We raced similar karts to these in the late ’80s, at this very circuit, Rye House in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, in what was then known as 100cc Junior and Senior Britain. We raced Zip, Superdart and Dino karts, with Parilla TT22/TT27 and TKM L90 motors, originally prepared by Bruno Ferrari in Pinner, Middlesex, and latterly John Gravett of JAG Engineering (then based in Scaynes Hill, West Sussex) whom has gone on to major international success within the sport. Mike Spencer, seen here, was one of the UK’s top international racers of the day, competing in Europe against the likes of Alessandro Zanardi and Michael Schumacher. These direct drive rotary valve 2 stroke racing karts rev to 17000/18000 rpm (the later reed valve motors in excess of 20000rpm) and offer arguably the purest driving experience there is, with a feel and tactile sensation pretty much unmatched. Driver’s right hand is ‘dabbing’ or ‘choking’ the carb, with telltale puff of smoke at the end of the straight (highest revs) to prevent engine seizing. David Coulthard was a regular here as a works driver for the Hoddesdon based, Martin Hines (250 Formula E World Champion) owned Zip kart team in the mid to late 80s, and virtually any F1 driver you’d care to name started in karts, certainly both Lewis and Jenson would be very familiar with this circuit !