CMS Vintage Race Report – 2021

CMS Vintage Race Report – 2021

By Dick Charest

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. 

Bill Johnson’s Piston Port/USA entry was running a MC-101, but during the race on Saturday his GoPro was falling off, and when he reached to grab it he hit the quick-releas-se fuel cap and had to pull in. He also suffered some engine damage knocking him out for Sundacy.

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.

Ron Caldwell brought his twin DAP T-60 (each with dual 34mm Mikunis) sprint kart. After installing a larger fuel tank for the enduro, he proceeded to seize an engine. He installed a spare, then the new fuel tank cracked.
Tom Tretow’s dual Invader with twin TKM 135 reed valve engines got off to a rocky start when he “holed” a piston in practice. However, he had a pair of backup PCR 100s that ran flawless the rest of the weekend.

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. 

Dennis Griffith’s Van-K kart ran a MC-101 in Piston Port/USA class. Dennis won his class on Saturday when the two other competitors, Bill Anderson and Bill Johnson both experienced problems.

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. 

Gilmore’s dual B-bomb-powered Invader will be a missile when he gets it sorted out.

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.

Bill Anderson’s MC-101 broke a rod on Saturday, so he installed a 100cc Mac for Sunday. Unfortunately, it too failed after 5 laps.

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. 

Rick Gilmore brought two beautiful Enduros to Charlotte. Here is his single B-bomb-powered Margay. Last-minute parts arrival and engine woes plagued Rick all weekend. Got lots of wrench time and very little track time. (Been there, done that – Ed.)

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.

Here’s Dick Charest’s Komet K299-powered Invader that won both Vintage Open races. Dick retired from Enduro racing on a high note.
Vintage Racers Roar at Georgia’s Roebling Road

Vintage Racers Roar at Georgia’s Roebling Road

By John Copeland
Photos & Captions By Dick Charest

The first weekend in March can be unpredictable weather-wise, in the southeast, but 2 months after the final checkered flag of the year at Daytona, the WKA Vega Tire Road Racing Series, presented by Summit Racing Equipment, descended on Roebling Road Race Course near Savannah, Georgia.

Roebling Road couldn’t be in a more iconic setting, a 2.02 mile, 9-turn road course nestled beneath towering oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

Kart #68, Scotty Orr’s Coyote,Yamaha KT-100 was a consistent runner with a 4th on Saturday and a 3rd on Sunday.

Saturday’s Vintage Piston Port class featured 4 entries contesting the 30 minute race. Arthur McKenny was the class of the field, lapping 4 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. All 4 racers made it to the checkered flag with McKenny taking the win over Christopher Foskey, followed by William Anderson and Scotti Orr.

In Saturday’s Vintage Open class, Tony Ellison continued his winning ways in a tightly fought battle with Dick Charest and Terence Armstrong. Piston Port winner Arthur McKenny was in the hunt as well before retiring after 5 laps. Christopher Foskey dropped out after 1 lap and Rick Gilmore lasted until lap 11 before retiring. At the flag it was Ellison, followed by Armstrong besting Charest by less than half a second to take 2nd.

Sunday’s Piston Port race saw the same 4 karts on the grid, but McKenny’s luck ran out after only 1 lap and he retired. William Anderson took this one by a lap over Christopher Foskey, with Scotti Orr in 3rd.

The last Vintage class of the weekend was Sunday’s Vintage Open and only 3 competitors made it to the grid. Once again is was all Tony Ellison and he ripped off laps 1 ½ seconds faster than his winning pace on Saturday. Unfortunately neither of his fellow Vintage racers could hang on as Dick Charest retired after 2 laps and Terence Armstrong was unable to complete the 1st lap. Ellison cruised to an uncontested win.

Next up on the Vintage enduro calendar is the Shenandoah Circuit at Summit Point Raceway on April 17th & 18th, hosted by the Woodbridge Kart Club. That same weekend WKA will welcome Vintage enduro karters to the “Roval” at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Competing race dates at tracks so geographically close is never a good thing, but hopefully racers will pick their favorite track and support these events.

