Home Forums General Karting Discussion New 4 Cycle Sprint Series

This topic contains 63 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Baker 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #26230

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    The time is ripe to start developing a new 4 cycle sprint series in the Ohio, Michigan and Indian area, or should I dare say the northern area with additional states. After the last few years of thinking about this and the fact that 4 cycle sprint racing is now in a growth pattern again, now is the right time to start developing this series for a 2015 launch. My current thinking would also be a WKA divisional transfer point series. If there are any Men or Women that are interesting and have the time and energy to be part of this team in the development of this totally new and innovative series contact me. Now is the time to take a clean sheet approach and develop an awesome 4 cycle series.

    Thanks
    Steve Baker
    419-217-3881
    E Mail = Bakerracingeng@aol.com

  • #26231

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Aside from Gold Cup, where else are 4-Cycle racers racing in the area?

    IMO, unless the clubs in the area have good numbers, there is no reason to add another series to the already packed program that is Midwest karting from April to September.

    Michigan has very little in terms of numbers with only two tracks. Ravenna has all kids, and they all race Clone with spec rules. They get maybe 40 racers on a good day total. East Lansing is about the same in terms of numbers.

    If you create a series, you just pull away from the clubs. If you are looking for a series, I would just support the Gold Cup for now.

    What about a big 4-Cycle Midwest Nationals event, three days in the summer at one track, include Clone, LO206, and Animal classes.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26238

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    The feeder for the Gold Cup now is clubs. 5 years ago, travel was less expensive, and 10 years ago it was even less. That allowed budget racers to make multiple 3 or 4 day weekend events more than once a year. Now, racers can barely afford to follow the entire 4-race schedule that is the Gold Cup program.

    IMO, the best way to promote 4-cycle racing is at the club level. Regional racing is not what it used to be, and while its sad to see, it’s just how things evolved. Until the numbers of 20 racers in a class at the club level exist in the Great Lakes area, I don’t see the need for another traveling series.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26242

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Unless you have 100 RACERS looking to take part, there is no reason to start another series. To my knowledge, that’s about how many race at the Gold Cup events.

    If WKA tracks, such as G&J, Michiana Raceway Park, and others in the area don’t provide club classes for Gold Cup classes, then creating another series won’t help it grow either. In order for something to grow, it has to have a good base. In karting, that base is the club level.

    Don’t get me wrong, it could work, but I just don’t see the support to make it happen.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26279

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    This is a great topic with a lot of valid points made by both all that have commented. Steve is a major supporter of 4cycle and briggs racing in general and I can sense his urgency for someone to take advantage of the opportunity that is available for someone to take control and guide 4cycle sprint racing back to where it once was just 10-12 years ago when >40 entries was the norm in the majority of classes (mainly utilizing the flathead engine).

    The main issue at hand is that the current formula for 4 cycle racing is not ideal. There is effectively no ladder system for a 4cycle sprint racer to make the proper  progression from the club level to the regional and national level. This has partly been do to rules instability or undesirable packages at the national level. As a result clubs have come up with their own rules and engines and no longer follow WKA as has been stated. All of the local tracks in my area are guilty of this. They are mostly 4cycle based clubs and they follow their own rules. As a result, these tracks rarely see advancement of racers from the local level. In the past, countless racers came from these tracks and were very supportive and successful in the Gold Cup series.  I am shocked to see how few racers now participate from Ohio.

    Fortunately, I think with the addition of the  LO 206 at many of the local tracks in Ohio, IN, and PA will help to get local tracks back in alignment as far as rules. However, I still know a track that encourages customers to not by a 206 and get a regular stock animal instead so they are unable to go to a surrounding track. This type of thought process is the ultimate problem. Too many rules that limit participation!

    Go back to when the gold cup, or karting in general, was at it’s peak…..You could take your kart with a Yamaha or Briggs flathead on it and go race at any track or race you could imagine. You didn’t have to worry about if your package would be legal because of what tires, body, seat, wheels, or whatever else that organizations have found ways to mandate to their liking.

    Back to the specific topic…David and Steve both make great points on the need to build 4cycle sprint karting outside the national level. The current structure at the national level looks very encouraging with the strong increase in entries the last year and a half with the Pro Gas classses. The next step is deciding on the best way to implement these classes below the national level. Again, the 206 is a start, but where do we go next? Do we wait for the 206 to reach its full potential and then push the pro gas?

