about us

My name is Ian Williams, I am 66 years old, and my family and my history is tied to the sport of karting.  I began racing karts in 1969 and enduro karts at age 14 in 1971, the same year the Adelaide Kart Club was formed – obviously the karts and the club changed their name to Superkarts along the way.  It was the youngest age at which you were allowed on a long circuit in a kart, and by this time I already had over 6 years experience racing mini-bikes.  I went on to race a range of models and types of off-road motorcycles, my last being a YZ250J Yamaha,  but my 2 wheel career finished in 1980 and thereafter I have continued to race karts.  

Pictured above on the left was my alltime favourite ultimate weapon, a watercooled 124 Rotax on a 101cm wheelbase DAP A-frame !! It produced 43hp, and ran regular super petrol at about 1 litre per lap ( there are two five litre plastic tanks taped under the steering column ). I won the SA and Vic championships, the 125cc class at the Superkart GP, the Gold Nugget ( where this was taken ), plus took 2nd in the NSW titles in this kart in 1983. It had no fairings or nosecone, and only a single rear hydraulic disc brake. The last item was why I only got 2nd in NSW, it would not stop at Amaroo Park, and also the reason the chassis was ‘totalled’ at the SA state titles in December of that year when I ran into a TZ250 powered International class kart – yes it was as fast as they were. For those who knew us back then, yes holding my hand in the middle of that group is my wife of 35 years, Pam.

Pictured centre is one of my many Superkarts, an AX6 Arrow with a KT100S which I ran in the 100cc Non-gearbox class. This picture includes my ever helpful crew of one, Clive. In 2000 I took the lap record at Mallala in this class, as well as winning the Australian Superkart Grand Prix outright for the second time ( after a long lean spell from my first win in 1974 ).
Most recently I have raced an Arrow kart fitted with a 125cc Rotax Max, and after many AKA sprint meetings I ventured out to the Superkart Grand Prix at Mallala again in 2008. I was lucky enough on that day to win the Presidents Cup teams trophy along with a great junior driver who had just moved to seniors in Brandon Stillwell, and past national 250cc champion Sam Zavaglia. It was a great day, and my second win of such a long standing award after my previous success in 1981 !!

And on the right is my latest Scorpion Mk2 kart, my own hand-built Superkart chassis fitted with a Rotax 125 Max. After 35 years away from chassis building I needed a challenge in 2009, and this was the result. Time would tell if it is a good design, or even a good idea to have built it !! That question has been answered with a string of lap records and race wins, and now nationals wins by myself and my customers. Far right is my own nationals winning Scorpion Superkart — in 2012 I won another national championship in the NGB Rotax heavy class at Philip Island. The same event saw Scorpion karts take pole position in all 3 Nongearbox classes and finish with 2 overall class wins and a second.

Employment …
I own and run a kart shop – not a bad job if you can get it. I also prepare all sorts of two-stroke engines for different applications and this variety is what keeps me sane.
A lot of people in the racing business use race wins and championship titles as a bit of a promotional scorecard, and I too get asked quite often “how do your engines or products perform?”. Well it was about the mid-1980’s that the scorecard of mine and my customers ‘wins’ passed 80 State and National championships, so I just gave up counting !!

Hobbies …
“Welcome to my world” is probably my favourite saying after midnight.  Everything I do is for the racing, and at 1 or 2am in a country town motel room or carpark fixing someone else’s damaged kart or engine so they can get back on with their racing the next morning is probably where I am happiest.
I also like playing golf, its a good walk in the park where you can get away from it with your mates, and about as close as I’ll ever get to being a nature lover. With age creeping up on me it is my last possible athletic outlet !!

Nickname …
My nickname has been “Willy” since I was little, and that’s the name I am known by among my old friends. Many of these people may have moved on, or we are no longer considered close friends through our current associations or circumstances, but among my oldest friends I do take it as a term of endearment.

Classes raced
My karting history covers every class that ever was !! I love the class I race at the time I race it, and have never considered any class “better” than another by way of size or speed or even complexity. I still race sprint karts, and love the absolute ten-tenths of it all, although having a full 10 lap race over in under 4 minutes does make Superkarting look more like the “real thing” by comparison.
A lot of people enquire of me nowadays “Did you ever race dirt karts ?”, because I no longer do, and I get a giggle out of them when I say “there was only dirt before we raced on bitumen”.

My ‘best and worst’ racing moment, everyone has to have one …
Tying on points for 1st with Lloyd Fletcher for the 125cc Victorian Championships in 1981. I could not have run in a run-off race because my chassis had broken into two — and then Lloyd offered to toss a coin for it. We talked and agreed to accept equal first place. It was hours later someone told me Lloyd’s only engine had hand-grenaded in the final heat and he could not have made it to a run-off either !!

Worst accident(s) …
On a motocross bike, going off a 100 metre high cliff with an opponents bike stuck to me – his brake lever was embedded in my collarbone. I fell just 50 metres, but broke 13 ribs and the SES had to come out and get me back up. It was all the more vivid in my memory then as a spectator for the weekend as it was the first interstate race meeting for a 7 year old Jeff Leisk from WA – and he was fast then too.

