December 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm #58483
Hopefully the racing this year will be as good as the weather. Around 80 during move in day today. Supposed to be 80’s the next three days for practice and two days of racing.January 5, 2016 at 8:25 am #58936
The results are now on MyLaps.January 5, 2016 at 9:32 am #58940
Here a link to my column http://ekartingnews.com/2016/01/05/behind-the-pit-wall-wka-daytona-kartweek/
David Cole - EKN Managing EditorJanuary 5, 2016 at 11:27 am #58946
Hey David, +100 on your column.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm #58953
Nice column David.
I like your idea of getting the fathers involved in road racing. I’ve always felt that road racing needs to go after more of the middle aged karter. That guy who is tired of getting bashed and crashed and getting whipped by the hot shoe kid at the sprint track. You need to get him on the big track before he just says screw it and sells his stuff. Most of the time these guys have more expendable income to finance a road race program whereas the younger guys don’t. More often than not if you can get this demographic to and on track they are usually hooked. As much by the racing as by the camaraderie of the paddock. It’s a different world from sprinting.January 6, 2016 at 11:25 am #58979
You hit the nail on the head with your comments.January 7, 2016 at 6:35 am #59002
OK, now that we agree with David’s column (again +100) what are we as a racing community going to do about it?
The major organizations (other than KART) either have nothing to do with roadracing or treat it as an unwanted step child. This certainly results in the roadracing fraternity to more or less fend for itself.
How do we change that? This is also the reason that roadracing is for the most part given minimal to no coverage at all. No wonder so many are actually unaware even of it’s existence.
Besides the lack of much in the way of help from the National orgs there are other barriers to overcome.
Many sprint karters are no longer the speed freaks that many of are and they are scared of the speed.
Many sprint karters seem to feel that roadracing is insanely dangerous. While admittedly there have been incidents there have also been incidents in sprint racing, oval racing, street racing etc.
Many sprint karters seem to think that roadracing is terribly hard on equipment in spite of the fact that roadracing chassis stay competitive for season after season. When confronted with that statement I have to only look back a handful of years when I decided to take advantage of the local sprint track being NCMP and sprint raced for four years. In four years time I tore up more equipment and hurt more engines than I did in 30+ years of roadracing.
I would love to see this conversation blossom, I will do anything that I can to help build some momentum in the roadracing ranks.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm #59052
I’ll sound like a broken record but if more people were willing to do track days like myself and JW it would be a good start. Every time we host one of these another new driver gets introduced. The format is ideal for no pressure, no stress where a new guy or girl can ease there way into it without the pressure of a schedule.
Its too bad IRP is in such ill repair. You could get a good group of sprinters out there with Newcastle to draw from. For Putnam to be affordable you would have to do a weekday gig and that would be tough. Get a few of those Indy Car guys involved. Yer a smart cookie, pull out that old phone book and find some help. Tell Dismore he owes ya!!!!! 🙂
Last trip to Putnam we stopped at CKS. I offered all the guys in the shop a free ride in one of the F-125’s and they all turned me down! Maybe there is something in the water down there Greg?January 8, 2016 at 6:14 am #59065
I’ve got to give it to you, at least you guys try. I’m playing with some ideas or at least looking for some ideas. I can’t sit idly while my favorite segment of our sport is allowed to waste away.
IRP isn’t just in ill repair, it’s an unusable, pothole ridden ghost of what it once was. I’ve never understood why Putnam always had trouble pulling in big enough fields to make the event financially viable. In my opinion it’s a hell of a race track.
Dismore owes me? OK, I’ll buy that. I will say that for what ever reason the CKS guys turned their backs on the roadracers even though that is where they gained much of their reputation.
Never give up, never surrender.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 8, 2016 at 9:41 pm #59105
We really need a turn key road racing package.
That is what attracted the 90’s crowd, walk in the door with CC in hand and purchase a complete set-up….just add gas!
I have always wanted to build 8-10 bare bones enduro 4 cycles as rentals. Cheap way to get guys into a laydown. Of course I would have to run one too!!!!
The cost, in my oppinion, is not the limiting factor for Road Racing. Its the time, the commitment and motivation to working on them. Lets be honest, Sprint karters are a bit spoiled…..I mean, they come….they turn laps….they go home! Road Racing requires a bigger, more time consuming commitment.
Last year was bad, a stinker all around….there, I said it. Let no one fool you, it had nothing to do with clubs or orgs going in different directions although its a popular excuse. Life happened, the debt driven society we are a part of happened, we can throw economy in there too even though gas is/was cheap. For me and my bro’s it was just timing, we made plans to go to events then something popped up.
The every day guy just doesn’t know its out there. We need to do something….like a commercial?
