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At the beginning of 1960 Jim Yamane was synonymous with karting activities the world over. At that time the young Japanese-American from North Hollywood California was the topic of conversation by fellow competitors and karting enthusiasts following his victory at the Nassau World Championship kart race held December 5th and 6th 1959 in the Bahamas.


An elated Jim Yamane being interviewed just after winning the 1959 World Karting Championship held as part of the Nassau Speedweek. Photo: Karting World

Jim was crowned ‘King of the Karts’ and pronounced as the first World Karting Champion at the meeting promoted by the now defunct Grand Prix Kart Club of America. Jim who started back in 14th position that night (actually it was the wee hours of Sunday morning) won the fifty miles International Trophy race (100 laps of a ½ mile course) by 2 laps, a full mile ahead of his nearest competitor many of whom outclassed him considerably with their additional horsepower.

Anyone driving a kart of such dependability and performance was undoubtedly suspected of possessing equipment that was extraordinary. However this was not the case with Yamane. Jim got his start when karting was in its infancy having designed and built two earlier single engine powered karts. From those machines he graduated to his home-built World Championship winning dual engine machine. Jim’s World Championship victory was achieved just 2 short years after getting into the sport. No doubt Jim had a talent for driving karts quickly which was highlighted by the fact that he at one time held the track records during 1959 at three of southern California’s most competitive kart tracks namely, Go Kart Raceway, Butler Speedway and Valley Raceway all sadly now defunct.

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In this issue: Aron the magnificent With the third last race at Ampfing, at the top of the European Championship are the Estonian Aron (FA Kart/Vortex) in OKJ and the German Janker (KR/Parilla) in OK. X-RAY MODENA ENGINES 125 KZ RACING CIK-FIA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP OK-OKJ WSK ROTAX EURO TROPHY ASIA MAX CHALLENGE SWS FINAL 2018 WATER TEST PUMPS EVOLVE, TOO! FACE TO FACE MAX PAPIS CLOSE UP TIRES, BECAUSE EVERYONE COMPLAINS A LITTLE VINTAGE YAMANE SPECIAL 1959