Karting has a rich history in the Border area. In the early days of karting industrial engines were bolted onto homemade chassis, and in the early 1960’s tracks sprung up in Queenstown (next to modern day Builders Hardware) ,Mthatha and East London.
As karting grew in popularity, astute manufacturers became aware of a new target market, and chainsaw engines were quickly adapted and modified to provide great performance specifically for karting.
The early East London kart circuit was a tight and narrow situated on the inside of the notorious Potters Pass corner of the main track. This was used during the 60s and early 70s and surprisingly some really great names cut their racing teeth on this track, the most famous being the Scheckter brothers. Jody Scheckter went on to become World Formula One Champion for Ferrari in 1979.
Wayne Taylor also competed on this circuit, and went on to win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1996 and 2005.
Sadly karting all but died off in the entire Eastern Cape in the late 1970s, and one by one the tracks became overgrown, repurposed or developed.
Then in 1981 the Port Elizabeth Circuit was resurrected and karting developed a new surge in popularity. Eager Border competitors had to make the 300km trip to compete against PE drivers.
Then in 1989 enter one enthusiast named Mike Methley, a man skilled in road making. Mike designed a new circuit utilising a portion of the Esses on the ELGP Circuit, and adding some loops and straights. Mike, it seems, was not only skilled in road construction, but also in motivating others to contribute to the cause, and in 1990, on 30 June, Border Karting was born, and hosted their first event on the new facility.
A fierce inter provincial rivalry was formed between EP and Border, with both clubs enjoying a great amount of success and support from each other. At one stage a 3 way Regional Championship was hosted between Border, EP, and Free State, the latter having had circuits in both Bloemfontein and Welkom. The only 2 circuits remaining now are Border Karting and Algoa Karting.
Border Karting is alive and well, and has experienced exponential growth in 2022, as has Algoa Club. The next year should see the not only rivalry, but the camaraderie being resurrected between the Regions.