Home Forums Road Racing Can RRing survive without the clubs?

This topic contains 107 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Larry Dobbs 3 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 108 total)
  • Author
  • #12176

    Colm O’Higgins

    George, your input is a breath of fresh air.

    Points taken.

    Especially liked are your Commuter Information Boards maybe operated by Sanctioning bodies.

    How about ‘ekartingnews’ doing it as a new Section, Dave?

    If the equipment were not already in Denton Texas, I would not even be thinking of participating at their LSGP 500, so Local Storage for roadracers could definitely be a bonus compared to trailering (etc.).

    However, RR needs a re-birth for 2014, so no time to waste.


    James McMahon

    I’ve only skimmed though the thread, but I’ll leave these nuggets..

    As drivers we need to forget WKA for Road Racing. Seriously.  For more reasons than I can count. Too much BS, too much hierarchy. At this point, I could care less about their involvement in the past. Their legacy with RR  is great but the road ahead, based on their rules and general attitude towards RR says to me they don’t deserve the support of drivers. Multi event “national” championships are a thing of the past, maybe (distant) future but not the sustainable present.
    A lot of events need to drop the “National” monkier, its tired, old and pathetic.

    For-Profit/Non-Profit has little to do with making money. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.

    Higher entry fees are a feasible and legitimate damage limitation measure if the drivers dedicated to the event or series are onboard with it. If handled correctly it won’t be perceived as gauging.

    Resource pooling is a must. When the USKGP @ COTA was announced I did some research into tools that could be used to help facilitate ride/transport sharing. It’s something that I have shelved for phase 1 for kartpulse.com, but it may move up the order for phase 2 if there is enough interest.

    Road racing is viewed as “dangerous” by many sprinters. I don’t share that view however perception = reality. Until this perception changes, RR will be in the minority.

    As drivers we need to get together, reach a consensus and call the shots.  Recent history has told me that getting the organizers of the various events on the same page in a collaborative manner is not going to happen.  So, drivers need to group together and take the reins (sp?). We need to vote with our feet in a pre-emptive and public manner. I’m struggling to articulate what I’m thinking of here, but hopefully you will get the idea. In essence some clubs/orgs aren’t getting it and we need to lead the way by supporting orgs, rules and schedules that make sense.

    More incoherent ramblings to follow.


    Kelly Read

    PLEASE don’t take this wrong, just asking a few questions to those posting here. I’m not here to say I agree or disagree with statements posted, just a promoter, supporter, racer with a family of 4 who loves road racing.

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.

    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc.  gets insurance ??

    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event??

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??

    5) What area of the country??

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Does CES have a board (not sure).

    As someone who has/is heavily involved in the questions above, I’m interested to hear what others have to comment on these questions. I am even willing to tell my answers.





    David Cole

    1) I used to, as you know, with the Mid-States Super Series

    2) Not sure what your asking here

    3) Never dealt with the Insurance portion of promoting the event, just everything else

    4) 2 if I’m lucky

    5) Michigan

    6) Michigan Kart Club board member, Mid-States Super Series coordinator up to 2004.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor


    Kelly Read


    As one who knows you and has been involved with you in joint races (OUCH!!!), you have a pretty good understanding on all the work it takes to put a race on. Just checking to see who else understands. A lot has to happen way before & after a event.  I know for a fact a lot of people don’t/didn’t know until they were told about what it takes to promote an event. A few years back I tried to get someone to take over Afton but once they found out it was more then just showing up to be the race director, they lost interest quickly.

    It amazes me when I have people post, PM, e-mail or call me to tell me how we (KART) need to run our events and they have never been here and may not ever. Do we run local option classes, yes. Do we have 500+ entries, NO. Do the bills get paid, have enough classes, simple rules, have great events, top notch drivers,YES YES YES!!!  You add up the entries from the IKF and the KART nationals, you will see that KART had more entries with fewer classes. IKF or KART has never matched up to WKA events. Since being a kid, I always believed that over East there was more racers then anywhere else no matter what form of racing there was. Not sure they don’t have big numbers for turtle racingn!! haha. Big numbers are nice but can be a headache.

