Home Forums Road Racing Can RRing survive without the clubs?

This topic contains 107 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Larry Dobbs 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #11401

    Jeff Mott
    Participant

    Just found out that the SKC wont be hosting races at Roebling Road anymore due to financial losses.  At the IKF Grand Nationals last week the Portland Kart Club also lost money. Of course this is because of the diminishing number of road racing karters. Is it time for the IKF and WKA to set up a national schedule and take the financial risk?  What else do you think can be done to keep this unique and exciting racing alive?

  • #11687

    Austin Henry
    Participant

    I find it amusing when people make these posts and leave out KART. Road Racing in KART it doing quite well.

    Austin Henry

  • #11692

    Jim White
    Participant

    It is good that KART is doing well. They seem to be the only one. Aside from them road racing is dying a slow expensive death. How do we as road racers stop the trend?

     

  • #11752

    Gerry MCN
    Participant

    Pretty hard to turn the tide if the simple fact is people are finding it hard to afford the costs, price of fuel alone to travel to events other then a very local race is getting huge.

     

  • #11755

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    Oh no I did something again didn’t I… I’m sorry for what I did and whatever I might do next.  ;-)

  • #11758

    Jeff DeMello
    Participant

    Your forgiving Chris.  ;-)

     

  • #11761

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    I find it amusing when people make these posts and leave out KART. Road Racing in KART it doing quite well.

    KART needs help as well. Looking at the 2013 points totals to date the largest class all year was Briggs Animal Sportsman with 14 in class at Lake Afton, 14’s not killing it by any means. Probably paying the bills and coming out a little ahead but it won’t be long and track rental fees will rise hurting the program. Tracks are starting to look at not just rental but how much fuel they can sell to groups. In other words they want to sell you the track plus 500 gallons of gas to your runners which is easy with big cars but us we don’t do much in that area. Better track days will go to clubs that rent and burn. It’s a tough situation.

    I can see the US moving to 3 or 4 events a year in each region hoping to draw those of us left and going the extra mile to attract the sprint side as a new thing. The only other hope is that a group like SKUSA finds a reason to throw in a big track race which I doubt would happen. I don’t know if the old IKF or WKA label helps sell races anymore, sometimes it’s better to relabel and push it off as a new program.

  • #11766

    Austin Henry
    Participant

    Chris,

    You sure to know a lot about KART for never racing with us.  Good thing for us is half of our races are on natural road courses, so track rental fees do not affect us as much.  We have a great group of racers and do not require 300+ entries per weekend to pay our bills.  KART was formed to get away from IKF, maybe IKF should pay more attention to what we are doing.  We take care of our racers, create class structures that support what is in the area, all of are classes are sponsored (series and national classes).  All of karting is a slump right now and it comes down to cost in my opinion.  When I raced SKUSA there were people spending 120K+ to race shifter karts, heck for that money we can be racing cars.

    Those of you who dream of a national road racing series, keep dreaming!  If you cant afford to race in your own back yard, how can you race halfway across the country!  Plus the politics would never allow it (we all know this).

    In my opinion KART works because we have the best members of any organization, we all work together to promote and put on races.  We are all involved in rule changes (that dont happen every year), we have relitivly low cost, high quality venues to race at, and we base our class structtre around our racers, we dont need 70 classes in the “hope” that people will come race “once ina  while”.  With that being said, we have had groups ask us to add classes such as Jr sportsman 1 and B-stock, we gladley did but the support from these groups was great, 10-20+ racers show up and we have a great class with great racing.  Also when KART racers travel to other series they are usally up front, so its even greater we have top notch racers as well.

    Austin Henry

  • #11795

    Peter Zambos
    Participant

    I can’t speak to what happens everywhere else, because I do all my racing in the midwest.  I’ve raced with KART in the past, when CES held joint events, and, from my perspective, were a joy to race with.

    To the point, however, when it comes to my part of the country, what has hurt the sustainability of road racing is a lack of interaction between the local tracks/clubs and the regional road racing.  So, my answer to the question posed is no, road racing cannot survive without the clubs.  Karters, almost invariably, start at the sprint level (as they should) and then get introduced to road racing at some point, hopefully.  If there’s no interaction between the clubs and road racing, there’s no one to replace the inevitable drop outs when karters retire, have kids, get divorced, lose employment, etc.

    The national series that comes through my neck of the woods has certainly done nothing to foster growth in participation, and, arguably, has actually harmed it.  I’ll stick with having a regional series run by people who actually know what karters in my region want

  • #11800

    Lyle Clark
    Participant

    I think the main reason for much of the falling of road racing is the cost of the top tier tracks. Those facilities can get what they want and don’t have to work with clubs if they don’t want to. Because of these high costs, the clubs have to charge each entry more. Parking lot events and purpose built sprint tracks can absorb costs a lot better.

    KART is a great group, but 4 of their 7 races are at parks where the rental is WAY less than the other tracks. This helps offset the top tier tracks.  Not a dig against KART at all, they are making it work. SWRA had Oakhill to help offset costs, but when Oakhill went away and those promoters started losing big money, SWRA went away.

    Not sure what the answer is except to try to model after KART, and get back to the roots of road racing.

     

     

    Lyle

  • #11804

    Thom Andresen
    Participant

    Jeff, SKC is going to continue our series next year, we may be down but not out.

  • #11810

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    +1 Lyle

  • #11813

    bo rougeou
    Participant

     

     

     

    As a business man I can’t see the point of the large tracks.  They should want someone doing something at their track every weekend.  The bills for the track go on whether anyone uses it or not.

     

     

    Barber in B’ham is rumored to want the karts because they want the business.

    If I had a jillion dollar track, I would book anyone who could come in and help me break even.

    You can’t book NASCAR every weekend

  • #11816

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Bo, you are correct.

    But the ability to buy Insurance rules.

  • #11817

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    To answer the question “Can RR survive without the clubs”??   If we are talking about the “local” club, YES, I do this myself.  I don’t have members like the old days where members came out and volunteered to flag, do scales, tech, etc..   The events I promote these days, I have to pay people to put on the event.  Would I rather have a club who has enough “volunteers”  to help put the race on, HELL YES!!!  In my area, we used to have a local sprint track that our sprint racers came to the RR track and volunteered and our RR’s went to the sprint track and volunteered, that is gone at least where I am at. Now, we have only the RR racers and we need them to race vs help so this is why I have to pay people to flag, kart pick up, etc.. . Yes, some of the racers do still help (pre-tech, post-tech) but want to race also.

    As for organizations (IKF,WKA,KART), are they needed?? In my opinion YES. Are any of these perfect, NO!!! Having a organization such as them is important as they are the ones who do a lot of the behind the back work (would have to be there to fully understand). I know this as I have been a past IKF director and today still a big HELPING HAND for any of the organizations when called upon. 

    I have said it many times, I don’t really care who the name is at the top of the event, I JUST WANT TO RACE!!! Anytime my family can go somewhere else and race, we will. BUT, we are sure to support our own area races first!!!

    As for KART, it is like any organization. It takes the right leaders, racers, etc to make it happen. As I said above, are they perfect NO. BUT, since I have been involved with other organizations rather it be just giving them input when they call or e-mail me on certain things, KART does listen to there racers better. I will say that one of KART’s biggest advantages is having the number of races (7-8) in a local area that racers can attend, is awesome. How many RR racers can say that they can drive to 7-8 events under 5 – hours??  This could be more if our weather was better. KART runs from late April to mid October as where there are other parts of the country could run year round.

    As for numbers, yes KART numbers are lower then in the past, but who’s isn’t?? It’s not so much as getting new racers (always could use more) but, it is keeping those who do/have raced in is tough. Economy, jobs, kids, etc is always going to be a issue no matter where we race at with this.

    Number of classes is always a discussion no matter where you are. I see no reason some club/organization should base what to run off someone who doesn’t race in there area. If what you have works (pays the bills, racers are happy, had a good event, etc), then be it!!! I believe all clubs/organization have to do what they need to do to be successful and they are the ones that should know not someone who just get’s on forums and talks and doesn’t go to there events.

    Chris,

    I’m not hear to speak negative against any organization. For the record, KART was formed in 1994 and started racing in 1995 and still is in the green even after many felt (hopped) KART would die within a few years after starting up. KART must be doing something right if other organizations are calling them wanting to have joint NATIONAL races!!!

    So, in a nut shell!!!  If a event has you a place(s) to race and you can afford to go, THEN GO!!!  Let’s face it, all the major organization rules are pretty dam close to each other so this should not be a issue of attending.  We have had to make MINOR changes when we got somewhere but, we did it because we want to race!!!!!! LESS TALK AND MORE ACTION (attend races) does more for our FUN HOBBY!!!

    Let’s go racn,

    THE MAN

  • #11822

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    To answer the question, no.

    Is it time for a national series? Of course not. If local racers can’t support their local program, how is a national schedule going to survive.

    Should IKF and WKA take financial risk? I’m guessing they are not making money off road races.

    If you recall, we wrote an article, basically begging and pleading that things change in road racing or it would be extinct. Well, nothing has changed. WKA still hosts seven races a year, when less than 1% can make all seven. IKF tried another Grand Nationals, and it was just another regional race. KART, they keep plugging along and as noted, don’t have the large financial facilities aside from their Grand Nationals.

    New racers is the key. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of convincing to get a newbie to a road race, let alone a sprint race. And if you look at the numbers, the majority of new racers are between the ages of 5-15. Once they hit 18, it’s off to college or on their own for racing, so we loose racers there. Road racing needs to focus on drivers 35 and older, gear-heads with disposable income and love speed.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #11834

    Gene Davis
    Participant

    I agree with Mr. Cole. Road Racing needs the clubs to survive.

    Let me put on my Dart Kart hat for a minute. I have been treasurer of DKC for 26 years. It has been along time since it “only” cost $40,000 to put on a race there. DKC had the opportunity to race 3 times at Mid Ohio in 2013. We declined the other 2 events because they were close to other events at nearby tracks. We stopped racing at Putnam because we just could not get enough people to cover the bills.

    Let me put my WKA hat on. WKA does make money on the Road Racing series. As with all the other series within WKA they all work together to pay the bills. Some races make more than others, thats the cost of doing business. Can WKA take over the national series? The answer is no. They do not have the people to staff the events.

    Now for just my opinion. Cutting classes is not the answer. When I am doing the budget for DKC I look at how many karts we need on the track for each time slot to pay the bills. If WKA was to cut the classes to lets say 10 from 42 what is going to make up for the loss of entries. Clubs will have to offer more local option classes to fill the void. That saves the clubs no money. The clubs still have to buy awards for the classes be it a local option class or a national class. By leaving the number of national classes where it is allows the rules to be the same from track to track so that the people that want to travel know what is what from one track to the next.

    WKA hat again– We are working on a total revamping of the way the national program works for Road Race. Originally we were going to roll it out in 2015 but we are working hard on getting it ready for 2014. Right now all the energy at WKA is being spent on getting the Tech manual to the printers. Once that is finished we will tackle the Road Race changes and see if we can roll it out in 2014.

    Thanks for listening.

