call, together with a series of e-mails between Rob Tuckwell and Graham Raeburn, Clerk of the Course.
SITTING TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 Guy Spollon (Chairman) Chris Mount Dave Scott CASE No J2012/10 Berwick & District Motor Club/Border Ecosse Car Club The Jim Clark Reivers Rally 1-3 June 2012 - Investigatory Hearing in Accordance with the General Regulation C9 The Reivers Rally is the National B element of the Jim Clark Rally. On 3 June 2012 two Club Stewards were returning from a special stage to Rally HQ when they observed a competition car parked in a farmer’s field with what appeared to be a service vehicle beside it. Upon further investigation the two Club Stewards discovered: n Competition Car 116, a Mitsubishi Evolution 6, positioned behind the hedge of the field with a pickup beside it; n Car 116 had a fuel container attached to it and the pickup had two similar containers in it. The two Club Stewards introduced themselves to the driver of Car 116, Mr Chris Collie, and informed him that he would be reported to the Clerk of the Course for illegal servicing contrary to R.38.1.4 which provides: “In any area where Service is not Permitted, the presence of a service vehicle, or any vehicle from which equipment or parts are supplied or
obtained, or the setting up or the collection or the use of equipment previously deposited, will be considered to be servicing.” The driver in response commented that he had not started fuelling yet and proceeded to disconnect the hose from his car. The matter was duly reported to the Clerk of the Course and a report filed. The Clerk of the Course announced that he intended to penalise the competitor with Car 116 for illegal servicing and imposed a 10-minute penalty. The crew of Car 116, who had not had the benefit of a hearing, informed the Clerk of the Course that they would appeal the decision and went away to complete the correct appeal forms. The issue was not, however, dealt with by way of appeal but by way of protest and involved a number of procedural errors. There was nevertheless an opportunity given for the competitor to make his representations which culminated in the time penalty of 10 minutes being rescinded. The National Court notes that: 1) Every effort must always be made for the correct procedures and practices to be adopted. 2) There were a number of procedural errors and irregularities in this instance. The decision was set down at 12:30 hours on Tuesday 11 September 2012.
GUY SPOLLON CHAIRMAN
The final e-mail from Rob Tuckwell was sent during the afternoon of 21 June 2012 and was particularly offensive in that it read: “Well your £60 is a ******* joke, as by the sounds of it are you! Stick your vouchers up your ******* **** you stupid ***** as you will enjoy that. “I really hope I get to meet you face to face sometime soon!” Mr Tuckwell failed to: n appear before the National Court in person; n appoint anyone to appear on his behalf; n send any written communication, explaining his position or stance in relation to this matter. On the basis of the documentation before the Court, the Court found that there had been a breach of C.1.1.4. In considering what the appropriate penalty should be in this matter, the Court
was conscious of the fact that: 1) The e-mail sent during the afternoon of 21 June 2012 was not written in the heat of the moment, but with a degree of planning and pre-meditation. 2) The communication was both deliberately offensive and intimidating. The National Court ordered that: 1) The Licence of Rob Tuckwell should be suspended for 2 years. 2) The first 12 months of the 2-year suspension should be immediate, but that: 3) The second 12 months of the 2-year suspension should be suspended for the second 12 months on condition of no further breaches. 4) There should be a costs order in the sum of £500. The decision was set down at 11:30 hours on Tuesday 11 September 2012.
GUY SPOLLON CHAIRMAN
SITTING TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 Guy Spollon (Chairman) Chris Mount Dave Scott CASE No J2012/13 Andrew Frost - Alleged Breach of General Regulations C1.1.4 and/or C1.1.9
On 24 June 2012 at the Santa Pod Raceway – Summer Nationals a round of the MSA British Drag Racing Championship was also staged. Competitor, Andrew Frost, was selected for an alcohol/anti-doping test and was required to report to the doping control station immediately. He was warned that a refusal or failure to comply with the request could be regarded as an anti-doping violation. Unfortunately, the competitor was unhappy about being tested and in the Medical Centre toilets complained that he was being observed passing urine, despite this being the correct procedure. Andrew Frost then informed the anti-doping personnel that they were all a “worthless bunch of people” and swore on numerous occasions, saying that the procedure was a “******* joke” and that he was “getting wound up and angry”. Despite attempts to reassure and pacify Mr Frost, he continued to be rude during the process. He did, however, provide a sample in order that tests could be undertaken. Andrew Frost did not personally attend
before the Court. Instead, Mr Robin Jackson appeared on Mr Frost’s behalf and presented a detailed statement from Mr Frost in which the facts of the case were not challenged. Mr Jackson also delivered a plea in mitigation. The National Court concluded that, although there had been a breach of C1.1.4, there were mitigating facts and in particular: 1) Mr Frost had taken the trouble to write a detailed statement in which there was: n A complete admission and full apology. n An explanation for his out of character behaviour, namely that he was very tense as it was his first final and he was anxious to work on his vehicle rather than undergo testing. 2) Mr Frost had taken the matter very seriously and had not sought in any way to excuse his conduct nor his use of bad language. The National Court considered that: 1) A one-year suspension of the competitor’s licence was appropriate, but that the suspension itself could be suspended for the 12-month period on condition of no further breaches. 2) A contribution of £150 towards costs must be made. The decision was set down at 11.00 hours on Tuesday 11 September 2012.