     

    Anyway, I have plenty more to say on the topic….to be continued.

  • #26282

    Jim Brummet
    Participant

    I am lucky enough to have two  tracks a hour away to club race and two series to race if I want to buy 4 sets of  different  tires  and run diff rules let’s hope  the 206 class does not get screwed up best class for the money

  • #26291

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Jim, I am assuming you are running LO206?

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26312

    Mark Dismore Jr.
    Participant

    Steve,

    With Mike Tetreault trying to revamp the Great Lakes Sprint Series, I would think your best bet would be to include 4 cycle classes with that series. I doubt a stand alone 4 cycle divisional would bring in enough entries to be viable for most tracks. LO206 at NCMP has been very strong this year, I just hope rules creep from doesn’t mess up a good thing.

    Mark

  • #26321

    Mark Dismore Jr.
    Participant

    Less is definitely more!

  • #26330

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Another goal should be to work with all the tracks in the Great Lakes region to commonize all their classes and specs to be the same as WKA national level classes. This would only help to feed growth at the local tracks and at National races in the area. We have some great sprint tracks in this region with great racing potential, it just needs to be organized between each track promoters.

    i.e. – There is so much potential in this region to have some of the best sprint racing in the country!

    Ohio
    Midvale
    Thompson
    Adkins
    Circleville
    Camden
    Fremont

    Michigan
    Ravena
    East Lansing
    Palmyra

    Indiana
    MRP ( South Bend )
    NCMP ( New Castle )

    Steve

  • #26346

    John Matthews
    Participant

    Good points by all.

    When my wife and I moved up to NW Lower Michigan in 2009 I had hoped to do some racing and support 4 cycle racers here in the midwest. Having watched from the sidelines now for 4 years my business is finally in a place where I could get away for a weekend or two but where to run. I agree that tracks where the owner tries to keep everything to themselves are just plain dumb, the only way to grow is keeping rules the same among all clubs. I’ve been told I will be welcome at ELKT with my LO206 (won’t race a clone for a bunch of reasons) but it would be great if they would put it on their class list so others could see it’s an option.

    IMHO, every club should offer LO206 as an entry level/sportsman class. Racers should also boycott anyone that tries to change the rules around to suit their own desires, we need a stable platform that will let you travel anywhere without the hassle of needing to run different engines, weights, or tires. We also need a few people with money to step up and build new tracks to replace ones that have shut down but that’s another story.

    While I would like to see more/better regional series it’s never gonna happen without strong local programs that encourage new participants.

    Briggs has stepped up in a very real way with the LO206, now it’s up to the clubs, track owners, and organizers to work together to build participation.

    JMHO,

    John Matthews
    Heartbeat Power

  • #26427

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Why would someone want to go from club, to regional and then to the national level? Competition. For some, club level racing is not a challenge, or they continue to win race after race. What’s the next step? Regional and national racing.

    What do you currently race Paul? It appears you race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex?

    I don’t understand how racing a national event is 4-times your budget. If a class is the same as your club class, you should just have to buy tires and go race. That’s the type of progression it appears we need to help build back up for 4-cycle racing.

    The LO206 is a great start, as anyone can get a motor, put it on a kart and go racing. The only difference for rules right now are the spec tires at different tracks. That happens in all classes, except maybe Rotax racing.

    For a club driver, there is no need to spend $5k on new equipment each year. Can you? Sure. There is no limit to what a racer can buy.

    Karting is budget racing. No matter your budget, you can race. If it’s $1000 or $100,000, there is a place to go.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26437

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Ok, so you race Clone. That’s club level. There is no class for you at the national and regional level because that is what clone is about, or was to be about – the hobby racer. And yes, tire is the biggest expense if you are not traveling. It’s a common thing to use up old tires on practice day to help save costs.

    Regional and national events are for those who want to race against the best. Otherwise, what would be the point. National events is a mix of people. Those who are the best and those that can afford it. Some fit into both categories, some just one.

    Is it fun? Of course, why else would people be going. To see 40 karts take the green flag is an amazing site. When I go to a race, I love to just watch from the sidelines.

    I don’t fully understand how you grow without broadening the market.

    Not sure I understand what you mean here?

