Latest Karting News Headlines

.

Is it time for the MSA to hand over the British Championship to Rotax?


The title ‘The MSA British Karting Championship’ has lost practically all of its status within the karting community, and rather than being the pinnacle of British karting the Super KF class is becoming a farce!

With a heavy heart, this is our depressing conclusion to the on-going problem of the tragic decline of the MSA British Karting Championship. The sorry state of affairs in the championship was compounded at the first round of the British Championship when it only attracted 11 karts. A once great championship has now become a shadow of it’s former self. In essence it’s supposed to be a showcase for Britain’s best karting talent, and while it still attracts some superb driving talent, it is no longer the spectacle it once was.

Mark Litchfield  Super KF KartingMark Litchfield is a modern legend of British karting but the British Championship can’t stay the same!


This is not something that has happened suddenly. Numbers have steadily declined for a decade or so. But the move to KF from the old Formula A and ICA classes has not stemmed the bleeding and arguably accelerated it in the senior divisions. It is clear that Super KF does not provide a strong enough foundation for the British Championship. Team boss Paul Fletcher has admirably tried to support the pinnacle class by maintaining a strong British Championship but it could be time to concede defeat.

The MSA have tried very hard to stay in line with the CIK and offer a true and prestigious championship but it’s been to it’s own detriment. It is clear the people don’t want KF and what they want is Rotax. The entry numbers for the ABKC National Rotax Championship prove this quite conclusively. They are gigantic at 210 overall with the senior class attracting 63 entries alone. It is somewhat melancholic that one of the most lazy and depressing kart engines ever built represents the majority of karting talent in the UK, but this is just the way it is.

Jordan Chamberlain Super KF KartingEuropean and National KF2 Jordan Chamberlain proves the British Champs  still attracts some of the best but just not enough of them!

If the MSA British Championship is to thrive it has to look towards the classes that the majority of drivers and teams hold in highest regard, and at the moment that is Rotax.

This is not to undermine the talent in KF however. The drivers and teams represent some of the crème de la crème of British talent. They are the true hardcore karters who are only satisfied with the pinnacle – the best of the the best. Unfortunately they are a dying breed of racer. The idea of a single-make recreational leisure engined kart class being the pinnacle of British karting is a very hard pill to swallow but there is an inevitability to it we can not deny. Some would say Rotax already is the British Championship in all but name.

Bobby Game Super KF KartingBobby Game is a true racer where the pinnacle is the only option. Super KF desperately needed more drivers like this British karting legend in 2010!


KF has failed at providing a good enough product to support the MSA British Karting Championship and there is very little alternative solution for the MSA other than Rotax because of it’s much larger support. It would’ve been great to see full grids of KF but the fact is it hasn’t worked and there’s very little sign of improvement in terms of complexity and cost.

With no other emerging elite karting classes, and KF2 suffering almost as pathetic grids as Super KF it is time for the MSA to make some bold decisions before the British Champion title becomes a laughing stock.

Alan Dove

Please leave your comments below




18 thoughts on “Is it time for the MSA to hand over the British Championship to Rotax?

  1. Rune

    Norway just did it ! From 2010 Rotax will be an official class in the Norwegian Championship as well as in the official Norwegian Cup organized by National Motorsport Authority.
    No seal required ! Technical Regulations will be against homol. document! (Which needs to be improved from the original document from Rotax)

  2. James

    I can see where your coming from and fully agree to a certain extent, my only hesitation is that the ROTAX class is far from perfect, i.e. differences in engines, etc. If there could be a revised version of theis class with open tuning etc then maybe this would be a good compromise!?

  3. Richard

    I’m afraid you are probably correct Alan. I understand the FIA even contacted Rotax for their advice on the best way to develop a new class of engine before launching the KF formulas. They were told make a 150cc engine without a silly powervalve. But they just copied the Rotax and ended up with an inferior product in many respects. UK karters want to go karting with their money not spend it all on unreliable engines (even if they still ultimately end up spending a fortune on trying to get around the Rotax problems). One of the reasons KF has not caught on here is because the British public exhibit some significantly different characteristics when it comes to spending their money compared with our European conuterparts, they always gravitate to apparent money saving solutions even if they end up costing more in the long run. Consider Primark type discount shops, ebay and car-boot sales which barely exist in Italy as no one wants other peoples 2nd hand rubbish.
    Rotax could be killed with a modern (not TKM) reasonably priced, reliable and free revving engine that is responsive and exciting to drive that could be simply limited for different classes by exhaust restrictors so that there is an actual difference in lap times between juniors and seniors. I say this having invested far too much in Rotax engines my self, but I would gladly throw them in the dustbin if something realistic came along.
    If Paul Fletcher wants to save karting, and I applaud his efforts as the only real benefactor karting has in this country, perhaps he could team up with an engine maker to develop a new spec engine and hand out a few hundred cut price motors to the first people to sign up to a new formula and championship. Rotax would be virtually dead over-night and he’d probably make a decent profit in the long run. It happens in other areas of business.

  4. Terence Dove

    “Norway just did it ! From 2010 Rotax will be an official class in the Norwegian Championship as well as in the official Norwegian Cup organized by National Motorsport Authority.” Rune

    Does that mean that the winner of the Rotax national class is considered to be THE Norweigan karting champion?

