Dave Hosie, Hope you don’t think I’m picking on you but I will respectfully debate whether your statement of “The people we need to attract are the kids.” has legs.
IMO your assertion that once the kids get involved they will stay involved flies in the face of my personal experience. What I’ve seen is the kids get involved and by their mid-teens they either “move up” (I hate that term) to cars or lose interest and give it up.
Over the last 10 years I have tracked junior drivers in the successful KRA program at NCMP and here’s what I’ve seen. Starting with a field of kid karters (say 15 entries), only a modest percentage move up to the Jr. Sportsman (cadet?) level, from there the Jr. Sportsman drivers only seem to have well less than 30-35% move up to the Jr. Class. Then the Juniors move less than half to senior classes. End result over a 10 year period you may see 10-15% of the original group of kid karters spend any time in the senior divisions. Better than nothing for sure but nothing that I personally would want to pin the majority of my hopes on.
Again from my vantage point it seemed during the best years for growth in kart racing the Junior classes weren’t much more than an after thought. The founding fathers of our sport, (Art Ingels, Duffy Livingston, Gil Horstman etc.) focus was on the male demographic aging from mid 20s to mid 50s.
This group carried kart racing through the 60s, 70s, 80s and well into the 90s. Typically they were motorheads that had completed their education, established themselves in the work place and had a moderate amount of disposable income. They didn’t have stars in their eyes concerning a professional racing career, they just wanted to race hard, have fun and try to improve their craft. Those are the people that made a lifestyle out of kart racing and most of the juniors that did stick with the sport are their offspring.
Others may see it differently, that’s OK too, but I believe that a lot of the focus of the last 15+ years has been misguided.
Rapid Racing Inc.
Vintage B-Stock Pilot
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