The Bambino class uses a very small kart with a Comer C50 engine, registered with the importers Zip Kart. The tyres are all weather Le Cont, meaning that separate slick and wet rain tyres are not required. Top speed is about 38mph. New karts cost from about £1900.
The class is for 6 – 8 year olds, who must undertake a special training and competency programme before sending for their licence for time trials, or take the ARKS test for racing. For a time trial only licence download the Bambino Training Record Card from the Motorsport UK website here: https://www.motorsportuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/motorsportukbambinorecordcard.pdf and print it off. Find out where the nearest club or school is that offers the training, contact Zip or the local club or ARKS School (www.arks.co.uk). Download a licence form (the first licence is free) and get it ready with two photographs of the driver to take to the training centre. The parent or guardian also needs a PG Entrant licence from the same form which costs £25. One photo is required and the forms need to be sent off together once endorsed by the ARKS Examiner or Instructor after the training. The details of the training can be found here
For a Bambino Interclub race licence, after sufficient practice follow the page on getting a licence, buy the Start karting pack and book the ARKS test.
There is a Motorsport UK Championship for the class, visiting many clubs round the country. See the British Kart Championship website. Zip will also have a list of clubs offering training programmes. Some clubs, but not all, offer Bambino events at their regular club meetings, go to the Clubs Listing for club details and make inquiries locally.
Rather than dive straight into governed racing it might be better to have some experience at an arrive and drive indoor or outdoor commercial circuit. Some have special Bambino training classes.
Ideal start for 8-12 years old. The IAME category uses a sealed 60cc Parilla Gazelle UK engine which has been chosen by Motorsports UK to take over the prime category from the Comer engine from 2013 and is thus used in the Cadet British Championship. It has a direct drive with a centrifugal clutch. Approx top speed 50mph. Fitted with side pods and nose cone for safety. Cost approx. £3000. The Honda Cadet, with an un-sealed 4-stroke engine is cheaper at around £2500, and a good economic starting point. It also has a British Championship. A new race prepared Honda engine can be obtained for £700 plus vat or a bit more for a checked over racing engine. Go to here for more information on the class. The two classes may be raced together. The upper age of 12 is so that smaller children may stay in the class, but usually drivers will move up to the junior classes by the age of 11 /12 as they get too heavy to be competitive.
Note that Cadets and Juniors must be a minimum weight with their suit, boots and helmet, check the regulations for each class for the figure. Some classes like TKM have different weights depending which restrictor is being used.
11-16 years old. Experienced drives can start in the year of their 11th birthday. Single engine option – TKM BT82. Chassis no longer need to be homologated, but there are limitations on the karts. A restrictor plate between carburettor and engine limits available power and there are various options for different sized drivers. Clutch is optional for easy electric starting & recovery after a spin. Cost £3000 approx. A TAG (electric start, Touch and Go) variant is available.
13-16 years old (or from year of 13th birthday with prior experience and National A licence, younger may be accepted). Engines are international 125cc TAG two stroke electric start types, restricted to 14,000rpm. Top speed approx 75mph. The premier junior category and MSA British Junior Championship class. Cost £5-6000 approx. This isn’t currently raced in the UK.
Year of 16th birthday and over. Single engine (TKM BT82) and same chassis choice as for Junior TKM and with one choice of restrictor between carburettor and engine or none for heavier drivers. Similarity of regulations makes the progression from Junior TKM to Senior TKM except that the senior category is now 115cc, both inexpensive and logical. TAG option available. Cost £3500 approx.
The Junior and Senior X30 classes started in 2014 and are growing in popularity. Be aware as they are new classes not all clubs may be offering these classes. MiniX commenced in 2017 for drivers from 11th birthday. Otherwise similar to Rotax but not having sealed engines.
A range of classes for karts with gears and clutches from 125cc to 250cc. Speeds on tracks, for example Silverstone, up to 145mph. Gearbox karts can be bought second hand from as low as £1200. New 125’s (KZ UK, or KZ1) cost from £6000, up to a fully equipped 250 National or International at £8,000 plus depending on options.
There is a thriving appetite for restoring and driving historic and classic karts catered for by the British Historic Kart Club ( click here for their website ). Many kart clubs hold regular demonstrations for the karts, the biggest of which is the Shenington Historic Revival held annually in July. The karts also attend many classic car races including Donington and Silverstone and can be seen on display at the Autosport International Racing Car Show (NEC in January) and Race Retro (Stoneleigh in February). Historic and classic Karts are accepted up to 1984 / 1997 respectively and the classes used are adopted from the CIK, which also recognises this growing movement and sponsors demonstrations at various international events.
F100 is a national kart racing series embracing what we believe to be the best eras of karting ever. Covering the periods known as Formula A and Formula ICA during the 1990s, you too can now drive these fantastic machines and emulate your karting heroes. The series appeals to those who wish to race this type of kart with the machines being presented for racing in the same condition they would have originally been used, back in the day. During 2021 classic Formula C & ICC 125cc gearbox karts of the nineties will also be able to race.
Our traditional air cooled 21,000 rpm screamers are used in Pre 2000 & Pre 95. They all have homologated two stroke, air cooled engines on period chassis. Rotary or Reed, the choice is yours. Open tuning within a few simple boundaries means all the engines can achieve near parity. Contact F100 if you would like to demonstrate a Pre 2000 kart and feel the raw speed and agility for yourself.
There are very affordable arrive and drive racing series including indoor racing at e.g. Teamsport owned facilities, and for faster outdoor racing at Club 100. These can be excellent starting points for the novice driver without much outlay. Indeed many former Motorsport UK licenced drivers continue to race at Club 100.
Some kart circuits in the UK also hold unlicenced races often called IKR. These are not approved and it is best to go to a club running under the governing body Motorsport UK
All ABKC clubs must run their meetings according to the regulations set down by Motorsport UK. The officials and all safety regulations must conform to the current Motorsport UK Yearbook.