    Gene

  • #11836

    Debbie Kuntze
    Participant

    I can honestly say that RR does not survive without the local club.

    Here in So Cal- RR tracks got expensive, so much fragmentation (here was almost a sprint track within 30 miles of anyone’s home popping up), busy lives = less volunteers to put on the event.

    SCK closed up in 2007 and there is no road racing in So Cal-unless NCK comes down to Buttonwillow or Willow Springs and that is once or twice a year only

  • #11837

    Gene Davis
    Participant

    Just thought of something else. I understand and agree 100% that all karts in Road Race should have a dual braking system for safety reasons. That decision has cost the clubs alot of entries. Local short track sprinters used to come to the “big” track once a year to race. Many of them got hooked at that point. Now since they would have to change the braking system on their kart that just don’t come.

    I am open to any suggestion that can help Road Race.

    Gene

  • #11840

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Just thought of something else. I understand and agree 100% that all karts in Road Race should have a dual braking system for safety reasons. That decision has cost the clubs alot of entries. Local short track sprinters used to come to the “big” track once a year to race. Many of them got hooked at that point. Now since they would have to change the braking system on their kart that just don’t come. I am open to any suggestion that can help Road Race. Gene

    I agree Gene that the rule has hurt road racing in WKA. The ‘boom’ of TaG could have moved over into road racing, but it was stopped when racers were told to spend more money to go on the big tracks. Had the rule came in as a ‘suggestion’ rather than a ‘must’, I personally feel it would have been better.

    But like I said before, it would not have completely saved road racing. We still need to reduce the number of races a year, to help promote those major events that we still do have, and focus on building the regional programs.

    4 – WKA Nationals a year – each hosted by a club (DKC, Woodbridge, Southern Kart Club)

    3 to 5 regional events a year for each area – Midwest (CES), Northeast (Woodbridge), and SKC

    You don’t need any more than that.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #11850

    Randy Pierson
    Participant

    The 51 shifters on the grid at Blackhawk in Aug. and the 39 shifters at the last race at Gingerman tells me that CES is turning a corner. It was epic….

  • #11859

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    The 51 shifters on the grid at Blackhawk in Aug. and the 39 shifters at the last race at Gingerman tells me that CES is turning a corner. It was epic….

    Randy, I agree with you that what CES is doing for the Shifter and TaG program has been great. People are pooling together to come race certain races, and that is why we need to limit the number of races we have in a year. I hope the Michigan events don’t fall on work weekends in 2014 ;-)

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #11884

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Mike, IMO, there is no reason for Man. Cup to require dual brake system. 1) Karts don’t come that way, thus it’s an added expense. 2) There is no need for dual brake systems at sprint tracks.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #11921

    Mike Arnold
    Participant

    David,

    Generally speaking Sprint TAG’s may not need front brakes but without front brakes they can’t cross over to RR.  If the karts are legal for both series then we can get the same kart legal for both series like the shifter karts are.  I don’t think we want to allow single brake system karts for RR.  As I said before there will be complaints about cost in the beginning but if this takes effect 5 yrs from now nobody will remember and it will be a normal part of the karting.  I don’t like the sound of this after re-reading it but I believe it would be best for karting in the long run.  It won’t be popular for sure.  But if you are a racer and you have the opportunity now to try RR then with this rule it would not be a negative as is now TAG racers are not going to spend the $ just so they enter 1 race per year so they never try it to see if they like it.  If we can find another way to allow TAG’s kart to try RR without going in this direction without worries about safety then we should go that route instead.

    Consider Shifter karts –  Should they have to have Front brakes for sprint tracks?  Because they do have them now you can use this kart in any series.  This makes it easy for these racers to race anywhere they like without many changes to their karts.  I am sure when the front brakes came out from them there were similiar cost concerns and complaints and fast forward to now it is not an issue and is a nice piece of mind to have this safety feature.

     

    PS:  I love being at the track with your Dad….he’s a hoot!

     

    Mike

  • #11925

    George Sunderland
    Participant

    Answer to question:  No.

     

    Larry, I like your idea.  Also, $30 pit passes are killing any chance of getting the curious coming out to check us out which = no new blood.  I can go to the Crofton dragstrip here for $7 and roam the pits all day and night. If a guy wants to bring his son just to see what road race karting is all about, its $60.  Just to check it out.   Also, we used to have a junior enduro class.  Much of the downturn started about the same time that class died.  Some fans become participants.  But forget about fans unless its REAL cheap,  Look at NASCAR .  They can’t buy enough banners to cover the empty seats.  I’m convinced the key is to combine road races with other group’s events.   Reach out to boy scouts and other groups to  host regional pinewood derby championships at our races, etc.  Invite local car clubs.  Etc.  Since many guys take Thursday and Friday off anyways, what about races on Monday and Tuesday with Sunday as drive down day?  At some venues, rent is a LOT cheaper………

  • #11927

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    Let me clarify something as I am taking that people feel I don’t believe that we need clubs. That is not what I meant. I was talking of “CLUBS” that have members who come out and help. Some clubs have that, MKA doesn’t.  I do have people who come and work for me but are not a member of MKA. Rather it be a club or an individual like myself, you have to have funds to promote a event with or without members.

     

  • #11942

    bo rougeou
    Participant

    I’m sorry I didn’t answer the question.  No.

    But the clubs need to be more of a benevolent oligarchy than a democracy.  Find someone who wants and will do the work and let them do it.

    Partnerships with another race is a great idea, done at Barber with moderate success but messed up by rainy weather on the scheduled weekend.

    We should race at the new Indy race on the weekend that the new roadrace runs.

     

  • #11952

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    To answer the posed question:  

    Clubs first, then Sanctioning entities.

  • #11953

    George Sunderland
    Participant

    Doesn’t hurt to try I guess but running as an opener for a mainstream series is not likely.  Years ago, Jacumin ran us before the Busch races at Rockingham and Ron Skeen was very successful organizing the B-stocks at a number of CART races.  I loved those events.  It was so cool running in front of packed grandstands at the Rock.  But this is a different day.  Now each of those series have their own struggling step ladder series.  Indy Lights, NASCAR Trucks, ARCA, ASA, etc.  All would take precedent over us.  A better bet I think is to join with other grassroots orgs like the lawnmower guys or barstool racers or drifters .

  • #11977

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    Front brakes in tag are not required in IKF rr but they are recommended. I’m going by memory but I think that’s correct. We run karts with and without together without problems. I prefer with but that’s me.

  • #11988

    Gene Davis
    Participant

    Morgan- You don’t need front wheel brakes on your TaG to run WKA road race events.

    Gene

  • #12037

    Mike Arnold
    Participant

    The issue that Randy described is what needs to be addressed concerning TAG karts.  I thought it was required to have front brakes but Gene corrected me in that dual systems are required and not brakes themselves.

    How can we compromise and have a TAG karts with approved systems for all series?  Either not required and allow into RR or require for Man Cup?   If this can be addressed RR will grow!!  For Morgan and Randy it was a hindrance that almost stopped them from RR and I guess it does stop most people.  We must address this ASAP.

    Gene, can the WKA RR committee add this as an agenda item and work with Man Cup people for a solution?  I guess we should not limit this just to WKA though, does anyone else have any ideas?

     

    Mike

  • #12038

    Peter Zambos
    Participant

    The brake redundancy may make the class less of a risk to the underwriter of their insurance, thus keeping down cost to the org as well as their risk. If this is the case, it would be better if they talked directly with other orgs to find out how they approach the issue.

  • #12087

    Jeff Salak
    Participant

    You will never get Road racing to grow if you keep Leopard only. Its helped kill Tag class in WKA and those who follow this rule.

    Run all Tag engines together. Have a Tag Sr and Tag Masters class run in same race with a 15 sec gap at start. Then have a Tag heavy race later in day at Masters weight. Can run twice a day everyone with no issues of this engine or that engine. Leave it to the sprint series to wine about the engine that best for this track ect. I just want to race with large fields!

    Duel brake is what its worth, I run front brakes as I buy a shifter chassis to run Tag.

  • #12161

    Allan Dawson
    Participant

    I raced at the Roebling Road event last weekend in Savannah.   During the  Southern Kart Club dinner Saturday night, the dire state of club finances was discussed.   A number of possible solutions were discussed to help turn things around, which included the following……

    –  increasing Club membership yearly dues from $35 to $100

    –  actively solicit Sponsors

    –  reduce cost on trophy/plaque expense

    A club member called on a Doctor who works Trauma at NASCAR events and has raced at Roebling Road with Southern Kart Club. The call was well received  and the Doctor agreed to a $ contribution.

    A collection was taken up among club members and Racers after Sundays mornings Driver Meeting.  Well over $1000 was taken in.  I know this is not enough to  put the Club on firm financial ground, but it’s a start.

    Allan Dawson

    Southern Kart Club Member

  • #12176

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    George, your input is a breath of fresh air.

    Points taken.

    Especially liked are your Commuter Information Boards maybe operated by Sanctioning bodies.

    How about ‘ekartingnews’ doing it as a new Section, Dave?

    If the equipment were not already in Denton Texas, I would not even be thinking of participating at their LSGP 500, so Local Storage for roadracers could definitely be a bonus compared to trailering (etc.).

    However, RR needs a re-birth for 2014, so no time to waste.

    • #12507

      bo rougeou
      Participant

      So..All this being said, what can you do to entice racers to come and roadrace?

      It appears obvious that getting the ‘good’ tracks will bring them out of the woodwork, but how do we(meaning you promoters) get the ‘good’ tracks to come off their highhorse and negotiate?

      We have two roadcourses in LA.  One the racers won’t come to because its rough and in the boondocks.  The other is new and smooth but turns a cold shoulder to karts.

      Money is the only thing that matters?

  • #12191

    James McMahon
    Participant

    I’ve only skimmed though the thread, but I’ll leave these nuggets..

    As drivers we need to forget WKA for Road Racing. Seriously.  For more reasons than I can count. Too much BS, too much hierarchy. At this point, I could care less about their involvement in the past. Their legacy with RR  is great but the road ahead, based on their rules and general attitude towards RR says to me they don’t deserve the support of drivers. Multi event “national” championships are a thing of the past, maybe (distant) future but not the sustainable present.
    A lot of events need to drop the “National” monkier, its tired, old and pathetic.

    For-Profit/Non-Profit has little to do with making money. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.

    Higher entry fees are a feasible and legitimate damage limitation measure if the drivers dedicated to the event or series are onboard with it. If handled correctly it won’t be perceived as gauging.

    Resource pooling is a must. When the USKGP @ COTA was announced I did some research into tools that could be used to help facilitate ride/transport sharing. It’s something that I have shelved for phase 1 for kartpulse.com, but it may move up the order for phase 2 if there is enough interest.

    Road racing is viewed as “dangerous” by many sprinters. I don’t share that view however perception = reality. Until this perception changes, RR will be in the minority.

    As drivers we need to get together, reach a consensus and call the shots.  Recent history has told me that getting the organizers of the various events on the same page in a collaborative manner is not going to happen.  So, drivers need to group together and take the reins (sp?). We need to vote with our feet in a pre-emptive and public manner. I’m struggling to articulate what I’m thinking of here, but hopefully you will get the idea. In essence some clubs/orgs aren’t getting it and we need to lead the way by supporting orgs, rules and schedules that make sense.

