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, 10 months ago.

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    Benn Herr

    As a side note to Bills comment, The $145 includes everything. No pit passes required. You can bring as many of your friends or family as you want – no charge. They can do this because the number of people (cars included) entering is large enough to cover the cost of insuring the entire event, not on a Per Pit Pass sold basis. All they have to do is sign the waiver. ProAutoSports does all the Timing and Scoring, all the Safety Crews, all the Kart Pickups. We just show up and drive. After your first race though, you do have to become a member of the ASA. They provide several benefits beyond the normal insurance (which has better coverage than kartings usual providers) such as hotel discounts and insurance for you trailer to and from the event.

    ProAutoSport just expanded this Summer into the Pacific Northwest. They ran an event at Spokane County Raceway. I hear it went pretty well.

    The groups are out there that would be willing to partner, you just need to find them. There may need to be some changes to adapt kartings traditional format into their program, but it’ll be worth the effort.


    Kelly Read

    How nice it is to read how road racers across the USA are working together to try and help RR survive. I like that everyone is staying positive as this is what we need to do to help RR survive. Don’t know about the rest of you but, there are times that the way I may type something it sounds like I am bashing someone and this is not always the case and especially on this topic. I know several of you and some I don’t but, I believe we are all after the same result (Keep RR alive!!).

    It’s kind of weird on how we have actually went from “Can RR survive without the clubs” to “Can the clubs survive without the racers” in what I am reading.  As said before, WE NEED BOTH!!!!

    How awesome it would be if there was only one RR series in the USA!!  Can this be done??  My opinion is NO. This is not because I wouldn’t like to see it but, RR is different then Sprint & Speeday as where they have local tracks that are closer to racers in where RR tracks are spread out no matter what part of the country you live in.  What we may gain in Portland, we would loose from the East coast (same as other areas). As for combining series together for events, I can’t speak for the others but KART which is the sanctioning body of MARRS (Mid America Road Race Series) has done this in the past. We have had joint races with SWRA,  Badger kart club, CES and when Cole was involved with that series before Davey took over.  Speaking for our racers (me included), we traveled to Road America, Gateway, and Milwakee along with supporting the other MARRS events. Did it work, YES. What about classes and rules?? No issue!!!  We used the hosts event format they normally used and for classes they didn’t offer that the other organization ran, it was added to some race (very few classes needed to be added) and didn’t effect a thing as far as the schedule.  Rules, outside of maybe weight or MINOR items, we didn’t have to make major changes as we were all close enough anyway. Yes it took a little time but those of us who represented each group, worked well together to make it happen.  I must say that I and believe that the others who hosted these combine events were happy when the event was done. Anytime you can bring in 80+ more entries, is a big +!!!!

    As for seeing finances, do I care to see them?? Not really as long as all the bills got paid and NO ONE (promoter, club, organization, etc.) goes into the RED. Must remember, even though I don’t hold a NATIONAL official position in the organization I am heavily involved with, I do keep track of numbers from our series and attend board meetings.  I will say as a promoter of one of the cheapest tracks to hold an event  (Afton), I would rather promote tracks where all I have to do is unlock and lock the gate coming and going!!!!  At Afton, it takes 4 days before and 3 days after to set-up and tear down to put this event on. This doesn’t count the hours it takes to deal with owners, getting workers, etc.  Even with this track, I personally have paid out of pocket (2 solid days of rain didn’t help).  I don’t do this for the money, I do it because I LOVE RRing!!!!




    David Cole

    Kelly, I would much rather see four or five strong regional programs (WKC, CES, KART, something Southeast, and something on west coast), rather then one national series. That could lead us into one big race, similar to SCCA.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor


    Jim White

    A national series won’t work on the west coast. The racers just won’t travel in the quantities needed to make it successful. I agree that a strong regional/club program has to be the basis for the future success of road racing.

