It had to happen, karts are set to be the next big thing in historic motor sport. And the first-ever Historic Kart World Championships will add to the action at the 2012 Donington Historic Festival on 5-6 May.
Some 150 historic karts, including machines originally campaigned by Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna, will compete on a specially laid-out circuit using the Donington GP Loop, pedalled by 200 drivers from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe.
Among the stars already entered is British Historic Kart Club Patron, the historics hero Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, who will race one of his father’s creations, a 1959 Fastakart/Villiers.
Karting legends also scheduled to appear include the 1967 World Karting Champion Edgardo Rossi (Switzerland) and 1978 World Champion Lake Speed (USA), plus former British champions Reg Gange Jnr, Bill Longden and Bob Phair.
There will also be a strong contingent of lady competitors, including the current European Champion, 100cc vintage, Tania le Couilliard, British Champion 250cc classic, Claire Atkinson and the Dutch racer Miranda van Middendorp.
Significant karts taking part include the 1959 Progress in which Graham Hill won the first ever kart race held in the UK. This will compete alongside the famous front-engined Del-kart/Suzuki that was part of the Donington Collection for 30 years; both karts racing for the first time in several decades.
Ayrton Senna’s World Championship DAP kart – last raced in 1979 by the great man himself – will compete for Classic Class 1 honours, while former champion Peter Burgess will pilot the Martin Hines-built Burgess Special Zip/ Bultaco.
There will also be demonstration laps by some rare machines, including the very first kart ever made by Art Ingels and the Biagi 701/Bultaco, the creation of 1961 Scottish champion Paul Biagi.
Festival organiser, Duncan Wiltshire, said: “We are delighted that the British Historic Kart Club has selected the Donington Historic Festival as the stage for the inaugural Historic Kart World Championships. One of our key aims has always been that the Festival offers a wealth of racing excitement and entertainment for spectators, and the karts will really add to that, bringing former World and British Champions, and some very special machines."
Pictures: Pete Austin