The success story of Club100 in the UK continues to build momentuwith every season, having had a record number of drivers participating in 2021 in the increasingly popular ‘Arrive & Drive’ championships powered by Rotax 125 MAX engines. In addition to this, the British Universities Karting Championship (BUKC) celebrates 21 years and the new generation of Club100 drivers has just joined the ranks in the two cadet categories
John Vigor, Managing Director of Club100 Racing Ltd, shares an insight into the encouraging growth of the Club100 classes over the past year and explains what is planned in an exciting season ahead now, as the incredibly successful ‘Arrive & Drive’ concept expands to include a younger community of drivers. The numbers are impressive and the ideas implemented in the development of the various championships are totally focused on the overall experience for the competitors. It’s proving to be a sensation in recreational karting for Rotax Racing.
The main championships in Club100 are hosted over 11 weekends aimed at senior drivers only (16+ years). Each weekend consists of a team endurance format and an individual endurance format on the Saturdays with individual sprint racing on the Sundays, spread across several weight categories. Most drivers will race in just one of the formats, though there are some very keen drivers who do two or more of the formats as well! Typically, just over 300 drivers will take part in each of the main Club100 race weekends.
In 2021, the main Club100 championships were so oversubscribed that we ended up creating a new championship to cater for all the reserve entries. We named this the Club100 Experience with the aim that it would be a smaller championship (just 7 rounds) and appeal to drivers new to Club100. It sold out so quickly that we ended up creating another class within the Club100 Experience, aimed at complete novices – which subsequently sold out also. On average 72 drivers took part on each Club100 Experience day.
We also ran the Club100 Young Drivers Championship (YDC) on the same days as those Club100 Experience events. The YDC was aimed at drivers aged 14 to 18 years and we were able to accommodate up to 52 drivers across the two weight categories in the YDC. This was really successful in 2021 (in only its first proper season) with every round sold out. We have renamed the YDC to Club100 Junior for 2022.
The Club100 Junior championships will this year be run over two weight categories:
Junior Super Lightweight and Junior Lightweight
A maximum of 52 drivers in each and both categories are already oversubscribed in 2022.
The Club100 Cadet series was announced in October last year (2021) and it has been very well received. We were very much looking forward to our first event at the end of March
There are two Club100 Cadet categories split by age:
Club100 Cadet (7 - 10 years)
Club100 Super Cadet (10 - 13 years)
Both the Cadet and Super Cadet Championships run over two "Academy days" and 7 race days. Many of the drivers will be completely new to 2-stroke karting so the two Academy days are there to give them time to get used to the Club100 Cadet karts. Our instructors will help the young drivers get up to speed quickly and in a pressure free environment. Each driver will be evaluated to ensure they can lap within a reasonable lap time without spinning off regularly. The first race day takes place in late May and the championship continues until the end of November, hosted by six different UK circuits.
With a maximum of 40 entries in each category, we are currently oversubscribed in the Super Cadet class with only have a handful of places left in the Cadet class [at this time]. So yes, we are very happy with how well the new series has been received.
One of the key things we have done this year is to run the Juniors and the Cadets on the same day together so that while the Cadets are on track, the Juniors are getting ready and vice versa. It also gives the Cadets and Junior drivers a chance to get to know each other and for the Cadets, it provides an opportunity to see a clear progression for them to move up into the Junior category in the future. We are really looking forward to the new season, in particular with the new Cadet and Junior classes proving to be so popular from the start.
With the introduction of the Club100 Cadet championships for 2022, we decided to simplify and consolidate the branding of each age category.
Club100 Cadet (7 - 12/13 years)
Club100 Junior (13 - 18 years)
Club100 Senior (16+ years)