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.
Barnesville Driving Event Summary

Barnesville Driving Event Summary

By Bob Barthelemy
Photos by Brian Allardice

The Georgia weather was a little nippy Thursday morning with temperatures in the mid 40’s followed by temps over 70 by mid-day. Mother Nature was kind to us Thursday and Friday but on Saturday morning a heavy mist followed by a drizzle and later a downpour resulted in no on-track activity. Thank you to Mike Adkins, GSKA President, and the entire GSKA team for a well-run event! Thank you to all the Vintage Karters (44 entries) for participating at this event, and especially the large group from Saltillo, Mississippi.

After a round of safety tech inspections, the track was opened for practice at 9:15. We started with open practice for all single engine senior drivers with a max of 10 karts on the track at a time. The junior drivers were then allotted a practice session followed by the dual engine drivers taking their separate practice session. We repeated this order throughout the day and closed the track for practice at 5:00 pm. I believe everyone had plenty of practice time.

Foreign 8.2 Sidewinder means big power and close racing. Jimmy Gay trails Marc Nagel and winner Bowen Carlock into Barnesville’s signature corner.
There were four entries in the popular Yamaha Dual class. Here 2nd place finisher Gary Combs (14) leads the winner Mark Green’s Margay SR-16 (2).

Friday morning temperatures were in the mid-50’s and rose to the mid-70’s and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Practice began at 9:00 and went through noon. After the lunch break, we conducted our driver’s meeting including a brief devotional recognizing what God did to save Bill Jackson’s life and to pay respects to my friend, Ronnie Smith, who recently passed away (I conducted the eulogy at his funeral Saturday morning). After a few last-minute corrections to our running order to ensure participants were not driving in back-to-back classes, we were able to get the first Heats started by 1:45 pm. We had 13 classes represented, and by grouping some of the classes together, we were able to run 10 groups. We proceeded with our 1st and 2nd round of demonstration Heats. All Heats went smoothly with no substantial incidents on the track.  

Sportsman Rear winner, Billy Dalton from Mt. Washington, Kentucky was both fast and his kart was show-worthy. Robert Rizzuto and Tony Severino also competed in Sportsman Rear.

We all enjoyed a great evening buffet meal (chicken and rice, pork loin, and a wide range of vegetables and salad) prepared and served by Vicki & Glenn Forsyth in the concession/registration pavilion (outside to comply with COVID-19 protocol). “Legends of Karting” awards were presented in recognition to Dicky Wilson and Bill Berry by Bob Barthelemy. A Longest Distanced Traveled award was presented to Romero Llamas from Canton, Ohio. Romero was also presented the coveted traveling “Yankee Award”. He will be able to cherish it for only five months due to the 2021 Barnesville event scheduled for the March 25th-thru the 27th weekend, when it will be presented to another honored recipient.  

Due to the continuing rain Saturday morning, the vintage karters in attendance voted to call the 3rd Heat. We then presented the awards for the demonstrations (based on finishing order of the 2nd Heat) and finished before 12:00 noon.

Lots of intensity between these two in 100cc Classic, Romero Llamas (11) and victor Tony Ellison had a great on-track battle. Romero also took home the Long Distance award.
Here are the top three in Yamaha Piston Port. Scott Nagel (7) won, George May (14) was second and Jarod Brannon (9) was third.
If vintage karters thought that they’d be rid of the Nagels anytime soon, they haven’t been watching young Ben Nagel who drives his SAE “like he stole it”! This photo shows why the sprocket guard is necessary as Ben rolls the rear tire away from the rim.
Rick Williams (6) and John Pagans (16) take the checkered flag in Over 60 Yamaha. Jeffery Conner finished third.
The 6.1 Sidewinders take the green. Winner Rick Williams (6) had a busy day running in at least three classes. Sean Collins (9) finished second and Todd Breedlove (12) finished third.
Nobody had more fun at Barnesville than Marc Nagel who “wheelied” his dual SAE all over the place. Can’t wait to see young Ben in this rig!
Dual Sidewinder alway7s brings the spectators to the fence. Here Bob Barthelemy gets a little sideways but still held on to second place. Ron Caldwell (7) is considering his options as winner Jerry Nagel exits the photo.
Jerry Nagel always runs up front in Dual Sidewinder. His dual BM 130s give the Komet “Bomb” boys fits.
Mark Green (2) not only won Yamaha Dual, he doubled up with a win in Yamaha Limited. He is followed by Brian Carr (87) who finished 4th, and Bowen Carlock (8) who finished 2nd.
The Juniors had just two entries but excellent driving and speed. Alden Riley from Nettleton, Missouri battled Ben Nagel from Napoleon, Ohio. Maybe we have a Haddock – Dismore rivalry brewing…
VKA Barnesville Kart Show

