Since the beginning of Vintage Enduro Racing, the Dart Kart Club in Ohio has been a strong supporter. As part of the 2021 AKRA Road Racing Series, Dart kart will host two very special events; June 18, 19, & 20 may be the largest karting event ever hosted at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. At the time of this writing there are nearly 600 pre-entries, and more coming in every day. AKRA and Dart Kart Club support classes for Vintage Piston Port/USA, Vintage Open, and Vintage Twin, with all classes running races on both Saturday and Sunday. While Vintage Enduro karts will be only a small fraction of the karts entered, organizers have recognized the importance of showcasing the history of the sport and these beautifully restored machines.
A special attraction this year will be the “B-Stock Battle of the Twins”. Organizers are hoping to attract the largest field of twin-engine karts of any race since the 90’s. The “Battle of the Twins” is scheduled to go off the grid at noon on Saturday June 19th.
For those of you who have not experienced Mid Ohio, it is a rolling 3 ½ mile course with long straights, elevation changes, and some technical turn combinations. If you’ve been waiting to get your Vintage Enduro out on the track, wait no longer. VKA Enduro Director John Copeland will be there to provide any support you need. Check the VKA Guidelines for specific rules (there aren’t many), and log onto www.dartkartclub.com or www.akraracing.com for more details.
@ Lamar County Speedway Barnesville, Ga. 3/25/21 thru 3/27/21
By Bob Barthelemy Photos by Don Roll & Forest Bass
The weather was beautiful all day Thursday with temperatures in the mid 70’s. Dicky Wilson and Eric McMillian started the safety tech inspections Wednesday, as many arrived early to get their pit spots set up, and continued throughout the day Thursday. Thank you to the GSKA workers and the entire GSKA team for a well-run event! I also want to thank Todd Shearin for making it exciting calling the races and a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem Saturday. Also, thank you to Aubree McClellan for leading us in the National Anthem Friday. A special thanks to Eric McMillian for his help throughout the weekend. Thank you to all the Vintage Karters with 89 entries participating at this event.
After a round of safety tech inspections Thursday morning, the track was opened for open practice at 9:30. We started with open practice for all senior drivers (40 minute session with a max of 10 karts on the track at a time). The junior drivers (9 entries) were then allotted a (10) minute practice session followed again by the senior drivers. We repeated this order throughout the day and closed the track for practice at 5:30 pm. I am very encouraged by the number of entries in the junior class as they represent the future of our sport.
Friday morning rain was forecasted and they were correct. From 8:00 to 9:30 it was a torrential downpour followed by steady drizzle till 2:00 pm. We worked over an hour to get the track dry with a shop vacuum and several blowers. After getting the track reasonably dry, we opened it for practice (approx. 45 minutes) to ensure the track was dry enough for competitive action. We then conducted our driver’s meeting including a brief devotional recognizing Mike Adkins, Pearle Gamble, and Lou Smiley who all passed since December of 2020. We were able to get the first heat races started by 4:00 pm. We had 20 classes represented and by grouping some of the classes together we were able to run all classes in 13 groups. We completed all but a few of our 1st heats when light rain delayed the program again. We called a quick drivers meeting on the grid asking the drivers if they want to dry the track and continue with most of the 2nd round of demonstration heat races under the lights or shut down for the day and pick-up on Saturday. The overwhelming majority wanted to continue into the night so we dried the track again and did just that. All heat races went smoothly. We completed all of the 2nd heat races for the day about 9:00 pm and proceeded with the banquet.
We all enjoyed a great finger food buffet prepared and served by Vicki & Glenn Forsyth in the concession/registration building and pavilion area. In honor of Mike Adkins, Pearle Gamble, and Lou Smiley, Bob Barthelemy acknowledged that “In memory of” plaques will be placed on the walls of the concession building.
