Gillard Racing Karts was started in 1980 by Tim Gillard, who had previously been working in the Kart Trade for 5 years, mainly on the tuning and rebuilding of engines. Even though this was envisaged to be the core activity of the new business, the intention was always to produce a kart and it fact this happened very quickly and a ambitious date, to debut the new kart was set as the first round of the Kart and Superkart Championship for 100 National in April 1980. Wayne Homer had agreed to drive and the first time the kart turned a wheel was on the Friday, the day before the opening round at Tilbury. Amazingly there were 156 entries for just the 100 National class and after 3 nearly perfect heats, Wayne put the kart on pole position for the "A" Final. While running a comfortable second with 3 laps to go he suffered a puncture in the left rear tyre, which of course was an immense disappointment but the seeds had been sown and the decision to manufacture a kart fully justified.
Gillard Karts first National Championship success came in 1985 when Ivan Turner won the 100 Junior Briton British Championship at Clay Pigeon, followed in 1986 by Jonty Millwood winning the 100 National British Championship at Rowrah.