Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some of the new karts homologated for the 2009-2014 CIK-FIA homologation period in detail by asking the manufacturers about their latest creations and what went into their designs. We’ll start things off with Arrow’s latest CIK homologated kart, the Arrow X1-CIK.
Arrow Karts are based in Victoria, Australia, and are easily the country’s premier kart manufacturer. With a workforce of about 45 employees Arrow has achieved numerous National titles all over the World, and in 2001 when the Rotax Grand Finals were run on drivers’ own karts (not on manufacturer provided karts as is done now) they took the Senior championship in Langkawi, Malaysia. They have yet to put up a proper effort on the European karting scene (European & World Championships etc), but are looking forward to when that happens.
The X1 is Arrow’s only CIK homologated kart for 2009-2014, and Arrow are confident that they have a winning kart on their hands. We asked Adam Klunyk of Arrow Racing Karts about the new X1:
Question: The Arrow X1 kart is your latest to hit the market and has already posted some impressive results, what went on in the development of the kart?
Adam Klunyk: This kart took about a year and 11 prototypes to finally get the final design. It is a complete new model not an evolution of the Bmax which was our last kart for these caterogies.
Q: Are there any specific new and interesting features on the kart that are different to most of the competition?
AK: Yes lots of them:
- Arrow’s full-height one-piece machined billet alloy bearing flanges.
- Unique Arrow cam-adjusting rear axle ride height system.
- Ultra-light quick-change 3-bolt type machined billet alloy sprocket hub.
- 18mm wide grooved and vented rear brake disc.
- Floating machined billet alloy hub with inbuilt self-loosening system for quick axle changes.
- Forged alloy and machined billet alloy 2-piece pedals.
- Carbon fibre laminate floortray.
- Arrow’s unique self-centering seat washers
- Forged high grade aluminium two piece stub axles with 17mm machined high tensile steel stub shafts (25mm hollow shafts also available)
- Arrow embroidered ‘F1 style’ black-spoked blue suede steering wheel with flat top and bottom
- Arrow’s unique steering bush with clamp for simple front end alignment
- 2-piece slide-type engine mount
- All new CIK homologated bodywork with dynamic graphics kit.
Q: How do you approach the design of a new kart? Do you keep a very close eye on what the competition has been doing and try some of their solutions or do you prefer to focus only on your own kart and develop the kart by how if performs on track?
AK: We do all our own testing and designing. We do alot of testing mid week at the track against our old model kart and make sure it is consistently faster. Then the final test is racing the prototypes at major events so we can get good comparison against the other leading brands like CRG, Tony Kart, Intrepid etc.. I.e.: Our Australian Rotax Nationals, X1 Prototypes 1st 2nd 3rd. Remember to get to this stage it took many many months of testing designs and failures.
Q: How important is a good driver to develop a kart? Who was the main driver(s) responsible for the direction the x1 kart has taken?
AK: Very important !! You can always look at data loggers but to produce a good go kart you need good feedback. We used a number of different drivers to develop a kart because remember this is a product kart and many different types of drivers will be driving it. The main test drivers which did the every day testing were Bart Price, David Sera, Matthew Wall (all 3 are factory Arrow drivers and have represented Australia at the Rotax Finals).
Q: What will the factory racing effort focus on in 2009, which series’?
AK:In Australia we will compete in most of the major event including the Australian Titles and State titles, also various series events, our calendar of what we plan to do is not complete yet.
Q: Are most of the components on Arrow karts built in-house? What is made elsewhere?
AK: 95% of Arrow componentry is made in house. E.g., Wheels from Douglas and Edwards, Bodywork from KG, Brakes from Dent Engineering, the rest here !
Q: What is Arrow Racing Karts’ most valued result in kart racing?
AK: Winning the Rotax World championships in 2001, Oceania Championships – 1st Junior International, 1st Formula A. Also numerous National titles across the world. One area we haven’t targeted seriously yet is Europe. We look forward to that one day as it will be a challenge ! But we are getting there bit by bit.
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