    As I told Bernie who is working on this COTA thing for 2014 (yet to hear back from him on the status), don’t take what is posted as a SURE THING that they are coming as when you look back from the event he put on @ HPT, there were several who said they were coming and didn’t.  NO ONE needs to take a lost let alone a major loss !!

    On #2, I am asking if people know how the insurance companies covers us by. In a nut shell, they cover what is in that organization’s rule book.   This help?? Underwriters just don’t cover my event due to me paying some fee, they have rules also.

    As for the politics, even though clubs have a lot on there plate, the national organizations have more to deal with due to that they have to deal with more racers across there entire membership. Just seeing who has been involved with it.


    James McMahon

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.

    I haven’t “done it all”, but I’ve been heavily involved with the promotion, tech\comms, timing\scoring and points aspects of CES with Dave. Enough to remind me of what I already knew, organizing these events is an absolutely colossal effort. This is one reason why it irks me when people bring profit into this. For the work thats done to get these events going, as drivers we should be OK with people making money from this when/if they can.
    On that path, I’ve been developing ideas and tools to use technology and the web to make things more efficient leading up to and during a race weekend. A lot done but still a lot more to do. This is also something I’d like to see kartpulse take the lead on: tooling race organizers for success.

    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ??

    Im no expert on the matter, but I know enough to understand there is a lot of BS talked about it and I feel it’s often used by some orgs as an excuse/scapegoat for things they would rather not deal with. So they say its an “insurance thing”

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??
    4-5 depending on schedule, budget, whos running it and where its being run. I try to throw a couple of sprints in if I can.

    5) What area of the country??
    Midwest unless I have a compelling reason to spend the extra dough to make a trip elsewhere (example USKGP)

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Does CES have a board (not sure).
    CES don’t have a board perse. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to read into it. So far, its working IMO. Dave runs a pretty accommodating series.


    George Sunderland

    Have I organized a race before?  Not a road race but a street race.  I organized and directed 2 street races in Steadman, NC. The most work was presenting plans to and persuading the town council. Part-time police chief was the worst.   Fortunately, the streets were free.  We ran 3 classes: juniors,4 stroke and 2 stroke.  Rules were on 5 sheets of paper I wrote with my old man.  Insurance was through AMA.  Everybody had to join AMA to get the insurance but at least it was cheap and we got a cool magazine for a year along with other AMA benefits (more recently a few years back I know one of Rob Lawson’s f125 events at BeaverRun used AMA insurance which seemed to work well). We had a crash (no serious injuries) and the town council got scared so it ended after 2 events.  Had about 150 entries total which wasn’t bad and paid the bills which were small (volunteer EMT worked for free).

    I’ve served on several boards over the years.  Usually they start with tons of ideas but the passion quickly dies before any of those ideas are implemented.   Politics?  Yeah, no fun.  The thing I hate is if you are an organizer, you pretty much can’t race yourself.  Also need to keep distance from friends for fear of favoritism accusations. d

    I admire anyone and everyone who organizes an type of race.  It is thankless.  Once upon a time, folks who did it well could make a pretty good profit.  Those days are long gone.  Can it be done better?  Sure.  Success is easily measured by turnout plain and simple.


    Debbie Kuntze

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”></div>
    . 1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.  Oh God yes-Fontana for SCK (and other events for SCK) and USKGP

    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ?? Yup-quite a bit as well as clarifying for the insurance co.

    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event?? Same asnswer really as 2

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year?? Unfortunately with economy it is dwindling. only 2 this year so far but as a mechanic since I retired from racing.

    5) What area of the country?? So Cal mostly

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Yup- still active on committee for RR


    Jim White

    My 2 cents worth…….

    I’ve been on the NCK board for about 6 years now. Regular board member, Vice President and Secretary over the years. Prior to that I spent quite a few years helping do pre tech before getting roped into the board. I’ve been involved with booking, promoting, working, scoring and paying for events for some time. I’ve been road racing for 24 years now.