    Then you get the promotor who wants to run the one big race each year. It worked with the USKGP at VIR and Miller once or twice then it has to move on. COTA sounded to be the one in 2014. Not so sure now. Theres only room for one big race a year (maybe 2 if one is on each side of the country)


    Chris Hegar

    Unfortunately it takes a track with major draw at the right time of the year to even think of pulling in numbers from everywhere. Indy, Road America, COTA and Laguna to me are the only places that can do what needs to be done for one event. Mid Ohio, Road Atlanta, Thunderhill, Infenion, Heartland Park, Daytona, The Ridge, Barber, your favorite, ect are all great places but it’s gotta be brand new awesome or a track with serious racing history. People in general really don’t travel much farther than 10 hours, it’s gotta be good. The average racer just won’t do it.


    Jeff Collier

    I have read all the post under this heading.  I think the real question to ask is can Road Racing survive period. Its been years since I attended a road racing event. I have two race ready karts with Yamahas and use to run Sportsman Heavy. At least they were race ready at one time. LOL. I still crank them and keep fresh fuel in them just in case the urge strikes someday. Let me give a little background for perspective – raced at the first WKA Daytona race back in the 1970’s and many since. Finished in the top ten in National points once or twice (can’t remember). Won several regional races. I honestly enjoyed SKC , WKC, and Big South over the years and made many friends.

    Back to the question: can Road Racing survive period. As I have read all these post, I asked myself what happened to me. Why did I quit? Why did me and my kids stop coming? As I think about it, The only answer I can come up with is it ceased to be fun. When there were big classes and lots of karts in the 1980s you always ended up during the race in a group about your speed and driving ability and it was fun racing each other. The last few times I raced I found myself in a small class spending practically all the race faster than some, slower than others racing by myself. Practice became more fun than the races because there were more karts on the track and actual people to race with.

    These days I race with Chumpcar. Its like one big WKA practice session in the old days with all sizes and makes of cars  and all levels of driver talent- some faster some slower and lots of passing and close racing. It is fun. More bluntly – its actually a blast.

    Thats what I missed when I stopped kart road racing. I raced at Roebling Road years ago in a regional and we had a dog fight between six karts for third place. It is one of my favorite memories and it was that kind of close competition between several karts that brought me back race after race. When that stopped I stopped coming and went somewhere else.

    How do we fix this now with so many classes and low entries in each class? I don’t know but here is one  suggestion. Create classes based on speed/lap times so that you once again group larger numbers of karts who race at about the same speed. Does it matter if you put sportsman, can, and pipes of varying weights and engines in the same class if they all are running similar lap times. Whats an average lap time at Roebling? 1:50 (I don’t remember). Create a 1:50 class. A 2:00 class. A 1:40 class. One simple rule. Exceed the minimum laptime and you are Dqed. Otherwise run what you brung with the strategy being to set your kart and engine up to run comfortably just under the minimum lap time. This would guarantee a class of similar speed karts racing against each other for the win.

    I’m not suggesting replace the current class structure for those who want to spend the money time and have the talent to be the fastest in their particular sandbox. Just create a few classes where the purpose of the class is to bring as many karts of similar speeds into the same class so that several karters can race with each other. Maybe someday we will have 60-100 karts starting a single road race class again like the old days and there will be no need for unorthodox ideas like this one. But until then, find a way to bring the fun back. And then I’ll be back.


    James McMahon

    Jeff, personally I love your idea of combining groups by time, it makes total sense. Especially when you have very similar motors, say Honda GX and clone for example.

    My impression is that is that we have morphed into a bunch of whiners. A group of people who would rather claim they finished third out of three entries, than claim 10th out of 50. Everyone seems to want a trophy, I think that’s what’s really killing things.
    How we change that mentality I don’t know.