In karts it was not once, but 3 times in one day crashing at Philip Island in an 80cc Superkart. I was over 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone all day Saturday, then first up Sunday morning I was t-boned by a Victorian in practise !! Two hours and much fibreglass bog later I went out in the first heat and got in the lead, only to go thru turns #1 and #2 at 180+ kph, and then fall off the track into turn #3 when I plain ran out of road with a flat rear tyre turning me right instead of left. Then to add insult to it all, in the next heat starting from last on the grid I got into 3rd place and then while attempting to pass the 2 leaders ( both at once of course ) the guy in 2nd nailed me and I went off at Lukey heights – he just happened to be the brother of the driver who t-boned me earlier on in practise !! I had data logging on the kart that weekend, and each of those crashes were at very high speed and it was only days later the terror shook me.

Best karting moments …
In racing it is every time I have a great race with someone, whether for first or last, or when one of my customers wins a race. Every customer becomes a friend, and their successes are somehow amplified by this. I must admit the first Masters Games karting event at Bolivar will be a tough one to beat for sheer atmosphere, and as for favourite race track, MacNamara Park in Mount Gambier, SA is the one – by miles.

Also the people you meet, especially all of the overseas 250cc drivers that came to Australia in the years when Formula 1 was raced in Adelaide. The ten years or so entertaining these visitors was just a great time, the stories from that era are the memories I will cherish most. I actually took a second job working in a drive-thru bottle shop for a few years to be able to pay for that — not bad if you consider I am the biggest tea-totaller alive !!

Alongside the racing, it was a delivery of a new kart that took myself and Clive out of our way in 2000. We supplied an entire kart, apparel, trailer and spares ‘package’ to a young Steven Grigg on behalf of the Make A Wish Foundation. Steven raced his 3 P-plate events to gain his full AKA licence, and it seemed like everyone in the pits was cheering for Steven in each of his races. His 4th meeting was his first on a full licence, and he took out 2nd place honours on the day.

I have to add a new item here – in 2004 I raced at more AKA sprint races than I have for many years. I was lucky to win another State championship, albeit in the Clubman over 40’s class and on the wettest race day I have ever attended. You’d think that at my age I’d have given up, but that is the nature of all of the “over 40s” drivers these days, we are all acting stupid again.

I am in the twilight of my own racing career, but in 2019 I raced at two great race meetings, both in Mount Gambier in the South East of South Australia. In June it was Superkarts at MacNamara Park, it has always been my favourite race track and we returned after a 29 year absence to run in the Australian Superkart Grand Prix. That was a return to the origins of the same event that first ran at that track in 1964. And then in November we went to the opposite side of town to race sprint karts at Glenburnie Raceway in a two-day KartsportSA event. I am not a camping under the stars person, but over 30 of us enjoyed the most wondrous weekend all inside the circuit. Neither event saw great results for me personally, although I was competitive at both, but it was just two great experiences.

Best Superkart drivers
My most admired were also at some time my ‘opponents’. It’s been a great career to be able to see my heroes as well as either compete against them or crew for them.

First was Charlie Stuart from NSW who raced twin McCullochs. He took the time to teach me about long circuit racing. Then ‘BJ’ Bruce Jolley and Paul Stebbing from Victoria who both raced against me for some 10 years in the 125cc gearbox class, and befriended and helped me. BJ is the best I ever saw in the rain, and Paul was National 100cc sprint champion in 1969, and followed it up with many wins in 80, 125 and 250cc classes, but he was the ultimate master of the fast start. ( Paul has finally decided to retire, not a bad innings for a driver 1969 – 2004 ) In more recent times Kerryn Brewer was a talent that defies description. She entered her first race as a 17 year old in February 1994 as a bit of fun in her boyfriend’s 100cc kart, and by the end of the year was the 100cc National Champion, racing in every state of Australia, and with 4 track records to her name as well.

I consider the all-time best Superkart driver is Gerard Siebert. He raced in the 250 International class for over 30 years, and won 8 Australian National Championships, 5 Superkart Grand Prix, and a list of numerous other championships and major events that is so long it is remarkable. He raced against the best from Europe, in fact all of the World and European Champions of the 80’s and 90’s, and bettered them more often than any local was expected to be able to do. He has raced and won on a variety of good and not so good chassis, he has raced and won with the best and the worst built engines, and he has raced and won in every weather condition and on every circuit across Australia.

Then in the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s there was Michael Rogers. He and his father came into karting as a hobby interest for Michael at the tender age of about 8, and over his years in karting he became the holder of 3 national Superkart championships and numerous other awards. But most importantly he showed an ability in both the mechanical side and the driving to become the most talented 125 Rotax Max competitor in Superkarts in his time. All of us here watched him grow from a little kid to now work as an engineer at Ford Motor Company. He was always the go-to guy for our upcoming junior drivers, he gained a wealth of experience in that area having come right thru the ranks in AKA and CAMS karting , and everyone only ever has good words to say about Michael’s approach and input to karting.

committed to excellence

We treat every customer as equal.  there are no special engines, nothing is hidden from any driver and hopefully the wide range of results show that our engines have been winners on all brands of karts.
Our first shop-front was opened in 1990, after I left our home garage, and it became a kart shop because although the thought was that we wanted to open a motorcycle shop it was difficult to work out which brand –  we built engines for all 4 major Japanese brands and it would have meant cutting ties with a couple of them, or at the least some awkward conversations.  So a gokart shop was the next most obvious choice. . 

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