I’m not sure that growth you’re hoping for would occur. The Rock Island Grand Prix has promoted a Pro Open class for the last couple of years and the participation has been disappointing to say the least. They only drew seven entries last year.
I think it comes down to the fact that people really approach karting a little differently than they did back in the 80s and 90s. And it’s not that people are ignoring innovation, the focus has been put more on the driving experience due to escalating costs of the open formulas.
I believe it also involves the overall mindset of today’s youth. There is a definite lack of desire and commitment to improve oneself. If you’re not winning, you quit. If you’re not in the championship chase, skip the final races. Man, I never thought of doing that. I ran every race in the series to battle for fourth in points, or seventh or tenth, whatever it was – no one stopped running. I think the growth of the RIGP Pro Open deal was tough in the early going because no one thought they could beat the tandem of Haddock and Giessen. In the 70s and 80s, I’d be willing to bet that karters would work their asses off to try to beat Haddock, not throw in the towel.
Well, you mention that putting the UAS rules on asphalt would do the trick…you’re going to find out. Rock Island’s Pro Open class is running under UAS rules. Only time will tell.
Rob Howden - eKartingNews.com Publisher / Editor - @RobHowden