GUY SPOLLON CHAIRMAN
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national court SITTING TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2012 Guy Spollon (Chairman) Chris Mount Dave Scott CASE No 2012/14 Snetterton Fun Cup 6 Hour Race, 2nd June 2012 - Investigatory Hearing in Accordance with the General Regulations and Specifically C9 On 2 June 2012 the BRSCC (East Anglia Centre) organised a race meeting at the Snetterton Race Circuit. Following the Fun Cup 6 Hour Race, Car 101, which had finished in 5th place, was weighed as part of the post race eligibility scrutineering. The car, according to the circuit weighbridge, was underweight to the extent of 6kg (minimum weight 791kg – car found to weigh 785kg). This
finding was challenged by Team Racelogic who put the car on scales provided by JPR Motorsport in front of the Clerk of the Course. On the JPR scales the car was found to be overweight by 1.5kg. As the circuit weighbridge had a valid calibration certificate with a date of 10.02.2012, the Racelogic Team had no alternative but to accept that their vehicle appeared to be underweight. Accordingly, a “non compliance” report was issued for Car 101 together with an order for its exclusion from the race results. Subsequent enquiries and investigations, however, were put in hand at Snetterton Race Circuit which revealed that: n The zero preset button on the control
panel of the weighbridge was not working consistently. n When tested the weighbridge scales displayed an error of 12kg at 800kg (meaning that a car weighing 800kg would register only 788kg. The National Court, as a result of its investigatory hearing, has no hesitation in declaring that: 1) On 2 June 2012 the weighbridge at the Snetterton Circuit may well have been malfunctioning. 2) The Team Racelogic vehicle Car 101 was almost certainly not running underweight at the material time. 3) Those operating the Snetterton weighbridge on 2 June 2012 did so correctly and there is to be no criticism of their management nor their operation of
the equipment. 4) The original results of the Fun Cup 6 Hour Race should be reinstated. The National Court would like it to be noted that: 1) Although the use of technical advisors is to be encouraged, their true standing and expertise are to be accurately recorded and noted at all times and they must not be represented as being MSA licensed officials when they are not. 2) The relevant scales and/or weighbridge at any race meeting are those under the control of the scrutineers (see paragraph 4.1 of the Blue Book). The decision was set down at 12:00 hours on Tuesday 11 September 2012.
GUY SPOLLON CHAIRMAN
SITTING TUESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2012 Steve Stringwell (Chairman) Mike Harris Ronald McCabe CASE No J2012/15 Investigators Hearing C9 Rotax Junior Max - Kart Race Meeting held at Rowrah on 16 June 2012, Permit number 69799
The Competitor Danny Keirle is a minor who competes as Kart No 67 in the 2012 Junior Rotax Super One Championship (the “Competitor”). On 16 June 2012 the Competitor took part in the meeting held at Rowrah. Following qualifying heat 1, the Competitor’s kart and engine were subject to scrutiny by the Chief Scrutineer and Technical Commissioner. The Clerk of the Course received a Scrutineer’s Non Compliance Report stating that the “Shut off Valve in Carb is marked with number 1. Not as supplied by
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Rotax” in accordance with Regulation D1.4.2 on page 13 of the Kart Race Yearbook 2012. Regulation D1.4.2 states “All parts of the carburettor including the body are to be unmodified and run as supplied by Rotax”. Point 18.1 of the homologation fiche specifies “The Carburettor as Dell’orto type VHSB 34 (as in body) QD or QS (stamped on body). All Parts used must be unmodified genuine Rotax or Dell’orto parts as supplied by Rotax. Following a hearing into the matter the Clerk of the Course excluded the Competitor from the event in accordance with Super 1 Championship Regulation S1 5.1.1. The Competitor appealed against the decision of the Clerk of the Course in respect of the exclusion from the meeting. The Stewards of the Meeting refused the appeal as the Clerk of the Course followed
the Blue/Gold Book and Championship Regulations in dealing with the offence and the appeal submitted by the Competitor. Following further correspondence with the MSA by representatives of the Competitor, the MSA made enquiries with JAG Engineering the sole distributor of Rotax kart products in the UK. The MSA presented JAG Engineering with the carburettor inlet needle that had been sealed following the inspection of the Competitor’s kart. JAG engineering confirmed that the needle was not the standard needle for the carburettor, although it was a Dell’orto needle. However, JAG Engineering had now become aware that some customers had been supplied with needles marked “1” and consequently JAG Engineering could no longer confirm whether or not this particular needle was or was not supplied by Rotax.