Kart #173, Bill Anderson’s Van-K with a TKM Piston Port won the Vintage Piston Port race on Sunday, along with his 3rd on Saturday. Kart #73, Bill Anderson’s Margay with a Mac-91
Kart #07, Terry Armstrong’s Quicksilver DAP T-62 was always in the hunt in Vintage Open, placing 2nd on Saturday behind Ellison and then breaking the T-62 crank on the first lap on Sunday.
Kart #31 (blue tanks), Tony Ellison’s Quicksilver with a K-35 was the kart to beat in Vintage Open. It had the speed and reliability to win both Saturday and Sunday’s races while clicking off a 1:25.271 best lap!
Kart #31 (silver tanks), Tony Ellison’s Margay with a DAP T-62
Kart #27, Terry Armstrong’s Quicksilver kart with a K-55
Dick Charest’s K-299 dual carbs proved to be a tuning challenge all weekend with changing weather conditions – never could build the necessary heat in the Komet.
Kart #161 Dick Charest’s K-299-powered Invader managed a Third Place in Vintage Open I, one lap behind Tony Ellison on Saturday and captured a Second in Sunday’s Vintage Open 2 with only four laps completed
Kart #16, Chris Foskey’s KT-100 Coyote finished 2nd out of a four-kart field in Vintage Piston Port on Saturday, then backed it up with another second on Sunday, laying down a best of 1:31.947.
Kart #16, Chris Foskey’s K-35 IKS had engine problems in Race #8 on Saturday and dropped out after one lap.
Kart #6W, Arthur McKenny’s KT-100-powered Margay was the class of the field running a 1:28.294 and wining Race #6 on Saturday, and setting fast time on Sunday before dropping out of Sunday’s race after one lap.
Kart #1, Rick Gilmore’s Invader with dual K-99s. Rick had a tough go in Vintage Open with a spin and off-track “experience”.
Faye “Lady Bug” Pierson – My Super Hero

Faye “Lady Bug” Pierson – My Super Hero

By: Mona Sturgeon

Gus Traeder’s secret to staying young – surround yourself with women!

Most of the karting universe knows Faye’s racing history and prowess at running a karting business. Faye’s driving career spanned the late 1950,s and the 60’s when karting was growing and new innovations came hard and fast. She and husband Tom would create Bug, and then Team Bug, and proceed to drive headlong into the history books of kart racing.

I began racing karts in 1985. While I had seen Faye in the pits from time to time, I didn’t really formally meet Faye until my first IKF Sprint Grandnationals in 1987 held at Garnett, Kansas, where I won my first Duffy. I began running a Bug the following year and my husband Rick would convert to Bug shortly thereafter. Rick and Faye would spend vast amounts of time discussing chassis and tires. Faye’s Husband “Big” Tom Pierson and I would become close friends too, and the four of us would remain close buds, and frequently meet up to catch up.

Rick and I stopped racing in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, but never lost touch with Tom and Faye. After Tom’s passing, I would drive down for a night or weekend just to spend time with Faye. She was heartbroken and felt a little lost without Tom. But Faye threw herself into the business, with a whole lot of support from sons Tommy and Jon, she moved ever forward, as was her nature.

Quincy 2005 – Faye’s ready to ride!

A couple years later Faye called me one afternoon to tell me that she had been asked to attend a vintage karting event in Quincy, Illinois. She had promised Gus Traeder that she would attend, and Faye then explained that IKF Director Deb Harper had set up their travel plans. Deb was going to attend with Faye and write articles for interested karting publications. But, Deb had something come up and could no longer make the trip. It was just a couple of weeks away, so Faye asked if I would go with her, and to please bring my driving gear because she really didn’t know if she could do more than one heat race (Quincy in the heat you know…). She wanted me to be her backup driver; which would turn out to be the VERY LAST THING Faye needed.

