Too much weight, too many wheels, too much complexity. Adding a motorcycle engine to a kart, or twin-engines or twin axles…it’s not the recipe for success. What I need to be victorious in 2020 is pure raw power. I need a Turbonique!
Turbonique is almost a mythic name from the 1960s when a small company, Turbonique, Inc. of Orlando, Florida, created some of the most amazing rocket powered drive systems for anything you could think of. These devices were connected to cars, motorcycles, go carts, boats, practically anything with an engine that could use an extra 1000 horsepower or so.
Video below of some lunatic named Captain Jack McClure running his rocket powered kart in the 60’s.
Although only 5 of these were ever built, three remain in existence today (which is shocking) and they occasionally pop up on the internet. I’m just not sure if I can acquire one before the 2020 karting season begins.
All that power from a motorcycle engine might be too much for tiny karting tires. Unless I have 6 of them!
A six-wheeled Yamaha R1 engined kart would be one awesome death-trap. This custom vehicle is powered by a 1000cc engine from a Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. That means there’s about 180 HP screaming directly behind the driver, sending power through all four rear wheels.
Even two engines might not be enough to get me to the winners circle next year. More engine means more weight, and I’ve got enough of that already! But a motorcycle engine in the back of the kart would be a secret weapon nobody at the track is expecting!
This kart is also the cheapest way to get into a mid-engine car. The Suzuki GS550 DOHC motorcycle engine and 6-speed sequential gearbox give this kart one of the longest wheelbases on record. That should result in some significant flex, as there’s no suspension.
This amazing death trap is was available for the bargain price of USD $1,750.
Now at the top of F1 with Ferrari, Charles Leclerc has never forgotten that he started in motorsport thanks to karting. He wanted to take advantage of his growing reputation to create his own kart brand in order to contribute to the development of the discipline among a wider audience.
It was only natural that he turned to a major Italian brand, well established throughout the world and renowned for the quality of its production. For Charles, Birel ART is the choice of both his heart and his head.
“You must always remember where you come from,” said the Monegasque driver. “I know what I owe to karting: everything! It was there that my passion for motorsport was established, it was there that I learned the basics that allowed me to progress to the top of the pyramid and it was also there that I met some of the important people who supported me afterwards. I had been determined to do something for karting for a long time, and I think now is the right time,” Charles continued.
“Birel ART’s skills were recently confirmed by a magnificent double at the KZ World Championship. I wanted the chassis bearing my name to be able to perform very well in a wide range of conditions. Only a major factory-like Birel ART can guarantee such a high quality of production on a large scale.”
Produced in the Birel ART factory in Lissone, near Monza where Charles has just won for the second time in F1, Charles Leclerc chassis consists of a complete range soon available for the Baby, Mini, OK / Junior, KZ, Rotax and rental categories.
Racing isn’t often ‘big news’ anymore. To whose who follow professional motorsports, it’s a big deal. But to John Q. Public, racing news is barely something that shows up in the sports section of the paper. Except today. Today, even the New York Times reported about IndyCar.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series have been sold to Roger Penske. After 74 years, the Hulman family gives control of the iconic speedway to a new steward.
Team Penske isn’t just the most successful team in American racing history; they’re a team at the top of their game. In 2019, Team Penske won the Indy 500, the IndyCar Series Championship and the IMSA Championship…and those are just the highlights!
Having a new boss at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Avenue means that IndyCar will have a strong captain to steer the ship. No more decisions by committee.
When Bernie Ecclestone was in charge of Formula 1, it was the biggest sport in the world. Now, another white-haired old man can finally be the dictator open-wheel racing needs!
At the LeMans Karting track in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, the lunatic that owns the place took his Honda Z600 (tiny, Japan-only Kei car) on the track and really whipped it around.
His best time was 1:11.40 minutes, which is a bit slower than the sub 1-minute laps that karts do around the track, but to be fair no kart could come close to the Honda’s speed if they had a passenger as well, and none have an AM/FM radio.
Mad respect to the big boss. Next time in South Carolina, I know where I’m going!
On Sunday, October 20th, Demaras Racing visited 401 Mini Indy for the first time ever. The event was an open house / car & bike meet / fundraiser / meet & greet to kick off the 2019-2020 Carts & Coffee Racing series.
The event began bright and early at 9:30 am, before the track even opened to the public. Event organizer Anna Hee arranged an introductory kart racing seminar for newbies, explaining all about weight transfer, corner entry / apex / corner exit and the basics of chassis dynamics. Afterwards, all racers were sent on track for two sessions, with debriefs in between.
The event ran much later than originally scheduled, and the Demaras racers had to leave before their third on-track session, meaning they also missed the car show outside! Too bad.
The series has some positives, such as the chance to compete against friends like Leo, Dale, Anna and Igor, the 2018-2019 Carts & Coffee champion. The negatives are the tracks. With Formula Kartways and 401 Mini Indy running gas powered karts indoors, the experience isn’t the best. Despite the garage doors being open, and fans running, there’s no missing the exhaust from the Honda engines. Daniel and Chris both race four stroke engines all summer, so it’s nothing against the good old-fashioned internal combustion engine. But for indoor racing, it’s just not an ideal experience, especially when you’ve been spoiled with the electric karts at K1 Speed.