    More incoherent ramblings to follow.

  • #12269

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    PLEASE don’t take this wrong, just asking a few questions to those posting here. I’m not here to say I agree or disagree with statements posted, just a promoter, supporter, racer with a family of 4 who loves road racing.

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.

    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc.  gets insurance ??

    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event??

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??

    5) What area of the country??

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Does CES have a board (not sure).

    As someone who has/is heavily involved in the questions above, I’m interested to hear what others have to comment on these questions. I am even willing to tell my answers.

    Thanks,

    Kelly

     

  • #12286

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    1) I used to, as you know, with the Mid-States Super Series

    2) Not sure what your asking here

    3) Never dealt with the Insurance portion of promoting the event, just everything else

    4) 2 if I’m lucky

    5) Michigan

    6) Michigan Kart Club board member, Mid-States Super Series coordinator up to 2004.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #12299

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    David,

    As one who knows you and has been involved with you in joint races (OUCH!!!), you have a pretty good understanding on all the work it takes to put a race on. Just checking to see who else understands. A lot has to happen way before & after a event.  I know for a fact a lot of people don’t/didn’t know until they were told about what it takes to promote an event. A few years back I tried to get someone to take over Afton but once they found out it was more then just showing up to be the race director, they lost interest quickly.

    It amazes me when I have people post, PM, e-mail or call me to tell me how we (KART) need to run our events and they have never been here and may not ever. Do we run local option classes, yes. Do we have 500+ entries, NO. Do the bills get paid, have enough classes, simple rules, have great events, top notch drivers,YES YES YES!!!  You add up the entries from the IKF and the KART nationals, you will see that KART had more entries with fewer classes. IKF or KART has never matched up to WKA events. Since being a kid, I always believed that over East there was more racers then anywhere else no matter what form of racing there was. Not sure they don’t have big numbers for turtle racingn!! haha. Big numbers are nice but can be a headache.

    As I told Bernie who is working on this COTA thing for 2014 (yet to hear back from him on the status), don’t take what is posted as a SURE THING that they are coming as when you look back from the event he put on @ HPT, there were several who said they were coming and didn’t.  NO ONE needs to take a lost let alone a major loss !!

    On #2, I am asking if people know how the insurance companies covers us by. In a nut shell, they cover what is in that organization’s rule book.   This help?? Underwriters just don’t cover my event due to me paying some fee, they have rules also.

    As for the politics, even though clubs have a lot on there plate, the national organizations have more to deal with due to that they have to deal with more racers across there entire membership. Just seeing who has been involved with it.

  • #12306

    James McMahon
    Participant

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.

    I haven’t “done it all”, but I’ve been heavily involved with the promotion, tech\comms, timing\scoring and points aspects of CES with Dave. Enough to remind me of what I already knew, organizing these events is an absolutely colossal effort. This is one reason why it irks me when people bring profit into this. For the work thats done to get these events going, as drivers we should be OK with people making money from this when/if they can.
    On that path, I’ve been developing ideas and tools to use technology and the web to make things more efficient leading up to and during a race weekend. A lot done but still a lot more to do. This is also something I’d like to see kartpulse take the lead on: tooling race organizers for success.


    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ??

    Im no expert on the matter, but I know enough to understand there is a lot of BS talked about it and I feel it’s often used by some orgs as an excuse/scapegoat for things they would rather not deal with. So they say its an “insurance thing”

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??
    4-5 depending on schedule, budget, whos running it and where its being run. I try to throw a couple of sprints in if I can.

    5) What area of the country??
    Midwest unless I have a compelling reason to spend the extra dough to make a trip elsewhere (example USKGP)

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Does CES have a board (not sure).
    CES don’t have a board perse. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to read into it. So far, its working IMO. Dave runs a pretty accommodating series.

  • #12307

    George Sunderland
    Participant

    Have I organized a race before?  Not a road race but a street race.  I organized and directed 2 street races in Steadman, NC. The most work was presenting plans to and persuading the town council. Part-time police chief was the worst.   Fortunately, the streets were free.  We ran 3 classes: juniors,4 stroke and 2 stroke.  Rules were on 5 sheets of paper I wrote with my old man.  Insurance was through AMA.  Everybody had to join AMA to get the insurance but at least it was cheap and we got a cool magazine for a year along with other AMA benefits (more recently a few years back I know one of Rob Lawson’s f125 events at BeaverRun used AMA insurance which seemed to work well). We had a crash (no serious injuries) and the town council got scared so it ended after 2 events.  Had about 150 entries total which wasn’t bad and paid the bills which were small (volunteer EMT worked for free).

    I’ve served on several boards over the years.  Usually they start with tons of ideas but the passion quickly dies before any of those ideas are implemented.   Politics?  Yeah, no fun.  The thing I hate is if you are an organizer, you pretty much can’t race yourself.  Also need to keep distance from friends for fear of favoritism accusations. d

    I admire anyone and everyone who organizes an type of race.  It is thankless.  Once upon a time, folks who did it well could make a pretty good profit.  Those days are long gone.  Can it be done better?  Sure.  Success is easily measured by turnout plain and simple.

  • #12309

    Debbie Kuntze
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”></div>
    . 1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.  Oh God yes-Fontana for SCK (and other events for SCK) and USKGP

    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ?? Yup-quite a bit as well as clarifying for the insurance co.

    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event?? Same asnswer really as 2

    4) How many RR events do you attend a year?? Unfortunately with economy it is dwindling. only 2 this year so far but as a mechanic since I retired from racing.

    5) What area of the country?? So Cal mostly

    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)?? Yup- still active on committee for RR

  • #12490

    Jim White
    Participant

    Kelly as for actually getting tracks insured NCK has to do the same thing every year to get the tracks approved. Pictures, forms, etc. It’s not bad doing an already approved track. I don’t actually do it myself but am kept informed by our board member who does do it.

    The insurance itself is a secondary coverage and picks up what the injured’s regular insurance doesn’t (up to certain limits). I believe it also covers the club in case of suit.

  • #12499

    Roger Miller
    Participant

    To be clear, event insurance has two parts:

    Liability – which covers the facility, the club/promoter, the participants, the landowner, etc etc.

    Consider a car goes out of control and mows down 10 people,  Lawyers are gonna go after everyone as being liable.  So, it is usually 5 or 10 Million coverage

    Then, there is a secondary medical component that is second in line for covering medical expenses.  Covers what your primary medical doesn’t cover up to 10 or 15K usually.

     

  • #12518

    Jim White
    Participant

    The last couple years NCK has had a little success with a 100 for 100 promotion. If you are an existing member and bring a new racer out you can race as many classes as you want for 100 each. Thats about 150 off a standard all you can race entry. It has cost us some money upfront but has brought us a few new racers that haved seemed to stick around.

  • #12543

    Lance Hiser
    Participant

    I believe the higher prices are pushing racers away, now Im only a teenager, but my first vacation was at a race track. i was just a few weeks old and my father raced with all the road racing series in the midwest. I remember seeing the whole pit lane filled with karts, from Enduros to sprinters to shifters. We haven’t ran any WKA since 2006, and there is a reason for that, higher prices of entry fees. My dad told me the other day that it took 30 dollars to run a class and they ran(as a team) 2-3 classes each day…. we have been running CES the last two years and we have seen a big increase in numbers this year…so yes some people will agree with me and some will disagree, but i know that if entry fees and pit pass prices lower you will receive more entries. Just my opinion but like i said Im just a teenager, I don’t know much about insurance…

  • #12555

    Jim White
    Participant

    Very good point Lance. The problem comes when the club or promotor goes out on a limb and offers a low ball entry fee. All the promoters costs are the same. If the racers don’t respond and show up in larger numbers you have just lost a bunch of money. That money you lost is the seed money to pay deposits and such for the next race. No seed money….no next race if you know what I mean. If the club or promotor has deep pockets such a risk may be warranted. However when that nest egg is gone you have no more funds to carry on.

    Like I said before, it’s a vicious circle and I think from reading threads like this one we are all fighting the same things.

  • #12565

    Gene Davis
    Participant

    One thing that to me is evident reading all the posts are that the competitors are very loyal and passionate about the series they support. Kelly has a good thing going at KART just as CES and WKA. For those of you that don’t know me I have been a Dart Kart member for 28 years, currently am treasurer and chairman of the road race committee for WKA. All these series need to co-exist. The best thing everyone can do is keep the rules as close to the same from series to series and try not to schedule on top of other series or clubs. I for one do not want to see any series die. Each one has their own special place for karters. When a series dies everyone loses karters. Some karters will travel to another series but most retire or take up another form of racing.

    The one thing I would ask of the long time racers is to give each of the series a chance. If you haven’t run a WKA, KART, or CES race give them a try. You may have had a bad experience once but clubs change so give the other guy a chance.

    Let me put my treasuer hat on just to compare some things between CES and WKA. Not saying one is right or not just want to compare. The WKA race at Grattan had pre entry fees of $90 and at track entry of $105. WKA membership is $65.00 or $20/weekend. Weekend pit pass is $25. Adding things up if you ran 2 races and joined WKA your cost would be $90 + $90 +$65 + $25 = $270. The CES race at Gingerman you had $85 pre entry, $105 at the track. $30 pit pass. So if you ran 2 races and joined CES ($75) your cost would be $275. The $5 difference is about as close as you can get to run two great series and similar type tracks. I did not include anything about Friday practice since CES does not offer that. We are looking at that now for some WKA events. In all my years of being treasurer, the clubs very seldom cover the cost of Friday. Just can not charge enough to cover the cost.

    As for the cost of the more expensive tracks just to give you an idea Mid Ohio and VIR are very similar in rent. DKC needs 216 more entries at Mid Ohio to cover the cost difference in renting Grattan and Mid Ohio. For you old timers we used to race at Mid Ohio 5 times a year. Then it went to 3, then 1, then we tried 2 again. Now we are at 1 again. We get offered additional dates each year but there are just not enough karters out there to pay those bills.

    Thanks for listening.

    Gene

  • #12570

    Jim White
    Participant

    Since we are sharing some numbers here I’d be interested in what it costs to rent tracks in other parts of the country. I can tell you NCK pays close to $9K to rent Sonoma (Sears Point, Infneon or whatever you want to call it). This is on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As we have had this date for years they are kind enough to give us the December winter rate. Now this 9K is just to rent the asphalt, no ambulance track services or other expenses are included.

  • #12587

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    This has become an excellent thread.   Follows from an earlier ekartingnews generated thread.

    Some truths are being made evident.  And the fact that this evidence is being gleaned from (vocal) kartracers is a fantastic motivation to improve, no change, the way we all do things.

    First, roadracing karters are working together…evidenced by this thread.

    Second, clubs  need to work together, as Gene Davis put it.

    Third, insurance, tracks, Series, and (barely) enough roadracers are available.

    So I conclude that the cost(s) of racing is the main culprit.  Rule differences are a distinct problem.  Date overlapping or being too close to one another is a minor issue overall.