And what an adventure it turned out to be – Faye would soon name us the “Thelma & Louise” of vintage karting. We had the absolute time of our lives together. We couldn’t attend an event in Quincy without stopping to put our feet in the mighty Mississippi River, which is how we discovered Hannibal, MO. Over the years it became ritual, after which we would eat at the amazing catfish house in Old Town.

On some of those trips to Quincy together, and the many other tracks around the country, Faye and I would get so tickled and begin laughing so very hard we had to pull over. Our friendship grew immeasurably during these times.

So after that one phone call, that one trip, I watched Faye’s glow come back as she was once again in her element. She was hooked, and I can tell you that she loved vintage karting most dearly. She cherished all of the incredible new memories through her time in the Vintage Karting Association and being at the tracks with all of you.

Faye always carried a notepad to each event so she could keep up with those she met along the way. After deciphering her notes and reminiscing about each event, we talked about all of y’all. Way, way too much to tell, and some things…I will never divulge – but it makes me giggle to this day.

Before vintage, we were friends who enjoyed and respected each other. But after our years of running amok together, the bond went well beyond friendship. I sincerely thank all of you for making our time with you so special. As her son Jon told me recently “What a run you two had together” and it’s so very true.

Obviously death is inevitable, but Faye was a super hero to me. Faye “Lady Bug” Pierson was truly a lady, she was poised and practical, a bit daring, forever playful, smart, sometimes downright sassy, she was so dear to all, she was my friend.

Prairie City 2002 – Faye with Tom Medley and his Faller kart
My Memories With Faye Pierson

My Memories With Faye Pierson

By: Louie Figone

VKA Riverside – Joey Figone, Mona Sturgeon, Faye, Louie

The first time I met Faye was at the 1992 IKF Sprint Nationals held at the Adams track in Riverside, California. After the event I needed a ride to one of the local airports. Faye offered to take me. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. We would talk on the phone often as she was the Bridgestone distributor for the West Coast.

Fast forward to 2002 and the Prairie City track. There was a vintage event there and who shows up but Faye Pierson with Tom Medley. Faye was wheeling Tom’s Faller kart around the track at the time we were having flagged heat events. Faye and I had a great time dicing back and forth – that was the beginning of my vintage days with Faye. We would fly into St. Louis and meet up at the airport (Faye, Mona Sturgeon, Ernie Fisher and myself), rent a car and drive to Quincy, Illinois. We would always stop at Hannibal, Missouri for fried catfish. Those were some great times and memories.

Faye was a living legend. One of the years at the banquet she was given the key to the city. We had a lot of fun at the track, we also had just as much fun at dinner. California always had a contingent of vintage karters at those events.

Faye, Tom Medley and Vince Hughes got together to start up the Riverside vintage event soon after. The first year we shared the track with pocket bikes. Then the event grew to where the vintage kart program had become a full three day event. Mona stepped up to the plate to help Faye and Vince out, Ernie Fisher was the official flagman at this event for many years.

Quincy – Earl Larson, Pete Berlt, Faye, Tom Medley & Terry Ives

Faye would always make it to the Northern California events too. At a Davis, California event I remember Faye, Mona, Tom Corso and myself went downtown. We had to have ice cream and we did. No matter what event we went to, Faye was always there and a big part of the event. She had no qualms about mixing it up with the guys. She could still outdrive many of us. The last time we visited was at the Riverside vintage event in February of 2020. Jon Pierson had moved Faye to live with him in Oregon and brought Faye down for a visit.

Vintage karting brought a lot of happiness to Faye, She looked forward to the people and they all loved her and the seat time she got in her Bug. I could go on and on with my memories with Faye, but it would take me forever to write it.

We are all going to miss this wonderful woman that brought so much happiness to everyone she touched.

