Home Forums General Karting Discussion LAKC booted from Calspeed! Good or Bad for SoCal Kart racing?

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    • #42542
      Stewart Willis

      So, social media has been buzzing about this.  What are your thoughts on this?

      In light of recent events, CalSpeed Karting feels its’ relationship with the Los Angeles Kart Club has become damaged beyond repair. While it is not necessary for two organizations to like each other to conduct business, CalSpeed feels it is necessary for the organizations to respect and trust each other. Unfortunately, due to the handling of the overnight camping issue, CalSpeed feels that both trust and respect have been permanently lost between the two.

      For this reason, CalSpeed Karting has made the difficult decision to revoke Los Angeles Kart Club’s contract for 2015. While LAKC will no longer be the host, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>this weekend’s club race at CalSpeed will go on as scheduled</span>. CalSpeed has assembled a competent and professional crew to handle all registration, timing, officiating, and technical inspection duties and will host a first-rate event. The same classes, weights, and rules will be run as originally scheduled. The points earned this weekend will accumulate toward a season championship.

      Since CalSpeed does not have access to LAKC’s pre-registration list, racers will need to re-register for their class(es) with CalSpeed. However, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>CalSpeed will NOT charge a race entry fee for this weekend’s race</span>. Since most racers have already pre-registered and paid LAKC to race, we do not feel it is fair to charge them again. More details on the registration process will be announced shortly.

      Saturday practice fees remain unchanged. Drivers must retain their wristband on Saturday for Sunday entry. Pit passes for crew and spectators will be the standard $15 per day (Saturday or Sunday) or $25 for a 2-day event band.

      CalSpeed will honor all pit spot reservations made with LAKC. As always, racers will be able to park in their spot as early as Friday and retain the spot throughout the weekend.

      There WILL be overnight camping on Saturday night and it will be offered at no cost to the racer. Anyone wishing to stay the night must be onsite by 6pm Saturday night in order to sign the waiver and receive a wristband.

      Regarding the future beyond this weekend, CalSpeed is committed to building a new race series with direct input from the local karting community. That said, the goal for 2015 is to build upon the strong foundation of racers, teams, shops and sponsors already in place. The same applies to the class structure and rulebooks currently in use. We plan to keep these in place so there is consistency and security for everyone. Next week, the new series will start the process of contacting the sanctioning bodies, suppliers, sponsors, and other partners to secure their involvement and support for the remainder of the season.

      While the circumstances leading to this decision are unfortunate and regrettable, we feel this is the best option for the long-term health and well-being of kart racing in Southern California. Not everyone will agree with this decision and some will outright object. That is expected and understandable. However, CalSpeed will move forward to produce a race series that will ultimately be judged by the kart racing public.

    • #42548
      David Cole

      This adds to it: So-Cal Challenge Supports CalSpeed Event This Weekend

      David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

    • #42557
      Michael Graves

      Not surprised. LAKC And the speedway have had a strained relationship for a long time. I wish both sides can work out the issues so it does not hurt the racers.

    • #42570
      Mike Giles

      Being an “old-newbee” (meaning back after 20 plus years away) I have no clue if it’s good for So Cal but it’s good for me and my Rotax. I just registered and looking forward to Sunday.



    • #42576
      Howie Idelson

      Finally, some juicy stuff to argue about on here.

    • #42579
      Chris Koch

      I feel that this is not right! No matter how you feel about LAKC (good or bad) this is a strong arm takeover of a kart club! If I were a club at that track I would be scared that they would do it again. Now it will be track owners and no clubs running the show. For profit decisions that do not care about kartings interests. What is a club to do in the face of this threat? This was a hostle takeover. There will be no insentive to keep costs low because there would be the fox guarding the hen house. What did LAKC do that was so bad to deserve this takeover? Not pay insurance because it was too expensive and say it? I dont see the misstrust in that statement? Karters should boycott this action and go somewhere else with their money and have fun at another track that doesnt strong arm people. There are many, Adams, Apex and Grangeare good examples. I just dont know why people dont see this?

