Superkarts! USA Addresses Engine Disqualifications at SuperNationals 21
At the heart of every competitor is the desire to win. Unfortunately, this desire sometimes leads some people to adopt a win-at-all-costs mentality, with some engine builders, parents, and drivers willing to sacrifice their ethics and their children’s reputations. In turn, this mentality finds a partner and we end up having the nature and type of cheating found in the micro and mini classes last year – culminating in public and worldwide humiliation of child competitors at the 2017 SuperNationals in Las Vegas.
At SKUSA, our goal is to provide a safe environment with a fair and level playing field among our competitors. Over the years we have implemented a program to periodically inspect the equipment used in the races for compliance with our rules. This past year, SKUSA became aware of allegations of cheating during the 2017 Pro Tour and ProKart Challenge events. While the events were staffed with technical personnel, the nature of the modifications were so sophisticated that they eluded detection for some time. At Sonoma, SKUSA confiscated an engine from mini swift winner Carson Morgan. After considerable time and financial investment, it was determined that Carson Morgan’s engine builder Mark Zartarian/High-Rev Racing Engines had made substantial modifications to the engine. The modifications were so far outside the technical or spirit of the engine rules, the only logical conclusion was that the modifications were intentional. While the modifications were blatantly outside the rules, the amount of resources devoted to hiding these modifications were even more troubling. Due to the short amount of time to the SuperNationals, SKUSA took the immediate steps to have the additional tools and professional technicians on hand at the SuperNationals to prevent another occurrence. Consistent with the findings from the Sonoma engine, Carson Morgan’s SuperNational’s race winning High-Rev Racing engine was again found to have extensive modifications. It was also discovered that 2nd Place Brent Crews’ High-Rev Engine was also modified and illegal. The same modifications were also found in the engines of a few Micro Swift competitors, including Brandon Carr and Mateo Rubio-Luengo.
Turning to 2018, SKUSA has concluded that the nature and extent of the cheating by High-Rev Engines/Mark Zartarian required a strict disciplinary measure. SKUSA cannot and will not tolerate intentional cheating such as what took place by High-Rev/Mark Zartarian. Accordingly, Mark Zartarian has been notified that he is banned from attending, participating or building any motor for use at any SKUSA or SKUSA-sanctioned event indefinitely.
SKUSA would like to take this opportunity to put all current and former High-Rev customers on notice. SKUSA has obtained the serial numbers of a majority of the Mini/Micro Swift motors modified by High-Rev engines and continues to find the remaining motors still in circulation. If a driver is found to have utilized one of these High-Rev motors during any competition, or a motor modified by any other engine builder, the competitor and associated individuals will be immediately suspended from any further competition for the year and stripped of any points. Accordingly, we advise High-Rev customers to bring their engines to a reputable or IAME-certified engine builder before running them at any SKUSA event to prevent any further disqualifications or disruptions to competition. It is in the best interest of all competitors that participate with SKUSA to find any remaining illegal engines and get them pulled from further competition.
Most importantly, we apologize to all of our Mini and Micro Swift competitors and their families who competed within the rules last season, as we truly feel your anger and frustration. Rest assured that we have taken measures to punish those individuals involved and to prevent such cheating in the future. We at SKUSA respect your contribution to the sport of karting, and look to your kids to develop into not only the best drivers in the world, but the best in sportsmanship as well. We welcome any suggestions or contributions you have on this as well as any other ways to improve SKUSA and karting.