    Chris Hegar

    We always hear… “remember back in the day when karting was thriving with so many guys on the grid, it was awesome!” Realistically the numbers were always spread out with one or two classes pulling in large numbers from time to time but still always looking for more people to come help make rr the next great thing. No that long ago in 2004 we had nearly 100 karts on grid in cik open 125, what happened? People move on due to economy issues, people move on because of the next best thing, people get tired of running mid pack bad mouth a class or karting in general and quit. Lot’s of excuses for downturn but mainly we tend to have a lack of new runners interested in our sport specifically in our rr end.  The sprint runner is now our target market and has been for a long time but sprinting has turned into an ultra expensive program just to get your foot in the door. Yes we see the old Yamaha drug out with friends now days but that’s not what your going to hear about that type of ride if you walk into a shop with your wallet, nope. Pretty much the only thing we can do is keep our heads down staying dedicated to rr karting, talk it up whenever possible and help out each other while keeping an eye out for new possible racers. That’s what I see and think I’m reading here, if we don’t gain more people rr is doomed because they will keep charging more for pavement weather it’s an international circuit or park side temp track, they all want top dollar.


    Colm O’Higgins

    Wow, the last 3 posts by Chris Hegar, Jeff Collier, and Jim McMahon bring this topic to a head.   I empathize with their cogent suggestions.

    We need only 12 Class divisions, not 61 like in WKA.

    First, continue with those classes that are established.  Say, minimum 15 entries.

    Second, create “bracket/time” classes to bring on track competition into the equation.  At least 10 entries per Group.

    Third,  recognize any Sanction/ Club Membership in exchange for participation.

    On my First suggestion this will require that there be only 12 (TWELVE), I’d say, classes maximum.  6 Currently Recognized ones and 6 Bracket ones.  Reduces trophy expenses.

    On the second one it will bring alive Jeff”s memories of great racing on the track.  And encourage any kart owner to compete.   Even “Vintage” owners…an inexpensive way to race on the big tracks.

    Third, this will need to happen to avoid any racer needing multiple Memberships.  WKA, KART/MARRS, Woodbridge, VKA, IKF and TAG all sanction races…let them recognize one another.

    How about it…an initial step to road racings survival !


    Greg Wright

    Thumbs down on the bracket class idea.

    Sorry but anytime that you can be DQ’d for running too fast just turns me off. Call me old school I don’t give a hoot. Despite what some seem to think racing is still about speed.

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.

    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."


    Colm O’Higgins

    Hey, Mr.  Wright…not so fast (pun)…I agree with you…old school here too.

    This is a detail of Bracket Racing: every racer should pick a bracket slot that is slower than his/her quickest lap possible, but not so slow that they will end up in last place either.

    It becomes an educated guess, not ideal, but competition on the track is the objective.

    If you want ‘pure’ racing then pick an Established Class in the other section of classes.   There the quickest kart/driver wins.



    Jeff Collier

    Greg and others…I once built a better mousetrap. I was substantially faster than everyone else. And I got Dqed for it…was totally legal by the rules and got Dqed. Was told by those who owned the sandbox that 80,000 spectators were not going to pay to watch me lap the field every 10 laps. As a result of running too fast, I got my very own restrictor plate to slow me down. True racing is NOT about speed…its about competition. My point is…if the race is not fun and competitive (I think those words are interchangeable for the racer)…if the race is not fun for those who come to race they are not going to continue to pay to race (or watch) for long. Its not all about being the fastest in your sandbox. My favorite karting road race of all time was a dogfight for third. It was the dogfight, the close competition I enjoyed and why I kept coming back.

    I hadn’t read ekartingnews in years. Hadn’t posted in years. But this particular topic caught my eye. I use to love to road race karts and traveled all over the country doing it. But my kids and I stopped and I wanted to share with those of you interested in this topic why. It was no longer fun. Winning a trophy for finishing first in a class with three entries where I lapped the two other competitors is a hollow victory at best.  I know, I did it. Fastest yes – fun no. Its why I quit – there was nothing fun about that.

    Before anyone poo poos the idea of bracket racing as a solution, visit your local drag strip and see how it works for them.  I’m pretty sure that most local drag strips are still open today because this type of racing brings in tons of cars –  I know because there is a drag strip two miles from my house. They race 2 nights a week and are packed out.