    The main issue is COSTS.  In my opinion the are prioritized by most as 1 Travel & Accommodation costs   2 Differences in Rules Series to series (read brakes) and 3   The proportion of monies that sanctioning bodies retain.

    The cost of tracks and insurance coverage remains pretty constant, as far as I am aware.

    To address this, Travel and Accommodation and other costs:

    1  requires a grouping together of racers when travelling to a specific event.  The Sanctioning Body(s) can do this or even ekartingnews could do it (David?).  And storage locally or at the track (New Castle has storage garages) would be a saving too.

    2  Rules need to be nearly identical Series to Series.  A “Summit’ of Series leaders should ensue.

    3  Sanctioning bodies be it WKA, IKF, CES, or KART must be totally transparent in publishing online their costs and what % they retain to cover their expenses.  Insurance coverage must be a part of this plan.

    Secondary matters such as Technical Rules and dates can be settled…political will being present.  That is one of the most difficult parts, political will.

    OR, the roadracer will be compelled to form their own single Sanctioning body.  Not MY choice.  But if it comes to that I am in.

    Or…I don’t even want to think of it.

  • #12638

    Jim White
    Participant

    Bill, I agree that sharing may be the way of the future if entries continue to decline. Problem is as I stated before is finding that group to work with you and share on a cost effective basis. Here in NCK land we’ve been unable to find that group yet.

    May I ask you to share what the entry fees are to run one of these days?

  • #12653

    Bill Pyles
    Participant

    The entry fees for a day comprising three 20 minute sessions and one 20 minute race are about $145.  The practice sessions are all qualifying sessions and we grid for the race in a two by two configuration  for a rolling start, based on our qualifying times.  Once per year our race is one hour and the same fee applies.  You have to be tidy, because the shifters are running at the same time as the world formulas.

  • #12658

    Benn Herr
    Participant

    As a side note to Bills comment, The $145 includes everything. No pit passes required. You can bring as many of your friends or family as you want – no charge. They can do this because the number of people (cars included) entering is large enough to cover the cost of insuring the entire event, not on a Per Pit Pass sold basis. All they have to do is sign the waiver. ProAutoSports does all the Timing and Scoring, all the Safety Crews, all the Kart Pickups. We just show up and drive. After your first race though, you do have to become a member of the ASA. They provide several benefits beyond the normal insurance (which has better coverage than kartings usual providers) such as hotel discounts and insurance for you trailer to and from the event.

    ProAutoSport just expanded this Summer into the Pacific Northwest. They ran an event at Spokane County Raceway. I hear it went pretty well.

    The groups are out there that would be willing to partner, you just need to find them. There may need to be some changes to adapt kartings traditional format into their program, but it’ll be worth the effort.

  • #12719

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    How nice it is to read how road racers across the USA are working together to try and help RR survive. I like that everyone is staying positive as this is what we need to do to help RR survive. Don’t know about the rest of you but, there are times that the way I may type something it sounds like I am bashing someone and this is not always the case and especially on this topic. I know several of you and some I don’t but, I believe we are all after the same result (Keep RR alive!!).

    It’s kind of weird on how we have actually went from “Can RR survive without the clubs” to “Can the clubs survive without the racers” in what I am reading.  As said before, WE NEED BOTH!!!!

    How awesome it would be if there was only one RR series in the USA!!  Can this be done??  My opinion is NO. This is not because I wouldn’t like to see it but, RR is different then Sprint & Speeday as where they have local tracks that are closer to racers in where RR tracks are spread out no matter what part of the country you live in.  What we may gain in Portland, we would loose from the East coast (same as other areas). As for combining series together for events, I can’t speak for the others but KART which is the sanctioning body of MARRS (Mid America Road Race Series) has done this in the past. We have had joint races with SWRA,  Badger kart club, CES and when Cole was involved with that series before Davey took over.  Speaking for our racers (me included), we traveled to Road America, Gateway, and Milwakee along with supporting the other MARRS events. Did it work, YES. What about classes and rules?? No issue!!!  We used the hosts event format they normally used and for classes they didn’t offer that the other organization ran, it was added to some race (very few classes needed to be added) and didn’t effect a thing as far as the schedule.  Rules, outside of maybe weight or MINOR items, we didn’t have to make major changes as we were all close enough anyway. Yes it took a little time but those of us who represented each group, worked well together to make it happen.  I must say that I and believe that the others who hosted these combine events were happy when the event was done. Anytime you can bring in 80+ more entries, is a big +!!!!

    As for seeing finances, do I care to see them?? Not really as long as all the bills got paid and NO ONE (promoter, club, organization, etc.) goes into the RED. Must remember, even though I don’t hold a NATIONAL official position in the organization I am heavily involved with, I do keep track of numbers from our series and attend board meetings.  I will say as a promoter of one of the cheapest tracks to hold an event  (Afton), I would rather promote tracks where all I have to do is unlock and lock the gate coming and going!!!!  At Afton, it takes 4 days before and 3 days after to set-up and tear down to put this event on. This doesn’t count the hours it takes to deal with owners, getting workers, etc.  Even with this track, I personally have paid out of pocket (2 solid days of rain didn’t help).  I don’t do this for the money, I do it because I LOVE RRing!!!!

    THE MAN

     

  • #12931

    Jim White
    Participant

    A national series won’t work on the west coast. The racers just won’t travel in the quantities needed to make it successful. I agree that a strong regional/club program has to be the basis for the future success of road racing.

    Then you get the promotor who wants to run the one big race each year. It worked with the USKGP at VIR and Miller once or twice then it has to move on. COTA sounded to be the one in 2014. Not so sure now. Theres only room for one big race a year (maybe 2 if one is on each side of the country)

  • #12963

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    Unfortunately it takes a track with major draw at the right time of the year to even think of pulling in numbers from everywhere. Indy, Road America, COTA and Laguna to me are the only places that can do what needs to be done for one event. Mid Ohio, Road Atlanta, Thunderhill, Infenion, Heartland Park, Daytona, The Ridge, Barber, your favorite, ect are all great places but it’s gotta be brand new awesome or a track with serious racing history. People in general really don’t travel much farther than 10 hours, it’s gotta be good. The average racer just won’t do it.

  • #17257

    Jeff Collier
    Participant

    I have read all the post under this heading.  I think the real question to ask is can Road Racing survive period. Its been years since I attended a road racing event. I have two race ready karts with Yamahas and use to run Sportsman Heavy. At least they were race ready at one time. LOL. I still crank them and keep fresh fuel in them just in case the urge strikes someday. Let me give a little background for perspective – raced at the first WKA Daytona race back in the 1970’s and many since. Finished in the top ten in National points once or twice (can’t remember). Won several regional races. I honestly enjoyed SKC , WKC, and Big South over the years and made many friends.

    Back to the question: can Road Racing survive period. As I have read all these post, I asked myself what happened to me. Why did I quit? Why did me and my kids stop coming? As I think about it, The only answer I can come up with is it ceased to be fun. When there were big classes and lots of karts in the 1980s you always ended up during the race in a group about your speed and driving ability and it was fun racing each other. The last few times I raced I found myself in a small class spending practically all the race faster than some, slower than others racing by myself. Practice became more fun than the races because there were more karts on the track and actual people to race with.

    These days I race with Chumpcar. Its like one big WKA practice session in the old days with all sizes and makes of cars  and all levels of driver talent- some faster some slower and lots of passing and close racing. It is fun. More bluntly – its actually a blast.

    Thats what I missed when I stopped kart road racing. I raced at Roebling Road years ago in a regional and we had a dog fight between six karts for third place. It is one of my favorite memories and it was that kind of close competition between several karts that brought me back race after race. When that stopped I stopped coming and went somewhere else.

    How do we fix this now with so many classes and low entries in each class? I don’t know but here is one  suggestion. Create classes based on speed/lap times so that you once again group larger numbers of karts who race at about the same speed. Does it matter if you put sportsman, can, and pipes of varying weights and engines in the same class if they all are running similar lap times. Whats an average lap time at Roebling? 1:50 (I don’t remember). Create a 1:50 class. A 2:00 class. A 1:40 class. One simple rule. Exceed the minimum laptime and you are Dqed. Otherwise run what you brung with the strategy being to set your kart and engine up to run comfortably just under the minimum lap time. This would guarantee a class of similar speed karts racing against each other for the win.

    I’m not suggesting replace the current class structure for those who want to spend the money time and have the talent to be the fastest in their particular sandbox. Just create a few classes where the purpose of the class is to bring as many karts of similar speeds into the same class so that several karters can race with each other. Maybe someday we will have 60-100 karts starting a single road race class again like the old days and there will be no need for unorthodox ideas like this one. But until then, find a way to bring the fun back. And then I’ll be back.

  • #17322

    James McMahon
    Participant

    Jeff, personally I love your idea of combining groups by time, it makes total sense. Especially when you have very similar motors, say Honda GX and clone for example.

    My impression is that is that we have morphed into a bunch of whiners. A group of people who would rather claim they finished third out of three entries, than claim 10th out of 50. Everyone seems to want a trophy, I think that’s what’s really killing things.
    How we change that mentality I don’t know.

  • #17334

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    We always hear… “remember back in the day when karting was thriving with so many guys on the grid, it was awesome!” Realistically the numbers were always spread out with one or two classes pulling in large numbers from time to time but still always looking for more people to come help make rr the next great thing. No that long ago in 2004 we had nearly 100 karts on grid in cik open 125, what happened? People move on due to economy issues, people move on because of the next best thing, people get tired of running mid pack bad mouth a class or karting in general and quit. Lot’s of excuses for downturn but mainly we tend to have a lack of new runners interested in our sport specifically in our rr end.  The sprint runner is now our target market and has been for a long time but sprinting has turned into an ultra expensive program just to get your foot in the door. Yes we see the old Yamaha drug out with friends now days but that’s not what your going to hear about that type of ride if you walk into a shop with your wallet, nope. Pretty much the only thing we can do is keep our heads down staying dedicated to rr karting, talk it up whenever possible and help out each other while keeping an eye out for new possible racers. That’s what I see and think I’m reading here, if we don’t gain more people rr is doomed because they will keep charging more for pavement weather it’s an international circuit or park side temp track, they all want top dollar.

  • #17361

    Greg Wright
    Participant

    Thumbs down on the bracket class idea.

    Sorry but anytime that you can be DQ’d for running too fast just turns me off. Call me old school I don’t give a hoot. Despite what some seem to think racing is still about speed.

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.
    Vintage B-Stock Pilot
    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."

  • #17399

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Hey, Mr.  Wright…not so fast (pun)…I agree with you…old school here too.

    This is a detail of Bracket Racing: every racer should pick a bracket slot that is slower than his/her quickest lap possible, but not so slow that they will end up in last place either.

    It becomes an educated guess, not ideal, but competition on the track is the objective.

    If you want ‘pure’ racing then pick an Established Class in the other section of classes.   There the quickest kart/driver wins.

    Voila!

  • #17470

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Well said, Jeff !!

  • #17472

    Greg Wright
    Participant

    Jeff, There is no question that bracket drag racing is successful. By the same token while I understand the concept perfectly well it (the concept) doesn’t gel with the way that I am wired personally.