    • #42613
      Mike Gerould

      In response to LAKC claims, CalSpeed posted the following:


      Sure seems like LAKC did this to themselves, and by misrepresenting it left CalSpeed no option but to tell them to take a hike.

    • #42618
      Karen Novikoff

      Not the first time that BOD has shot itself in the foot attempting to get something on somebody else’s dime. Won’t be the last, unless the club folds. BTW – why are they being so quiet? Their silence is thunderous.

    • #42625
      Brad Packard

      @Chris Koch – I can respect your opinion, but I think the picture you paint is a little skewed from the reality of how things evolved between the club and the track over the years. I’ll repost from Facebook:

      There were a lot of blood, sweat, and tears shed by those that had a hand in running LAKC over the years in order get it where it is (or was). As a non-profit club organization they also had a lot of willing assistance from outside entities, CalSpeed being the most major one in recent memory… but whats being missed is the fact that there has been a real effort over the last few years to change that little non-profit club into a money-making organization, and that focus on the bottom line is what changed the “Championship’s” relationship with many of its partners and members for the worse. I don’t begrudge anybody for trying to make a buck, and running the club is a hell of a lot of work, but be honest about it and don’t cry foul when you don’t get the same helping hands from those around you that you once did.

      Obviously battle lines are being drawn, and people have relationships on both sides that they are going to support, but I think its a little simplistic to claim this is a ‘big guy’ elbowing out ‘the little guy’ type situation.  Major efforts and concessions were made by both sides over the years in the interest of keeping things together, but sometimes things just run their course.

    • #42628
      Chris Koch

      Although I have no knowledge of the past relationship between the two parties here. From the reading of the recent posts on both websites one can only draw a conclusion that, the request to withdraw a statement, then the result of that after only one day, seems strangely extreme.
      If you have a successful business and the landlord kicked you out and took over your business, that seem to me to be not right. No matter what was between them.
      Im not picking sides just trying to state what I see

      Again I have no idea what has got these two organizations to this point? I’m not involved in karting anymore and have no dog in this fight. There, also is nothing wrong with a club wanting to make a buck or a track wanting to make a buck, after all this is America isn’t it?
      Perhaps a history would help here? Still doesnt make it ok.

    • #42676
      David Cole
    • #42721
      Tom Jensen

      Having negotiated a few contracts I can tell you that when one party wants what the other party has, you don’t call the other party a bold face liar. I can’t remember that ever working. You can fix the club but you can’t fix stupid. Just get rid of stupid. Problem solved. If you can’t renegotiate a lease after ten years of renting, you screwed up. I have a feeling that if this were the only issue, it could have been resolved amicably. There were probably several issues over the years and this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. LAKC has always played a significant role in Southern California karting but it really is the kart drivers that made this club great in spite of its leadership or lack thereof. I know Rob Niles and have actually negotiated a lease with him. He was always straight forward, to the point and fair. If he wanted to take over the club, he could have done that a long, long time ago. From day one, he could have started his own club and left LAKC go right down the drain which was exactly where it was headed. Without the move to CalSpeed, there would be no LAKC.

    • #43477
      John Barthelmass

      I’ve got to commend LAKC…..with their series moving to Willow Springs Raceway for 2015, the driving distance was too far for my son and I to participate. I sent them a request for refund of my prepaid entry fees (they had offered to refund in an email to the participants), and LAKC had credited the full amount back to my account within two hours.

      Despite the difficult times, they are still proving to be a class act. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.

    • #43881
      John Barthelmass

      I saw on the LAKC website this afternoon that the club and CalSpeed track have reconciled, and the LAKC series will be running at Fontana starting with the March 29th race. Good news for all involved…..looks like our paths will be crossing again even sooner than I had expected.

      Now I’ve got to go through all that registration stuff again!

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