    We don’t run IKF sanctioned races but use their insurance through Michael Davis. We use the IKF rulebook so we can use their insurance. We have to have any local option classes approved by them in order for them to be insured. The insurance is a flat price per wristband. They have single and multi day event rates. It has worked well for us. By the way IKF does not require front brakes for TaG’s.

    None of the NCK board is compensated in any way. We pay the same as anyone else running at our events. The club makes money on a couple events a year. That is used to offset the losses at some of the other events. All told if we could put away a couple grand at the end of the year for future use we’ve done well. We just try to break even and not lose year to year.

    As for keeping RR going? We’ve tried many of the suggestions given. When things started going south a bit we immediately looked to cut expenses. The biggest and most obvious was trophies and awards. Aside from that there just isn’t really much non essential things to cut. If we have a small turnout we’ll cut the use of the PA, but that only saves

    $100 or so. We have few if any volunteers anymore. Most of the board members have leaned on their families to help at the races. Most now are burnt out and used up and besides that we just want to race too. That being the case we have to provide some sort of benefit to those we can recruit to work at the event. That costs money too. Towing, scales, gate, tech, etc. As events grow smaller and the costs per racer go higher in order to break even something has to give. Entry fees go up, amenities and things that effect the overall day go down. Now a person is seeing less value for his money. It’s a vicious circle.

    Now while track rates have somewhat stabilized during the recession here on the west coast there are still lots of groups competing to get them. As was stated earlier the tracks are not just looking at rent. It’s the whole income for the day, fuel, food, even the souvenir stand. Karters just can’t compete with the car and bike clubs. Therefore we get offered the leftover crappy dates. Take it or leave it, not much negotiation. Most racers just don’t understand this. We are constantly asked why can’t we race here or there on this day or that. It’s not that we don’t try it’s just that we aren’t given the choice. To really get a decent turnout and get people travel longer distances you need a 2 day format. At this point 2 days rental would kill us. Entry fees would be too high and we’d loose more than we would gain. Not that we aren’t looking into a way to do it. It’s just that our current model isn’t finacially strong enough to take the risk right now. Look at the loss that the PKA just took to host the IKF nationals. While it is appreciated it is just not a practical or prudent thing to do. NCK does have a class format that will allow practically every legal kart at lest 2 chances to race per day. If you are young and strong 3 or 4 classes are possible per day. That adds value to the one day format we use.

    For the past couple years I have personally tried to work on sharing a day with another club. Most wouldn’t even consider it. The one extensive conversation I had with an interested party went nowhere in the end. He wanted us to pay the equivalent of 3/4ths of the total day and get 1/4 to 1/3 of the track time. He was just in it for the money. As the economy squeezes tighter maybe another group may be forced into the sharing idea.

    When we look at who our new blood is that also raises some debate. I am of the opinion that the jr’s are not it. While they need to be courted they are not the savior. I feel we need to find the late 20 to 30 year olds who have been sprinting for a while. They are to the point of getting out because they can’t keep up with the kids and are tired of the bashing and crashing involved with sprint racing. They have families and jobs and can’t get hurt being punted by the local hot shoe for no reason. These are the guys with the disposable income to be road racers. It’s just getting them on the track. Most are hooked if you can just get them there. Sure our entries are much more but the amount of track time you get makes it worth it. You just have to get them there. Unfortunately most sprint clubs in our area are struggling too. They don’t want to promote road racing in fear of loosing their racers.

    Sorry for the long ramblings, trying to do this at work makes it hard to keep all my thought together…or is it just an age thing


    Nick Weil

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.
    Pretty sure I have done almost everything for the Southern Kart Club…
    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ??
    Ours is handled through WKA as part of our Regional Series agreement.
    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event??
    Same answer as #2…
    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??
    Used to be 10-12, now lucky if do 4-6.
    5) What area of the country??
    The Southeast.
    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)??
    I’ve been very active as a WKA member on the Board of the SKC, but never been in an elected WKA position.