    I have friends that are bracket racers and we have this conversation regularly. While your statement that “some” bracket racers drive their cars to and and from the track is true but is a very small percentage. The drag racers that I talk to tell me that if they intend to dial in a (throwing out numbers here) 10.00 time they will build a car that will easily turn low 9s or high 8s in order to be able to play the game.

       These same drag racers talk on and on about feathering the throttle towards the end of the run and disconnecting the brake lights so nobody can see when they get on the brakes before the finish line.

      In the higher levels of bracket racing many use a computer that calculates their ET based on their 60 foot time and the computer will control the throttle to keep from breaking out. Granted that there are events called “No Box” that don’t allow the computer control (The box) and they are letting off and hitting the brakes consistently before the finish line.

    To me at least this line of reasoning is counter to the core of motor racing and is similar to the reasoning that youth sporting events should not keep score in order to make everybody a winner. Screw that!

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.
    Vintage B-Stock Pilot
    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."

  • #17477

    Jeff Collier
    Participant

    Greg…if I understand you…you would oppose the idea to create any new classes using the bracket racing concept even with the other classes remaining in place. … even if it would increase kart counts ? (Which is the problem we are trying to address).

    You would oppose the idea even if the 1:50 Bracket Class at Roebling Road could run at the same time as Yamaha Sportsman (if that class even exist anymore) thus not requiring any new races to compete with those already running…

    So this is basically a disagreement in the philosophy of what constitutes racing.

    Okay…wow…I’m kinda out of ideas then.

    I would contend that almost every non safety related rule in the rule book is there to control speed and in some way and to equalize, thus maximize the competition. So if those rules are there to limit speed and maximize competition, is it such a stretch to simply limit speed on the front end?  And for the same reason – to maximize competition.

    Maybe I should be totally honest here. My equipment is now old…I mean I’m still running  Yamahas…LOL. Does anyone  seriously think I am going to call John Q Kart Shop and order the latest and greatest kart…spend more money the next few races trying to figure out how to outrun all the other six karts in my class? I don’t think so. Been there. Done that. Have the T-Shirt.

    Create a class where I can bring my kart…just like it is…and have some reasonable chance of being in a dogfight… and I might even buy some new tires and freshen the engine and show up.  I might even buy a new engine after a few races. And I would probably bring the sons and grandsons if it turned out to be fun. Maybe even buy them a kart so they can go race with granddad.

    But if you guys don’t want me and my obsolete equipment to come and have fun (race in a class with a likely chance of a dogfight) … hey I can keep my ass at home. Thats what I’ve been doing. I don’t think I am alone.

    PS. I do NOT think the solution is to create yet another class for obsolete Yamaha Sportsman karts where I can enjoy running with the other two guys.

     

  • #17479

    Greg Wright
    Participant

     

    So this is basically a disagreement in the philosophy of what constitutes racing.

    In my opinion Absolutely!!

    Okay…wow…I’m kinda out of ideas then.

    Cool with me!

    I would contend that almost every non safety related rule in the rule book is there to control speed and in some way and to equalize, thus maximize the competition. So if those rules are there to limit speed and maximize competition, is it such a stretch to simply limit speed on the front end? And for the same reason – to maximize competition.

    Might I suggest in that case to eliminate ALL non safety related rules period. I agree that the rules are in place to attempt to equalize the competition. The challenge is to out drive and out think the competion in spite of the rules all the while adhering to the rules as written.

     

     

    Greg Wright
    Rapid Racing Inc.
    Vintage B-Stock Pilot
    "When in doubt Gas it, It won't help but it ends the suspense."

  • #17480

    Kelly Read
    Participant

     

    If the RACERS we have would just support what we have now would HELP a whole lot!!!   Next thing would be that for us racers, to PROMOTE our ROAD RACING sport onto others.  I don’t see having another type RR (bracket racing) helping (at least in our area).  RR is ENDURANCE not just for speed!!!  Times have changed, that is why we went from 60 to 45 minute races and, brought in 30 minute races for the sprint style chassis.

    I’m not going to get into the politics but,  with or without them, there will always be issues.

    Myself and friends have done other forms of racing and we all agree that road racing is tough to beat when you take the dollars and track time in consideration.

    SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT

     

  • #17482

    Steve Matotan
    Participant

    It’s official, I’m out of laydowns. The long travel, my age, and all the bitchin are the reasons.  Do something to shore up the sport for the guys who are left. So, from Ft. Sumner, NM to Buffalo Lakes, to Daytona to Portland, I was there.  Thanks to enduro karting, I quit smoking and learned to TIG weld.

    Steve Matotan

    ” the guy in the green kart”

  • #17569

    Steve Matotan
    Participant

    Linda

    thanks for your kindness. Im keeping my 74 enduro to look at it and remember the best days of my life. Tammys whole family races situp karts at Sandia Speedway i crew for my nephew. I tried a tag situp- kind of boring frankly, you can see where your going and it only goes 80 mph.

    Steve Matotan

    “the guy that used to have a green kart”

  • #18132

    Benn Herr
    Participant

    Bracket racing in the traditional Drag racing style is of limited value for Road Racing. The chance of going “too fast” and “breaking out” is counter to everything we’re used to, everything racing is. We have used a format (and I’ve described it before) that I used to call Australian Pursuit. I’ve since found out that that format starts the fastest in the back and as soon as somebody passes you, you have to get off the track, certainly not what we want! So now I just call it a Handicap Race. After getting a qualifying time from practice, you calculate how long it would take each racer to finish the race distance. Then you start the slowest kart first followed by progressively faster karts at intervals that will have everybody finish at the same time. A simple spread sheet does the calculation. The mission for each racer is simple. Go as fast as you can, every lap. If you’re a slow kart, you need to learn how to let people pass you without messing your lap up. If you’re a fast kart, you need to learn how to pass without messing up your lap. We never worried about a breakout problem when we ran this program. The karts would go faster as the track rubbered in and drafting can help lap times, but it’s the same for everybody. You might want to do something about a guy that drops 5 seconds a lap over his qualifying time but that’s a pretty extreme case.

     

    This format can work if people want it to. It’s not a replacement for good close class racing. But it is a great catch-all for all the “orphaned” classes and karts that are out there.

     

    In the bigger picture, maybe Road Racing is having trouble because it is so unchanging. We all remember the way it used to be with big fields, big tracks and close racing. Road Racing had the correct answer for how things were then, it does not have what people are looking for now. Maybe we need to try some new things. Handicap racing might be one of them. Longer races, shorter races, pit stops, co-drivers, combined classes, heat races, qualifying, etc… All those things that the rest of motorsports has, we need to look at. How would they work for us? How would they change our strategies? A long time ago you would have to drive easily to conserve your engine or clutch for the end of the race. That hasn’t happened for a long time. The flag drops and the throttle goes wide open and stays there. You either win or blow up. Everything is a consumable, use it up and buy a new one for the next race. That may be fine for the more experienced racer or the super competitive one, but it sure is hard on the newer guys. All they see is a lot of their money being spent and not much results (or driving) for their efforts.

     

    I do like Colm’s suggestion of reduced top level classes. I would narrow it down even more though. Take four of the most currently popular classes and make them “US RR Championship” classes. They should be very obviously different from each other, in appearance and performance. I don’t know the actual numbers but I’m thinking they would be Unlimited, CIK125 Shifter, CIK TAG Sit-Up, and Four Cycle Bodywork Sit-Up. All the organizations run or can run classes like these already. A club would simply declare which are the “US RR Championship” classes and go on with their regular program. The rules for each class wouldn’t even have to be same between national organizations. If you travel to another part of the country you already expect to have to meet their rules. How these results would be tallied is another matter but I can envision something like Porsche does with their SuperCup.

     

     

  • #18179

    Jeff Collier
    Participant

    Just one last comment on bracket racing before I fade back into oblivion with my humble opinion and antiquated equipment. I know this idea flies in the face of everything many of you hold sacred about kart racing and racing in general. I get it. You have told me that many times on this forum and in person. You told me the same thing when I suggested this idea many years ago before I quit road racing.  Its not racing in your minds. I so get it.  The idea that anybody with any budget and any equipment has an equal chance of winning if he doesn’t “break out”, and with the right strategy gets its just right in your mind that just ain’t racing. I get it. I get it. I get it. So please don’t repost yet again how lame this idea is because it flys in the face of all you hold sacred about racing. I get it.

    Here is the point you miss. Nowhere have I or anyone proposed eliminating a single successful competition class.  Run 50 competition classes if you have the karts for it. You have my full support and I encourage you to race in as many as you can afford. In exchange for my full and vocal support of as many competition classes as you have the karts to support, would you consider just one bracket class. Just one slow one …maybe about 10 seconds off a good Yamaha Sportsman time. Just one…not 20…just one.

    Here is  who would consider running such a class. The potential customer: A guy who has used up equipment (like me) who just wants to run in a close event (see I didn’t even call it a race)… a guy who is 30# overweight for even the heavy class with no hopes of ever winning that class because of his weight… a new guy who just wants to learn to drive in close proximity to other karts…a guy whose good engine dies and all he has got is that piece of crap in the trailer…a newbie you invite to the track and you let drive your kart…everyone of the guys I just named and there are many more would have no chance to win …none…nada…in any of the competition classes…but in this class anyone is capable of winning if he dials in his kart the closest. There is still just one winner – the guy who got it right…ran the fastest and most consistent without breaking out. Strategy…preparation…consistency…close racing…and a real chance to win the thing…enough of each of these to make it fun for these guys. (remember fun?)

    Ok I get it…not your cup of tea. Run in one of the 50 Competition classes. But if there are enough of us who would show up and run such a class AND in no way did it interfere with any of the other 50 Competition classes…would you still oppose it?  Would you still be so vocally opposed to this idea that it would have no hope of ever even being considered?

    Clearly the future of Road racing is dependent on trying new ideas…maybe even an idea outside of our comfort zone to get kart counts back to the critical mass of paying expenses. Because, unless that happens this all becomes academic.

    So…if there are enough of us who would show up and run such a class AND in no way did it interfere with any of the other 50 Competition classes you are running in…would you still oppose it?

  • #18181

    Benn Herr
    Participant

    Jeff,

    I hear what you’re talking about and I agree. But the hard part about putting on any kind of alternate is convincing people to do it. For several years we ran our Pursuit/Bracket/Handicap races and every time we got somebody new to run with us, they would immediately try to figure out how to “game” the system. Of course being racers they weren’t able to keep themselves from setting fast laps in practice. And their fast lap is what I used for their “Dial In”! The Handicap race does make for very interesting looking event. You start out with a slow guy or two droning around the track and then faster and faster karts come out. The biggest starting gap we ever had was about six laps on a 1.25 mile track. For a while there are karts everywhere on the track, action at every corner. Then as you get towards the end it becomes obvious who’s in the front and who is catching up. It was not unusual to have most of the field finish within half a lap of the winner. Most Road Races start out exciting and then get strung out, these events were just the opposite.