On 14 September 2012 JAG received correspondence from Rotax stating that it had not received a response from its supplier Dell’orto and that as a result “both needles (the one with the diamond engraving and the one with the diamond engraving + the engraving “1” can be mounted in the carburettors supplied by BRP-Powertrain [Rotax] for the complete ROTAX MAX engine family. At this point of time we just have to declare both needles as legal to be used...” In view of the latest evidence the MSC National Court Panel orders that Danny Keirle be reinstated in the 3rd round of the 2012 Super One Championship and the results should be reissued. Decision set down at 11.45 hours on Tuesday 18 September 2012.
STEVE STRINGWELL CHAIRMAN
Winter 2012 www.msauk.org 63
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Simon says.. Only karting could deliver Riccardo Patrese zooming around Clapham bus depot, says Simon Arron
Simon Arron is a former editor of Motoring News and Motor Sport. Now a freelance F1 writer, he contributes to titles including Motorsport News and writes a blog for the Daily Telegraph’s motoring section
Heysham Head was one of Britain’s foremost kart tracks, a fantastic cliff-top labyrinth, but the hire circuit – run by Kelvin Hesketh, a leading local Formula Ford racer of the period – used a shorter loop. Mum kept the dog tethered while we drove, but he was unleashed when we explored the adjacent fun park and soon decided to try a few rides: this led to our expulsion, for some reason, and with no more kart funds we headed home. Heysham closed in 1983, just as a karting revolution loomed. I first encountered this new phenomenon when invited to Burgess Park, south-east London, to sample the Bald Tyres Kart Project, which was designed to give underprivileged local kids a useful outlet. It was a modest track, around a converted tennis court, but very popular, so founders Bob Pope and Martin Howell (aka Riccardo Patrese, Playscape Racing) were soon creating seen here at Silverstone in 2005, larger alternatives with rental kart fleets. once turned up to Their regular hire-drive meetings were race around what sprinkled with charity events, attended by had previously been Clapham bus depot many established stars, and Formula 1 talisman Riccardo Patrese once turned up, in full Williams finery, to race around what had These weren’t quite the heights I’d hoped to previously been Clapham bus depot. scale, but it was a minor glitch at the end of a Karting has subsequently established a foothold productive week. Firstly I’d wandered into an Aviemore – indoors and out – around most of the UK and the newsagent and encountered an inky miracle called challenge is no longer locating a track but trying to find Motoring (now Motorsport) News – 5p for what felt like a million words and the start of a relationship that endures areas without. That’s a good thing, though: almost 40 years since first driving a kart, I still relish such still – and then I discovered the joy of karting. That’s why opportunities. I was now perched on the northern slopes of a stout tyre Clapham Raceway, though, has sadly gone the way bank. of Heysham and is now a supermarket. Some councils Elsewhere in this issue you can read about karting’s accessibility, but it wasn’t always thus. When I spotted a have no sense of history... kart track within the confines of our Scottish holiday destination during the early 1970s, it felt like an impossible dream. And I could rent a chassis for 10 laps at a time... It was quite expensive by the standards of the day, but vastly superior to lobbing ping-pong balls into jars in a bid to win a goldfish. I was instantly smitten, although I was probably more impressed with the circuit than its owner was with me... particularly when I kept my foot planted through a non-existent gap, hence my presence atop that tyre wall. Back home in Cheshire, similar facilities didn’t exist – although I eventually learned that karts could be hired at Heysham Head, near Morecambe: “That’s only about 70 miles away, Mum...” And if I was going, of course, I had to take a couple of mates, so my sister wanted to bring one, too. That meant cramming five teenagers – plus boxer dog – into the three passenger seats of my mother’s Fiat 600, but that was OK in 1975.
Karting has established a foothold around most of the UK – which is a good thing
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MSA Winter 2012