We’ve covered karting before, but it’s always amusing to see them as the showpieces in a battle between Jason Plato, BTCC wiz, and Tiff Needell, who needs no introduction. Perhaps playing the crusty old man, Tiff is predictably skeptical about the potential of something so small, so seemingly weak, and so underpowered. How thrilling can something with only forty horsepower be?
Keen to correct Grandpa Needell, Plato brought out two high-end examples of single-speed karts. The Kosmic chassis are bolted to a high-revving 125 cc TAG motor making around thirty-five horses, which might not sound like much until the it’s noted the kart only weighs roughly 200 pounds. They’ve got the power-to-weight ratio of something like an M3, but with much stickier tires.
Tiff is quickly silenced after one lap, just because he can hardly catch his breath. The KF1 kart has enough performance to knock the wind out of a relatively fit young man, let alone someone pushing sixty-five. Three-g corners are sure to bruise the ribs and turn an untrained neck and shoulders into a lifeless lump.
The two trade positions; darting each way just inches from their fenderless wheels, and pull off some spectacular braking moves. Tiff learns the format quickly, as you’d expect from a former Formula One driver, but at the end has to admit a racing kart is not a child’s toy; but a serious racing machine. Sounds like a ringing endorsement, don’t you think?