    The big difference between Bracket and Handicap formats is who gets to pick you dial in. But you are right about the strategy, preparation, and consistency thing. Getting those right is one of the more rewarding things you can do. Oh, and one more important thing about either of those types of racing, other than “Sandbagging” or “Breaking Out”, you can’t cheat. No post race tech needed, no weigh in. You finish first, you win!

    But anything you do different is going to be a hard sell. You have to show them. And even then, they won’t always believe it.

    I hope to be involved in this Road Race think-fest they are talking about. Lots of good ideas out there, we just need to figure out how to do them.

  • #18242

    Greg Lindahl
    Participant

    I like the “handicap” approach.  We did this a few times when there were still large turnouts and had fun and tight races.  I have two karts that fall out of the “Championship RR” classes, but would enjoy racing with the mixed and larger group of people in a “handicap” race.  But, I think that a 1-2 second faster cushion to cover drafting would be a good idea, with a 1-4 second faster cushion for new karters.

  • #19785

    Ron Lax
    Participant

    I wonder how many regions or clubs are racing on free facilities????    Track rental is the 800lb gorilla….   K.A.R.T. is in a very unique position to use Lake Afton and Garnett for almost free.  Putting on any race costs  money… But, the overwhelming expense is track rental.   The gross entry proceeds can be banked to use to rent tracks like Topeka with some financial success.

    How many ,if any, clubs have this luxury??

    Track rental is the killer…..

  • #22707

    Larry Dobbs
    Participant

    Here’s where Roadracing on the West Coast is heading:

    Video preview of West Coast Superkart Schedule including Northern California Karters races and Portland Karting Association races.

     

    <span style=”color: #003399;”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myf6dUf1jxc</span&gt;

  • #23818

    Steve Rogers
    Participant

    Why not combine a lot of the 125cc shifter classes into just a few classes? Right now it looks like we’ve got

    1. Formula 125 Ltd Heavy

    2. Sprint Stock 125

    3. Super Stock CR125

    4. Formula 125 Ltd

    5. Super Stock CR125 Heavy

    6. Formula 125

    7. W/C Sprint Stock 125

    8. W/C Super Stock CR125

    just glancing at the points sheet from a recent race in the Pacific NW. I’m not very familiar with the CR125 kart classes yet and don’t know the difference but do we really need 8 classes for the same engine? To my untrained eye the only significant difference I ever saw apart from weight was some had a big fairing and some had a normal fairing. Are there other prohibitively expensive differences between the classes that would make some racers stop racing if their particular class was dropped or merged with another?

  • #23827

    Greg Lindahl
    Participant

    Good point Steve.  The names came about when more races were needed to support a class that was/is very popular.  Maybe one name with weight differences, as has been done in the past…  Example:  Stock Honda 125 Lt., Med., and Hvy.

  • #23833

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    That was always one of the things I wondered about IKF Road Racing when I started covering the Nationals in 2008. Why so many with weird names. Nothing was ever changed. I think a simple structure would be better.

    Open Shifter – set a weight for Stock Honda as well.
    Stock Honda Light
    Stock Honda Heavy

    Simple and easy.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #23834

    Jim White
    Participant

    There is really only 4 groups. The other 4 were created to allow a second entry at each event. Instead of racing once you got to race twice in 2 different classes. For example Superstock CR125 is the same Group as W/C superstock. It’s just there second entry.

    Another example would be Yamaha Light and Yamaha heavy. Same guys race in both.

    Could the 4 125 groups be whittled down some? I would think so but that would be up to the racers in those classes to figure out how without chasing people off. Aside from the fairing the biggest difference is the Formula classes allow ICC’s and modified 125’s while the CR125 classes are more “spec”

  • #23948

    Larry Dobbs
    Participant

    Before you can know where it is going, you need to know where it came from. . . . . I will not try to explain it here, but I will suggest you look in the archives on ekarting and at our website http://www.nckroadracing.com

    Click on all the tabs on the left and you will learn alot about our club.  Also, every board member will reply if you have questions or just want to talk about roadracing; there info is under one of the tabs on the left as well.  Looking forward to a great year of racing in 2014.  Check out our schedule, yes, under another tab on the left side of our web site;)

  • #11750

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Jim, Austin & Jeff:

    The key is consolidation.  KART may be doing fine but IKF and WKA are hurting, no doubt.

    Now the question is who will “reign supreme”…because someone always wants to.

    Karting here is suffering in comparison to the world stage though US kart racing also has some advantages in it’s diversity.

    Most of us do not want an imposed spec. type of racing, devoid of any innovation developed by entities other than the factories.    

    Two examples: there are no Chris Hegars or Riley Will’s in Europe or Asia.  

    Time to get together or wither and die.  

    Our choice.

  • #11794

    Chris Hegar
    Participant

    IMO, here’s the way I look at it. Each year did we gain 5 new runners that we never had before while maintaining the runners from last year? 5 is my guess to offset rising cost and I know that’s not nearly enough but looking around the drivers meeting 5 is the best I think we can hope for. If your club isn’t seeing at least that many new racers your in the same trouble as every other rr club or will be soon.

    Not stepping on KART with my listing of 14 runners Austin but the KART site shows every race and all the runners in those races for 2013 to date. You have about 213 total entry’s  in all classes for all season and that’s not counting each name to see how many times it’s listed in more than one class or guys that only went to 1 event, that’s everybody. I’d imagine it’s about 80 names registered total that push the program consistently. 80 is almost exactly what we have here in bodies so were pretty close to the same as far as trucks in the pits. You may not now but you will be in search of racers at some point. Natural tracks are cool and your lucky to have them but pavement gets rough and needs $ to get fixed that’s when the $ rises.

    IKF rr has done what the racers asks as far as I know for rules. Can I ask what recent rules made you dislike or the IKF runners in general dislike for rr? I’m on the IKF rr committee and have not seen any requests or changes to our rules in years. I will pass on your request to the board.

    Numbers in IKF rr have lots to contend with. SKUSA in Cali, nice sprint programs here in the NW and the dark side of karting no ones thinks about…. dirt. Dirt is growing and it’s cheap in comparison to rr if your looking for fun with your buds. Yes you can piss it away if you try real hard but dirt is very affordable and you can buy it all ready to go if you know where to go.

    I forgot to add, if anyone with anything shows up at the rr track we will always accommodate those runners, we never turn down a kart unless it is unsafe. You wanna run Briggs 2 stroke banana pipe ball bearing muffler Senior over 75 @650lbs class just offer up a few and we will see if it can be added to the roster. Yea were that desperate to draw in people, it’s ugly round here.

     

  • #11815

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Here is my viewpoint, but something, actually more than a few things, needs to, must happen:

    KART certainly has a dedicated model that works for Hallett, Lake Afton and Garnett, etc.  Can it be applied across the expanse of North America?

    Dart Kart Club runs Mid Ohio but it costs I am told, nearly $40k to rent the facility for 3 1/2 days for a closed (no spectators) event.  And they barely break even.

    At M.I.S. Michigan Kart Club runs a high quality race event and added by requests practice on Friday.  But they only got 50 participants and lost $7000 approx.  This will change.  Also they lost money on the food concessions…kart racers mostly bring their own stuff.

    Local “Late Model” circle tracks have spectators and sponsors.  Kart clubs have few.  And they usually involve the local business community.

    There are several factors that affect Roadracing today:

    1      Years ago clubs (of ‘higher’ series) paid ‘tow money’ to racers depending on how far  we traveled to reach the track.  A Travel Fund paid into by every racer and then distributed?  Can we do that?

    2     Schedules and Race Personnel need to, must be, active at each others events.  More populated race events and spread across timetables, Regions respected.  Memberships likewise need to become interchangeable, or amalgamated eventually.  To become reciprocal on Memberships and Licences would be a good starting point.

    3    10 Classes maximum!  I counted 61 class divisions in WKA!  Have a participation level requirement, respond quickly.  Do not turn any racer away but put all stragglers in a ‘Left Over’ class of sorts.  Right now Bracket racing would fit.

    4    Top tier tracks, as Lyle wrote, can choose from other more wealthy forms of racing to make their profits.  V.I.R. is a prime example.

    5    I feel safe, kinda.  But other racers from other types say we at the very least look unsafe!  So kart racing has to become proactive on that issue.

    6    Finally, no (other) type of race series exists without a major sponsor. In WKA Mazda has been great…but is the local dealer even aware or involved?  Never saw one yet. Therefore karting has to identify what it can offer a sponsor or piggyback on a higher series activities.  Kart racers bring in significant dollars to local businesses…with little return other than price.

    Maybe leave the price at list and get the motel, gas station, or restaurant to provide a set of trophies with their name on it.

    To allow the above to happen will take political will, a humbling of egos, and a willingness to compromise.  Time is of the essence.

    Colm

  • #11878

    Mike Arnold
    Participant

    If WKA would make dual brake systems a requirement for 2015 Man Cup TAG classes (give everyone 1 season to adjust) then 2016 you will slowly see the TAG entries grow in RR and probably will not lose any entries in Man Cup due the big money involved.  Short term complaints in Man Cup with long term growth RR + justified via added safety for higher speed carts.  Anyway you see it WKA wins this race!

    Next, need to look at a ladder kart system with top rail not being a move to cars.  I think after Sprint racers reach 20 + and approaching the 30yr age that road racing becomes the progression vs. staying in sprint and racing against a mainly teenager based series.  I don’t mean this in a negative way but a big part of WKA Man Cup is 8-15yrs old.   Then there is some serious racing in TAG classes for 15 to 22 yrs old too but it would be nice if this competition moved to the road racing with the alure of the venues of the bigger tracks like the potential race at COTA or the race we had MIS or other any of the other nice tracks, Mid Ohio, VIR and Daytona just to name a few.  Right now there is just not the competition in road racing to attract these racers.   And the richer ones often move to cars.

    Mike

  • #11919

    Larry Dobbs
    Participant

    First to quote Roger Penske about the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis:

    “Thinking about history, we’ve gone from 30 days to 10 [with the 500]; we’ve got the Brickyard,” he said. “History, to me, is behind us, and in today’s world you’ve got to take big, bold steps. I think that’s the Speedway has done and the Hulman family has done, and it’s going to make our series a much better series.”

    “Big Bold Steps”

    National race is a once in a life time “bucket list” event for most of us due to finances.  Let’s agree as a nation of kart racers to attend one big race per year and call it the Kart Grand Prix of America.  It can be moved each year from region to region.  For example, if going to COTA is a bucket list item for you, then you sign up and go, otherwise you wait for the next time the race goes to Austin or another track on your list.  Local kart clubs tend to your members locally, but when it is your turn to host the big race, everyone that can afford to will attend your version of the KGPA.  etc.

    Anybody care to add to this big idea with positive input?  This is forum brainstorming!

     

  • #11949

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Bo, I like your idea of partnering with Indycar.  If they want us.

    Sanctioning bodies (yeah, BODIES)…are you listening?

     And George. well said on the Junior Classes.

    My father said that the best form of government was “a benevolent dictatorship”. 

    But which weekend?  

    Have you read A.J. Foyt’s comments on May yet?

    Indianapolis is a sure bet to increase our numbers.

