Home Forums General Karting Discussion Bumpers or No Bumpers, That is the Question Reply To: Bumpers or No Bumpers, That is the Question

Rob Kozakowski

Over-complicated.  Too expensive.  While it arguably “solves” one problem, it creates two new problems.  Etc…

The reality is that “some” amount of contact has always existed in kart racing.  And that contact can probably best be classified as either “incidental” = the innocent bump when a driver in front makes a mistake and bogs out of a corner and the guy behind has nowhere to go, or the unintended contact that simply results from close racing like we see in karts = it is accepted, no harm, no foul; or “intentional” = the guy from behind attempting the divebomb pass or just ramming the guy in front out of the way = the stuff that should be punished.

In the old days, pre-bodywork, it was pretty easy to differentiate between “incidental” and “intentional” contact.  And it was rare to see the “intentional” contact because you were likely to get yourself hurt if you initiated it.

As we’ve added more and more plastic, it’s become more difficult to differentiate between the “incidental” and the “intentional” contact, with a further problem being that the initiator of the “intentional” contact was no longer afraid of the consequences of doing so.

While this new front bumper will punish the “intentional” contact, it’s also now punishing the “incidental” contact, as well as punishing the innocent guy who gets intentionally break-checked.

It encourages the lead driver to drive a very “defensive” line (to block) because any contact will automatically result in a penalty to the driver behind if his bumper becomes dislodged.

It discourages legitimate passing attempts from being made in the fear that the guy in front will chop down on you and penalize you for having a dislodged bumper.

At the “real” top levels (Lammers, Fore, Lennox, etc.) the guys race so clean that when the “intentional” contact occurs, it is easy to spot, and the real solution would simply be to punish that as it happens.

Unfortunately, this new front bumper might solve a problem that exists at the mid-pack and less-than-elite level, while creating a problem where none existed before at the elite level.

If you can’t see the issues with this “solution”, I don’t know if you really understand kart racing.