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #26439

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    Paul, at the last national in jacksonville I practiced on my used tires on Friday. Put my new tires on for the Friday night money race. Raced the same set Saturday. Then raced the same set in two classes on Sunday. Two wins, 2nd,3rd and won$1400 and only one set of tires that was ~200$. Kart is 7 years old. Engine was fresh. Rain tires are readily available from multiple vendors. No need to buy ahead.

    The way you stated it, running nationals wouldn’t much fun and very expensive. My actual experience sounds pretty good…

  • #26447

    John Matthews
    Participant

    -snip_. I have a 206 and seem that people are buying in, but when the next generation 206 hits the market (next year?), will it be a clone/flathead situation all over again-snip-

    Not gonna happen, Briggs doesn’t have the motivation that those other guys (aftermarket suppliers) have to keep you buying more/different stuff. IMHO it was the LACK of legal aftermarket stuff in Briggs Animal that made those other guys want the clone.

    WKA Stock Animal rules have been very stable for a long time, the biggest change was allowing aftermarket con-rods and you can figure out why that happened pretty easy. With the exception of the PVL flywheel different Animal generations have only added reliability, not performance.

    Briggs has been very clear from the start about why the build the LO206, the point is to have as equal a platform as possible to help build the sport. True, most racers won’t go on to regional or national competition. There are many different reasons for this and I bet money isn’t the main one for the majority.

     

    John

  • #26452

    Craig Drabik
    Participant

    I really wish there was regional and national World Formula interest.  Bolt it on and go.

    • #26496

      Bob Vehring
      Participant

      Well my friends, I’mmmmm Baaack only took roughly 8 attempts at Davids reg process, but I made it.

      Good idea Steve, even if you don’t intent to come this far west. Badger still has a good number of 4 cy racers. As an example of “if” they want to travel, view the thread on Badgers board re. the MASS, the BP Animal racer asked very strongly to be included, unfortunately the leadership would not answer to them. In the past the same was done with Rt66. The reason people from here switch to 2 cy is and always has been, lack of any 4cy National type series that come here.

      Both Rt66 and Mid America Sprint Series have people in their leadership that are based out of Badger, both own 2 cy shops. There is and always has been a very big push here to get our racers to run traveling series. While Man cup was here yearly for a decade, in my 28 years here, Gold Cup has come exactly, once. That has always been the problem, it leaves our people little choice on where to go if they want to move on from the local  track.

      There’s no question the 4 cy world has been rocked over the last decade, I think LO has done alot to repair that damage, but it has a long way to go, and its only one class.

      I gave up years ago trying to get WKA to care about us out here, the new series don’t care about us. Here’s something Regan has done out here and I want to be clear we only have worked it out for two tracks, Badger and Blackhawk I can’t say it works out as we do it at every track because of length of straight, number and type of turns etc.

      He took 3 of Badgers Animal classes, Jr, @300#, Sr. @ 350# and we have a class called Orca which is KT100 or Animal @410.  That class uses YLC tires, the otherYDS

      We started by studying both track record, and weekly times for these classes. The 410 class and Sr Animal had almost identical times as is. Jr’s had the potential to be the fastest at 50 lbs lighter then SR. We started with a gold slide, then kept shortening it a few tho at a time until we got lap times equal. This was then tested with multiple drivers/karts for weeks. We’ve had winners from each group and not uncommon for one of each in the top 3.  Regans race at Badger last year had 37 entries in one class, which is the largest class ever run at Badger.

      We get that many people, remember this only the milw area people, because, they want something different then Badgers weekly deal. They want different racers and they want big fields. we get people who haven’t had their karts out for years because they are tired of the weekly grind. It is a money race, but not huge money, so far we have gotton your entry fee covered by a  sponsor, and we do something different with the payout. The payout is split in half. one half goes to top 5. The other half is given out on a pea pick for all the rest, 6 place to the end have 5 chances,  so even the guy in last place stands a chance of winning just as much as the winner.

      I brought that up for one point, here, it has got people moving, our road race friends come to Badger, our Sprint friends go to Blackhawk  Who knows, maybe I’ll even get Gary in a limited Road Race kart, the world looks different at 110 LOL

      Steve if theres any thing I can do to help, you know the number

  • #26497

    tony zambos
    Participant

    Bob,
    Welcome back.

