Since the early 70s, the Allen family have been actively involved in the sport, starting in 1971 with 15 yr old Mark. Mark initially drove a direct drive kart in Juniors for one year before he switched to gearbox karts in 1972, and has never looked back!
At a club level he was:
4 x Midland Championship
3 x South West Champion
3x Rissington Club Champion
3x Welsh Champion
Kimbolton club champion
5 x Shenington driver of the year
And, of course, Shenington club champion on numerous occasions.
Mark won 5 British championships on short circuits, including 2 in one day at Dunkeswell.
That was in 210 national & 125 national.
In those days British Championships where one big weekend, not spread over numerous country wide race meetings.
This enabled Mark to compete in multiple classes at the Short Circuit British Championships racing in 210 National 125 National & 250 National.
During this period he was a regular at the “Morecambe World Cup “ with entries of up to 60 karts requiring “C” Finals & “B” Finals before you even got the the big race of the day!
Mark won this televised event in 1981.
His first “Long Circuit” race was in 1974 when he went to Cadwell Park with his friend Nigel Mansell.
But it was during the 80s that Mark stamped his authority on 250 Long
5x British Long Circuit Champion 250 national
5x British Kart Grand Prix Winner 250 national
In Formula E (Division 1 Superkart):
1987 ...9th in The World Championship
1987 ...7th in The European Championship
Mono cylinder 1993
2nd in European Championship
Mark’s last full season of racing was 1999 when he won the British long circuit championship. After that, he appeared at The British Grand Prix meeting each year with much success:
Taking pole position in the wet by over 1 second in 2007
And in 1994 climbing through the field from 60th on the grid to cross the line 9th, and then to be awarded the win post race as the first 8 were excluded for ignoring waved yellows where as Mark carefully picked his way through the field under green flags.
Mark finally stopped racing in 2015 at The Donnington Kart Grand Prix.
You will still see Mark driving his favourite karts from his ultra successful past at the Annual Shenington SuperPrix Event.
He also still takes a stint behind the wheel of our current Superkarts at test & development days.
Rumour has it that he may race this year at selected events in the much rejuvenated 250 national class that will be racing at Shenington & Forest Edge kart clubs.
The word “Legend” is bandied about to often these days, but we are very lucky that a “True Legend of Karting” is part of our team.
Thank you to Tim Norwood for images.