United States Pro Kart Series: Race Director Post Race Bulletin – Texas GP 2023
USPKS is fresh off a very successful inaugural Texas GP held last weekend at Speedsportz Racing Park in New Caney, TX. The local support for this event was tremendous, and the USPKS competitors that traveled to TX were rewarded with a beautiful facility that provided some amazing racing. USPKS wishes to thank the Rudolph family for hosting us and for providing great hospitality to our families.
Beginning with this first installment, USPKS Race Director Blake Hunt will be publishing a post-race bulletin that addresses racing related items from each event. We encourage everyone to read this bulletin carefully, that all may have a better understanding of why certain things are and aren’t done, when it comes to officiating these big events. This bulletin also contains the official disciplinary actions being taken by the series to address inappropriate driving behavior.
Official Bulletin From The Race Director
Overall, the opening two rounds of the USPKS have gone smoothly. There were very few red flags across both weekends, and I think that’s a testament to an increased level of respect displayed on the racetrack in most classes. However, there are six topics that I’d like to address as we head to New Castle:
- We clarified our rulebook preceding the Texas round, and any driver found trying to reposition a pushed back bumper will be excluded from the remainder of the weekend. We had to enforce this rule in multiple instances this past weekend, and it will continue to be applied consistently to any and all competitors found in violation.
- Building on the new bumper rule, I would like to reiterate that it is every competitor’s responsibility to know the rules. We go over the highlights at the driver’s meeting, but it is your job to know the rules. In the cadet classes, this burden falls on the parents to ensure their drivers know the rules. Not knowing a rule is not an excuse for violating it.
- The front bumper is not a tool for passing. At Orlando I was informed by a driver that another national level series has modified their policy to allow for the use of the front bumper in an overtake. I want it to be clear that this is NOT acceptable in USPKS competition and will result in a penalty.
- The level of respect that has been shown for other drivers in X30 Senior will not be tolerated, both in terms of racecraft and safety. This is a pro class, I trust moving forward that the drivers will learn to conduct themselves as such.
- Defaming the series on social media is uncalled for, unprofessional, and unacceptable. We offer many channels through which to contact us directly with concerns, and are more than willing to talk to anyone about any concerns they might have and what options we will employ moving forward to address them.
- Parents: Your actions can directly impact your child’s results. Your actions can get them DQ’ed as a member of their crew. We had multiple instances in Texas where parents were accused of engaging in profanity and threatening actions towards drivers in the scale line as well as with one another. If you are caught doing this, you will be removed from the event and banned from the series indefinitely. If you have a problem with another driver/parent, come to an official and I will personally hear your complaint and have a word with the other party if warranted. Do not risk your child’s participation in the series through your actions.
In light of the events of the Orlando weekend, the following individuals were placed on probation (as per USPKS Rule 101.18) for the remainder of the season in the eyes of the USPKS, meaning that further egregious action will result in a ban for the remainder of the season at minimum:
Ryan Norberg – Failure to leave sufficient space, leading to a major incident (See USPKS Rule 101.15)
Zachary Claman-DeMelo – Threatening a competitor (See USPKS Rule 101.14)
Diego Ramos – Repositioning a bumper in the scale line (Prior to modification of the rulebook) (See USPKS Rule 302.14.6)
Alessandro De Tullio – Repositioning a bumper in the scale line (Prior to modification of the rulebook) (See USPKS Rule 302.14.6)
Roman Hanes – Defamation of the series on social media (See USPKS Rule 101.9)
During the Texas round, a driver who had been informed multiple times they were on probation proceeded to commit an infraction against the same driver involved in their initial probation. This series does not operate in a vacuum, and when this driver’s actions across the opening two rounds are viewed in conjunction with actions at other series and one-off events, it leaves us no option but to take more severe action. His conduct this weekend was part of a pattern of blatant disrespect for the rules, the sport, and competitors both on-and-off track. All these factors being considered, we have moved to ban Zachary Claman-DeMelo from USPKS events for one-year, beginning May 1st, 2023. In accordance with the Mutual Enforcement Policy, this also precludes him from attending any Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) or ROK Cup USA event during that same time period.
We hope addressing these issues publicly will give the entire paddock an opportunity to consider their actions moving forward in order to create a safer and more competitive environment both on and off the track. We will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard in terms of officiating, tech, and other duties, in order to provide the best platform upon which to compete in our country.
Below you can find a table clarifying the penalties the race directing team has at their disposal, along with how we apply them:
|Avoidable Contact||3 or 5 positions; placement behind the offended competitor||Using the front bumper to move a competitor off-line and complete a pass; not leaving sufficient space for a driver who is or is almost fully alongside on the exit of a corner|
|Blocking||3 or 5 positions||Making more than one move to defend from a kart behind|
|Swerving||5 or 15 positions; Unsportsmanlike DQ||Moving towards a competitor down the straight who already has their front bumper up to the rear wheel of the leading kart, if contact is made this will be 15 positions|
|Retaliation||15 positions||Taking retributory and aggressive action against a driver who has wronged them|
|Track Cutting||5 positions||Going 4 wheels off to shorten the track (The inside edge of the curb is defined as the edge of the track)|
|Tram Line Violation||3 seconds||Exiting the tram lines prior to the green flag being displayed|