PS: Yeah…I figured them CKS guys HAVE to owe ya something by now!January 9, 2016 at 7:04 am #59111
An easier turn key roadracing kart is something that roadracing has needed for decades. Surely there could be some sort of more or less spec bodywork that could be used. Nobody know better than I do what a job it is to put a laydown together with proper bodywork. I don’t mind doing it but I have the facilities and chops to do it myself. New guys? Not so much.
I definitely agree on the time thing, That is probably the main factor (besides being old and broke) that caused me to semi-retire from roadracing. One difference from sprint racing is that you likely won’t run as many events so in some ways it evens out other than the traveling involved.
Commercial?? Yeah, where would it be run, other than a small number of websites like this one there is a dearth of karting media available and much of what there is ignores roadracing. It was easier when there were several monthly publications available. There’s a way somehow, we just have to find out what it is.
Owed? Bet your butt!
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 10, 2016 at 6:52 am #59146
How to Save Road Racing
Celeb Pro Am Invitational at Daytona Kartweek.
Pruett, Dale Jr, Kyle, Joe Gibbs etc guys/gals from other series, Tom Cruise, ???, & Various Karting Champions. Each Team would be Pro, Celeb & karter. Get Fox sports to cover it. Maybe not live so Go Pro helmet cam & Kart cam action could be added in. Maybe make it a Charity race with Winner getting to choose Charity.
You tube karting video. Collect everyone’s go pro footage & put together a first quality video with some real action footage. helmet cam, cams placed on various areas of kart for more dramatic footage. Low nose cam, rearward looking bumper cam. Might have to stage some of it. Maybe some spins. Maybe get someone that is real excitable to narrate. Like Michael Waltrip.
My 2 centsJanuary 10, 2016 at 10:00 am #59150
All ideas are appreciated, Love the Pro-Am idea but really wonder about the logistics and cost particularly on the celeb side.
The youtube video idea is also good and can be good for spreading the word. While there’s tons of kart racing of all kinds on youtube a properly put together vid with titles and an announcer (I’ll do it!!) is a great thought. I do know a guy that has all the assets but he is currently working on a feature length video about real kart racing. I’m doing some work with him at this time. It’s not strictly roadracing however it does feature some.
Check it out on facebook; We are karters.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 10, 2016 at 10:37 am #59151
All ideas are appreciated, Love the Pro-Am idea but really wonder about the logistics and cost particularly on the celeb side.
Connection with a well-known charity sounds like a very good way to open doors that you will otherwise never even get close to opening. Lots of the “rich & famous” like to be seen supporting “causes”, some of them may actually support worthwhile causes…pardon the cynical note, but they all work the PR system to the max. It would seem there must be some well know pro racers that could be persuaded to lend a hand, given the right kind of media exposure for their own benefit.January 10, 2016 at 10:15 pm #59182
I’ll hop on my soapbox here since this is a topic near to my heart. I started looking deeply into ways we can help grow karting across the board about three years ago and this is what I’ve discovered….
First, I’ve said this a few times of late……. It’s not directed at anyone in particular in this thread in a personal way….
We have no lack of ideas in karting, that’s not the problem. Lots of people have ideas, but they then look to someone else to take actual action. So, not a lot happens, other than talk. Lack of action and commitment is the problem. Not promotion (yet).
I cringe when I hear people talk about karting (in general) needing more exposure or publicity. We have professional (or at least very public) racers advocating for it all the time day, a major car manufacturer involved in HPD with SKUSA, gopro motoplex, sick TV coverage of the SKUSA pro tour, 1M+ videos on youtube, the colossal embarrassment that was kart life, a major recreational company onboard with BRP/Rotax, Become One, Racing Dreams, Senna and Fullerton….how much publicity is enough?
There’s no point in promoting something that has a broken marketing funnel.
We have the kart (yes pun intended) before the horse.
I posted a laydown enduro video that was seen by something like 80K people on facebook and was shared 1,543 times. Actually, most of the road race stuff we’ve posted gets a lot of interest so RR has that going for it. It’s visually appealing and interesting to folks.
Here’s the problem: I can’t send these folks anywhere to find out more about RR yet. No, forums are not an acceptable answer. Neither is “googling” for a track, or a series or a club. These days, people expect (relevant) information to be presented to them, or they move on. That’s how the web has changed and karting needs to change with it.
There’s no point in sending them to a specific org or series site because each one has limited appeal based on geography (see relevant part above) and others, well let’s just say they need work.
What we need a portal that’s independent of the orgs and shows folks the races, tracks and series that are of relevance by their location and willingness to travel. “Possibly interested karting guy or girl” doesnt give a ###T about what series or rulesets there are. They just want to know what is going on that they can go check out. We all know this, at the most basic level its about getting them to the track.