    LAD Specialties customer / tony kart / rotax / kt100

  • #26501

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    I looked at some of the bigger tracks in the 5 states around the Great Lakes, OH,IN,IL,MI,and WI and it was mind boggling of all the different classes and rule packages, i was running out of paper. Can this really be good for our karting sport?

    In a nut shell, no.

    Unless someone or groups of people step up to try and form a unity across the borders, let alone within state borders, it won’t happen. There are a number of factors as to why this is, but it all comes down to the racers themselves stepping up and making this happen.

    I helped organize the Mid-State Super Series for road racing. I brought together Badger Kart Club, River Valley Kart Club, Michigan Kart Club and KART together into one series. Each hosted events on their own, formed a common rule structure and provided a strong regional series. All done from a few meetings in a central location.

    One issue right now is all the diversity of engines that are out there. There are now four different Briggs classes (LO206, WF, Animal Gas, Animal), multiple Clone classes (Box Stock, Open) with all their different niches at different tracks. In order to help form a common ground, tracks AND drivers need to eliminate some of the options, and form a general class structure that everyone can follow.

    The question is, what do people want? Do they want to focus on LO206 and Animal Gas, or has the infusion of Clone racing taken over and they can’t let go?

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

    • #26524

      Bob Vehring
      Participant

      Id say you hit the nutshell on the head David, problem is its been fragmenting for so long now, many of the other changes or series are well established.

      Sorry to bother with yet another long story, but I think its important. Most of you know,our business has changed focus to 120 sleds. For us its a much, much bigger world. Regan also races full size sleds himself, and Wendy did it for 15 years back then

      Snowmobile racing, all forms, has always been governed by a group called ISR, somewhat along the lines of what WKA used to be. Their is one major and very important difference. ISR itself does not make the rules. They will gather the tech spec’s from manufacturers etc to be used, and they do then publish the rules on their site for everyone to use, but they do not make the rules.

      How the rules are written is a different process. Every fall, I already went to 2 meetings this month and have one to go, there is a meeting hosted by ISR where 2 members from each affiliate group (series) attends. This group comes from across the USA and Canada, even a few Europeans. Their are 4 different meetings, one for each discipline, Ovals, Snow X,  Drags, 120’s. Manufacturers and aftermarket company’s are also included. You have several months where each group can submit changes or proposals, an agenda is formed from this. That agenda is sent to the affiliates several weeks before the meeting. At the meetings there can be 50 people at the table, only the issues on the agenda will be talked about and while there is plenty of discussion, at the end of each topic, a vote will be taken, and that will be the rule for the year, period.

      The advantage here is while we deal with mainstream big time manufacturers like Yamaha, Polaris, SkiDoo and Artic Cat, where certainly they each could have their own motivations, needing to be approved by majority pretty much ends any self promotion, power grabs, or self interest rules.

      While their are a few outlaw race groups, none are very big or get much respect. It is the racers themselves that back the ISR program so all rules are fair and equal, in some of the classes, rules are frozen for a 5 year period unless there is a safety issue involved. That’s important because at the cost of equipment, you can build or buy an engine or chassis, and know it won’t be outdated on you next year.

      Karting has become the polar opposite of this, now, whenever someone doesn’t get their way, they start their own series. Not talking about Steve here because we have no other 4 cy series, I’m talking the 2 cy world. Man Cup, Rt 66, MWSS, GLSS, MASS, Rotax, Leopard, Shifter groups that killed themselves. There simply is not one clear direction. Most new series in Karting are now run by one person or small group, it is often centered around their engine or their chassis or tire brand. Our sport is now run by business interests, not racers.

      If Steve can take what he has in Gold Cup and start spreading that out to other areas, I think that would be a good start at getting racing, at least 4 cy back going in one direction. If you can start spreading your guys to the west, I try to start my guys going east, see ya in Indy

      Bob

  • #26523

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    Sprint racers never got in a deep as the oval world in regards to clones. The biggest sprint clone race I know of was king of the castle with around 30. Otherwise gold cup had around 20 when it was at its peak. Barnesville and Jacksonville both had strong clone programs at the time. New castle and mid state also had good clone programs as recently as last year. This is no longer the case at many of these tracks with most converting to the 206 and some to the Pro Gas Animal. Pro gas had 30 entries at Jacksonville, the largest class size gold cup has had in years.