    Colm

  • #11951

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Seems we have a plethora of reasons why RR is not currently booming.  We have several good suggestions to remedy this reality.  To-day’s youth has many activities to choose from, that’s new to those of us from past years.  

    Act!

    MUST HAPPEN SOON or race dates will be far less evident and farther away than at present.  

    That’s okay if the numbers support the costs.  IF.

    First, the sanctioning bodies need to work together.  KART and WKA and IKF.  Wow, seems improbable.

    Second, Gene may be correct, but a hydrid system of National classes and Local Option classes should work.  Far fewer in number, please.   And must include a Junior class.

    Third, karting needs a National sponsor…Mazda is the only one so far.  What do they see?  Mazda’s input, if they are reading this Forum…

    Fourth, a travel “tow-money” fund should be explored as a doable concept.

    Fifth, partnering with ‘higher’  forms of motorsport will be a road to increase karting’s RR numbers by drawing from racers with more disposable income.

    Colm

  • #11967

    Morgan Schuler
    Participant

    This year I went road racing for the first time, with CES. Had a blast, I’m the guy you’re all looking for. BUT…They don’t require front brakes for TAGs. I’m not giving up sprint racing and I’m not putting front brakes on my TAG kart. Change that rule and I’d go road racing more. Pretty simple. Until then I’ll get my road racing fix with CES.

  • #11978

    Peter Zambos
    Participant

    Morgan, I’m glad you had a blast, and I hope that we see you in the next season.

    I interpreted the original question as meaning support from the sprint clubs that exist in the same region as the corresponding road racing series. Back when I was a lot yonger, not only did my own sprint club recommend that we check out RR, but even shut down for that weekend to make the decision that much easier. All this for an event that was being put on by another club. Of course, this was back when all you had to do to a sprint kart for road racing was to change the gearing.

    Out of curiosity, how what is the level of support, coordination and cooperation between sprinters and road racers in other regions outside of the Midwest?

  • #11990

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Everyone, Gene is correct.

    WKA does NOT require front brakes on TAG chassis.

    But a “dual braking system” IS required.

    Rules 362.9 & 362.10 on Page 72 of the 2013 WKA Technical Manual.

    Now would it not be EASIER if there was jute ONE Technical Manual for the entire continent….cheaper too.  Definitely better for the competitors…oh them.  

    All the Sanctioning entities WKA, IKF, KART & CES should get together for the 2014 / 2015 issue, with each displaying their Logo on the Cover.  

    Why?  Because we do not have the dollars to spend on several manuals.

  • #12013

    Peter Zambos
    Participant

    The manual for CES/TAG is free, Colm.

    For the record, CES doesn’t require front brakes OR a dual system, but I think we’re getting off topic here.

  • #12019

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Re: CES / TAG Technical Manual

    Yeah, Peter, I read it online!  Saves print costs enormously.  

    Are the other SB’s still in the mode of old technology, print wise?

    As for a “dual braking system”  for TAG class racekarts I wonder what that would entail?

    Also, reading the Penske article in Autosport on running at Inianapolis, that magazine has NO mention of karts.

    Halls of Fame for elevated racecar drivers do not include karting either.  That needs to be fixed.  

    Earlier this year I was lucky to meet Ron Fellows in Brampton after he had been inducted into this city’s Sports Hall of Fame.   Ron has done much here for kart racing.

    Possibly a racer such as Scott Pruett could help us make the needed connections.

    Colm

  • #12020

    Randy Pierson
    Participant

    The “dual braking system” rule is by far the dumbest thing I have ever seen. Almost kept us from ever running a road race for the first time back in ’05. So you have dual calipers and master cylinder…you still have one rotor and one keyway connecting that rotor to the axle. Dumb. Turn the wheel and spin the kart if you have issues. Or better yet…pull off in the grass! A TaG isn’t “that” fast that it needs some glorified brakes system. But it is a huge deterent to getting cross over entries. Another reason our team doesn’t run WKA events…dumb.

  • #12166

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Jeff Mott started this thread:

    ” Can RR survive without the Clubs?”

    The USPKS has entry Fees of $300 and up!  They are beholding to NO Sanctioning body.

    Their engine spec rules are fairly open with just a specific ‘blowdown’ rule and specified parts such as headers and carbs.  They are run by Promotors who know where the break even point is, and keep their heads above water.

    Yes, they are different.  They are far from KART.  They are high end racing that attracts attention.   Professionals.  Clubs tend to have those who are willing to work and then sort out their abilities.  Cart before the horse?

    Maybe Clubs do not need to go to those extremes but they have to watch the ‘bottom line’ and charge accordingly.  Kart racers are by design thrifty, kinda.  They have to be!

    But it takes a lot of money to rent these big tracks, no spectators and no major sponsorship.  Without those latter two items the karter must pay the freight.

    If roadracing is to survive, let alone thrive, across the nation (and the West Coast is pretty much gone already)  then the Clubs and their Members need a course in financial reality.  

    Whatever it costs we must pay.

  • #12174

    George Sunderland
    Participant

    I don’t sell meters, valves, or anything else but I have had PHD level econ and finance…….

    If you want to permanently kill a declining market, the surest way to do it is to increase the barriers to entry. Road racing is currently a declining market.   Increasing fees may generate a temporary cash influx but it will guarantee a speedy and permanent shutdown.  Just look at how well jacking entry fees has worked for IKF.    Its a horrible idea and as I stated earlier, greedy pit pass costs have already turned away countless potential newbies.  The key is to get new blood and keep the folks you already do have.  One  killer we can do little about is travel costs which are especially high for road racing.  I’ve suggested before that clubs investigate nearby kart storage to reduce travel costs.  Also, orgs such as WKA should facilitate commuter info boards to facilitate truck pooling.  Even send e-mails giving all members contact info for all fellow karters within a 100 mile radius.  Should also explore reaching out to folks who have been missing for two years or more and ask what would it take to bring them back. Another angle that may help is sliding scale entry fees meaning if we have a certain number of entries, fee is X. If we get more than X entries, folks will be given a refund based on final total.  This creates an incentive for everyone to participate in proactive marketing since the more folks they can talk into coming, the lower their fees will be.  It also greatly reduces potential mistrust from folks wondering if somebody made too much money off them.  Afterall, WKA  and some clubs are nonprofit aren’t they?  Racing in the rain would also help take away an excuse for people who have to travel far.  The secret we’re all searching for it how do you take away as many excuses as possible for not coming out?

    I don’t have the sure fire fix but I know jacking fees is the sure fire killer……..

  • #12328

    Jim White
    Participant

    My 2 cents worth…….

    I’ve been on the NCK board for about 6 years now. Regular board member, Vice President and Secretary over the years. Prior to that I spent quite a few years helping do pre tech before getting roped into the board. I’ve been involved with booking, promoting, working, scoring and paying for events for some time. I’ve been road racing for 24 years now.

    We don’t run IKF sanctioned races but use their insurance through Michael Davis. We use the IKF rulebook so we can use their insurance. We have to have any local option classes approved by them in order for them to be insured. The insurance is a flat price per wristband. They have single and multi day event rates. It has worked well for us. By the way IKF does not require front brakes for TaG’s.

    None of the NCK board is compensated in any way. We pay the same as anyone else running at our events. The club makes money on a couple events a year. That is used to offset the losses at some of the other events. All told if we could put away a couple grand at the end of the year for future use we’ve done well. We just try to break even and not lose year to year.

    As for keeping RR going? We’ve tried many of the suggestions given. When things started going south a bit we immediately looked to cut expenses. The biggest and most obvious was trophies and awards. Aside from that there just isn’t really much non essential things to cut. If we have a small turnout we’ll cut the use of the PA, but that only saves

    $100 or so. We have few if any volunteers anymore. Most of the board members have leaned on their families to help at the races. Most now are burnt out and used up and besides that we just want to race too. That being the case we have to provide some sort of benefit to those we can recruit to work at the event. That costs money too. Towing, scales, gate, tech, etc. As events grow smaller and the costs per racer go higher in order to break even something has to give. Entry fees go up, amenities and things that effect the overall day go down. Now a person is seeing less value for his money. It’s a vicious circle.

    Now while track rates have somewhat stabilized during the recession here on the west coast there are still lots of groups competing to get them. As was stated earlier the tracks are not just looking at rent. It’s the whole income for the day, fuel, food, even the souvenir stand. Karters just can’t compete with the car and bike clubs. Therefore we get offered the leftover crappy dates. Take it or leave it, not much negotiation. Most racers just don’t understand this. We are constantly asked why can’t we race here or there on this day or that. It’s not that we don’t try it’s just that we aren’t given the choice. To really get a decent turnout and get people travel longer distances you need a 2 day format. At this point 2 days rental would kill us. Entry fees would be too high and we’d loose more than we would gain. Not that we aren’t looking into a way to do it. It’s just that our current model isn’t finacially strong enough to take the risk right now. Look at the loss that the PKA just took to host the IKF nationals. While it is appreciated it is just not a practical or prudent thing to do. NCK does have a class format that will allow practically every legal kart at lest 2 chances to race per day. If you are young and strong 3 or 4 classes are possible per day. That adds value to the one day format we use.

    For the past couple years I have personally tried to work on sharing a day with another club. Most wouldn’t even consider it. The one extensive conversation I had with an interested party went nowhere in the end. He wanted us to pay the equivalent of 3/4ths of the total day and get 1/4 to 1/3 of the track time. He was just in it for the money. As the economy squeezes tighter maybe another group may be forced into the sharing idea.

    When we look at who our new blood is that also raises some debate. I am of the opinion that the jr’s are not it. While they need to be courted they are not the savior. I feel we need to find the late 20 to 30 year olds who have been sprinting for a while. They are to the point of getting out because they can’t keep up with the kids and are tired of the bashing and crashing involved with sprint racing. They have families and jobs and can’t get hurt being punted by the local hot shoe for no reason. These are the guys with the disposable income to be road racers. It’s just getting them on the track. Most are hooked if you can just get them there. Sure our entries are much more but the amount of track time you get makes it worth it. You just have to get them there. Unfortunately most sprint clubs in our area are struggling too. They don’t want to promote road racing in fear of loosing their racers.

    Sorry for the long ramblings, trying to do this at work makes it hard to keep all my thought together…or is it just an age thing

  • #12445

    Nick Weil
    Participant

    1) Who actually here promotes/promoted a RR event?? Not talking about helping at the event. Doing it all.
    Pretty sure I have done almost everything for the Southern Kart Club…
    2) Anyone know how rather it’s a organization, club, etc. gets insurance ??
    Ours is handled through WKA as part of our Regional Series agreement.
    3) How does the insurance company determine how they cover your event??
    Same answer as #2…
    4) How many RR events do you attend a year??
    Used to be 10-12, now lucky if do 4-6.
    5) What area of the country??
    The Southeast.
    6) Who is/has been in the politics as a board member (IKF, KART, WKA, CES)??
    I’ve been very active as a WKA member on the Board of the SKC, but never been in an elected WKA position.

    I am certain that most racers aren’t aware of what it takes. I am also certain that most racers don’t want to hear what it takes, they just want to race. Therein lies the problem. Lack of support and participation above and beyond what your monetary budget allows.