So I built the portal to make that happen for all of karting. Still much to be done on the software side and I’m continuing to iterate on that. I’ve commited to that part along with a bunch of other plans for the project. Insert link isnt working so here’s an old school link instead: https://www.kartpulse.com/events/category/races/50/circuit-long-road-race-and-enduro/60
You can also checkout the track directory (which is populated with over 400 tracks) here: https://www.kartpulse.com/tracksandseries/map
Adjust the radius, select a date range if you like and it will show you the races that are coming up. Assuming they are in there of course..which comes to my next point…
I’m still looking for someone to step up to the plate and get the road race schedules up there. It’s super easy, all web based.
If you want to grow road racing and are willing to put in some time, start by digging in and putting our races on the big tracks “on the map”. Then we can move from there to get butts in seats. I’m not saying getting all races on a calendar and map is the answer, but to me it is 100% the foundation to move forward.
With road races and tracks mapped out, we stand some a chance of getting folks onboard as a result of seeing a video like the We Are Karters which I’ve been working with Troy a little bit on.
Here’s the enduro video I am talking about that I shared on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kartpulse/videos/vb.1399852770228742/1581594508721233January 11, 2016 at 6:19 am #59206
I have watched that video many times & it would make a good segment but we need one with more action. It also needs to get millions of views. As for doing nothing, I will be having dinner with John Klutz hopefully at Roebling & this is one of the things I plan to discuss. Maybe someone on here that is friends with Robby Harper can talk to him. He knows how to get a race put together.
Dale Jr has a kart track on his farm so he might be interested. Pruett got is start in GPX200 pro series with Margay & supposedly Joe Gibbs was at Daytona with a grandson. If you get the pros to come, the media will come & if you get the media to come, the celebs will come. If the media comes the industry will contribute. The Bridgestone GPX200 race at the Long Beach Grand Prix got some media coverage but not as much as the Toyota celeb race.
Yes it takes action to make it happen but it starts with sharing ideasJanuary 11, 2016 at 7:50 am #59224
My observation is that coverage\exposure a shiny object at this point. I believe lack of mainstream media coverage is an easy crutch for us to lean on when we say that karting is not as big as we’d like it to be. I insist we have lots of coverage already. Enough for now.
Sure, us racers love the idea of it because it makes us feel good, but for the effort and resources required I don’t think it’s going to move the needle for butts in seat at this point. We can buy exposure right now though various media channels on the web. Amortized across the sport it would be pennies (well dollars) per track/series. There’s a bunch of ways we can pay for something like that (I have lots of ideas ha) but we need to have somewhere to point people first. Once that’s done kartpulse will start working on marketing karting, as a whole using these kinds channels. We’ll review what’s working and what’s not, iterate, make changes and go from there.
Sure, a million views would be awesome, but all for nothing if we don’t have something in place to guide the interested parties to the next step, a resource that delivers more actionable, relevant content to them. I think to get to one million it would take more than just action shots. It would need some sort of story too. Also I value the quality/relevance of the audience over sheer volume. With how we can target folks, based on their interests with razor sharp accuracy on the web this tends to work better than casting a wide net.
We have tons of ideas as a collective, that’s why I say they are worthless because 96% of them are not being executed. You are executing and for that I salute you.
Yes a better video would be good. In the absence of anyone else committing to it, I plan to make something for road racing this year. I kicked off a little campaign on facebook you might have seen asking why people like to go road racing. Some of that will shape the marketing message of the video. With the laydown video we posted, the effort/reward ratio was high all things considered. It took less than 10 minutes to put together. With most people’s involvement in kart racing being part time I think it’s good to focus on things that have a good effort vs potential reward whenever we can.
I think it’s interesting that an enduro video was one of the most popular kart racing videos I’ve seen on facebook. The majorly viral ones are typically less racing oriented, and more drag race or some loon on the street.
Having said all that, it takes time to get momentum for what you are working on, so hopefully our two paths will be on track around the same time. Then I think we’re in good shape to grow this thing.January 11, 2016 at 9:18 am #59225
I have had two things I have been passionate about in my life. They are Surfing & Road Racing. I stepped away from Road Racing karts 30 years ago & focused on Surfing & my career. I’m retired now & my knee would never survive a bottom turn on even a small wave. However, I can still drive. Getting into & mostly out of the kart is going to be a challenge. Anyway, I have a Go pro & it will be on the kart. I will contribute all my videos to the effort.
We need to keep casting the net to find that person that has the skills & resources to do each pc that needs to be done. I have invited everyone I know & some I don’t to join this conversation. If we can get the ball over the crest of the hill, it will roll down by itself. The more folks you have pushing towards the crest the better. Invite everyone to join this conversation.