Patch presented to participants at 2019 VKA Riverside
The Queen of Karting, Faye 'Ladybug' Pierson: 11 July 1928 – 6 March 2021

The Queen of Karting, Faye 'Ladybug' Pierson: 11 July 1928 – 6 March 2021

Article: Frank Weir
Photos: Gary Medley, Tom Medley, Jack Spitler and Frank Weir

The Queen of Karting Faye ‘Ladybug’ Pierson.
Photo: Gary Medley

President Gary Crawford of the Vintage Kart Club of America has made the sad announcement that Faye ‘Ladybug’ Pierson, the Queen of Karting has passed away.

Faye Pierson drove a kart for the very first time on Christmas Day 1957. Faye and her late husband Tom Pierson were initially introduced to karting by a neighbour who had purchased a kart kit as a Christmas gift for his teenage son. Tom Pierson kindly volunteered to help with the assemble of the kart and the two families went to a school parking lot in West Covina located within the greater Los Angeles area to experience karting for the first time that Christmas morning.

Once at the school car park everyone got to drive the kart. Faye just would not get off the tiny machine; driving it she later said was infectious. Faye was most definitely hooked that day on this new form of motorsport and soon her husband Tom was busy making karts for Faye and himself.

That was the very early days of karting in its birth place of Southern California and around the beginning of 1958 the Pierson’s along with family friend Dick Geer started making karts in a semi professional manner in the Pierson’s garage located in a Los Angeles suburb. The demand for the Pierson manufactured karts became so high that it was just not feasible to continue to make them in a domestic garage; a proper factory had to be sourced. Bug Engineering was formed and the Pierson kart manufacturing operations relocated to premises on Irwindale Avenue in the city of Azusa.

Previous to becoming a kart manufacturer Tom Pierson’s business involved the distribution of the then Los Angeles Mirror-Times newspapers which incidentally was were Faye perfected the art of driving fast as she made daily wholesale paper deliveries not that she openly advocated speeding on the streets.

The first ever National kart races were scheduled to be held at the Go Kart Raceway during the summer of 1959. That year Bug team driver Dick Geer won the Grand National title and Faye set the fastest time in the A class qualifying beating the track record by one full second. Faye went on to win her first heat, broke her chassis in race two and placed second in heat three, taking second place overall. Actually Faye taking part in the racing at that time was a milestone. In America sixty years ago racing was a sport that considered women to be signs of bad luck especially if they were found in places where they could possibly interfere with operations. Faye recalled on an occasion being asked to leave the pits at Indianapolis for that very reason!

During the early days of karting at the start of the sixties decade Faye ‘Ladybug’ Pierson, as she was known and her Bug karts traveled extensively throughout the United States and as far away as Europe racing in England and Italy. Back at the time of the English race, September 1961, she was one of only a few women to have her photo appear on the front page of the London Times. The photo, which also featured the World Champion at that time, teenager Bobby Allen, was snapped when the two disembarked together from the aircraft after landing in England on their way to the Banbury race at Shenington airfield.

Faye was very much accustomed to travelling by aircraft; both Tom and Faye held pilot licences and at weekends they would load her kart into the back of their Cessna and off she and husband Tom would go to wherever there was a kart race in the western part of the United States that warranted an appearance by Bug Karts.
Faye can most certainly be described as a pioneer of the sport because she was there at the beginning and thus instrumental in the involvement of women in karting. She was intelligent as well as being extremely easy on the eyes and soon she was appearing in television quiz shows filmed in studios associated with the Hollywood movie industry. Despite her celebrity status Faye remained a most approachable and helpful individual who always looked like a million Dollars.

Because of Faye’s iconic status she was chosen in 1962 to participate in an experiment sponsored by an American motoring magazine to determine the capabilities of kart drivers in sports and Formula Junior cars. The driving took place at the now defunct Riverside International Raceway. Faye put in some scorching and faultless laps in a Lotus 20 and then repeated her performance in a Lotus Junior. A three litre Austin Healey sports car was unfortunately her undoing, she lost it in a big way in the fast ‘S’ section and wrote the Healey off. A broken jaw and facial lacerations requiring 300 stitches were treated at the local hospital and thanks to skilful surgery Faye was soon her smiling self again. The accident put an end to her racing career by orders from husband Tom.