Romero Llamas and his team of judges got the kart show judging activity going at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning on the front straight. The Kart Show awards were presented a little after 10:00. We recognized Pete Lotz as the furthest traveled and awarded the plaque to him (Belgium, Wisconsin). We then conducted the 50/50 raffle presenting several GSKA & VKA T-shirts and calendars. The big money winner was Steve Mox, who graciously donated half of his winnings back to the VKA. David Luciani headed up the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets ($1220.00) a record high for our event. We then opened the track for 30 minutes of practice. We called a quick drivers meeting, prayed, and Todd Shearin sang the National Anthem and we started the third round of heat races before lunch. We completed the third round of heat races before 2:00 pm., then presented the awards for the demonstrations and finished by 3:00 p.m.
Kart Show Results
Historic Unrestored: Aubree McClellan 1968 Margay New Breed Restored: Rob Rizzuto 1961 Dart Mac 91B
Rear Unrestored: David Luciani 1960 Go Kart 800 West Bend 820 Restored: John McMullen 1961 Percival Hellcat SL Modified: Kevin Rice 1961 Fox West Bend 820
Sidewinder Unrestored: Rick Williams 1987 Coyote Bullet Restored: David Brock 1978 Hartman Modified: Dustin Merritt 1987 Invader
The World Karting Association held the 2021 Karting Challenge at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC on April 16-18, 2021. It was a multiple event with road racing on the CMS “Roval”, modern sprint racing on the sprint kart track in the infield near turn 3 of the main oval, and dirt sprint racing on the dirt track right next to the Speedway. Road racers moved in on Friday morning April 16th. The road course was rented to Mustang racers on Friday morning so we were not able to get on the track until the afternoon. WKA changed the configuration of the road course adding a 180-degree loop at the end of the road course before going onto the oval.
The track was very bumpy, especially between turns 3 and 4 of the oval and as you entered the road course from the oval. And when I say very bumpy, I mean very bumpy. Many racers said that their heads were jarred so badly in turns 3 and 4 of the oval that they had trouble seeing the turn-in for the front stretch chicane. The track roughness also took its toll on equipment since our racing karts don’t have suspension. All that jarring will eventually break something.
There were 3 Vintage Twins at the track on Friday. Rick Gilmore just got his engine mounts for his twin on Thursday afternoon so he didn’t have time to get the engines set-up on his C-Open enduro kart. He worked on it off and on during the day on Friday. Ron Caldwell had added a fuel tank to his C-Open sprint kart to have enough fuel capacity for the road race. Unfortunately Ron locked up an engine during a practice. Undaunted, he installed a spare engine and went back out for another practice session. However luck was not with Ron this day. His new tank cracked so he packed it up and went home. The 3rd Vintage Twin was Tom Tretow who came all the way from Wisconsin. Tom’s Invader twin was set-up with 2 TKM 135cc reed valve engines. During practice on Friday, Tom put a hole through the top of the piston in one of his engines. Unable to repair the engine at the track, Tom removed the 135cc TKMs and installed a pair of 100cc PCR reed valve engines and started dialing them in.
There were 3 Vintage Piston Port/USA karts, all set-up with McCulloch MC-101s. As far as I know they did not have any significant issues during practice.
There were 2 Vintage Open karts, Rick Gilmore’s Margay with a K-299 B-Bomb and my Invader with a K-299 B-Bomb. Rick seized a piston in practice on Friday and spent the rest of the afternoon swapping engines. I went out for the 1st practice to familiarize myself with the new track configuration and to check my clutch and carb settings. My clutch was over slipping and when I came in I noticed that the outboard clutch oil seal had blown out. I set to work removing the rear axle to remove the axle clutch. I got a replacement seal, installed it, turned out the clutch adjusters to reduce clutch slip, and refilled the clutch with new oil. Then I re-assembled the rear axle and went out for another practice session. This time the clutch was still over slipping but just a little bit so I turned out the clutch adjusters a little bit more to reduce clutch slip. During the next practice session, the clutch was right where I wanted it to slip so I concentrated on getting the carbs dialed in.
After a couple of short practice sessions on Saturday morning I had the engine, carbs, and clutch just where I wanted them to be. The kart handled well and the brakes performed well.
