Going motor racing is always going to cost money and karting is no different. However, as CLUB100 is an “arrive & drive” series, racing budgets can be worked out at the start of the season and there are no hidden extras to worry about. No transportation, storage or preparation worries, no damage costs and no engine rebuilds to pay for. This creates a level playing field for all the drivers and allows you to concentrate simply on your racing.
Even if you’ve done some other kart racing, being successful in the CLUB100 Sprint Series takes some specific driver skills that need to be developed. And as you’ll be racing against some of the best drivers in the applicable classes, try not to be too hard on yourself in your first season as it can be a steep learning curve.
Firstly, you need to become very familiar with the CLUB100 Birel karts’ handling characteristics on the limit, on cold tyres, and in heavy traffic. As CLUB100 is an “arrive & drive” series you will probably be driving a different chassis in each of your races in a day, so you need to be able to isolate the slight differences in each kart, whether related to engine and/or chassis, and then use those characteristics to your best advantage, while covering any minor kart deficiency with your skill as a driver.
Secondly, you need to know the tracks. Knowing where you’re going, the perfect line, the best places to overtake, and where you can defend is vital for success.
Then there’s driving in the wet. CLUB100 karts are never fitted with wet weather tyres, the karts stay on slicks whatever the weather conditions. (This is due to the impossible logistics of changing a whole fleet with limited staff and tools within the time frame available). Subsequently, CLUB100 drivers become very good at driving in the wet!
So there’s a lot to learn for the CLUB100 first-time sprinter. However, this shouldn’t put you off. There’s plenty of help on offer for new drivers to the series, whichever level. If you are serious about taking your skills to the limit up against another 71 drivers (per weight category) then this is the series for you.
The ‘buddy driver’ system is set-up to help new drivers competing in their first Sprint event.
A member of staff will personally introduce the buddy drivers on Sprint race days and assign a buddy to each of the new drivers. Rather than have pre-designated buddies within each class, we will just encourage regular drivers to volunteer their services on the day during the briefing thus sharing the activity over the course of the season.
New drivers will benefit from their buddy in the following areas –
- Format – Your buddy will let you know when you are racing, checking your results, grid positions, race lengths and most importantly, starting your race.
- The Kart – You will be given tips on how it all works in the pit lane and kart allocation for each of your races. Your buddy will show you around the kart you have been allocated and advise you on which components to check over prior to racing.
- FAQ’s – You will have the ‘one to one’ benefit of being able to ask a number of questions throughout the day. You can discuss items such as, handling, racing tips and strategies.
- Social – Getting to know your buddy will naturally lead on to being introduced to other competitors in your class, giving you the opportunity to forge new friendships within the club, which is what CLUB100 is all about.
This safety feature tries to identify some key issues concerned with exiting, entering and travelling through a sometimes crowded, or narrow (and therefore potentially dangerous) pit lane. Circuits like Bayford Meadows have tight pit lanes that are made more hazardous by the presence of our fleet of 43+ karts, your fellow competitors and our helpful staff. This safety issue overlaps nicely with one of our operational headaches, which is getting races started as quickly as possible. It is imperative to getting the races started in a timely fashion and that you are aware of what races you are in, which kart you will be driving when it’s time to get in your kart. So being within earshot of our PA, to hear our Pit Lane Manager is a good idea and being ready with all of your kit on and done up in plenty of time (don’t forget your gloves!), and with any ballast ready for your race (you wouldn’t want to win only to be disqualified for being under weight), when your race is about to grid up before going out. So it’s always important to be near the pit lane, and on sprint days with many heats, that you are aware of what heat or final you are in, and a good idea of what heat or final is out on track at any moment, just so you know when you need to be ready and will be there ready. We run to to tight schedule, and we are under no obligation to wait for you. Don’t be afraid to ask the Pit Lane Manager, another member of staff, your buddy or even an experienced driver, we all want to give everyone the maximum amount of track time.
Here are some key things to remember with our Rotax powered karts:
- Since 2019 when we adopted the Rotax engine, we have gone to a centrifugal clutch and Touch and Go electric start. This makes the whole experience of starting a kart much simpler and less people intensive, there is no need for two people to push start you as the driver. And you can also brake to a complete stop if a pit lane becomes blocked without needing to be restarted in the same manner. This all much more civilised. We all like this.