    Whats been suggested here with bracket racing is a slight adjustment of that idea to fit road racing. As Higgings suggested if you join a bracket slightly faster than your best laptime, you will have to drive your ass off to win. And you will be racing several other guys doing the same thing. Thats what I miss and thats what would bring me and my boys back to the track. Fun…just plain old fun (wheel to wheel competition). Thats a perspective I saw missing from this discussion.

    For those of you who want classes…at least make it real. Any class without 15 entries should end. I agree with Higgins on this and if you are old school just stay in the established classes. Nobody is suggesting do away with them except when there is no one in them. But I will wager if you have the choice to run a class and spend the entire race riding by yourself or choose a class structured to create a dogfight for the win…IMHO a true old school racer will pick the latter. Even with the possibility of that dreaded  DQ.

    To continue to do the same thing…and expect different results…well we all know what that is.

    Anyhow for those who are at least willing to consider the idea, read on. Not all of this drag racing stuff can apply but the concept with a few modifications could. This is from the Wikipedia article on Bracket racing:
    The effect of the bracket racing rules is to place a premium on consistency of performance of the driver and car rather than on raw speed, which in turn makes victory much less dependent on large infusions of money, and more dependent on mechanical and driving skill, such as reaction times, shifting abilities, and ability to control the car. Therefore, bracket racing (using the aforementioned handicapping system) is popular with casual weekend racers. Some will even drive their vehicles to the track, race them, and then simply drive them home.

    This format allows for a wide variety of cars racing against each other. While traditional drag racing separates cars into a wide variety of classes based on power and weight, bracket racing classes can be simpler, and can accommodate any vehicle with basic technical/safety inspection. Race events organized in this way are sometimes called “run-what-ya-brung”…

    Breaking out is when a racer manages to cross the finish line in less time that the one he dialed-in beforehand.

    If only one car “breaks out”, it is disqualified and the other one wins by default…

    This eliminates any advantage from bending the rules by putting a slow dial-in time on the windshield to … However, some racers will purposely dial a slower time and then let off of the throttle or use their brakes near the end of the track in an attempt to trick the other driver into breaking out. This racing technique is called sandbagging and, although useful and technically legal (not always), is looked down upon at most amateur events as a form of cheating and un-sportsman like conduct. In some track clubs, a sign of obvious sandbagging (letting off the throttle near the finish line or applying the brakes to comply with the dial-in time) earns an immediate disqualification from the event.

    Taken from Wikipedia article on Bracket racing…has been highly successful in drag racing…can it be adapted to kart road racing?


    Colm O’Higgins

    Well said, Jeff !!


    Greg Wright

    Jeff, There is no question that bracket drag racing is successful. By the same token while I understand the concept perfectly well it (the concept) doesn’t gel with the way that I am wired personally.

    I have friends that are bracket racers and we have this conversation regularly. While your statement that “some” bracket racers drive their cars to and and from the track is true but is a very small percentage. The drag racers that I talk to tell me that if they intend to dial in a (throwing out numbers here) 10.00 time they will build a car that will easily turn low 9s or high 8s in order to be able to play the game.

       These same drag racers talk on and on about feathering the throttle towards the end of the run and disconnecting the brake lights so nobody can see when they get on the brakes before the finish line.

      In the higher levels of bracket racing many use a computer that calculates their ET based on their 60 foot time and the computer will control the throttle to keep from breaking out. Granted that there are events called “No Box” that don’t allow the computer control (The box) and they are letting off and hitting the brakes consistently before the finish line.

    To me at least this line of reasoning is counter to the core of motor racing and is similar to the reasoning that youth sporting events should not keep score in order to make everybody a winner. Screw that!

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.

    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."


    Jeff Collier

    Greg…if I understand you…you would oppose the idea to create any new classes using the bracket racing concept even with the other classes remaining in place. … even if it would increase kart counts ? (Which is the problem we are trying to address).

