Home Forums General Karting Discussion Full bumpers in kart racing

This topic contains 35 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Paul Hir 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 26 through 36 (of 36 total)
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  • #18870

    John Kuntze
    Participant

    Jim

    If you saw how karting use to be you would know how horrible people race today without the fear of getting hurt anybody can slam into the back of somebody knock them off the track and keep going that’s your quote is so true and the problem  “as the full width rear bumpers pretty much eliminated 90% of the potential for flips from wheel contact”

    I have heard many race directors say in drivers meeting no bumping but most of them choose not to see it when it happens.

    #18913

    Andrew Sherry
    Participant

    Adding full bumpers on karts would not help our sport at all. If you did that, what we do would be no different than the fun karts at the miniature golf course. They would just be very expensive bumper karts. IF you have something where you can just bounce off it, drivers are just going to make stupid passes and just use the kart on the outside of them to keep them on the track. When I started racing we didn’t have the full rear width bumper, the breadbox bodywork was still very popular and I’ll be honest the racing was much much better. You actually saw drivers make clean skilled passes. Now you just see people run into the back of the kart in front of them and put them off the track. If you did that with the old style bumpers you were on your head. Yeah there were more flips but it didn’t take long for the idiots driving like that to learn that you in fact can’t drive like that. The more bodywork you put on the more karting becomes like bumper cars. Of course there are risks, we are racing and it’s a dangerous sport but that’s what makes it different than the traditional sport. It’s important to be safe but I believe there is a point where you have to put safety aside and protect the integrity of the sport.

    #18951

    Larry Andrews
    Participant

    I have heard many race directors say in drivers meeting no bumping but most of them choose not to see it when it happens.

    I’ve been in exactly one series where the race director had the guts to enforce this rule and you know what?  We didn’t try to hit each other.  Amazing.

    Sounds more and more like changing the karts isn’t going to change anything because the wrong problem is being addressed.

    I’ve considered and walked away from quite a few series where it was obvious that the first case above was to be expected.  I need to go to work on Monday and won’t waste my time anywhere that doesn’t consider that to be a reasonable expectation.  Obviously racing is dangerous and things can and will happen – but excuses and laziness are no substitute for real leadership.

    Disagree strongly with ‘danger teaches you to drive’ as the whole point of racing is to be ruthless.  When a drivers’ success depends on ‘do whatever it takes to win’ then it’s clear that the only real path to a reasonable degree of safety comes from the leadership of the race officials.

    #19010

    John Matthews
    Participant

    I had the pleasure of racing with guys like Scott Pruett and Ron Emmick….

     

    I know it sounds like one of those “when I was a boy” rants but if I was king of karting I would proclaim NO bumpers. I don’t have any statistics but I doubt karting is any safer with side pods, bumpers, or any of the stuff they’ve come up with to make people “feel safer”.

     

    Yes, it’s true back in the old days when you locked wheels with another driver you were probably both going for a ride but it made you respect your fellow drivers and the equipment much more. The path up from karts in motorsports is OPEN WHEEL racing so you might as well get used to the danger of having wheels sticking out from your vehicle.

     

    It’s also true that stewards need to enforce the rules, and racers shouldn’t put up with tracks or series that reward rough driving. This is especially true in youth classes IMHO.

     

    Cheers,

    John

    #19094

    Jim Derrig
    Participant

    This sort of logic only works if you assume we are in control of our karts at all times, which clearly is not the case.  The solution is to make vehicles that can be safe in INADVERTENT contact and to enforce rules prohibiting DELIBERATE contact.  This makes a heck of a lot more sense than deliberately making the vehicle less safe in order to incentivize good driving habits.

    Yes, indy and F1 cars are open wheel without “bumpers” but let’s agree that most of us are not at that skill level and are more likely to initiate contact with mistakes and misjudgments.

    If more danger made you a better driver, then Sebastial Vettel is crap, since he races with a full coverage helmet instead of a leather cap.  And then there is the well-established record of open wheel aces coming over to NASCAR and kicking the pants off everyone (not).

    I don’t see much empirical support for the notion that less safety teaches better driving.

     

    #19132

    Greg Wright
    Participant

    I can’t completely agree with you Jim particularly in this day and age where so many young kart racers are looking to use karting as a leg up towards the mythical motorsports ladder. If they don’t learn to stay away from the wheels of their fellow racers now what are they going to do when and if they step up.

    Yes I am in the camp that feels that there are too many bumpers now. Motor racing does have and must have an element of danger in order to maintain it’s identity. Otherwise we may as well race simulators.

    #19143

    John Matthews
    Participant

    If you like full bumpers you should probably race indoor karts, they never flip over do they?

    I personally am sick of living in a world where everything is designed to try and keep the stupidest person out there from hurting themselves. If you want racing to be safe then stay home and watch it on TV.  Statistically speaking you’re much more likely to get hurt or killed driving to the track, it’s a lot more dangerous than racing….

    I’ve been at the track twice when drivers have lost their lives (not karts) and I lost an employee/friend in 2012 driving rally. It hurts like hell but you know they understood the risks before strapping in and starting the engine. You also know they died doing something they absolutely love.

    Just about the only benefit of getting old is having experiences to base your judgement on. I started racing karts in 1977. We raced in jeans and tennis shoes, or motorcycle leathers if you could afford them. We had no side pods, nose cones, full width rear bumpers, rib protectors, neck braces, or a lot of other stuff people now think is necessary to go kart racing.

    Karts are not any safer now than they were back then, just heavier and more expensive. It’s the drivers that make racing safe or dangerous. I can vividly remember back when I was 14 sitting on the grid in the second row thinking about how I would pass at the first corner, then looking down at my feet sticking out over the bumper. You can bet I tried to pass clean ;)

     

    Cheers,

    John

    #19155

    Brian Mead
    Participant

    Was that a Burton invader?   Haul it with the van in the background?  I used to take my Rupp -101 and  throw in the back of the family Mercury, tie down the trunk lid and go. Throw all the plastic and bars away.

    #19177

    Brian Degulis
    Participant

    I started in 1971. No side pods No Bumpers the seat was not fitted and part of the frame and the screaming McCullough was mounted behind the seat.  I got out of Karts in 74 raced cars for a few years then got out of racing completly. When I got back into karts 1 1/2 years ago I was surprised how much more contact there is today. The side pods and bumpers definetly make more contact possible. That being said they also provide a level of protection for the driver. I got T boned at a pretty good speed and had no injuries. If that had happened in a 70′s Kart I’m pretty sure the front wheels would have rode up causing the other kart to hit my body instead of just the kart.

    I wouldn’t add or remove bodywork. I think what we have now is a good compromise.

     

    Brian

    #19179

    TJ Koyen
    Participant

    I wouldn’t add or remove bodywork. I think what we have now is a good compromise. Brian

    Agreed. What we have now is fine. People exaggerate the “rough driving” that happens today.

    #19372

    Paul Hir
    Participant

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    <p class=”MsoNormal”>Although I respect the knowledge in this thread, it is hard for me to believe that because we made it safer, people are idiots.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>  </span>I think we can all agree the people have always been idiots.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>  </span>What I have seen in the karting community, is people starting in a series that they do not belong. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”> </span>I am wondering how many of these people who may have no karting experience jump into a brand new kart with no mentor.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>  </span>Some of these people may think they are playing Rfactor and can win on the first lap, again they may be missing the mentor.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>  </span>Another factor is the track, do they use the flags? Or do they just collect your money? I don’t mean to pick on Nascar, but I don’t see many clean moves “rubbing is racing”, I don’t think AJ or Mario where saying that when they raced.</p>

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