The road from karting to touring cars in a FWD kart
Karts to Touring cars?
Somehow karting is still heavily linked to F1. Of course if you want to race in F1, you need to start in karts. But nobody ever thinks they might not make it to F1. After all you need to smoothen your path from karting to F1 with the use of many bank notes and cheques. If you don't smoothen up that path for yourself, you may trip and fall in to something like a touring car.
But if you knew you were going to end up in that touring car in the first place wouldn't you wish you were better prepared to handle the glory FWD power. Or, what if F1 was never the goal, and you always preferred touring cars anyway. Yes, karting would still be the best way to start, but there would be an even better option, wouldn't it?
Team BMR Media image
How about a front wheel drive kart?
You like the sound of that I know! So do I! A team competing in the BTCC developed a front wheel drive kart back in 2015 with the aim of starting a championship. Apart from this, they also launched two other karts, which made use of a conventional kart chassis made by Octane. The conventional karts were in either Junior or Senior form. Both made use of a 250cc 4 stroke engine. Which it must be noted had fuel injection, unlike nearly all other kart engines, which to this very day use carburetors. In the BMR kart brochure, it is said that the Junior kart develops 24 bhp and the Senior puts out 35 bhp. Both running Komet tyres. The winners for each of these classes would also receive a drive in a BMR approved championship.
The standard rear engined, rear wheel drive kart. / Photo from Pixabay / by atanaspaskalev
But on to the interesting bit now. The BMR team have also managed to make a front wheel drive kart with a front engine layout. I makes use of the same engine mentioned above, producing 35 bhp in this kart as well. It sits on Komet tyres, but as you can see it has the normal set of rear tyres at the back and a set of what are normally rear tyres at the front as well. The kart has fully independent suspension at all four corners.
I know this seems a bit odd and a bit beyond the spirit of karting. It may even be overcomplicated, but I still want to get in it and see what if feels like.
The team have said that the driving style required for this kart and the set up needed to make it work are very close to a front wheel drive race car. So they think this is a logical step in the development of the next generation of touring car starts. The winner of this kart championship would be rewarded with a drive in the Renault Clio Cup UK.
I should say that all of this took place way back in 2015 and unfortunately the site provided on the brochure is no longer available so I think the plans that were made by the British Touring Car Championship, BMR team did not materialise. Even after a fairly thorough web search I was unable to find any race results for this championship or even pictures of these karts racing. So I think it is fare to say that plans to race these karts never got off the ground.
What do you thin? Would you want to drive any of these karts? Let me know in the comments.