  5. Nick

    I was going to sign up to run kf2 this year but didnt only because of the doubling of the entry fees and buying my own compulsary camera from a super 1 affiliated company. If kf was dropped and i had to run rotax i would just retire rather than use that rubbish.

  6. Jamie Rush

    God i hope it doesnt turn out this way! As in your last post al, i think that the UK SERIOUSLY needs to look at the way other countries are running their classes, why cant they follow the norm of KZ2, KF2, KF3 + Cadets for the British Chamiponships!

    ‘If Paul Fletcher wants to save karting, and I applaud his efforts as the only real benefactor karting has in this country, perhaps he could team up with an engine maker to develop a new spec engine and hand out a few hundred cut price motors to the first people to sign up to a new formula and championship. Rotax would be virtually dead over-night and he’d probably make a decent profit in the long run. It happens in other areas of business.’

    There is one engine i can see being used to great effect if this ever happened, and that would be the Iame X30, if you look at the grids in france, they attracted 90-100 members at the bruno grana round. Proper Engine without a PV, Proper 27mm Carb, Proper Exhaust and no damn SEAL!

  7. kevin

    People dont want to pay over the odds to go karting. What I would say is that we want value for money. There are a lot of karters out there who do not have the funds to carry them forward. If you take football for example the most you can pay for the top pair of football boots is £100 then you will see the talent shine through. What does £100 get you in karting? NOT A LOT! I hope you can see my point – I love karting but we must do something to try to drive down the cost or I think the the lad and dad will find some thing less expensive to do…

  8. Thomas

    cant they just put it back? Pure 100cc 20,000rpm screamers! who could resist? plus theres already plenty of engines around.

  9. Kyle

    If this were to pass it would be a sad day indeed, as a kid I always looked up to the ICA and JICA in awe, when I was racing in my Jnr Max. In fact I owned a old JICA for a time and loved it, I could see why it was the pinnacle, to see Rotax as the leader would be seem strange. We have SO many karts more powerful than a Rotax, (Aixro, Billiand spring to mind). It would seem strange to see the karting heroes of the day racing karts no more powerful than what your average karter would race.
    However you are right… It will come to pass, then we will see private championships like the Aixro series using karts more powerful than the pinnacle series, which will seem odd indeed.
    BUT… This would bring the costs of karting down again to a level were everyone can race against the elite, possibly expanding the pool of elite drivers to those that can’t afford KF/can’t get sponsors. Which in turn may give us more of a spectacle of racing than it already dose.

    While it’s sad t see this era fade into the history books, I do think it’ll make top level karting even more interesting…

  10. ADAM

    Just wish we could take it back to classic ‘old skool’ 100cc direct drive.. none of this tag nonsense!

    it would lower the cost of karting and significantly improve the situation. Also there just soo much cooler!

  11. Nik G

    Rotax isn’t cheap. The majority are spending more then I spent to competitively doing Formula A back in the early noughties. And some are spending obscene amounts. 100cc was the cheapest its ever going to be but we’ll never go back to it.

  12. cameron somerville

    tbh kf is a tad over priced and so is superone at the momment but to see these awsome machines banished i think its silly if u have to money for kf do it but i can see why rotax is favoured as they run quit good and are quit easy to setup

  13. Chris H

    Absolutely not should a single make class be classed as the MSA British Championship. I believe that SKF is not right for this country and we should look at what other countries are doing to attract larger numbers but In my opinion our British Championship should be KF2, KF3, a new junior intermediate multi engined class and mixed 60cc Cadets. A simple structure with choice.

  14. Ollie Walker

    Tbh, it’d be a shame to see rotax as the national championship – I drive rotax simply because the amount of club championships for KF/KZ – very few

    – I’m far from the biggest fan – I hate the powervalve, and I hate the way the 09 barrel makes juniors quicker than some senior engine! it’s completely rediculous! Also – £800 for a rebuild is completely out of order – and so is £3000+ for top engines!

    What we need is a class like KF, but with a cheaper running cost. – e.g. entry fee being slightly more expensive than a club championship, but cheap enough so you can make the jump without a massive change in budget!

  15. Dave Gale

    Although RamTec Motorsport is new to karting , we have over thirty years experience with grand prix motorcycles and superbikes at all levels of competition, both in Europe and the USA. First impressions of karting’s administration is that there appears to be much navel gazing that could be avoided by taking hard-learned lessons from other sports.

    For example, in the motorcycle world, the argument about sealed engines or not was killed off years ago. Unless you have a pool of engines with random allocation per event, sealed engines increase costs and allow those with cosy access to a deep parts rack to carefully select their parts and build an unfair advantage. On bikes, sealed engines has been proven not to level the playing field in every country in which it has been tried.

    We don’t yet have enough experience in karting to comment on the premier class but, so far, the biggest turn-off for us, Rotax or otherwise, is the sealed engine. When ‘sealed’ Cadet engines are changing hands for £7.5K, £8K and £10K there is clearly something deeply wrong…

  16. Shaun O'Kane

    My son races in Rotax – To misquote Clinton “It’s the money stupid”. Talented drivers aren’t all rich. At least with Rotax my son can do as well as the engine alows. In KF… well I can’t afford KF.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *