CompositionASNs or DelegationInternal RegulationsHistoryWall of Fame

1959

To forestall any thoughts of a kart being a toy, the GoKart Manufacturing Co. embarks upon an unusual demonstration: in July, it runs a kart for 7 days and 7 nights on a 2.5 mile circuit. The kart, at the wheel of which 28 Drivers took turns to cover 5,260 miles (8,463 km), only encounters two problems during this marathon: a leaking fuel tank and a collision with a giant jack rabbit... Night driving was ahead of a car which lighted the way!

A new club with national and international ambitions is created in the USA, under the name of Grand Prix Kart Club of America (GPKCA). In the following years many other associations are set up, to such an extent that their proliferation and the specificities of their different regulations slow down the development of the sport.

In December 1959, the GPKCA organises in Nassau, Bahamas, a great international meeting lasting one week and with attractive finishing prize money. The Organisers even took the liberty to give their event a “World Championship” status. Jim Yamane (USA) was the first winner.

In Italy, Giovanni Parrilla, founder of Moto Parilla, is informed by his American motorcycle importer that Karting is booming in the US. He rapidly guesses that these small vehicles will take Europe by storm sooner or later, and so, assisted by Cesare Bossaglia, he designs a specific engine. It is a 125cc with a rotary valve inlet coupled with a 3-ratio gearbox. This engine remains as a prototype, manufactured in two examples, which is never produced as the trend does not go the gearbox kart way.

In Great Britain, a kart demonstration is organised during a car event held at Silverstone in August, and there is another demonstration at Brands Hatch in September. The automobile Federation, the RAC, hastens to introduce rules for this new form of racing and, under the influence of Villiers (an English motorcycle Manufacturer) also launches a gearbox kart category. The first official Karting competition held in Great Britain, the Lakenheath Grand Prix, takes place in November, with the participation, notably, of Graham Hill, then a Formula One Driver, future double F1 World Champion and only Driver who managed to win in F1, at the Indianapolis 500 and in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In France, the magazine “Spirou” publishes an article on the Karting fever in the USA. Other newspapers follow, including “L’Action Automobile”, “L’Auto-Journal” and “Tintin”. The first event is held on 12 December on the ground of the technical school of Argenteuil. In those days, the vehicles are not referred to as go-karts but as “midgets-cars”. The first Karting meetings also take place in New Zealand, in Sweden and in Finland, on dirt tracks. In Finland, the first go-karts are called “mikro-autos”.