    You would oppose the idea even if the 1:50 Bracket Class at Roebling Road could run at the same time as Yamaha Sportsman (if that class even exist anymore) thus not requiring any new races to compete with those already running…

    So this is basically a disagreement in the philosophy of what constitutes racing.

    Okay…wow…I’m kinda out of ideas then.

    I would contend that almost every non safety related rule in the rule book is there to control speed and in some way and to equalize, thus maximize the competition. So if those rules are there to limit speed and maximize competition, is it such a stretch to simply limit speed on the front end?  And for the same reason – to maximize competition.

    Maybe I should be totally honest here. My equipment is now old…I mean I’m still running  Yamahas…LOL. Does anyone  seriously think I am going to call John Q Kart Shop and order the latest and greatest kart…spend more money the next few races trying to figure out how to outrun all the other six karts in my class? I don’t think so. Been there. Done that. Have the T-Shirt.

    Create a class where I can bring my kart…just like it is…and have some reasonable chance of being in a dogfight… and I might even buy some new tires and freshen the engine and show up.  I might even buy a new engine after a few races. And I would probably bring the sons and grandsons if it turned out to be fun. Maybe even buy them a kart so they can go race with granddad.

    But if you guys don’t want me and my obsolete equipment to come and have fun (race in a class with a likely chance of a dogfight) … hey I can keep my ass at home. Thats what I’ve been doing. I don’t think I am alone.

    PS. I do NOT think the solution is to create yet another class for obsolete Yamaha Sportsman karts where I can enjoy running with the other two guys.



    Greg Wright


    So this is basically a disagreement in the philosophy of what constitutes racing.

    In my opinion Absolutely!!

    Okay…wow…I’m kinda out of ideas then.

    Cool with me!

    I would contend that almost every non safety related rule in the rule book is there to control speed and in some way and to equalize, thus maximize the competition. So if those rules are there to limit speed and maximize competition, is it such a stretch to simply limit speed on the front end? And for the same reason – to maximize competition.

    Might I suggest in that case to eliminate ALL non safety related rules period. I agree that the rules are in place to attempt to equalize the competition. The challenge is to out drive and out think the competion in spite of the rules all the while adhering to the rules as written.



    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.

    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."


    Kelly Read


    If the RACERS we have would just support what we have now would HELP a whole lot!!!   Next thing would be that for us racers, to PROMOTE our ROAD RACING sport onto others.  I don’t see having another type RR (bracket racing) helping (at least in our area).  RR is ENDURANCE not just for speed!!!  Times have changed, that is why we went from 60 to 45 minute races and, brought in 30 minute races for the sprint style chassis.

    I’m not going to get into the politics but,  with or without them, there will always be issues.

    Myself and friends have done other forms of racing and we all agree that road racing is tough to beat when you take the dollars and track time in consideration.




    Steve Matotan

    It’s official, I’m out of laydowns. The long travel, my age, and all the bitchin are the reasons.  Do something to shore up the sport for the guys who are left. So, from Ft. Sumner, NM to Buffalo Lakes, to Daytona to Portland, I was there.  Thanks to enduro karting, I quit smoking and learned to TIG weld.

    Steve Matotan

    ” the guy in the green kart”


    Linda Baldus

    “It’s official, I’m out of laydowns.”
    Mike & I had heard you sold the last of your stuff; sorry to hear that. Had missed seeing you lately at the track. If you change your mind, Mike highly recommends the Animal class, and in fact he has a chassis he plans to build for an Animal to sell (after he gets done building the project he has waiting in the garage right now), in case I’ve given you an idea. He can even put green bodywork on it.

    Keep on kartin'. llb
    Raymore, MO


    Steve Matotan


    thanks for your kindness. Im keeping my 74 enduro to look at it and remember the best days of my life. Tammys whole family races situp karts at Sandia Speedway i crew for my nephew. I tried a tag situp- kind of boring frankly, you can see where your going and it only goes 80 mph.

