Home Forums General Karting Discussion State of karting in USA Reply To: State of karting in USA


Darrin Tebbe

<span style=”color: #444444; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 21px; background-color: #efefef;”>Paul Hir Wrote: “I understand why people have positive things to say about a Briggs 206, it is a great engine very reliable. I do not understand why someone would go from a sealed class to pro gas and bypass the WF, which is essentially the same amount of maintenance as a 206 but more HP. Seems as though KT100 would better than going the Pro-Gas, it’s not going to be cheap to have an engine rebuilt to different specs.”</span>

From my point of view (having seen it first hand), the problem with World Formula (in WKA Gold Cup at least) is that it flopped when it was first introduced, mainly because engine builders had no interest in promoting it. One or two guys showed up with them, mainly just to score chassis and class championship points. The performance was great IMHO, and they never seemed to break. Back then the economy was much better, and racers were perfectly happy with their alky animals that required $400-$800 rebuilds every race or two. Once the economy took a dump, numbers were thinning and everyone was complaining about the cost. Steve Baker then came up with the Pro Gas concept, which was very controlled, yet left room for engine builders to do a little to try and win support from the engine builders. We have ran competitive in the junior division of Gold Cup (finished 2nd in points in 2014) with a pair of used Pro Gas rental engines we bought from Baker for $600 each. In 2014 we raced 4 national weekends, 14 local race weekends, and 4 or 5 test days splitting time between those two engines. I freshened each engine once during the year for a total of around $600 for both engines. Considering the performance level, I think that is an amazing deal considering the time we put on the engines.

Unless it’s changed, Baker will convert your LO206 engine to Pro Gas for around $500. And LO206 engines make really good Pro Gas engines, because the blocks are seasoned nicely so when you do the little machine work that is allowed, it tends to “stick”.

My point from the beginning is that it’s all about timing. If Briggs had introduced with the LO206 AND World Formula just before the clones were introduced I think we would all be racing on LO206 and WF. Briggs was reactionary with the LO206 concept, and thankfully it’s finally catching on. We raced the clones for 3-4 years and really came to hate it. It was luck of the draw to get a good one, and then towards the end cranks started breaking, sidecovers constantly came loose, it just seemed like it was a matter of time until your good engine got wasted.. (I do still have one good one though :) )

In the case of 4 cycle racing what needs to happen (and this is coming from someone who is a “4 cycle” guy) is the goofy bumper-car full bodies and laydown seats need to go away and everyone needs to get on karts that look the same (ala Canada). Our sport is just way too fragmented all around, and the “4 cycle” body work and laydown seats are really holding back 4 cycle sprint karting in the US right now.

On the 2 cycle side, the engine (and resulting class) of the month club is killing it, unless you are a big tent big $$ guy. $3500-$4000 for an engine is just too much if you have to buy a different one every year.

My .02