F100 Explained
Author: Roger Polak



What do these names have in common? Ayrton Senna, Jarno Trulli, Michael Schumacher, Marcos Ambrose, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, Barclay Holden, Ryan Briscoe, James Courtney, Glenn Powles, Remo Luciani and hell there are at least 100 others?


Well, they have all been top kart racers, but they've also ALL raced 100cc Open class karts, which today in Australia is known as Formula 100. This class is nowhere near as popular as it once was.   But anyone who has ever steered a 100cc Formula 100 kart will tell you they are totally awesome and a bigger buzz then any other kart on the circuit.


So why aren't they racing around in huge numbers in 2004? Are they too complicated? Too expensive? Too dangerous.   Absolutely not!


Sure these F100 karts aren't for beginners, but they are something most karters should try out in their careers. And here's what they're made of;


The chassis: Usually a 30 / 32 mm or 32mm chassis with either a 40mm or 50mm rear axel. Karts like these are commonly used in Clubman heavy, Rotax and Leopard classes and are available secondhand for similar prices to clubman chassis.


The engines:  F100 uses Reed or Rotary valve induction 100cc high performance engines that make around 30+ hp, spin to 18,000 to 20,000 rpm and have awesome power.   They are most commonly water cooled these days and are commonly available second hand for under $2000. New is around $3500.


The rubber: Ask any driver who has raced on the MG yellow tyre and they'll tell you it is a dream to use.   It's fast, it lasts and you won't need an F1 mechanic in your corner to get the kart setup about right. It costs only $20 more than clubman tyres and will last a few race meetings if you don't abuse them.


Anything else? Not really.   If you're using water cooled engines you'll need radiators, pumps and similar stuff.   All are available cheaply. You will need an AKA B grade license though, which you get by racing the lower power classes for a while at first. You'll also need some help from experienced karters to get the most fun out of the class.   But the advice is out there if you ask.


So why is the class so small? Well most clubs don't offer this as a clubday class and it simply doesn't get the support from karters it should.   It really is amazing to see some karters arrive at the tracks with huge $$$$$$ road cars, trailers and other gear, but they won't invest the cash to drive fast karts that make an HSV feel like a sponge to drive.


Running costs are of course higher than Clubman and Rotax etc but we're not talking crazy money here.   Especially if you only run the class at selected meetings.   You only have to look at clubs like Geelong in Victoria where F100 has been built up to be one of the biggest classes.


So maybe have a chat amongst your fellow drivers and see if maybe you can get F100 going at your local level, then look at running at bigger meetings too. If you're after speed and a big buzz, this class is the way to go.


The next step? This article doesn't pretend to set you up with all the info you'll need to go F100 racing.  But maybe we've got you interested. Call these numbers to talk F100 with people who really know what it's about and can point you in the right direction if you decide to go that way. There is also the newly formed Formula 100 Drivers Association headed by F100 regular Dominic Albanese of Geelong Extreme Karts. Remember, this isn't the class for everyone but maybe it's the class for you!

In the next few weeks we'll also be looking at other racing classes like Clubman, Leopard and some of the junior classes.


MKC: (03) 9551 5576

Remo Racing: (03) 5382 0241

Geelong Extreme Karts 0425 707 525