VKA Barnesville Kart Show

By Bob Barthelemy
Photos by Brian Allardice

Editor’s Note:

Due to space limitations in the digest-sized print edition of FirsTurn, our stalwart editor, Rolf Hill has not had the ability to publish very many event photos, especially show photos. Now, with the new digital version of FirsTurn we have the space to display those beautiful karts that show up at our events. However, we need your help to provide the information needed to give them the proper coverage. So, please fill out your registration card (complete with comments), and we welcome any additional photos you may have. Please send to

It may look like a piece of sculpture, but it really is a 1971 Blackhawk race kart beautifully prepared by Bill Skelly. It won both the “Modified Rear” award and “Peoples Choice”. Bill needs to get FirsTurn a good set of photos so we can look this rare kart over in more detail.

The kart show judging activity got going at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning under the grid canopy due to the heavy mist. Kart Show judging and the presentation of the awards was completed about 10:00am by VKA President Gary Wlodarsky, who also identified Steve Mox as the 50/50 raffle winner of $275.00. Steve donated $50.00 back to VKA, so Gary presented a total of $325.00 to the VKA.

Due to the continuing rain, the vintage karters in attendance voted to call the 3rd Demonstration Heat. We then presented the awards for the driving demonstrations (based on finishing order of the 2nd Heat) and finished before 12:00 noon. When I arrived back from the funeral at 1:45, all but George May had already hit the road home. George loves Barnesville and vintage karting and we love him and his dedication to the sport!




1961 Go-Kart 800; Duel WB 610; Bob Barthelemy


1961 Rupp A Bone; Robert Rizzuto




1970 Hornet Duel Mac 91’s; Blain Young


1971 Blackhawk; Bill Shelly




1974 Bug Wasp; Chris McMullen


1971 Margay Cheetah Mac 91; Dewey Brewer


1987 Coyote Bullet; Rick Williams


1969 Margay Enduro; Bill Shelly


1973 Bug Stinger; MC-91; Dewey Brewer


1971 Blackhawk; Bill Shelly

Can you image how loud this thing would be? Bob Barthelemy’s ’61 Go-Kart 800 has a pair of West Bend 610s with huge megaphones. It won the “Unrestored” class in the Historic division. Would be quite the restoration project, but it’s plenty cool just the way it is.
When you look up go-kart in the dictionary, you will see a photo of Robert Rizzuto’s Mac-powered 61 Rupp A Bone. He won the “Restored” award in the Historic division.
“Rear Restored” went to Blain Young’s ’70 Hornet with dual Mac 91s. The attention to detail and workmanship is incredible! Looks like it has a lot of leg room for a rear-engined kart and the seat looks “couch-like” comfy.
Chris McMullen’s ’74 Bug Wasp looks like it just needs a motor to be track ready. This survivor won the “Unrestored Sidewinder” award.
That unique flared seat can mean only one thing – Margay Cheetah. And Dewey Brewer’s ’71 model features a Mac 91 with a beautiful overhead pipe. Dewey walked away with best “Restored Sidewinder”, the first of two awards he took home from the Barnesville show.
Rick Williams’ Yamaha-powered, 1987 Coyote Bullet captured the “Modified Sidewinder” award, and it looks like it would be all business on the race track. Yamaha sidewinder like Rick’s were the backbone of sprint racing in the eighties.
You’ll never get tired of gazing at Past Champion Bill Shelly’s twin Mac-powered ’69 Margay endure.
Dewey Brewer was a double award winner too scoring his second win in the “Enduro” category with his ’73 Bug Stinger with a MC-91 for power.
14th Annual Southern Vintage Kart Classic

14th Annual Southern Vintage Kart Classic

By Dick Charest
Photos by Alan Lidke

The 14th Annual Southern Vintage Kart Classic was held at Roebling Road Raceway on October 17-18, 2020. The track is located near Bloomingdale, GA. It is 2.02 miles long with nine turns. The facility features a 60-acre paddock with paved access roads.

