This is a great topic with a lot of valid points made by both all that have commented. Steve is a major supporter of 4cycle and briggs racing in general and I can sense his urgency for someone to take advantage of the opportunity that is available for someone to take control and guide 4cycle sprint racing back to where it once was just 10-12 years ago when >40 entries was the norm in the majority of classes (mainly utilizing the flathead engine).
The main issue at hand is that the current formula for 4 cycle racing is not ideal. There is effectively no ladder system for a 4cycle sprint racer to make the proper progression from the club level to the regional and national level. This has partly been do to rules instability or undesirable packages at the national level. As a result clubs have come up with their own rules and engines and no longer follow WKA as has been stated. All of the local tracks in my area are guilty of this. They are mostly 4cycle based clubs and they follow their own rules. As a result, these tracks rarely see advancement of racers from the local level. In the past, countless racers came from these tracks and were very supportive and successful in the Gold Cup series. I am shocked to see how few racers now participate from Ohio.
Fortunately, I think with the addition of the LO 206 at many of the local tracks in Ohio, IN, and PA will help to get local tracks back in alignment as far as rules. However, I still know a track that encourages customers to not by a 206 and get a regular stock animal instead so they are unable to go to a surrounding track. This type of thought process is the ultimate problem. Too many rules that limit participation!
Go back to when the gold cup, or karting in general, was at it’s peak…..You could take your kart with a Yamaha or Briggs flathead on it and go race at any track or race you could imagine. You didn’t have to worry about if your package would be legal because of what tires, body, seat, wheels, or whatever else that organizations have found ways to mandate to their liking.
Back to the specific topic…David and Steve both make great points on the need to build 4cycle sprint karting outside the national level. The current structure at the national level looks very encouraging with the strong increase in entries the last year and a half with the Pro Gas classses. The next step is deciding on the best way to implement these classes below the national level. Again, the 206 is a start, but where do we go next? Do we wait for the 206 to reach its full potential and then push the pro gas?
Anyway, I have plenty more to say on the topic….to be continued.