Karting season begins with a bang

Observer writer

Friday, March 29, 2019

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IT was a much faster start for the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) 2019 championship season at the Palisadoes International Raceway in K Kingston last Sunday, as the teams began using their new 30-hp Rotax Evo engines.

“The meet went well for the club. We had 29 entrants, which is a decent amount, and a good amount of spectators. Everything ran smoothly, there were no major incidents and we finished the race meet on time. It was a good start to the year,” Neil Williams, JKA president, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The new engine, which was introduced mid-season last year, is sealed and is not able to be modified in keeping with new karting rules.

Williams explained the move was to increase the parity, not only between racers, but between local and international events for the Jamaican racers who compete with a similar stipulation overseas. The Comer 50 class, which uses a sealed lottery-style engine distribution arrangement, and the Super Rotax class did not require an engine change.

“The teams are adjusting to the new engine, but there is still a learning curve which saw some competitors still having an advantage,” he said.

Brandon Shor left the first round as Comer 50 leader, while Beckham Toupikov did the same in Rotax Micro Max.

One of the hotly contested classes was Rotax Mini Max as last year's Abe Ziadie Memorial Trophy Champion Shane Chisholm made his debut moving up from Rotax Micro Max. He faced fierce competition from Zidane Madden, who came out on top for the day, but Chisholm was satisfied with his second place.

“The second place is fine because I just moved into Mini Max,” Chisholm said.

At the end of the day, it was clear who his target would be.

“Zidane is the one I have to beat. He's a year ahead of me in Micro Max,” he said.

Chisholm not only welcomed the challenge of the new class, but the new engine as well.

“The Rotax Evo engine is fast, real fast, but I don't have to change my driving style.”

Ryan Lue was the points leader in Rotax Junior, and Super Rotax went the way of Sean Williams.

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