    I am certain that most racers aren’t aware of what it takes. I am also certain that most racers don’t want to hear what it takes, they just want to race. Therein lies the problem. Lack of support and participation above and beyond what your monetary budget allows.


    Kelly Read

    To this point, it seems I have some people who knows and understands all or at least the big part of what it takes to put a RR event on.   1oo% agree that most racers don’t care of what it takes as long as they just have a place to race.  I have no problem with this as a promoter, I NEED THEM!!  As long as the racers that just come and race then leave understand it doesn’t happen over night and that there is a whole lot of work that happens before, during and after a event for the promoter.  As racers, we show up and leave as where the promoter still has plenty to do. GOT TO HAVE BOTH!!!

    #1) Promoting a RR event(s): I currently do 2 of 7 in our series. A few years back I did 6 of 8 (Nice that people stepped up and gave me a break). I do still “help” at the other events rather it be from being the R.D. to tech. Promoting is where someone does the before/during/after work such as scheduling of event dates, making the event schedule, sanctioning of the track, set track up (barriers, fencing, etc) if track calls for it, buying passes, getting workers, etc., keeping things rolling throughout the weekend and then goes home Sunday night and rest for a minute before taking care of the post race stuff (recap paperwork & fees to send in, tear down track, etc.) This last parts SUCKS!!!! 

    On the insurance, YES, #2 & #3 are close to the same. 

    For #2, from my experience having a organization such as the main ones mentioned that I can purchase insurance through, makes it easier and cheaper to get insurance for the promoter as they have memberships, rules and insurance carriers already in place.

    #3, I was asking if people knew just what/how the insurance company covered the policy holder (didn’t say I could type what I am thinking !!!). From myself,  In general they (insurance carrier I use) cover what we use for rules that we go by and any additional items I may include (L.O. rules as a example) and first but most important is  the track.  Having to send in pictures, fill out a application which has several questions and to be approved first, is the big thing. This is done by February the latest for me.  If it doesn’t get approved first, it doesn’t matter what rules you run by as there will be no race unless you find another carrier if you can. As one who knows, I have had to make changes (mainly more barriers) and re-submit to get approval.

    #4) # of events we attend – KART/MARRS had 7 this year and attended all 7. In the past we have attended all there events and 1-2 events over East.

    #5) Area – Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri. As stated earlier, we are very fortunate to leave where we do!!! 

    #6) Was the Kansas director and a national board member for IKF back in the mid 80,s. Now, not really any title but I do a lot for KART and the series. I answer questions or give input when asked by other orgnizations in which both IKF & WKA has asked in the past.

     SO, sounds like we are trying but just need to keep it up and hope things get better in the near future!!!



    Jim White

    Kelly as for actually getting tracks insured NCK has to do the same thing every year to get the tracks approved. Pictures, forms, etc. It’s not bad doing an already approved track. I don’t actually do it myself but am kept informed by our board member who does do it.

    The insurance itself is a secondary coverage and picks up what the injured’s regular insurance doesn’t (up to certain limits). I believe it also covers the club in case of suit.


    Roger Miller

    To be clear, event insurance has two parts:

    Liability – which covers the facility, the club/promoter, the participants, the landowner, etc etc.

    Consider a car goes out of control and mows down 10 people,  Lawyers are gonna go after everyone as being liable.  So, it is usually 5 or 10 Million coverage

    Then, there is a secondary medical component that is second in line for covering medical expenses.  Covers what your primary medical doesn’t cover up to 10 or 15K usually.



    bo rougeou

    So..All this being said, what can you do to entice racers to come and roadrace?

    It appears obvious that getting the ‘good’ tracks will bring them out of the woodwork, but how do we(meaning you promoters) get the ‘good’ tracks to come off their highhorse and negotiate?

    We have two roadcourses in LA.  One the racers won’t come to because its rough and in the boondocks.  The other is new and smooth but turns a cold shoulder to karts.

    Money is the only thing that matters?


