The British Historic Kart Club stand boasted a special display of karts at the Kartmania Show as the club revealed exciting developments for the 2012 season.

Club patron Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams attended the stand on Saturday as a dozen restored karts were displayed to the public. One was the 1962 Italkart with twin Komet K125 engines imported by Bernie Turney, the founder of Tal Ko Racing. Vacquana and Buckler marques were also represented as was the 1976 Class Four Barlotti/Villiers owned by Graham Loakes who has been restoring it for six months.

Following the recent announcement of a race for historic karts at the 2012 Donington Historic Festival, the BHKC has an exciting calendar for 2012.

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For the UK it plans a six round Retro Racer series, demonstration events at the Shenington Super Prix in June and Race Retro at Stonleigh in February. The club also hopes to send drivers to former DAP boss Angelo Parrilla's historic events in Italy in Jesolo, scene of a great scrap for the lead during the Champions Cup in 1980 between Parrilla's formidable duo of Terry Fullerton and Ayrton Senna.

With faster lap times than modern karts, historic karts have great potential to attract younger drivers. The three class structure also means engines, spares and karts are easier to find. The BHKC gives novice drivers own practice sessions to help them acclimatise to the karts and to the circuits.

Eleven-year-old Edward Thurston has used those practice sessions to great effect and has been practising in the general sessions with the older drivers. He has been driving this season a 1976 Deavinsons Sprint and a 1964 Tecno Piuma.

"I like being different, its cool being able to drive the same kart as the adults when all the other kids my age are restricted," he said. "I have used three different karts now and each is completely different. The Deavinsons is my favourite although I love the Tecno because it slides so well. Everybody in the club offers loads of encouragement, when somebody really quick comes past me I try to hang on to their tail and use their lines. I learn the most this way."

Other youngsters could join him if he and father Gerry's plans to have a Historic class for junior drivers' comes to fruition.

by Simon Stiel