Patrick, I think we are all on our soap boxes a little. I would really like to see everyones attitude toward rough driving and racecraft change overnoght but it only takes a couple guys to spoil the whole batch of drivers. I have been around karting since 1994, and racing my entire life. my son has been karting now 3 years. We are moving to regional racing just now. In the lower age classes I can say that kids move up way too soon. They may be really fast but the racecraft, maturity and skills to be fast while being safe and in control are not there yet. That doesn’t stop parents, coaches, tuners etc from saying hey Joey is quick lets do PKC or Pro Tour or USPKS. Then that adds the pressure to the kid and the coaching to be tough and stand up for yourself, pass or be passed. All of that feeds into the poor racecraft. WE NEED TO KEEP DRIVERS AT LEVELS OF PROGRESSION LONGER. All us old guys say well it wasn’t that way when i was a kid or starting out but there wasn’t the choice of all the big show races either. people stayed at club and regional IKF (which was a group of a few clubs working together) longer. Everything is so results oriented now that is drives coaches and tuners to demand more so they don’t lose their clients. So do we demand a restructuring? or do we use video and push back bumpers etc? If I never hear the “rubbing is racing” line at the kart track again it will be too soon. Pat, There is my soapbox moment
I agree that people need to be ready before tackling national events. If you are not capable of a top ten then you should probably practice some more. But regarding your comment that younger kids move up way too fast, I don’t see any way around that. I will use my kid as an example. He raced kid karts. Man Cup had Nat’l kid kart racing from 2013 to 2016 for 5 to 8 yr olds. How can a kid train for 3 years before entering this? I think a parent just has to decide if they are ready or not. Now he has moved up to Micro. He’ll only get 2 seasons in micro before moving up to Mini where he’ll get another 2 seasons before moving up to Jr where he’ll get about 2 seasons. So there never is time to train for 3 years before entering into a nat’l series. You just need to get on the roller coaster and keep pushing. Right? The class structure does not allow for it.
Regarding the bumpers. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out. Replacing front bumpers has never been part of our maintenance between races so I am not worried about my kid beating on rear bumpers. I am typically calm around the track, I just am not sure how I’d handle losing an event because his bumper got popped in from some other kind of contact, like getting stuffed from behind at the start. I still prefer actual officiating to determine what was or wasn’t intentional contact, or at least use video review to overrule incidental contact.