    Steve Matotan

    “the guy that used to have a green kart”


    Benn Herr

    Bracket racing in the traditional Drag racing style is of limited value for Road Racing. The chance of going “too fast” and “breaking out” is counter to everything we’re used to, everything racing is. We have used a format (and I’ve described it before) that I used to call Australian Pursuit. I’ve since found out that that format starts the fastest in the back and as soon as somebody passes you, you have to get off the track, certainly not what we want! So now I just call it a Handicap Race. After getting a qualifying time from practice, you calculate how long it would take each racer to finish the race distance. Then you start the slowest kart first followed by progressively faster karts at intervals that will have everybody finish at the same time. A simple spread sheet does the calculation. The mission for each racer is simple. Go as fast as you can, every lap. If you’re a slow kart, you need to learn how to let people pass you without messing your lap up. If you’re a fast kart, you need to learn how to pass without messing up your lap. We never worried about a breakout problem when we ran this program. The karts would go faster as the track rubbered in and drafting can help lap times, but it’s the same for everybody. You might want to do something about a guy that drops 5 seconds a lap over his qualifying time but that’s a pretty extreme case.


    This format can work if people want it to. It’s not a replacement for good close class racing. But it is a great catch-all for all the “orphaned” classes and karts that are out there.


    In the bigger picture, maybe Road Racing is having trouble because it is so unchanging. We all remember the way it used to be with big fields, big tracks and close racing. Road Racing had the correct answer for how things were then, it does not have what people are looking for now. Maybe we need to try some new things. Handicap racing might be one of them. Longer races, shorter races, pit stops, co-drivers, combined classes, heat races, qualifying, etc… All those things that the rest of motorsports has, we need to look at. How would they work for us? How would they change our strategies? A long time ago you would have to drive easily to conserve your engine or clutch for the end of the race. That hasn’t happened for a long time. The flag drops and the throttle goes wide open and stays there. You either win or blow up. Everything is a consumable, use it up and buy a new one for the next race. That may be fine for the more experienced racer or the super competitive one, but it sure is hard on the newer guys. All they see is a lot of their money being spent and not much results (or driving) for their efforts.


    I do like Colm’s suggestion of reduced top level classes. I would narrow it down even more though. Take four of the most currently popular classes and make them “US RR Championship” classes. They should be very obviously different from each other, in appearance and performance. I don’t know the actual numbers but I’m thinking they would be Unlimited, CIK125 Shifter, CIK TAG Sit-Up, and Four Cycle Bodywork Sit-Up. All the organizations run or can run classes like these already. A club would simply declare which are the “US RR Championship” classes and go on with their regular program. The rules for each class wouldn’t even have to be same between national organizations. If you travel to another part of the country you already expect to have to meet their rules. How these results would be tallied is another matter but I can envision something like Porsche does with their SuperCup.




    Colm O’Higgins

    Benn, Kelly, Jeff, Chris and so many others have great ideas on this topic.

    Do we see Sanctioning entities or Clubs becoming engaged?   Seems not, sadly.

    Action needs to happen !!

    Otherwise it won’t matter.  This Forum will become just memories of the past.

    A SUMMIT (cyber will reduce costs) of the people who control Road Racing is needed.

    Soon.  Race schedules have been announced for 2014 already.   Mostly the same stuff.

    Get together, recognize each other.  Market, plan, rationalize, co-operate as one.

    Start now !


    James McMahon

    I’d be happy to help organize the tech behind such a “cyber” summit if others are willing to work with the participants.
    That said, I think the clubs need to be “convinced” which way to go by way of driver feedback, organization and plain old voting with their wallets. We need to work as a group and reach consensus both on a national and regional scale.

    Once that’s accomplished there will be two type of clubs\orgs..
    1) They ones that embrace the proposals by such a group and prosper.
    2) The ones that oppose it and fade away.

    I can help with the data, surveying, discussion and so on with KartPulse when we go live but we still need to identify some key “political” individuals.


