In the late 1950's an idea introduced by American servicemen caught the interest of several local people who began racing home-built machines around the inside of an aircraft hanger at RAF Fulbeck. 1959 was the beginning of an explosion that would span across four decades of increasing enthusiasm, from pioneering ingenuity to modern technology this relatively new sport is still attracting new devotees to expand the legacy.
The original concept moved very quickly from the confines of the aircraft hanger out onto the runways of the airfield introducing a competitive element, which saw the inauguration of the properly organised club with Mr Les Shepard at the helm. Initially built to accommodate World War II bombers the base was a network of take-off or landing strips of vast width and distance, as the RAF ran down operations at Fulbeck there was a gradual transition towards training ground-crew personnel with driving areas replacing aeroplanes. The massive aircraft hangers began to disappear but karting enthusiasts having the choice of several interlinked runways travelling distances that would compare with modern daylong circuit racing.
The 60's brought new forms of progress to Fulbeck when
manager of Smiths Crisp at Lincoln Mr Brian Pettigrew found himself with the
problem of disposing of thousands of tins, which had been replaced with
cardboard packaging. The obsolete crisp tins were filled with power-station ash
waste and placed to form barriers around a course marked out with hay bales, an
old bus parked at the side served as both lap scoring and members clubhouse.
The application of an intersection of two runways was the first step towards a
permanent circuit attracting regular visits from kart enthusiasts based at RAF
Cranwell, the element of rivalry and competition aroused keen interest in the
new sport. In 1968 the track layout was modified and the runway surface was
covered with a proper race-track surface, member Mr John Mills (our 1998 Club
President) donated £100 for the purchase of a second-hand pre-fab and a local
builde paid £15 to erect the first real Fulbeck clubhouse.
The site passed from RAF to MOD control and redefined as an
army-training area, a number of new limitations were imposed on the club, parts
of the runway, which extended for long-circuit meetings were no longer
available for kart racing. The club faced a great deal of controversy when
motorcycles, sports cars and even micro-light aircraft invaded the site in
their absence, matters eventually came to a head with the death of a
motorcyclist and the intervention of the police who suspected the site was
being used by light-aircraft for importing contraband. As recognition of the
clubs organised conduct and significant investment the barrier gates were
fitted to protect their interests, a vast amount of concrete runway was taken
up and the land returned to agricultural use. To show the clubs appreciation
and to retain the original RAF traditions the proceeds of a kart meeting were
donated as a contribution towards the cost of erecting the RAF WAR MEMORIAL at
the MOD entrance to the site.
The clubs future was put in doubt when Nirex began
researching the area for processing nuclear waste, unrestricted the company
built compounds, toilet blocks and research units. A public outcry ensured with protest demonstrations and sabotage that threatened to embroil the club in
controversy, it was only resolved when Nirex then decided to move operations to
another area. The club immediately began negotiations to purchase the abandoned
Nirex buildings and compound only to be thwarted by the MOD who refused to
allow the agreed transaction to be completed, at considerable expense Nirex
were compelled to demolish what could have been excellent new facilities for
spectators and club members.
Aware of cuts in the MOD budget and many properties being sold the LKRC sanctioned a loan of £2,000 to help the Trent Valley Kart Club with it's start-up costs, the endeavour to protect it's members by ensuring there was a track facility within the area. This was eclipsed by the MOD when designating the land for Territorial Army training and as the potential threat to the club receded TVKC repaid the loan (with interest). Lincolnshire Kart Racing Club is now looking ahead to many more years of racing. As the club has expanded many businesses in the surrounding area, shops, restaurants, hotels and public houses have all benefited. Always aware of it's commitment and obligation towards its neighbours the club has tried to maintain a complimentary organisation of all its competition meetings to ensure the pleasure of karting, retain a balanced environment. From its initial start as one of the pioneering clubs right up to its present day success it would seem the members of Fulbeck kart club have inherited a just cause for celebration!