June 5th

Superkart Flashback: Coulthard goes karting

It’s frequently said that Superkarts rival F1 for outright performance. Superkarts can register a 0-60 time very similar to an F1 car, are extremely quick through the corners and reach breath-taking top speeds. When a top-line F1 driver admits he found them a challenge, you know that these machines are something special, and fans at Donington Park this weekend (6-7 June) will be able to savour the action in the spectacular British Superkart Grand Prix.

In an article from Autosport Magazine’s archive from 1994, then-Williams F1 driver David Coulthard got behind the wheel of one of the Superkarts, capable of reaching speeds of over 140mph.

He described Superkarts as “the closest thing to a Grand Prix car I’ve driven in terms of raw acceleration out of the corners.”

He added: “On acceleration they are only marginally slower than my Williams Renault FW16 [the car Coulthard drove in the 1994 F1 season], but the braking effect feels slightly greater than I’m used to. The braking is definitely more impressive than anything I ever experienced in Formula 3 or Formula 3000.

“Superkarts are serious racing machines that can be compared to top-level single seaters, but it makes me laugh when people insist on calling them go-karts. To anyone who thinks of them as such, I can only say that they should take one to a disused runway and try to drive it flat out through all six gears. Your opinion will be changed and your mind blown. I can’t imagine what dicing at more than 150mph must be like!”

The British Superkart Grand Prix at Donington Park takes place this weekend (6-7 June), with tickets available on the gate for £15 per day or £25 for the full weekend.

Thanks to Autosport and Jeff Bloxham for kindly providing access to the article and images.

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