Just invited Joe Gibbs
Now I have to go finish my PT so I can hopefully get out of the kart at Roebling Road. Plus finish a side job to pay for my motor rebuild.January 11, 2016 at 11:03 am #59229
Clark Gaynor Sr.Participant
Here’s a video ad the WKC runs prior to our events. It’s put together by a friend of one of our board members. It’s shown on Comcast stations, trying to run the ads during appropriate racing events on TV, in and around the DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland areas. We really have no idea if it does much for attendance. But it certainly can’t hurt.
Road racing is a tough sell. At least two day events; not usually close to home; motel; food; fuel for the truck; high entry fees; etc; etc.
It’s a difficult problem.
Clark.January 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm #59254
I spoke with Wilshire Walkup at Daytona regarding the cost to go Road Racing. Yes it is expensive. It is not for folks that work at Walmart or Burger King. However, compared to say SCCA spec racing its a bargain. According to Wilshire, If I am remembering correctly, he and his family can go to 10 Kart Road Races for what it costs for him alone to go to 4 SCCA spec races. You can not compare racing on a small tight sprint track on Sat where you get maybe 45 min of total track time to a weekend of Road Racing. Compared to any other non karting Road Race series, Karting is a cheap ride.
As Far as Laydown Road Racing being more dangerous than sprint racing, I’ve been involved in both & I have seen far more dangerous driving in the Sprint & Dirt series than I have ever seen in Laydowns. Yup it can hurt a lot more at 100mph than it might at 60mph but if it all goes down wrong it’s gonna leave a mark.January 12, 2016 at 7:12 am #59299
Beyond EKN, Kartpulse, Facebook where do we start this media blitz. Can sites (and magazines) like Racer.com be arm twisted into giving it a shot. The lack of true mainstream media outlets for all forms of motorsport seem to be getting increasingly limited.
We need a central clearing house to distribute results, race reports, publicity and more.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 12, 2016 at 9:04 am #59309
We need a central clearing house to distribute results, race reports, publicity and more. Thoughts?
We should chat on the phone. I’ll message you my details.
What you describe is what kartpulse.com is intended to be. Now it’s not there yet, so I want to manage that expectation. Here’s the articles home page for example: https://www.kartpulse.com/articles
You can read articles that are from around you by radius if you like. Publishing an article is open to all. Drivers, tuners, track, series, orgs, businesses etc. We have editing and veto rights should they be needed, but people tend to be a bit more thoughtful when they post an article vs starting a forum thread.
It’s a custom built platform for discovery and exploration of karting content. Designed from the ground up to support and grow the sport.
The kartpulse facebook page, at this point is an audience building exercise (and a little fun) while I wrap up the roadmap for kartpulse. The roadmap will outline what the site and project will look like and how that ties in with the direction I feel we should go to grow karting, based on the research I’ve done.
I will build the platform, but as a community we need to get the content on there. The roadmap includes a content and engagement strategy, but I want to stress the point that each of us needs to chip in.
Once that roadmap is complete (Thinking end of Feb) we’ll be accelerating the development of the site visually and otherwise with a goal to have it really rocking by end of 2016.
Then, (I feel) we have something that’s worth promoting and can get people that engaged by what the see to the next step, usually checking out their local track.
“Big media” is becoming an increasingly poor investment. I realize that this is a bit of a blanket statement, so like anything there are outliers.
With how social media and the “modern”
web has evolved over the last 5 years especially, you can get exposure right now and it will likely be more targeted. For that to be effective we need somewhere to send interested folks that can guide and woo them through the steps.
If we look at karting as a whole (This is what I have been doing and I believe we should) and put a marketing hat on…. We’re badly broken on the consideration and conversion part on a systemic level.
We can fix this, but we need to be working in mostly the same direction…January 12, 2016 at 9:35 am #59318
Let’s get started.
Rapid Racing Inc.
"When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."January 16, 2016 at 12:19 am #59470
I’m working with John Klutz on a faster class that’s more affordable. X30 tag E laydown class. Almost as fast as a 100cc open but much less maint cost.
Also talking with SMC on getting back into making axle clutches. Tom wants to make some design improvements but needs to be able to sell 50 clutchesJanuary 18, 2016 at 6:11 am #59530
I’m working with John Klutz on a faster class that’s more affordable. X30 tag E laydown class. Almost as fast as a 100cc open but much less maint cost. Also talking with SMC on getting back into making axle clutches. Tom wants to make some design improvements but needs to be able to sell 50 clutches
The TaG Enduro thing was tried before, but the engines were not as reliable. The X30 deal Lindsay was racing was very slick and fast.
Aside from that, there does need to be more support for road racing products. I’m sure there are at least 50 people out there that would buy an axle clutch right now. My guess is that people are buying up used stuff to help replace their old parts.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
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