    Jim White

    The last couple years NCK has had a little success with a 100 for 100 promotion. If you are an existing member and bring a new racer out you can race as many classes as you want for 100 each. Thats about 150 off a standard all you can race entry. It has cost us some money upfront but has brought us a few new racers that haved seemed to stick around.


    Lance Hiser

    I believe the higher prices are pushing racers away, now Im only a teenager, but my first vacation was at a race track. i was just a few weeks old and my father raced with all the road racing series in the midwest. I remember seeing the whole pit lane filled with karts, from Enduros to sprinters to shifters. We haven’t ran any WKA since 2006, and there is a reason for that, higher prices of entry fees. My dad told me the other day that it took 30 dollars to run a class and they ran(as a team) 2-3 classes each day…. we have been running CES the last two years and we have seen a big increase in numbers this year…so yes some people will agree with me and some will disagree, but i know that if entry fees and pit pass prices lower you will receive more entries. Just my opinion but like i said Im just a teenager, I don’t know much about insurance…


    Jim White

    Very good point Lance. The problem comes when the club or promotor goes out on a limb and offers a low ball entry fee. All the promoters costs are the same. If the racers don’t respond and show up in larger numbers you have just lost a bunch of money. That money you lost is the seed money to pay deposits and such for the next race. No seed money….no next race if you know what I mean. If the club or promotor has deep pockets such a risk may be warranted. However when that nest egg is gone you have no more funds to carry on.

    Like I said before, it’s a vicious circle and I think from reading threads like this one we are all fighting the same things.


    Gene Davis

    One thing that to me is evident reading all the posts are that the competitors are very loyal and passionate about the series they support. Kelly has a good thing going at KART just as CES and WKA. For those of you that don’t know me I have been a Dart Kart member for 28 years, currently am treasurer and chairman of the road race committee for WKA. All these series need to co-exist. The best thing everyone can do is keep the rules as close to the same from series to series and try not to schedule on top of other series or clubs. I for one do not want to see any series die. Each one has their own special place for karters. When a series dies everyone loses karters. Some karters will travel to another series but most retire or take up another form of racing.

    The one thing I would ask of the long time racers is to give each of the series a chance. If you haven’t run a WKA, KART, or CES race give them a try. You may have had a bad experience once but clubs change so give the other guy a chance.

    Let me put my treasuer hat on just to compare some things between CES and WKA. Not saying one is right or not just want to compare. The WKA race at Grattan had pre entry fees of $90 and at track entry of $105. WKA membership is $65.00 or $20/weekend. Weekend pit pass is $25. Adding things up if you ran 2 races and joined WKA your cost would be $90 + $90 +$65 + $25 = $270. The CES race at Gingerman you had $85 pre entry, $105 at the track. $30 pit pass. So if you ran 2 races and joined CES ($75) your cost would be $275. The $5 difference is about as close as you can get to run two great series and similar type tracks. I did not include anything about Friday practice since CES does not offer that. We are looking at that now for some WKA events. In all my years of being treasurer, the clubs very seldom cover the cost of Friday. Just can not charge enough to cover the cost.

    As for the cost of the more expensive tracks just to give you an idea Mid Ohio and VIR are very similar in rent. DKC needs 216 more entries at Mid Ohio to cover the cost difference in renting Grattan and Mid Ohio. For you old timers we used to race at Mid Ohio 5 times a year. Then it went to 3, then 1, then we tried 2 again. Now we are at 1 again. We get offered additional dates each year but there are just not enough karters out there to pay those bills.

    Thanks for listening.



    Jim White

    Since we are sharing some numbers here I’d be interested in what it costs to rent tracks in other parts of the country. I can tell you NCK pays close to $9K to rent Sonoma (Sears Point, Infneon or whatever you want to call it). This is on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As we have had this date for years they are kind enough to give us the December winter rate. Now this 9K is just to rent the asphalt, no ambulance track services or other expenses are included.