    Couple other discussion points: 206 for sr makes sense at the local level obviously. Is there room for the pro gas package also? Would clubs have the racers to support both? Pro gas makes sense as an alternative to yamaha can when wanting to go faster than a 206.

    I will admit most of my thoughts are usually directed towards the sr classes because that is what I race. However, the greatest focus needs placed on developing solid structure for the younger classes.
    The 206 kid kart engine is an obvious starting point.

    Now, should the next class be 8-10 or 8-12? Continuing to utilize the 206 from the kid kart with only a carburetor slide change makes sense. Would this be the time to introduce the sportsman pro gas class or leave it just 206s? I know this is when many kids leave to go run a 2cycle because they are typically faster.

    Moving to the 12-15 year olds the same decision needs to be made as in sportsman. So you run a 206 and pro gas class?

    My next thought is on bodywork. Although not as crucial a decision as engine rules I believe it has a great effect on participation in some instances, albeit unwarranted in my opinion. I hear from many that run cik bodywork that the advantage of full bodies deters them from attending some events with open bodywork because of the aerodynamic advantage. Even in the most extreme circumstances the difference is negligible in sprint racing. Even so, would we be better off just going to cik bodywork on everything? Many enjoy using cik bodywork because they are so easy to put on and it makes the kart more accessible to work on. Not to mention that that all karts imported from other countries come with cik bodywork along with some made in the USA. The cost of most of these imported karts is not appealing to me however and should factor in to the decision on bodywork rules if one style was to be mandated.

    Sit up style seat vs. Laydown seats is also a similar issue.

  • #26526

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    For Gary’s questions, from the Wi area. Badger has always been since the demise of FH a BPed Animal track, simply because it was first, and thats what built here. Our Animal class was good before cloan LO or anything else came along

    Badger, to some degree is run by its members, these members vote in Class rules, We have a rules Comm. meeting, items placed on a ballot, then, the membership itself, votes. For the last two decades, the 4 cy side has been left to me. My way of handling this, was to gather all the 4 cy racers in the tech barn one or two times before our Badger rules committee meeting, talk out our issues, then present that to Badger. Until this year, it has worked well.

    The 4 cy group at Badger is a very close group, around here, we are the largest 4 cy classes in Sprint by far. We also know well who hard it is to maintain that in a 2 cy focused club.

    This year I brought up the LO choices to consider, with only one 4 cy shop (us) and 6 or 7 2cy shops, its a hard sell here to get new people to try Briggs. Our group is adamant about one thing, trying to get the largest classes we can. Last year we voted out LM, just not enough of them, and they voted to combine the 2 Jr Sprtsmen classes in to one. The vote on weather to introduce LO class went down 34 to 1, nothing against the package, but you can only split the pie so many ways.

    Until the number of Briggs racers grows considerably, I would expect here to remain Animal Blue print focussed

    I think in Sprint unlike ovals, speed is important. our guys are surrounded by KT’s and Komets and TaG, even kids. The sales pitch from the 2 cy shops is everywhere ” You got a year in now, your ready to step up and go fast”. Seriously, its peer pressure on the kids. BP’ed Animals in Spts and Jr classes puts them as fast or faster then some of the 2 cy classes. 4 cy only series don’t deal with that, here its serious.

    I think we were one of the first tracks to push the 206 KK engine, even with Klaus standing next to me, it didn’t stand a chance. The 2 cy sales pitch quickly  ended that and its a shame the 50 cc Comer must be one of the most expensive engine out there for top level engine. Even when one blew a flywheel down our ft straight scattering shrapnel all over our grid, thank God it was a practice day, it was officially ignored. I even notified the “Powers that be” ,of which no one returned my emails. What was Briggs put through to ensure flywheel safety? What a way to get kids started.

    Re, Pro Gas, I have nothing against it other then its too close to Animal BP, Here we simply don’t have enough racers to offer both

  • #26549

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    The flathead had great success and it wasn’t fast. The 206 is faster than the flathead was and it is a better engine for a beginning/inexperienced karter than anything else on the market. Granted, I too like going faster with the blueprinted alky animal. Unfortunately, it is all but dead in the sprint world. I would go back to the flathead in a second if it meant racing against 50 karts. I would be interested in going to Canada to run the big 206 national event they had last year if it continues to grow.

    Clubs leaders need to ask if the class structure they currently offer is good for longterm/future growth. They need to be proactive and not reactive.

