Adams Motorsports Park Pandemic Play Day 2021

Adams Motorsports Park Pandemic Play Day 2021

Photos & Text By Len Emanuelson

One of the young Carbarino boys on a Mc8-powered ’61 Dart leads Paul Wright on his KT-100 Panther X. Body English versus no body English!

Like virtually everything else in California, this year’s 16th Annual Faye Pearson Vintage Kart Reunion was canceled due to Covid. And that was a real shame as the weather was a balmy 76, with lots of sunshine and hardly a wisp of wind. Not typical weather for Riverside in February that can often be wet, cold and extremely windy. About 25 vintage karters showed up for the Saturday-only gathering with masks, social distancing and all of that. Those who made it were rewarded with the best track day possible – plenty of track time sharing it only with fellow vintage karters.

There was a great assortment both rear-engine and sidewinder karts. The Bug camp was well represented by Tom Harpur of Wilmington, CA who brought a ’76 Wasp, a ’88 Spider and a ’81 Scorpion. (He left a ’72 Stinger and Bug 2000 home because he ran out of trailer space.) The opposing Margay camp was well represented by Paul Wright who brought a pair of beautiful Expert 1s and a Panther X. He too left a couple of Margays at home. And finally, Jack Dodd brought three Emmicks, a NOS Arrow III (twin Yamaha, big axle), a K35-powered Elite and a Yamaha-powered Express. All that was missing was a few of Van Duesen’s Invaders.

What was interesting to me was to find out what everybody was doing with this track day. My old buddy from the Hot Rod Magazine days, Pete Eastwood (his primered ’32 Sedan graced the cover while I was editor), was there breaking-in a freshly rebuilt pair of 101s on his ’68 Dart Chapparal single, for his twin Dart Chapparal. Big Mike Golembesky had his twin K-30 Emmick at Adams to switch from gas to methanol and figure out the new tune-up. Jack Dodd was breaking in his NOS Emmick Arrow III with a pair of Yamahas and Jon Woods at the wheel. The Bug guys including Stacy Seguine in a Spider were seriously working on their lap times as were Paul Wright’s Margays.

Howard Combee showed up with an early ‘80s Birel with a direct drive K78 – no gauges, as bare bones as it gets. He gave us all a driving exhibition of how to drive a DD for smoothness and momentum. I think Howard ran more laps than anyone until he broke a header. Fortunately, someone was selling exactly what he needed. Unfortunately, a hard-working Victor Osuna from nearby Jurupa Valley thrashed all day before getting in some laps just before the track closed. And it was good to see a couple of youngsters out there getting a thrill of a lifetime. One of the highlights of the day was when Greg Richardson let Timel Sebastian (Adams Track Manager) drive her first vintage kart. She’s been part of the Adams operation for years, but never had the opportunity to drive. Greg’s Briggs-powered ’80 Proline was the perfect starting point.

With the limited number of VKA karting events in any regional area, arranging a few track days with a group of friends is a great way to get your kart ready for the big events and also to get that all-so-important seat time!

Cary Thomas from Carlsbad, CA has a ’62 Fox with twin Mc 20s on it. It looks almost too nice to drive, but Cary drives it like he stole it!
Jack Dodd brought out 3 Emmicks to shore up the strong west coast Emmick fans. This Elite runs a K35 with a Burco axle clutch in the 150 Unlimited class. Here Jack is powering out of the “Sandbox” turn in the sweet afternoon light.
Looking for something really special? A fellow karter named Craig had this brand-new, never fired C/Open for sale. It was built by Jeff Brown with a Bennett chassis and NOS BM130s. And like anything Jeff brown builds it is flawless!
Craig also had an original ’60 GoKart800 signed (on the left engine mount) by Duffy Livingston, one of the founders of our sport and owners of the GoKart manufacturing facility. Craig can be contacted at: 909-936-2000.
Tom Corso from Rancho Mirage, CA was flying in his ’64 Fox Mc45 (built by our own Louie Figone). Here Tom exits the Little Monza in perfect position for the next turn.
Tom was constantly tweaking his combination for better driveability and speed.
None of the “Big Hitter” C/Open – 300 Unlimiteds came out to play except for Speed Parts’ Big Mike Golembesky. Mike tried converting to methanol, couldn’t find the tune-up and switched back to gas. This twin K-30-powered Emmick Elite doesn’t need more power – just a little consistency. Mike purchased this kart chassis new from Pitts Performance, back in the day.
Karting great, Howard Combee brought out an early Birel with a direct drive K78. No stinkin’ gauges, no stinkin’ air cleaner, just the essence of what a kart was to the rest of the world – 100cc, no clutch – pure magic!
Still extremely competitive in modern karts, Howard put on a direct-drive driving clinic for those of us who have never experienced DD. Very cool!
Here’s one of Tom Harpur’s Bug Spiders driven by Terry Russell. It is show quality and runs extremely well.
Another Tom Harpur orange Bug – this one’s a ’76 Wasp with a pipe’d Yamaha.
They never stop coming – Tom Harpur’s ’81 Bug Scorpion transfers some weight as driver, Stanley Hansen exits the “Sandbox” turn.
Pete Eastwood used the Adams Play Day to break-in a pair of mc101s, one at a time on his single ’68 Dart Chaparral. As you can see, he doesn’t baby anything!
If there’s a vintage kart event in SoCal, Tom Wilms from Redlands, CA will be there with his two very fast Dart Chaparrals. The single runs a Mc90 and the twin has a pair of Mc101s, and Tom simply drives the wheels off of them. The lady in the hat is Timel Sebastian. She coordinated this Play Day for us. Thanks Timel and the Adams’ staff!
Greg Richardson brought his Briggs-powered, ’80 Proline and gave Timel a chance to hot lap it. Now Timel is a huge supporter of vintage karting.
Gilbert B. Rodriquez brought his Doug Sharp- restored ‘88DAP up from San Diego. It has a DAP T81 reed on it and runs as well as it looks!
Paul Wright’s Margay Expert I has all of the right stuff – Komet K55, Burco clutch and a RLV Pro80 pipe.
Wright’s Margay Panther X has a KT100 with an RLV A2 pipe. It runs strong and handles great!
Jon Woods probably has more laps at Adams, than any living karter. For the Play Day he was wheeling Jack Dodd’s NOS Emmick Arrow III twin Yamaha. Ran strong all day!
Here’s a bad photo of an incredible kart – Bruce Bereiter’s ’66 “Green” Hornet, powered by a Dave Bonbright 820 WB. There’s a better shot of Bruce in action in last year’s Bakersfield coverage – check it out!
Another Bug Spider out of the Tom Harpur camp was driven by Stacy Seguine from Long Beach, CA. Stacy pounded the Yamaha engine lap-after-lap, looking for better lap times.
Last but not least, Victor Osuna and his crew from Jurupa Valley (literally next door to Adams), thrashed all day and finally got some laps before the sun went down. They have an ’81 CRG and an Emmick Express, both Yamaha powered.