    George Argiris

    It’s simply a numbers game – we are all fighting for the same racers – clubs are key to the success – they all need to collaborate – there is no room for selfish objectives – These tracks are not cheap – on average you will see about the same number of entry’s at each event – the numbers however are going down on Sunday’s, not sure why

    So it is strictly the cost to rent the track divided by the average number of racers – if that calculates to $120 each, so be it – would you rather not have a road race event near you – or would you than not road race at all or spend hundreds of dollars traveling to race.  We all have to work together


    Brian Wilhelm

    Honestly, the price of an entry fee is almost irrelevant compared to travel, lodging, food, parts, tires, fuel, oil, etc.

    The clubs should not low-ball entry fees to try to get more entrants. That puts their program at too much risk. Charge an appropriate amount. The club needs to make a profit so they can have a cushion in case of rainout, etc. In general, our entry fees are lower than most other types of racing at the same track.


    Colm O’Higgins

    This has become an excellent thread.   Follows from an earlier ekartingnews generated thread.

    Some truths are being made evident.  And the fact that this evidence is being gleaned from (vocal) kartracers is a fantastic motivation to improve, no change, the way we all do things.

    First, roadracing karters are working together…evidenced by this thread.

    Second, clubs  need to work together, as Gene Davis put it.

    Third, insurance, tracks, Series, and (barely) enough roadracers are available.

    So I conclude that the cost(s) of racing is the main culprit.  Rule differences are a distinct problem.  Date overlapping or being too close to one another is a minor issue overall.

    The main issue is COSTS.  In my opinion the are prioritized by most as 1 Travel & Accommodation costs   2 Differences in Rules Series to series (read brakes) and 3   The proportion of monies that sanctioning bodies retain.

    The cost of tracks and insurance coverage remains pretty constant, as far as I am aware.

    To address this, Travel and Accommodation and other costs:

    1  requires a grouping together of racers when travelling to a specific event.  The Sanctioning Body(s) can do this or even ekartingnews could do it (David?).  And storage locally or at the track (New Castle has storage garages) would be a saving too.

    2  Rules need to be nearly identical Series to Series.  A “Summit’ of Series leaders should ensue.

    3  Sanctioning bodies be it WKA, IKF, CES, or KART must be totally transparent in publishing online their costs and what % they retain to cover their expenses.  Insurance coverage must be a part of this plan.

    Secondary matters such as Technical Rules and dates can be settled…political will being present.  That is one of the most difficult parts, political will.

    OR, the roadracer will be compelled to form their own single Sanctioning body.  Not MY choice.  But if it comes to that I am in.

    Or…I don’t even want to think of it.


    Bill Pyles

    Best kept secret in Arizona is that for several years, road racers, under the management of Benn Herr, have raced with car club ProAutosports at the former Firebird Raceway near Phoenix that has 4 different road courses!  The car club has several groups and the karts are just another group, treated equally.  We also race twice a year at Inde Motorsports in Willcox, AZ.  All karts run together in 4, 20 minute sessions per race day, with the last session being the race.  The classes run together, but are scored separately.  We have 250 sprint, 125 stock Honda, 125 sprint modified, and World Formula.  we would score TAGs if they showed up.  A big weekend is 40 karts, but we have a blast, and most of us drive less than 40 minutes to the tracks. 

    Lesson—kart clubs should look for opportunites to partner with car clubs.


    Jim White

    Bill, I agree that sharing may be the way of the future if entries continue to decline. Problem is as I stated before is finding that group to work with you and share on a cost effective basis. Here in NCK land we’ve been unable to find that group yet.

    May I ask you to share what the entry fees are to run one of these days?


    Bill Pyles

    The entry fees for a day comprising three 20 minute sessions and one 20 minute race are about $145.  The practice sessions are all qualifying sessions and we grid for the race in a two by two configuration  for a rolling start, based on our qualifying times.  Once per year our race is one hour and the same fee applies.  You have to be tidy, because the shifters are running at the same time as the world formulas.

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 108 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Karting's News and Information Leader ekartingnews | an HMG publication