Twenty four years later in 1986 she was back in a competition kart at a track in Redlands, California, to prove that neither gender nor age were limiting factors particularly in the world of karting; Faye finished fifth that day.
Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge at Bug Engineering. The manufacturing plant on Irwindale Avenue was relocated to a purpose built facility at 950 West Foothill Boulevard, Azusa, California. Sadly Faye’s husband Tom died on 26 October 2000 leaving her solely in control helped by her sons Tommy and Jon. Not quite two decades later Faye had to deal with further bereavement when Tommy passed in September 2017.

From 1959 to 2014 the doors remained open at K & P Manufacturing the new name for Bug Engineering. During that time karts were manufactured across all the disciplines although a Bug was never homologated at the CIK. In the middle 1990’s Bug produced a model known as the FF-1 which was influenced by European design of that time. Around then the company also represented Birel and for decades beginning in 1978 K & P also acted as distributors for Bridgestone kart tyres. Later the main business for K & P was tire sales plus manufacturing replica copies of the rear engine Bug Sprint chassis that was first introduced in the middle 1960’s and the Stinger sidewinder kart from the early 1970’s. As well the fabrication of associated parts sought after by vintage karting enthusiasts to keep their historic Bug karts running also featured as a prominent part of the business.

In the beginning the Bug title was actually arrived at after a brain storming exercise to come up with a name for the Pierson kart; no suitable names were forth coming and Faye was reported to have said that the exercise was bugging her hence the name Bug!

As the years rolled by Faye thought that she was pretty much done with racing karts competitively but her long time friend, the late Tom Medley, the well known hot rod and karting writer at Petersen Publications, encouraged her to get involved with vintage kart racing. Faye returned to competition at the late Gus Traeder’s first Vintage Karting Olympics held at West Quincy, Missouri, in 2002. Since then she has been a regular on the Californian vintage kart scene and was guest of honour at the 2008 Numurkah Vintage Karting Grand Nationals held in Victoria, Australia. Faye has also on occasions attended Jeff Brown’s vintage extravaganza held each year in June at Mark Dismore’s pristine karting facility located at New Castle near Indianapolis.

For many years Faye hosted the karts of the Australian contingent who have competed at the Vintage Karting Association Reunion held each year during early February at the Adams Motorsport Park in Riverside, California. The event is actually called the Faye Pierson Vintage Kart Reunion in her honour. Faye generously allowed the Australians to use the Bug premises for their race preparation and helped with the transportation of their karts to and from the track.

Faye, who became a nonagenarian in 2018, was an inspiration to all who had been fortunate to have met her decided to finish up K & P as a manufacturing plant in the middle of 2014. Faye however had no intentions of disappearing from the American vintage karting scene; she retained part of the upstairs level of the old Bug plant and turned that area into a private museum dedicated to Bug karts.

Faye’s meritorious induction to the World Karting Association’s Karting Hall of Fame in 1989 as well as her induction into the Karting Hall of Fame in Talladega, Georgia, is proudly recorded in a section of her museum. ‘Ladybug’ continued to participate at vintage karting events close to her Californian home right to the end.

The sport of karting gave Faye Pierson hundreds of fantastic stories and experiences collected across a sixty year period. The Adams event named after her will always be a lasting memorial to Faye ‘Ladybug’ Pierson the Queen of Karting.

Faye with her Australian friends, Graeme Barwick left, and Peter Ward at Adams 2013
Faye at her desk at K & P with her cat called Bug
The heart shape shows how much the karting community adore Faye.
Faye and her Bug kart at Azusa Raceway circa 1959.
Faye at Adams not so long ago
Faye and her 1960 Bug Wasp; note the extra seat padding to keep her secure in the seat
Faye with her American karting team-mates and their manager in Italy 1961. Photo: Jack Spitler Collection
American karting team arriving in Italy in 1961, Faye is back row second from right. Photo: Jack Spitler Collection