Your title for this post fits very well. altho its not just a new thing happening, the trend has been growing for at least the last decade.
Personally I guess I have reached “old fart” status, but thats not always a bad thing. I’ve always raced, starting with cars in the late 60’s. We started karting, first in ’83 with my wife, followed shortly by 2 kids. Both kids still do it today, mostly Road Racing. Wife and one son also race Snowmobiles in winter and have family business building small 4 stroke engines for the 120 classes. Sorry for the long intro, but theres a point. Karting is the only racing form I know of where the sport is not governed by one strong national org. Think about that, anyone can come in, start their own series, choose or limit the engines they want and run it anyhow they wish. Often of course this is controlled by a certain brand or limited to certain products I think we can all see the business reasons for something like this.
Ok big country, maybe thats not so bad, but heres what I think is missing.
First, In everything else we’ve been involved with, theres a limited set of classes or should I say engines used. There is restricted versions etc for kids but the choices are limited and they are stable. Easy enough to see the cost control of this, but theres a second part, and to me its what keeps karting from ever being a serious form of recognized racing. We have no single National Champions in anything we do. We have hundreds of them, every class, every series,every age group, every engine make, all have their own champions. I seriously doubt most of the best racers never face the rest of the champions.There is no one class where the best race.
Most other things we’ve been through offer a range of engine and class choices. Many racers never choose to go beyond the beginers or mid range level, but every race offers a National level where it has its pro class. Not everyone can simply enter these class, they are not cheap, most everything is modified, which is where the money comes from, and you have to qualify 16 – 20- 30 make the field, the rest come back next race and try to make it.
I know that sounds pretty harsh to many people, but its also why we have no big time sponsors or TV coverage, no money in our sport. Everytime someone is unhappy with something, they start a new series and everyone considers “their” series as the one that really counts, the others aren’t as good, or as tough.
Their is no one, major, Pro series in karting which is what would give us a true karting Champion.