Each year in March the Southern Kart Club (SKC) hosts the 2nd race of the World Karting Association National Road Racing Series. However, in October the SKC holds a club race at Roebling Road with special emphasis on vintage karts. The vintage karts run four exhibition races over the 2-day weekend. There are two, 15-minute vintage exhibition races on Saturday and two more 15-minute vintage exhibition races on Sunday. Both vintage lay-down enduro karts and vintage sprint karts are welcome to participate.

The weather was beautiful on both Saturday and Sunday. It was sunny and cool in the morning but warmed up nicely as the day progressed. The turnout was more than expected and registration on Saturday morning extended throughout the 1st practice session. To help those who missed the 1st practice session, a short 3rd practice session was run before the races started.

I missed the 1st practice session and during the 2nd practice session my engine did not run well, the clutch under slipped, and I could not get the CHT up to the desired range even though I leaned out the carb HS needle. By the 2nd lap the spark plug was getting badly fouled so I came into the pits. After practice I installed a new spark plug and turned in each of the clutch adjusters to increase clutch slip. During the short 3rd practice session, the engine ran better but I still had an ignition problem and the clutch still under-slipped. I figured that the clutch under-slipping prevented the engine from getting into its power band and the bogging at low RPMs caused the spark plug to foul. After practice I turned in each of the clutch adjusters again to increase clutch slip and installed a new spark plug for race #1.

Tony Severino brought his “old skool” 100cc Mac-powered Hegar to Roebling and ran very well.
Tony Severino brought his “old skool” 100cc Mac-powered Hegar to Roebling and ran very well.
On the grid – Terry Armstong’s Quicksilver powered by a 135cc Dap T62 reed sits besides the number 7x7 sit-up sprinter.
On the grid – Terry Armstong’s Quicksilver powered by a 135cc Dap T62 reed sits besides the number 7x7 sit-up sprinter.

Vintage Exhibition Race #1 on Saturday

Tony Ellison’s kart (#13) next to Harry Foskey’s kart (#18) on the starting grid

When the green flag dropped, Tony Ellison got a good start and took the lead of the race. I was gridded last of the 11 karts that were in the vintage race. I got a good start and started passing karts. The engine ran well but still at low temperature. The clutch worked better but by the 3rd lap the ignition problem returned. I ran another lap, but the ignition problem got worse, so I came into the pits rather than getting stranded out on the track. Tony Ellison set fast time for the Vintage 1 race and won the race with his K-35 completing 10 laps. Arthur McKenny was 2nd with his Yamaha, Chris Foskey finished 3rd with his Yamaha, and Terry Armstrong finished 4th with his DAP T-62. Arthur, Chris, and Terry all completed 9 laps. All 11 karts that started completed at least one lap. Five entries in the Vintage race did not make the grid.

Since my ignition problem occurred only after the engine electrical system got warm even with a new spark plug, I suspected that the coil had gone bad. After the race I installed a good spare coil and test ran the engine in the pits. It started up easily and ran well so I tried it again in Vintage race #2.

Vintage Exhibition Race #2 on Saturday

As in race #1, when the green flag dropped, Tony Ellison got a good start and took the lead of the race. I was gridded 9th of the 10 karts that started the race, but I got a good start and started passing karts. Although the engine ran well, the clutch under-slipped and that hurt my lap times in the curves on the backside of the track. I had a difficult time getting the engine up into its power band. However, I drove on and completed the race. Tony Ellison set fast time for Vintage 2 race and won the race with his K-35 completing 10 laps.

Arthur McKenny’s kart (#6w) at the head of the starting grid
Bill Anderson’s piston port powered Van K finished 3rd in Sunday’s Heat 4. All types of vintage karts, laydowns and sit-up sprinters are welcome to compete. Just change the gear and get ready for a high-speed ride!
Bill Anderson’s piston port powered Van K finished 3rd in Sunday’s Heat 4. All types of vintage karts, laydowns and sit-up sprinters are welcome to compete. Just change the gear and get ready for a high-speed ride!