  • #12477

    Kelly Read
    Participant

    To this point, it seems I have some people who knows and understands all or at least the big part of what it takes to put a RR event on.   1oo% agree that most racers don’t care of what it takes as long as they just have a place to race.  I have no problem with this as a promoter, I NEED THEM!!  As long as the racers that just come and race then leave understand it doesn’t happen over night and that there is a whole lot of work that happens before, during and after a event for the promoter.  As racers, we show up and leave as where the promoter still has plenty to do. GOT TO HAVE BOTH!!!

    #1) Promoting a RR event(s): I currently do 2 of 7 in our series. A few years back I did 6 of 8 (Nice that people stepped up and gave me a break). I do still “help” at the other events rather it be from being the R.D. to tech. Promoting is where someone does the before/during/after work such as scheduling of event dates, making the event schedule, sanctioning of the track, set track up (barriers, fencing, etc) if track calls for it, buying passes, getting workers, etc., keeping things rolling throughout the weekend and then goes home Sunday night and rest for a minute before taking care of the post race stuff (recap paperwork & fees to send in, tear down track, etc.) This last parts SUCKS!!!! 

    On the insurance, YES, #2 & #3 are close to the same. 

    For #2, from my experience having a organization such as the main ones mentioned that I can purchase insurance through, makes it easier and cheaper to get insurance for the promoter as they have memberships, rules and insurance carriers already in place.

    #3, I was asking if people knew just what/how the insurance company covered the policy holder (didn’t say I could type what I am thinking !!!). From myself,  In general they (insurance carrier I use) cover what we use for rules that we go by and any additional items I may include (L.O. rules as a example) and first but most important is  the track.  Having to send in pictures, fill out a application which has several questions and to be approved first, is the big thing. This is done by February the latest for me.  If it doesn’t get approved first, it doesn’t matter what rules you run by as there will be no race unless you find another carrier if you can. As one who knows, I have had to make changes (mainly more barriers) and re-submit to get approval.

    #4) # of events we attend – KART/MARRS had 7 this year and attended all 7. In the past we have attended all there events and 1-2 events over East.

    #5) Area – Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Missouri. As stated earlier, we are very fortunate to leave where we do!!! 

    #6) Was the Kansas director and a national board member for IKF back in the mid 80,s. Now, not really any title but I do a lot for KART and the series. I answer questions or give input when asked by other orgnizations in which both IKF & WKA has asked in the past.

     SO, sounds like we are trying but just need to keep it up and hope things get better in the near future!!!

     

  • #12571

    George Argiris
    Participant

    IMO
    It’s simply a numbers game – we are all fighting for the same racers – clubs are key to the success – they all need to collaborate – there is no room for selfish objectives – These tracks are not cheap – on average you will see about the same number of entry’s at each event – the numbers however are going down on Sunday’s, not sure why

    So it is strictly the cost to rent the track divided by the average number of racers – if that calculates to $120 each, so be it – would you rather not have a road race event near you – or would you than not road race at all or spend hundreds of dollars traveling to race.  We all have to work together

  • #12577

    Brian Wilhelm
    Participant

    Honestly, the price of an entry fee is almost irrelevant compared to travel, lodging, food, parts, tires, fuel, oil, etc.

    The clubs should not low-ball entry fees to try to get more entrants. That puts their program at too much risk. Charge an appropriate amount. The club needs to make a profit so they can have a cushion in case of rainout, etc. In general, our entry fees are lower than most other types of racing at the same track.

  • #12612

    Bill Pyles
    Participant

    Best kept secret in Arizona is that for several years, road racers, under the management of Benn Herr, have raced with car club ProAutosports at the former Firebird Raceway near Phoenix that has 4 different road courses!  The car club has several groups and the karts are just another group, treated equally.  We also race twice a year at Inde Motorsports in Willcox, AZ.  All karts run together in 4, 20 minute sessions per race day, with the last session being the race.  The classes run together, but are scored separately.  We have 250 sprint, 125 stock Honda, 125 sprint modified, and World Formula.  we would score TAGs if they showed up.  A big weekend is 40 karts, but we have a blast, and most of us drive less than 40 minutes to the tracks. 

    Lesson—kart clubs should look for opportunites to partner with car clubs.

  • #12919

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Kelly, I would much rather see four or five strong regional programs (WKC, CES, KART, something Southeast, and something on west coast), rather then one national series. That could lead us into one big race, similar to SCCA.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #17358

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Wow, the last 3 posts by Chris Hegar, Jeff Collier, and Jim McMahon bring this topic to a head.   I empathize with their cogent suggestions.

    We need only 12 Class divisions, not 61 like in WKA.

    First, continue with those classes that are established.  Say, minimum 15 entries.

    Second, create “bracket/time” classes to bring on track competition into the equation.  At least 10 entries per Group.

    Third,  recognize any Sanction/ Club Membership in exchange for participation.

    On my First suggestion this will require that there be only 12 (TWELVE), I’d say, classes maximum.  6 Currently Recognized ones and 6 Bracket ones.  Reduces trophy expenses.

    On the second one it will bring alive Jeff”s memories of great racing on the track.  And encourage any kart owner to compete.   Even “Vintage” owners…an inexpensive way to race on the big tracks.

    Third, this will need to happen to avoid any racer needing multiple Memberships.  WKA, KART/MARRS, Woodbridge, VKA, IKF and TAG all sanction races…let them recognize one another.

    How about it…an initial step to road racings survival !

  • #17467

    Jeff Collier
    Participant

    Greg and others…I once built a better mousetrap. I was substantially faster than everyone else. And I got Dqed for it…was totally legal by the rules and got Dqed. Was told by those who owned the sandbox that 80,000 spectators were not going to pay to watch me lap the field every 10 laps. As a result of running too fast, I got my very own restrictor plate to slow me down. True racing is NOT about speed…its about competition. My point is…if the race is not fun and competitive (I think those words are interchangeable for the racer)…if the race is not fun for those who come to race they are not going to continue to pay to race (or watch) for long. Its not all about being the fastest in your sandbox. My favorite karting road race of all time was a dogfight for third. It was the dogfight, the close competition I enjoyed and why I kept coming back.

    I hadn’t read ekartingnews in years. Hadn’t posted in years. But this particular topic caught my eye. I use to love to road race karts and traveled all over the country doing it. But my kids and I stopped and I wanted to share with those of you interested in this topic why. It was no longer fun. Winning a trophy for finishing first in a class with three entries where I lapped the two other competitors is a hollow victory at best.  I know, I did it. Fastest yes – fun no. Its why I quit – there was nothing fun about that.

    Before anyone poo poos the idea of bracket racing as a solution, visit your local drag strip and see how it works for them.  I’m pretty sure that most local drag strips are still open today because this type of racing brings in tons of cars –  I know because there is a drag strip two miles from my house. They race 2 nights a week and are packed out.

    Whats been suggested here with bracket racing is a slight adjustment of that idea to fit road racing. As Higgings suggested if you join a bracket slightly faster than your best laptime, you will have to drive your ass off to win. And you will be racing several other guys doing the same thing. Thats what I miss and thats what would bring me and my boys back to the track. Fun…just plain old fun (wheel to wheel competition). Thats a perspective I saw missing from this discussion.

    For those of you who want classes…at least make it real. Any class without 15 entries should end. I agree with Higgins on this and if you are old school just stay in the established classes. Nobody is suggesting do away with them except when there is no one in them. But I will wager if you have the choice to run a class and spend the entire race riding by yourself or choose a class structured to create a dogfight for the win…IMHO a true old school racer will pick the latter. Even with the possibility of that dreaded  DQ.

    To continue to do the same thing…and expect different results…well we all know what that is.

    Anyhow for those who are at least willing to consider the idea, read on. Not all of this drag racing stuff can apply but the concept with a few modifications could. This is from the Wikipedia article on Bracket racing:
    The effect of the bracket racing rules is to place a premium on consistency of performance of the driver and car rather than on raw speed, which in turn makes victory much less dependent on large infusions of money, and more dependent on mechanical and driving skill, such as reaction times, shifting abilities, and ability to control the car. Therefore, bracket racing (using the aforementioned handicapping system) is popular with casual weekend racers. Some will even drive their vehicles to the track, race them, and then simply drive them home.

    This format allows for a wide variety of cars racing against each other. While traditional drag racing separates cars into a wide variety of classes based on power and weight, bracket racing classes can be simpler, and can accommodate any vehicle with basic technical/safety inspection. Race events organized in this way are sometimes called “run-what-ya-brung”…

    Breaking out is when a racer manages to cross the finish line in less time that the one he dialed-in beforehand.

    If only one car “breaks out”, it is disqualified and the other one wins by default…

    This eliminates any advantage from bending the rules by putting a slow dial-in time on the windshield to … However, some racers will purposely dial a slower time and then let off of the throttle or use their brakes near the end of the track in an attempt to trick the other driver into breaking out. This racing technique is called sandbagging and, although useful and technically legal (not always), is looked down upon at most amateur events as a form of cheating and un-sportsman like conduct. In some track clubs, a sign of obvious sandbagging (letting off the throttle near the finish line or applying the brakes to comply with the dial-in time) earns an immediate disqualification from the event.

    Taken from Wikipedia article on Bracket racing…has been highly successful in drag racing…can it be adapted to kart road racing?

  • #17511

    Linda Baldus
    Participant

    “It’s official, I’m out of laydowns.”
    Mike & I had heard you sold the last of your stuff; sorry to hear that. Had missed seeing you lately at the track. If you change your mind, Mike highly recommends the Animal class, and in fact he has a chassis he plans to build for an Animal to sell (after he gets done building the project he has waiting in the garage right now), in case I’ve given you an idea. He can even put green bodywork on it.

    Keep on kartin'. llb
    Raymore, MO
    lindabaldus@hotmail.com

  • #18134

    Colm O’Higgins
    Participant

    Benn, Kelly, Jeff, Chris and so many others have great ideas on this topic.

    Do we see Sanctioning entities or Clubs becoming engaged?   Seems not, sadly.

    Action needs to happen !!

    Otherwise it won’t matter.  This Forum will become just memories of the past.

    A SUMMIT (cyber will reduce costs) of the people who control Road Racing is needed.

    Soon.  Race schedules have been announced for 2014 already.   Mostly the same stuff.

    Get together, recognize each other.  Market, plan, rationalize, co-operate as one.

    Start now !

  • #18160

    James McMahon
    Participant

    I’d be happy to help organize the tech behind such a “cyber” summit if others are willing to work with the participants.
    That said, I think the clubs need to be “convinced” which way to go by way of driver feedback, organization and plain old voting with their wallets. We need to work as a group and reach consensus both on a national and regional scale.

    Once that’s accomplished there will be two type of clubs\orgs..
    1) They ones that embrace the proposals by such a group and prosper.
    2) The ones that oppose it and fade away.

    I can help with the data, surveying, discussion and so on with KartPulse when we go live but we still need to identify some key “political” individuals.

     

    I really like Brian’s idea of having “core” set of classes that could be run at most RR events.

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