2013 heralds a new era for cadet karting in the UK with the introduction of the New Iame Parilla engine. More recently cadets have used primarily the Comer W60 or the Honda engine competing in two different classes.
In 2013 those cadets wishing to secure the British Championship title or a seeded number will have to run Parilla or Honda although the Comer will have a National Championship for the next two years whilst it is phased out.
This means I have two choices as a current Comer driver, either stay on the Comer or move to Parilla, (I have already ruled out Honda), it's not an easy choice, I have a superb engine and although the carb set up is a constant headache I really enjoy driving it and have done well in my first year with it.
To be able to make the decision I needed to drive both so I had a new Parilla delivered and I had a test day under the watchful eye of Martyn Smithers of Protrain Racing.
So what did I notice? It's quick that's for sure, easily as quick as my Comer, it has plenty of torque pulling up the long hill at Whilton Mill but is very unforgiving if you get a corner a bit wrong lacking the gutsy pull I have become used to. When you get the lines right it's actually pretty good. Set up seems pretty straightforward too with minimal adjustments and no great swings in performance from minute adjustments which is the achilles of the Comer carb.
There are a couple of negatives, it's a bulky engine and it catches my right arm, already putting a hole in my wetsuit and the on off switch is over the far side but too low down meaning that my arm actually lays on the hot engine to switch it off. Finally I wish it had a button start, although the pull is relatively easy it is silly to have the youngest drivers unable to start if their karts stall on the track but the older ones able to get off again. Surely for safety reasons alone a pull start should have been avoided?
So what did I decide? What engine will I use? It's too early to say but I'll make sure you are the first to know!