    I really like Brian’s idea of having “core” set of classes that could be run at most RR events.


    Jeff Collier

    Just one last comment on bracket racing before I fade back into oblivion with my humble opinion and antiquated equipment. I know this idea flies in the face of everything many of you hold sacred about kart racing and racing in general. I get it. You have told me that many times on this forum and in person. You told me the same thing when I suggested this idea many years ago before I quit road racing.  Its not racing in your minds. I so get it.  The idea that anybody with any budget and any equipment has an equal chance of winning if he doesn’t “break out”, and with the right strategy gets its just right in your mind that just ain’t racing. I get it. I get it. I get it. So please don’t repost yet again how lame this idea is because it flys in the face of all you hold sacred about racing. I get it.

    Here is the point you miss. Nowhere have I or anyone proposed eliminating a single successful competition class.  Run 50 competition classes if you have the karts for it. You have my full support and I encourage you to race in as many as you can afford. In exchange for my full and vocal support of as many competition classes as you have the karts to support, would you consider just one bracket class. Just one slow one …maybe about 10 seconds off a good Yamaha Sportsman time. Just one…not 20…just one.

    Here is  who would consider running such a class. The potential customer: A guy who has used up equipment (like me) who just wants to run in a close event (see I didn’t even call it a race)… a guy who is 30# overweight for even the heavy class with no hopes of ever winning that class because of his weight… a new guy who just wants to learn to drive in close proximity to other karts…a guy whose good engine dies and all he has got is that piece of crap in the trailer…a newbie you invite to the track and you let drive your kart…everyone of the guys I just named and there are many more would have no chance to win …none…nada…in any of the competition classes…but in this class anyone is capable of winning if he dials in his kart the closest. There is still just one winner – the guy who got it right…ran the fastest and most consistent without breaking out. Strategy…preparation…consistency…close racing…and a real chance to win the thing…enough of each of these to make it fun for these guys. (remember fun?)

    Ok I get it…not your cup of tea. Run in one of the 50 Competition classes. But if there are enough of us who would show up and run such a class AND in no way did it interfere with any of the other 50 Competition classes…would you still oppose it?  Would you still be so vocally opposed to this idea that it would have no hope of ever even being considered?

    Clearly the future of Road racing is dependent on trying new ideas…maybe even an idea outside of our comfort zone to get kart counts back to the critical mass of paying expenses. Because, unless that happens this all becomes academic.

    So…if there are enough of us who would show up and run such a class AND in no way did it interfere with any of the other 50 Competition classes you are running in…would you still oppose it?


    Benn Herr


    I hear what you’re talking about and I agree. But the hard part about putting on any kind of alternate is convincing people to do it. For several years we ran our Pursuit/Bracket/Handicap races and every time we got somebody new to run with us, they would immediately try to figure out how to “game” the system. Of course being racers they weren’t able to keep themselves from setting fast laps in practice. And their fast lap is what I used for their “Dial In”! The Handicap race does make for very interesting looking event. You start out with a slow guy or two droning around the track and then faster and faster karts come out. The biggest starting gap we ever had was about six laps on a 1.25 mile track. For a while there are karts everywhere on the track, action at every corner. Then as you get towards the end it becomes obvious who’s in the front and who is catching up. It was not unusual to have most of the field finish within half a lap of the winner. Most Road Races start out exciting and then get strung out, these events were just the opposite.

    The big difference between Bracket and Handicap formats is who gets to pick you dial in. But you are right about the strategy, preparation, and consistency thing. Getting those right is one of the more rewarding things you can do. Oh, and one more important thing about either of those types of racing, other than “Sandbagging” or “Breaking Out”, you can’t cheat. No post race tech needed, no weigh in. You finish first, you win!

    But anything you do different is going to be a hard sell. You have to show them. And even then, they won’t always believe it.

    I hope to be involved in this Road Race think-fest they are talking about. Lots of good ideas out there, we just need to figure out how to do them.

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