Arthur McKenny was 2nd with his Yamaha, Chris Foskey finished 3rd with his Yamaha, and I finished 4th. Arthur, Chris, Scott Orr and I all completed nine laps. Bill Anderson, Bennett Armstrong, and Harry Foskey all completed eight laps. They were followed by Terry Armstrong and Trevor Armstrong. Six entries in the Vintage race did not make the grid.

After the race I changed engine and adjusted the clutch for Sunday’s Vintage 3 race.

I ran a short practice on Sunday morning to verify everything was OK with the engine. Although the engine ran well, the clutch over slipped badly so I came into the pits after one lap. I backed out the clutch adjusters to the setting I came to the track with. Since there was no more practice, I tested the clutch engagement in the pits, and it seemed to be OK for the race.

Vintage Exhibition Race #3 on Sunday

Tony Severino on track with his McCulloch powered Hegar kart (#62)

I got a great start and passed everyone before entering turn one to take the lead of the race. Chris Foskey, Terry Armstrong, and Tony Ellison were fairly close behind. Tony dropped out on lap one due to a stripped drive belt. Terry Armstrong and Bill Anderson dropped out on lap three. Chris was quicker than me on the back side of the track because my clutch under slipped which slowed me down on that portion of the track. However, I consistently pulled away from him on the straight. He drafted me to stay in contact, but he could not overtake me. The engine ran well, and I maintained the lead of the race to the end. I set fast time for Vintage 3 and won the race by only 3.119 seconds. Chris Foskey finished 2nd, Bennett Armstrong finished 3rd, Scott Orr finished 4th followed by Alan Lidke, Harry Foskey, Tony Severino, and Trevor Armstrong. Three vintage karts did not make it to the starting grid for race 3.

After the race I adjusted the clutch to get more slip and prepared the kart for Vintage race #4.

Vintage Exhibition Race #4 on Sunday

As in Vintage race 3, I got a great start and took the lead before getting into turn 1. After one lap I got a high CHT warning light so I richened the carb HS needle. However, the high CHT warning light persisted so I richened the carb HS needle again. Then I noticed that the CHT was reading 485°F then 520°F while the engine continued to run well. I realized that the CHT reading was erroneous, so I returned the carb HS needle setting to about where it was originally and continued throughout the race with the high CHT warning light on. Tony Ellison and Chris Foskey were close but on lap three, Tony Ellison dropped out. His engine mount had come loose, and the engine tipped over in a turn. Terry Armstrong had engine problems early in the race and dropped out. While lapping a couple of back markers I got enough of a lead on Chris Foskey that he was not able to draft me. I pulled away from the field and won the race by 1 minute and 21.673 seconds over Scott Orr. Bill Anderson (173) finished 3rd followed by Chris Foskey and Harry Foskey. I set fast time for the Vintage 4 race.

This event wrapped-up the vintage enduro season for 2020. The next road racing event with a vintage class is the WKA event at Daytona International Speedway between Christmas and New Years. That will be the first event of the 2021 racing season.

Dick Charest’s Invader looks pretty inviting. He ran both K99 and K299 B-bombs and after struggling the first couple of days, came through with a victory in Sunday’s Heat 4.
Dick Charest’s Invader looks pretty inviting. He ran both K99 and K299 B-bombs and after struggling the first couple of days, came through with a victory in Sunday’s Heat 4.
Arthur McKenny’s Yamaha-powered entry made a great showing buoyed up by Van Gilder of Elite Karting (shown getting ready to start Arthur).
VKA Bakersfield 2020

VKA Bakersfield 2020

Photos by Julie Watson

Bakersfield’s VKA rear engine contingent was well represented. What may have been lacking in quantity was made up for in quality. Dewayne XXXXX’s fat tire, open header, dual West Bends was the power player, with Al Paolercio’s dual Mac 20 McCulloch kart dicing for the remaining positions.

Bakersfield’s VKA event is a favorite vintage west coast kart event for a number of reasons. First, there’s the track – the karting equivalent of F1s SPA-Francorchamps with huge elevation changes, and unlike SPA, virtually no straightaways. A large downhill off-chamber sweeper is the straightaway – if you’re brave enough to keep it pegged. The track’s got history too with karts racing on it for more than 40 years. Track owner, Rusty Sanders, resurfaced the track a couple of years ago; it now has excellent grip and a smooth surface. Simply put, Bakersfield is the reason race karts were invented.