Race #3 on Saturday included the Vintage Twin 1 class. Rick Gilmore was still working on repairing the damage to this Vintage Open kart so he didn’t get his Vintage Twin ready for the race. Consequently Tom Tretow was the only Vintage Twin to make the grid. Tom ran very well and showed how quick a good Vintage Twin kart can run.
Race #6 on Saturday included both the Vintage Open 1 class and the Vintage Piston Port/USA 1 class. Rick Gilmore and I were gridded for the Vintage Open 1 race and Dennis Griffith, Bill Anderson, and Bill Johnson were gridded for the Vintage Piston Port/USA 1 class.
I got a great start and took the lead of the Vintage Open 1 race right off the starting grid. I led every lap and won the race. There were 7 classes running together but there were no traffic problems. I found out after the race that Rick Gilmore stripped a belt coming off the starting grid so he did not even complete one lap. Dennis Griffith running the Vintage Piston Port/USA 1 class with his Van-K kart and a MC-101 had a great race with me. I was slow in the infield road course and Dennis caught and passed me there just about every lap. However I would catch him on the oval and pass him before we entered the front stretch chicane so I led every lap. At about 1/3 race distance, my temperature indication failed due to a broken CHT thermocouple lead. At about half race distance, my slippy pipe cable broke so I lost some top end speed. With only a couple of minutes left in the vintage races, the red flag came out due to an accident in one of the other classes so our race ended just a little early. Dennis and I both completed 11 laps and our best lap times were less than half a second apart. We were essentially glued together for the entire race. It was fun.
In the Vintage Piston Port/USA 1 class, Dennis Griffith was quite a bit quicker than both Bill Anderson and Bill Johnson. Dennis led that class from start to finish. Close to the end of the race, Bill Anderson suffered a broken rod in his MC-101. He still completed 10 laps. On lap 8 Bill Johnson’s GoPro camera started to fall over so he reached over to get it but the bumpy track caused his elbow to hit his flip up tank cap and it came open. He couldn’t close it on the track so he came into the pits ending his race after 7 laps. Bill also felt he may have hurt his engine in the race.
I did not run practice on Sunday morning since I needed to correct the issues from yesterday’s race. I installed a new CHT thermocouple lead and installed a new slippy pipe cable. Then I did my standard pre-race preparations.
On Sunday, race #2 featured the Vintage Open 2 class and the Vintage Piston Port/USA 2 class. I was the only kart in Vintage Open 2 since Rick Gilmore worked on his Vintage Twin kart to get it ready for the Vintage Twin race later that day. I got a great start and came off the grid like a rocket ship. The engine ran well, the clutch worked well, and the kart handled well. There were 7 classes running together but there were no traffic problems. Only 6 minutes into the race, my new CHT lead broke and then the MyChron4 gauge quit working entirely. I richened the rear carb HS needle just a little bit and ran the rest of the race without any gauge info. Now that’s real “vintage”. My fastest lap time of the Vintage Open 2 race was 2:01.545 so I was almost 5 seconds faster than I was on Saturday. I ran the entire race without any issues except for the gauge failure and completed 14 laps.
Bill Anderson was the only entry in Vintage Piston Port/USA 2. After damaging his MC-101 on Saturday, Bill ran a 100cc McCulloch in the Sunday race. Unfortunately as he came off turn 4 of the oval his engine suffered multiple engine failures. Bill quickly turned onto pit road preventing further damage to his engine. Bill completed 5 laps before dropping out.
Sunday’s race #4 featured the Vintage Twin 2 class. Unfortunately Rick Gilmore was unable to sort out the issues on his vintage twin kart and did not make the grid for the race. Tom Tretow ran well again and cruised to an uncontested win.
I had decided about a month before the race that this would be my final enduro road race. I’m 74 years old and it has been getting more physically challenging for me to do the enduro races. However I wanted to go out on a good performance and I am happy that I was able to do that. To me a race is successful if my equipment runs well, I drive well, and I finish the race. I will still participate in vintage sprint races but this was my “curtain call” for enduro kart racing. I have had a great time racing enduro karts for many years and have been very successful at it. It’s much better to go out on top than to stay too long in a sport. I will miss it but I have had a very good career road racing karts and I have no regrets about stopping now.