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Homepage. This page: A collection of images featuring classic kart racing in Kuwait from years ago.

Racing karts.

I purchased a small collection of historic kart racing photographs a little while ago. Judging by the road cars visible in the background of a couple of photographs, and some of the oil cans visible in the kart paddock, I'd date these either to the late 1950s, or more likely, the 1960s. The races aren't in Britain, the registration plates on the road cars back this up. The only clue is printed on the rear of one photo, which advises that this one print was done at Photographic Services, in Fahaheel, a suburb of Kuwait.
Where were these races held? and who organised them? There was a karting club at RAF Khormaksar, run by the Khormaksar Go-Kart Club, with races being held on the airfield, using beer cans or boxes to mark the course. The kart races featured on this page though appear to be on a purpose-built track. I'm confident that someone will find this page and be able to fill in the details of the track, and perhaps the drivers that are shown.

The go-kart racer's paddock.

Photograph number one is a paddock scene, with several petrol-engined go-karts being worked upon prior to a race. The chap in car number 24 appears in several of these photographs, which makes me think it was one of his gang that took these shots. A parking area for road cars is in the background, with examples of Mercedes-Benz, Standard, Peugeot and Borgward in evidence.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Classic racing karts in the paddock
A second photograph also features the paddock/pits area at a race meeting. Kart number 34 is being worked on in the foreground. A close look at the engine cover reveals an Aprilia badge, confirming the source of this kart's motor. A "Shell" sticker can be made out on the next kart's engine cover. All around are the tools of a mechanic's trade, namely toolboxes, petrol tins, oil cans (one of which is for BP Energol Motor Oil), and a foot pump. Although not clear in this scan, a medical box is hanging to the rope fence close to the BP oil can. The name Smith is written on it, with a first initial (that might be J, L, or I).
Aprilia-engined go-kart
A close-up photo captures mechanics studiously peering into a kart's single-cylinder engine.
Fixing the engine

Let the racing commence.

Various action photos are included in this selection. Firstly, a shot of the cars gathered on the grid awaiting the fall of the starter's flag, positioned beneath a BP-sponsored Start / Finish sign. Row one has cars 35 and 29 lined up on it, with 28, 6, 20, 30, 32 and 19 also visible.
At the startline for the race
The driver of kart number 28 is caught on film, negotiating a high-speed left turn. A marshal, with flags close to hand, looks on.
Race action
Driver of kart number 24 is shown next, drifting his steed around a tight right-hander, avoiding the cunningly-placed old car tyres, positioned to prevent drivers cutting the corner. A Pirelli-logo'd marker sign can be seen to the right.
Another historic kart racing scene

More classic kart action.

A further selection of classic karts in action from the same set of 1960's photographs. The first of this next batch is a view of the start/finish line, with the competitors lined up ready for action. Again there are no definite clues as to the exact location or date of these images. A simple grandstand can be seen in the distance, as can a Pirelli tyres sign and another advertising Renault cars. Kart 21 is on pole position, with number 24 - the focus of many images here - close on his tail in second position. The race starter, in oily overalls, stands to the left ready to let the race commence. Is this the same circuit as that shown above? I suspect it could be, albeit run in the opposite direction.
Start of a race
Eight karts are in shot here, battling wheel-to-wheel through a series of bends. The dusty arid landscape in which this kart circuit was located, can clearly be seen in the background.
Drivers overtake each other during the race
Entrants number 24 (again), 22, and 3 are seen in action next. A group of gents - perhaps the race stewards - can be seen in the background, sat at a table watching the race unfold.
Three karts go wheel-to-wheel
The next photo is my personal favourite on this page, as it zooms in on kart 24 while being hotly pursued by number 22, its driver wearing a scarf over his mouth. The front driver leans into the bend, holding the steering wheel with just one hand, while the driver behind applies a dab of opposite lock as his kart drifts through the corner. The word "Avon" has been written on the rear of this photograph, is this a reference to the track, the tyres being used, or one of the drivers shown here?
Two drivers race together
A local television company records the on-track action using an Arriflex film camera shown below. The chap to the left is resting his left foot on a power pack in use by the camera, on it is a sticker stating "EXPORTED UNDER REVENUE CONTROL". A bag on the ground in front of him, beyond the wire fence has something written upon it, possibly The Air Force.
Filming the race with an Arriflex camera
The final two photographs are slightly larger prints, one of which was developed at the photographic establishment in Kuwait. Driver #24 again features, although now he's in lighter-coloured overalls which suggests a different meeting. The photographer has captured the driver holding a gentle slide as he negotiates a right-hand curve. Note the tall radio mast in the background. In the original un-cropped image there is a large building - maybe a hangar - to the left in the far distance.
Applying opposite lock while racing a kart
Last of all, another shot of kart number 24, here being chased down by number 23. If anyone can confirm where these classic karting photos were taken, please do get in touch.
Number 24 is chased around the circuit by number 23
Return to Page 15 in the gallery of vintage cars and vehicles.

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