    Bob V. I see the problems that you are facing. My hope is that briggs racing starts booming at surrounding track and your club sees the value it could offer.  A $1500 yamaha does not sound very appealing as a starter package compared to a 206 at half the price. I guess the mission needs to be one club at a time…

  • #26554

    Mike Bray
    Participant

    Clone hit it big because people dusted off their old chassis and put a $100 motor on their kart. As mentioned above every local track had different rules, whether it is an AKRA or WKA motor it changed yearly. What I found to be the biggest detractor and what ended up killing clone was all the manufacturers pushing people to continually buy items during the season. I have a 206 and seem that people are buying in

    Hit the nail on the head!  We started out with “inexpensive” clones and it didn’t take long to see just how completely out of control the entire clone deal is.  It all boils down to trying to over-regulate a very inconsistent sow’s ear, to the point pro-built clones are now $1K and up.  Unless clone motor rules are shortened to about half a page and costs gotten under control the class will be dead in 5 years.  Think it can’t happen?  Where are the flatheads?

    LO206 is the way to go for cost, reliability, equality, and power.

    We now run Rotax motors and they’re less expensive to keep running than clones!

     

  • #26556

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    I hope the best for Badger, but I am no longer politically involved, several months ago, all 3, 4 cy board members resigned over the way some things were being handled. It is now run by 2 cy people

    Funny, but true story, must be 15 years ago but something I always remembered. On the very first version of Bob Evens D board, there was a discussion going on which was a better way to run a track. Private ownership or a club situation. Someone made the comment that in a club situation, egos will always destroy it

  • #26559

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Gary, Again just speaking to our area, but a track that has a long history of Animals also has a good supply of used packages. Yes you can buy a LO for $550. Add in mount, clutch, pipe and the small stuff, easily 100 on the cheap side 200 if you get a good clutch and mount. Here its common to find good used packages in the $1000-$1500 range with good tires and a proven history. Regan takes in alot of karts on trade or buys out people moving on. Cleans them up and pushes them out the door just so we can get new people racing here

  • #26868

    Craig Drabik
    Participant

    Bob, the Western NY Kart Club (formerly Batavia Kart Club) has a similar class structure where we have a combined stock Animal, KT-100, and World Formula class equalized by weight.  I wish I could say we have better luck with it, but it hasn’t been as successful as we’d have liked.  It does offer easy entry into the senior classes on the engine side – there’s a lot of Animal and Yamaha engines out there.

    Honestly though the WF should be where it’s at for the experienced racer who isn’t into traveling to nationals and doesn’t want to spend a lot.  They’re just as quick as Yamaha can out of the box, and they run forever with just oil changes and carb cleaning.

  • #26871

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    The world formula is a great package that never took off. My opinion is many drivers dont want engines to be even. Some like to try to outspend competitors to get an advantage while others like to have an excuse for why they dont win. I went two years of nationals on my world formula without a rebuild. I could buy another every season just with the money saved on rebuilds. Hopefully many continue to come to their senses and don’t treat the 206 the same way. Initial numbers at tracks look promising! My engine builder has done 6 already this yr and hadn’t done one prior.

  • #26873

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    We have to remember that WF was born for a very different concept that unfortunately never took off. Its birth place was Europe, at a time when CIK thought 2 cy engines might be endangered. The concept was for the CLASS to be called WF, and made up of several brands that met the design of that class. This was back when Dan Wilson was still in charge of Motorsports for Briggs and they were the only ones to really jump in, things at CIK change and the deal fell apart. altho engines were used here and in a few other countries, I believe South America was a strong place for them.

    We have to remember that Animal, LO and WF  are built on the same lines and share many  of the same parts, Animal and LO are almost the same engine accept for jetting and ign coils. WF did have some different parts. The rod was billet altho we now use the std Animal rod often even in Road Racing. Performance wise it has a bigger cam and carb and more compression, which give it the potential for more power. The draw back here is part of the org. WF class structure was a min. time between rebuilds concept written into the rules. For that, it was given a relatively low rev limiter, I think it was around 7000. The bigger cam, carb and comp give it the potential to make power much like a WKA limited, however it comes at a higher RPM where it can use those things. The limiter shuts it down before it can take advantage of those things. As with any engine increasing the flow possibilities have a trade off, and low end suffers because of a loss in velocity at lower rpms. Below 6000, it makes slightly less power then a WKA Animal

    This was all prior to the Briggs switch to PVL ign and so it was easy to disconnect the rev limiter, at which point it could really use the cam and carb and was a very strong performer, the billet rod let it live at high rpms without problems.

