This debate about how many classes there should be has been going on for long time and I’m sure will always go on. And the real reason it goes on is because there are two different types of karters. Those that want to win and those that want to have fun. And I think there is probably about equal amounts of both.
The reason there are so many classes is because the karters that want to win, want to have a far chance so ever engine or pipe combination needs it’s own class so it is theoretically a fair race. While these racers would love a big class they also don’t mind small class because a win is a win even if they only raced 2 other people. But if you combined all the classes together you might very well lose many of these racers because they wouldn’t feel it was fair to their package and they would stop coming and that is lost entry fees.
The second group of karters just wanting to have fun don’t care about winning but would rather just have someone to race, even if it is for 12th place. These karters don’t like all the classes but still come because there is still track time and maybe a battle on track to be had. The problem is that if there are too many classes than there is less chance of an on track battle to be had so in that case they might stop coming to the events. Again lost entries.
But if you look at the two options above I believe the possibility of lost entries fees is much larger if you went to fewer classes. I think there is greater chance of losing more racers if you went to fewer classes. So it seems like the more classes the better in this case. However that doesn’t seem to be working as numbers keep going down. That might be because of the times both for money reasons but also because of the culture that wants to win more and more and doesn’t know how to lose. So even if you have 48 classes there will still be a lot of people not winning. I don’t know why for sure.
So if this system isn’t working than maybe it needs to switch and get a larger percentage of karters that just want to have fun.
Roberts idea of classes is a nice possibility. My dad and I have also talked about more of a bracket racing method. You break karts into 6-8 classes. Sprint A,B,C and maybe D and Enduro A,B,C and maybe D. Any engines and body. With the great timing systems we now have you set times in practice and than are assigned into a speed based group. If during your race you have 3 laps faster than a certain percentage than your practice times than you move up to the next speed group the next race. This would prevent sand bagging. You might have a shifter racing a yamaha can but if their lap times are the same than I beat they could have a great battle. Organizers often break the karts into many groups because they are afraid of the speed differences. But In unlimited the lap times from fastest to slowest is often 30sec a lap. So why not have a slower superkart race a yahama laydown.
Than you race each group twice a day. Everyone could do 4 races in one kart during a weekend. There will not be many winners but if you are just looking for fun on track I’m sure you’ll find some racing to be had. And you won’t be annoyed by the guy not in your class getting in your way because everyone would be in your class on track. Going to a format like this would not be good for all the championships points races. It would only be for people to have fun and get track time.
So what we need to figure out is what is more important to more people. Doing well in your race or just having fun? Almost everyone will say having fun but if you post on FB about your trophy when there was only 3 karts in your class than you have to really think about whether the getting a good result is more important to you. There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone will think their idea is more important and the correct approach. But we need to find out which method will allow us to keep renting the tracks.
The money or new blood problems are a whole other issue to deal with. This post really only was thinking about the people who currently or whom have road raced in the past.