Superkart is a form of motor racing in which the class is a racing vehicle sized like a kart but with several characteristics more strongly associated with open-wheel racing cars.
The most obvious difference between a Superkart and any other form of kart is that they have full aerodynamic bodykits and can race on car circuits over 1,500 metres in length. The power unit, most often, but not exclusively two stroke 250 cc engines, can be specially designed kart engines or production motorcycle engines with either five or six-speed sequential gearboxes. Owing to their high top speed and superb cornering ability, a Superkart’s aerodynamic bodywork includes a front fairing, larger sidepods, and a rear wing. They use either 5-or-6-inch-diameter (130 or 150 mm) tires and wheels and most often race on full size auto-racing circuits.
250 cc Superkarts often[quantify] set faster lap times than much more expensive and technically advanced racing machines. Some British and Australian classes also include 125 cc gearbox karts.
Superkarts race on “long circuits” (e.g. Silverstone, Laguna Seca, Magny-Cours). In the UK they also race on “short circuits” (e.g. Kimbolton), “short circuits” are under 1,500 metres in length.
Superkarts are raced worldwide. There is a multi-event CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship (for 250 cc karts only), and there has in the past been a World Championship, which was last run in 1995.
Powered by a 2-stroke 250 cc engine producing 62 hp for an overall weight including the driver of 205 kilograms, Superkarts have a power/weight ratio of 440 hp/tonne (330 W/kg)(c.5 lbs/hp). Superkarts can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Their low weight and good downforce make for excellent cornering and braking abilities. A Superkart is capable of braking from 100 mph (160 km/h) to standstill in around 2 seconds, and taking corners at nearly 3 g (30 m/s²).
At some circuits, Superkarts are the outright lap-record holders, at others they run at around Formula 3 lap times.
Ben Wilshire British 125 Open class Superkart
British Superkart Divisions :
Main article: British Superkart Championship
Division 1 is open to 250 cc karts with one or two cylinders and five or six speed gearboxes. Typically the karts produce 100 hp and are capable of 160 mph – the fastest form of kart. This formula was previously known as Formula E.
Division 2 is for single cylinder karts with 5 and 6-speed boxes. Typically these karts produce 65 hp and are capable of 140 mph. However, being lighter than the twin cylinder (Division 1) karts they can be as quick on twisted circuits. This formula was previously known as 250 International. However the main British series is for single cylinder 250 cc karts with 5-speed only, also known as 250 National.
125 Open – Powered by 125 cc engines and again featuring 6-speed sequential gearboxes, this sprint kart class uses lighter chassis than the 250’s.
125 ICC (KZ) – Powered by similar 6-speed 125 cc engines to the 125 Open class with tighter tuning restrictions, this CIK sprint kart class hosts some of the closest Superkart racing in the UK.
2007 Australian 250 cc International champion Warren McIlveen (Stockman-Honda)
Australian Superkart Classes:
Main article: Australian Superkart Championship
Superkarting in Australia has, since 1989, referred to any form of racing kart to race on full-size motor racing circuits, usually as sanctioned by the Australian ASN, CAMS.
250 cc International – commonly referred to as twins or inters, these karts are powered by twin cylinder engines and usually have 6-speed sequential gearboxes. Several European and North American chassis are popular in addition to locally developed designs.
250 cc National – single cylinder class, the 250 National class is powered by 250 cc motocross engines and also feature 6-speed sequential gearboxes.
125 cc Gearbox – most often powered by 125 cc Honda and Yamaha Grand Prix motorcycle engines equipped with six speed sequential gearboxes, this Superkart class uses mostly the same chassis as the 250 classes. They run at lighter weights than the 250 classes, which makes for close racing with mid-field 250 Nationals at some circuits.
The General Electric ES44AC (or simply, “GEVO”) is a energy-efficient, 4,400 hp locomotive which was first introduced into full production in 2005, with the first ES44AC prototype built in November 2002. The ES44AC is the direct successor of the AC4400CW, which could not be produced domestically after 2004. Like EMD, GE had to essentially design a new locomotive to comply with EPA Tier 2 standards. Unlike EMD, GE had to give its new locomotive a new power source; the 7FDL16 prime mover was replaced with a more efficient prime mover, the GEVO12. Only a handful of production units operate with this engine. Most newer units have a completely reworked 7FDL-16 prime mover.
The ES44AC is selling very well, far surpassing EMD’s output. The ES44AC has a few other variants. The ES44C4, introduced in 2009, has seen the most orders from BNSF. This type of ES44AC is a standard model, rather with the outer two axles of each truck being powered and the middle axle of each truck being a trailing axle. Another variant is the ES44AH, ordered by CSX, (classified as CW44AHs by the CSX, similar to their designation for the heavier AC4400CW predecessor) and as of late 2014, the Union Pacific (UP calls them C45AHs.) These units are weighted to 432,000 lbs compared to the usual 415,000 lbs. CSX’s version utilizes GE’s Radial Steering trucks. The Union Pacific has continued a tradition with their ES44AC locomotives as they have done with the AC4400CWs, in which they have been ordered with “Controlled Tractive Effort” for DPU service. Which brings the final designation to “C45ACCTE.” The -45 in this case, does not indicate horsepower, rather it distinguishes these newer units from older AC4400CWs.
The ES44AC in Late 2011 was reworked to meet EPA Tier 3 standards which went into existance Jan 1st, 2012. There are no visable changes. However in August 2012, GE released its Tier 4 ES44AC prototype, this locomotive looks very different from a Tier 2/3 ES44AC. Tier 4 regulations started on Jan 1st , 2015. This Tier is the final and most stringent of the standards. Several Tier 4 ES44AC’s are testing on the UP, BNSF, and CN. Tier 4 ES44AC’s retain most features of previous ES44AC’s, but they have raised “humps” in the middle, as well as a larger, more sloped radiator in back with two cooling fans. These require more space in the car body for Exhaust Gas Re-circulation equipment. It has been confirmed that production units will not have the “humps” in their carbodies. GE currently rosters around 30 Tier 4 ES44AC demo units (GECX #2015, 2020-2024, up until 2043).
In 2013, GE built an LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ES44AC, GECX #3000. This unit is equipped with a NextFuel LNG conversion kit, and is currently used as one of two units in BNSF’s GE LNG test set (the other unit is BNSF 5815, an older ES44AC also equipped with the NextFuel kit). 3000 and 5815 are separated by a BNSF LNG fuel tender.
2015: GE’s locomotive plants are packed, with a backlog of two-three years. GE has Tier 4C units and production Tier 4 units under construction. The Tier 4 Credit units, are the same as Tier 3 units under the hood, they have to be labeled as Tier 4C as part of the new regulations. GE earned credits by incorporating features into is EVO line that brought emissions under Tier 3 levels.
GE ES44AC and ET44AC orders for 2015 are:
A CSX ET44AC. Photo by James D. Moore.
CN: 26 ES44AC Tier 4C; 39 ET44AC