Building the Fujimi DAP Kart – Ayrton Senna 1981 #091372 1/20 scale

by Guy Golsteyn © Modeler Site

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As a tribute to this great man, who is still very much missed, I decided to build all the 1:20 Senna kits in my stash, which will end up in a complete Senna collection of all the cars he ever drove since 1984, when his F1-carreer started. Since Fujimi now released two karts which he drove in 1981 and 1993, they will complete the line-up of F1-cars perfectly.


So that is why I started to build Ayrton Senna's DAP kart from 1981. Fujimi designed an interesting little kit, but unfortunately there are a great deal of mistakes to be corrected. On the other hand, this gives a lot of potential as well of course...


The first thing I always do before actually touching the kit is to check out all available reference pictures on the internet. I found out that the #9 kart, shown on the Fujimi boxart, was driven by Senna during the Karting World Cup of 1981, in Parma, Italy. In fact, Senna had already left the karting scene in 1981. He had moved to England to begin single-seater racing, winning the RAC and Townsend-Thoreson Formula Ford 1600 Championships that year with the Van Diemen team. But he couldn’t resist to participate at the world cup, as he did the next year. Unfortunately, things were not the same anymore since his active karting days. Rules had changed about engines passing from 100cm³ to 135cc, something he didn't like because his kart clearly was lacking of power as he would explain: "I was one of the favorites and I was in a good position to win. But then the material I got was no good, the engine and the frame. They changed the regulations to allow 135cc engines and my frame was not strong enough for the engine. I could finish only fourth. I was very upset." Indeed, Senna finished in 4th place in the championship general qualification. But his star was already rising elsewhere…

The Fujimi kit basically consist of two main elements, a kart and a driver figure. I first concentrate on the driver figure. When looking at the boxart, it shows Senna wearing a white racing blouse with Martini sponsor and racenumber, which are not provided in the Fujimi kit. That is something I intend to improve. Besides this error, the helmet, provided in the kit cannot convince me. I’ll have to check for a replacement helmet, that’s for sure.

I also found a few interesting pictures of the build-up of a DAP kart, similar to the one Senna drove back in 1981, as well as some pictures of the kart Senna drove in 1980.

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