Event Promotors Joe Swantek (left) and Richard Swantek (Right) not only put on a great event, they fielded some incredible karts like the K29-powered Bennet/Invader with Howard Combee in the seat.

Then there are the people – starting with promoters Richard and Joe Swantek. They almost totally bear the financial responsibility of this race including substantial cash show prizes and a great Saturday lunch provided by Teressa Swantek. One of the best parts of Bakersfield is that you get to rub shoulders with karting greats like Howard Combee, Terry Ives. Steve O’Hara, Rocky Buff, Bobby Shiffert and many more. Not all were in attendance this year due to medical and Covid issues, but the low-key atmosphere ensured that some good times were shared.

This year’s event had perfect 70-80-degree weather with a slight layer of smoke from the many California fires. About 30 karts were entered, which was good considering the Covid 19 concerns and heavy smoke warnings. There was nearly unlimited track time on Thursday and Friday for racers to dial-in their karts. Saturday brought on some excellent race exhibitions in four categories: Single and Dual Rear, Yamaha Sidewinder, Single Sidewinder and Dual Sidewinder. The exhibitions were run as a 6-lap heat race and a 6-lap final with a lunch break in between.

Following the laid back atmosphere, Bakersfield’s kart show was unstructured with no pre-determined classes. Instead, the judges simply picked out 5 outstanding karts and awarded them generous cash prizes.

 Saturday afternoon rolled around all too soon as karters packed up for the trip home. After lots of track time, bench racing and long lunches at Ethel’s roadside restaurant across the street, everyone looks forward to doing it all again next year. If you haven’t been to a Bakersfield VKA event, you should definitely put it on your schedule!

Bakersfield’s VKA rear engine contingent was well represented. What may have been lacking in quantity was made up for in quality. Duane Dalke’s fat tire, open header, dual West Bends was the power player, with Al Paolercio’s dual Mac 20 McCulloch kart dicing for the remaining positions with Bruce Bereiter’s Hornet and Jack Martin’s Rupp Grand A.
Alan Paolercio’s dual BM130 Emmick Lightening not only was fun to watch on the track, it won one of the 5 cash show awards.
In Single Engine Sidewinder there were also four entries: Howard Combee driving the Swantek racing K29, Paul Fields’ direct drive K35, Bobby Shiffert’s Yamaha and Frank Correia’s K30. It featured some great wheel-to-wheel action with Howard winning both heats.
Show winner, Jack Murray’s ’61 Evans Flyweight/Max-Torque Special was a real hit with it’s 3 Mc10s and flip up center motor for starting. It’s original as driven by Melvin Hilligos at the Nationals in Mid Ohio.
Bobby Shiffert tried to slay the big foreign power in Single Sidewinder with his open Yamaha. He ran a respectable third, but it was like bringing a knife to a gun fight!
The burgeoning VKA Yamaha Sidewinder class was no exception at Bakersfield with 7 karts running in the heats. Matt Jones dominated both heats with John Woods getting two seconds and Dennis Faust from Phoenix grabbing a 4th and a 3rd.
John O’Dell did not make the grid with his dual TKM-powered Proline, but he did win a show award. John should have this beast ready to rumble at Adams in January.
Elegant simplicity – Bruce Bereiter’s West Bend 820-powered green Hornet with an overhead pipe is a time capsule!
Dennis Faust hauled a couple of beautiful Emmicks over from Phoenix and won a show award with his Yamaha twin. Unfortunately, a slight off-track excursion in practice bent his axle and he was unable to compete this year in Dual Sidewinder.
Matt Jones won both heats in Yamaha Sidewinder going away. Matt is the next generation we need to encourage in vintage karting.
Fortunately for the Single Sidewinders, Rocky Buff sat this one out, but he did win an award for his freshly restored Swiss Hutless.
The award for most laps completed goes to 16-year-old William Thompson who ran his Yamaha-powered Black Widow as hard as he could. This was William’s second time out in his kart and he plans to enter the demo heats next year. Great job!
Ex-enduro racer, Frank Correia got most of his mechanical gremlins solved and made a good showing in Single Sidewinder with his K30-powered Emmick.