Superkarts! USA Confirms Revised Age Minimum Trial for Upcoming 2019 SKUSA Winter Series
Superkarts! USA today announced a new initiative meant at exploring the possibility of implementing permanent changes to its age requirements for the upcoming SKUSA ProTour. The move comes as an effort to accommodate the influx of international drivers, which have become a staple at national events throughout the country. Beginning with the SKUSA Winter Series in Florida, the racing age minimums for junior and senior single speed IAME classes will be as follows:
X30 Junior and KA100 Junior: 11 Years of Age
X30 Senior and KA100 Senior: 14 Years of Age
“This move is one we want to be very mindful about,” explained SKUSA competition director Joe Janowski. “Our North Star at SKUSA has always been safety. It is our guiding principle. We are using the SKUSA Winter Series as a testbed to consider the change for the upcoming 2019 SKUSA ProTour.”
The process for drivers wishing to move up at the first Winter Series race will be at the discretion of the competitor, with the following important caveats:
SKUSA may overrule the move if the competitor is deemed to be a safety risk to themselves or fellow competitors.
Drivers may elect to revert to the previous race class if they choose, however championship points accrued in the higher class will be forfeited, and they will be expected to finish the championship in the lower division.
“We receive a lot of criticism — some of it justifiable,” explained SKUSA principal Tom Kutscher. “This is the case where financial incentive means little when contrasted against safety. We’re well aware many international sanctioning bodies follow this model, but our aversion has always been one of safety. There is an alarming push to have drivers move up well before many are physically or emotionally ready. It’s something we’re going to consider very carefully.”
For the 2019 SKUSA ProTour, SKUSA reserves the right to implement a waiver process based on meritocracy. However, for the trial program at the SKUSA Winter Series, the organization is allowing the decision to be that of the families.
“Eventually, I could see the process being one where only drivers with recognizable achievements being granted the exemptions,” elaborated Janowski. “Any driver who has proven themselves to be ready certainly deserves the opportunity. Winning marquee karting events or championships certainly takes the subjective nature out of the equation. And it lessens the probability of mom or dad moving their child up prematurely.
The SKUSA Winter Series 4 race championship kicks off the second weekend in January 11-13, 2019 at AMR Motorplex presented by MG Tires. More information, including online entry, is available by visiting https://www.superkartsusa.com/national/skusa-winter-series.html.