    With the limiter intact here at Badger, 6/10s sprint track the WF and Animal turn very close lap times, Animal faster throught the turns and tight stuff, WF had the advantage on the long straight.

    As I said before, here BP Animal was here first and became strong so always had the edge as far as popularity. WF was a great engine, but at almost twice the price out of the box, it just didn’t sell

     

    As far as time between rebiulds, like most people we simply let our leak down tester tell us when its time. When valves or rings leak, its time, period. On engines raced on dirt, filters are the main determining factor. Don’t stay on top of your filters both carb and crankcase, you see us much sooner. on anything other then dirt, carbon is the problem, it builds up on valves and seats losing seal, and on piston and head, which when it washes off, gets down between rings and walls.

    Regans business consists of 4 brands of 120 engines and alot of LO206 engines in sleds, all of these must run gas as a fuel. Kart engines from here are almost all Alky engines. The differance in carbon build up is very easy to see, and greatly effects rebuild time. Gas is a very dirty fuel and builds carbon, when it builds up on the ex valve, it looses seal, same as it passes by the rings. Alky is very clean, depending on oil choice it builds none to very little carbon, and need rebuilding less often.

    Alky Animals usually go 2 seasons and we have 14-18 races at Badger with most people also practicing each Sat.

    Honest truth is, if the leakdown test says its not leaking down much, not much sense changing parts that are working well. I never have had an issue with parts fatigue with the later versions of any of the Briggs engines

     

  • #26959

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    What would be the ideal 2 & 4 cycle classes for a Divisional series as we have been talking about in this post for the Great Lakes region. I am not that well versed in 2 cycle so any help would be appreciated. I am thinking about 6 or 7 classes each in 2 and 4 cycles.

    Steve

  • #26970

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Steve, here cans are big, Komet is dropping off, Tag, so- so. You can count Badgers numbers per class in the Race results section of badgerkart club.com. We have two traveling series that come here, Rt 66 is big, MASS only has one race in so far but small turnout, they come here next week.

    Might be worth thinking about just taking several 4 cy class to a track and getting in with their existing classes for the day, shouldn’t have to deal with track rental, workers and EMS that way, they should have all that in place themselfs Most tracks would be happy to have another 30 or so entries

  • #26976

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Bob,

    What I was thinking about is if you looked down over the region and had to pick what the 6 largest classes would be. Realizing that you can not satisfy everyone but just based on max entries for 6 classes in each 2 cycle and 4 cycle what would they be. Not to look at any one particular track of club, but at all the race tracks in this region for this study. Or is there too many classes to make this determination?

    Steve

  • #26978

    Joshua Guiher
    Participant

    You can look at classes, but you can have 2 classes that are exactly the same run under different names, or you can have 2 classes with the same name but different rules. Lots of places run the Yamaha, but for some unknown reason, they still run the can instead of the WKA that came in 2 seasons ago now.

    That includes WKA master tracks! Again, it is national groups and local tracks aren’t on the same page and it wastes competitors money and kills class counts.

  • #26980

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Joshua, we run cans here, the reason is, thats what our people wanted. Sun we had either 19 or 21, cans. One of my kids sometimes runs can on and off over the years. One of the problems I have with WKA is the reasons they make changes, which theres no need to go into here.

    When we started all Yamahas ran pipes, open pipes. Cans came about to end the pipe of the week deal, and to take the engine off the edge a pipe puts it on. Easier to tune, less damage if your not well versed in pipes. That was a good plan. BUT, we’ve been through 3 hole cans, 4 hole, holes in the back, holes in the side, can on a stick and now the new deal.

    A can is simply a restrictor, if every racer has the same one, it really doesn’t matter which one it is. To be honest, what this is about is giving manufacturers a place to sell everyone a new product, then of course WKA hopes they continue to sponsor. If you been around for this, think for a minute what all those cans have cost you.

     

    Steve, I know Badger is an island, here Norway and RA are both building LO, so I would defiantly count that in. I would guess it will come here in the not to distant future. As far as 2 cy,  of the two traveling series that come to us this year, they both offer different class structures. There is a series run by Coates called USPKS or something like that, they offer yet a different structure for 2 cy.