- When trying to start a Kart, you first need to locate the starter button, it’s behind the steering wheel at the top on the nose (or Nassau) panel, it’s also the kill switch to turn off the engine, so be careful not to kill your engine under heavy cornering with a flappy hand.
- Your expectation as the driver should be that you will have been fully briefed by a member of the Club100 team about how to start, and the safe operation of the controls. There is no mystery or knack to starting. Press and hold down the starter motor until you hear the engine catch, and how much throttle to use, with a little throttle the kart will not move, but it will start. Before giving it a bit more throttle check the road ahead is clear, also be sure you know the other pedal on the left is the brake! As you increase throttle the drive will gradually engage. Rarely the kart may not start, you will hear it turning over, a sort of clatter, but no engine noise, if it does not start after 10-15seconds, you should seek assistance from the staff. Do not try to ‘fix’ anything yourself.
- Always give the kart in front a bit of space in case it has a problem, so you can get around it if there is space to safely (count to two – then go). As a driver, you are in control, it is your responsibility to always look ahead and ensure you make every attempt to miss other karts, drivers, the staff or bystanders.
- As a driver always look to the Pit Lane Manager for additional instructions. He may have noticed a blockage on the track and would like you to hold back for a few seconds. He, ultimately will control the release of Karts onto the track.
- Don’t fiddle with any other parts of the kart while driving, there is a very strong CZ Chain, rotating at very high revs next to you, and although we’ve done our best to guard it from wandering hands, this is only one potential hazard. By far the best thing to do is remain in the seat when the kart is moving, keep your feet with the pedals and your hands with the steering wheel. The seat, pedals and steering wheel are yours, and your responsibility, the rest of the kart, it’s settings and any adjustments belong to Club100.
- Everything on your kart should be secure, in a rare occurance that your kart does not feel or look right, or gives you any cause for concern, bring your concerns to the attention of a member of staff, or if you are out on track when it happens, drive it back to pit lane if it is safe to drive, and drive it at safe reduced speed, with perhaps one hand in the air to warn drivers behind that you are at a reduced speed if you can do so while maintaining control.
Article by Steve Dart/Chris Simpson
All driver’s must wear a full race-suit and an approved helmet. We can provide these at the events if you do not have your own.
It is important for a driver to have a good snug fit in the seat so they do not ‘roll around’ or get thrown from side to side. This in turn will allow the driver to focus on control of the Kart.
Most lightweight and some heavyweight drivers will benefit from the use of a seat insert. The club do provide 12 – 15 seat inserts for all to share, so cannot guarantee one will be available for you at all times. Our seat inserts are full seat size and made of rubber to line the seat of the kart. They are more universal than a bespoke insert.
By purchasing your own seat insert, you will be more comfortable in the seat and subsequently improve your performance in the kart.
For those drivers needing to carry ballast to meet the minimum weight in their class, by having your own seat insert you can fit the ballast (roofing lead) around your seat. This way, your weight will be centrally mounted in the kart, ensuring better control.
If you are intending to be a regular competitor, we suggest you get a seat insert (if needed) from Tillett Seats (tel 01795 420312) in Sittingbourne. Tell them you race with CLUB100 and they will then know the size of seat we use. They will also want to know if you need a full seat insert or a ‘half’ seat with the bottom cut out. This second seat is much lighter.
They may also request some sort of understanding of your size in order to provide the right size of insert.
It is very important that all drivers arrive on time. It is clearly written in the regulations that drivers will not be permitted to race if they do not attend the drivers briefing. We would like to politely request you allow plenty of time to ensure you arrive at the venue in good time. Late arrivals only delay the process in getting the day up and running.
Please note, we will not wait for late arrivals. We will start racing without you.
Communication is the key. If you need to cancel on the day, or you are running late due to heavy traffic or for any other reason. Please let us know as soon as possible by calling John Vigor (JV) on 07768 486692.
- Club100 Racing Ltd.
Bon Accord House,
Eurolink Commercial Park
- +44 (0) 1795 883592