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.