New karting circuit is main attraction at Coventry's motoring festival

A new karting circuit will be one of the main attractions at a popular motorsport festival held in Coventry. Motofest Coventry, which celebrates the city's motoring heritage, is to host its fourth live action arena with historic karting to feature as part of the festival this year.

The British Historic Karting Club (BHKC) will host the new karting circuit based at the car park on Gosford Road under the Whitefriars Ringway. It will give visitors the opportunity to see at first hand dynamic displays of a grassroots motorsport that has launched the careers of many legendary drivers over the years.

During the weekend the BHKC will be demonstrating karts from the ‘Golden Era’ of karting -1959 to 1999 and these will be split into two divisions. There will be Class 1 karts, equipped with direct drive, 100cc engines, no clutch or gearbox and just the single brake on the rear axle. They are capable of reaching 70mph and famous drivers beginning their careers in Class 1 karts include Ayrton Senna, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

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The Class 4 karts, powered by a 250cc motorcycle engine, four-wheel braking and capable of over 100mph on longer circuits, will also feature as part of the dynamic displays. These are the karts legendary British Formula 1 driver and former world champion Nigel Mansell drove early in his career and were also driven by BHKC patron Chris Hodgetts before he went on to win two British Saloon Car Championships and become a Le Mans class winner.

James Noble, MotoFest Festival Director, said: “We are excited to announce a new fourth live action arena at MotoFest, with the British Historic Karting Club taking centre stage with historic karting displays. This is true grassroots motorsport and an opportunity to experience what has been the traditional testing ground for up-and-coming racers and the launch pad for some of motorsport’s greatest drivers over the years.

“The new historic karting circuit, the unique Ring Road Sprint Circuit, the Drift Arena and the Auto Test Challenge will provide four unique showcases of live action motorsport for visitors to enjoy in what will be our largest vehicle content programme ever at the event. It’s set to be an event full of thrills, family fun and high-octane entertainment with something for everyone to enjoy across the festival weekend.”

MikeTopp, Secretary of the British Historic Kart Club, said: “We are really looking forward to bringing our classic racing karts to the streets of Coventry. Many people don’t appreciate the performance of these racers, so this is our chance to show them! Drivers will also be on hand to talk to anyone wanting to know more about the karts and our activities.”

Historic karting evolved from a group of enthusiasts who attended Shenington Kart Racing Clubs's fortieth anniversary race meeting in June 2000 to demonstrate their old karts. Following that event, it grew rapidly and the BHKC was formed in 2005. The club now has around 250 members, while historic karting has over 8000 Facebook followers and is a recognised branch of karting in both the UK and Europe.

The unique 1.6 mile Sprint Circuit, created from the city’s ring road, will again host the British Automobile Racing Club’s (BARC) Connaught Speed Championship Rounds as its centre piece event. This will be supported by an array of modern and historic race vehicles taking part in the Sports and Performance section, with the full programme to be announced soon.

Alongside the BARC Connaught Speed Championship, MotoFest Coventry will also host an official round of the British Autotest championship. The Drift Arena, based at Coach Park, White Street, Coventry City Centre and operated by The Crewsade team, will also showcase all the best in “smokin’ hot tyre and sideways action” across the festival weekend.

MotoFest Coventry will also combine with lead sponsor E.ON to demonstrate the motoring future with a sustainable transport showcase featuring the latest alternatively fueled vehicles, EV and advanced automotive technology. The Innovation Zone, first introduced last year and based in the main Greyfriars Green festival site, will see exhibitors committed to showcasing the latest electric vehicles and motorcycles. Many of those two and four wheeled exhibits will also take part in dynamic displays on the main sprint circuit and the motorsport and drift arenas.

MotoFest Coventry takes place on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday June 2. It will feature a unique blend of racing demonstrations, static displays, live music and anything else with a connection to Coventry, transport and the city’s motoring heritage.

For more details about MotoFest Coventry, go here