I have mixed feelings about the 1010. I agree that the chassis rule has probably diminished numbers. A lot of people only keep their kids in Mini for a year (dumb, IMO) and don’t want to buy a new chassis for one year. But in Evo form the Mini engine has enough power that I think the 1010 is a lot safer than a cadet. A decent Evo Mini motor has 7 or 8 more hp than a Mini Rok or Mini Swift. It’s also a nice stepping stone from a cadet to a full size. The problem is most chassis manufacturers give very little thought to their 1010 design. We’ve been on a Nordix and it’s…not great. It’s nothing more than a stretched out cadet with ill-fitting body work from a full size chassis. It’s impossible to use workable front hubs that don’t cause the front wheel to jam the side pods in tight turns. We are constantly fighting for rear grip. We are testing a prototype chassis and hope to get a more tunable chassis.
In our region Mini has always been a stepchild class, but last year was actually the best numbers wise we’ve been in a while. Rotax nationals had more Minis than Micros, which never happens. In our region we see a lot of people move their kid up to Junior too early. That’s another reason you see small Mini fields, but big Junior fields with 2/3 of the kids 1.5 seconds off the pace.