    Other tracks here, notably Norway and Road America are both much smaller of a weekly program then us. Shawno is about dead and the other one is a small local track that is mostly Honda, (real Honda, not cloan). There is a sprint track about 4 hrs north that Steve V is part of, but don’t know much about it

  • #27033

    Joshua Guiher
    Participant

    No, I have one club race under my belt. Finished 5 out of 10 & Mr. Lawson won.

    I just know I can’t take my kart too many places without buying a can and learning that. Even when USPKS comes (if our track doesn’t cancel that too) I can’t run because A) entry fees are nuts B) I don’t have a can.

    Just saying I’m a fan of oval racing, and while every track has a class called late models, they aren’t all the same.

    It’s a total PITA as a competitor to always need to check the rule book and buy parts.

  • #27045

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    Steve, I read that as those classes you listed were just added. I couldn’t find on the link what other classes are offered. Are there WKA BP, Animal class in all 3 age groups? I haven’t checked the dates yet, if it clears Badgers dates, maybe we could bring a group from here to INDY

  • #27051

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Bob,

    Stay in touch with the GLSS series about running the BP animal classes at New Castle races if you think you can bring a big group of them. Not sure how much room they have to add more classes. The PG and LO classes are added because of the strong gold cup showing and the future growth potential for these 2 platform classes. There is bigger plans for 2015 GLSS series and a restructure of 2 and 4 cycle classes.

    Thanks
    Steve

  • #27054

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Joshua,

    Your right there was not any 4 cycle classes at MRP. They are just now planning to add the 4 cycle classes I listed above to the remainder of the GLSS races.

    Steve

  • #27057

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Even when USPKS comes (if our track doesn’t cancel that too) I can’t run because A) entry fees are nuts B) I don’t have a can.

    What do you consider ‘entry fees nuts’ for a national event? USPKS is not a regular club race, it’s a Pro race, with money handed out. Roughly $116 a day for the track time they get is a solid deal. If I may, what do you pay for club racing and what is the amount of you get.

    I agree, the can/pipe situation is tough. However, the Yamaha Can class, no matter where I go, is among the best races on any weekend.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

    • #27059

      Joshua Guiher
      Participant

      WKA would have been $85. USPKS is like $300 or maybe a little more without looking it up again. I’m not good enough to win the money so that part doesn’t mean anything to me. Add in tires and needing to buy a can and I can’t do it this year.

      Maybe in karting terms it is a decent deal, but not for me at this time.

       

      Edit: Club is $45 and I get nothing back.

  • #27063

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    WKA: $50 (Friday) + $80 (Saturday) + $80 (Sunday) = $210
    USPKS: $350 (Three days combined)

    It’s a bigger jump in price, I agree. But again, it’s Pro level.

    That’s the great thing about regional programs, it should be cheaper than national but cost a little more than club. It’s the progression of the sport.

    For a class structure, it seems the Pro Gas is the avenue that 4-Cycle racing is going. I’d prefer to see LO206 stay at the club level, but regional racing is not bad.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

    • #27075

      Joshua Guiher
      Participant

      WKA: $50 (Friday) + $80 (Saturday) + $80 (Sunday) = $210<USPKS: $350 (Three days combined)

      Well, you got me there. Didn’t realize the $350 covered the entire weekend versus each day being separate with WKA.

      Either way, I still have full seconds to shave off before it is a consideration. A 1:02:5 at PittRace isn’t going to cut it, and that was on a pipe.

  • #27065

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    David how do you feel about the 206 class being a class at the Canadian nationals? If I understand it correctly anyway. I like that some of the veteran/talented racers chose to run it last year. Classes like that are awesome to watch. So much action even though the speed isn’t overwhelming

  • #27066

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    It’s hard to appreciate the value of a uspks event without attending. Laps/$ are very good and you have a lot of additional things going on. Cookouts, games etc

    • #27100

      Mark Dismore Jr.
      Participant

      Gary Lawson – It’s hard to appreciate the value of a uspks event without attending. Laps/$ are very good and you have a lot of additional things going on. Cookouts, games etc

      I agree with Gary, for the money spent you get a ton of track time but it’s easy to look at that entry amount and think it’s expensive when in reality the per lap charge is money well spent.

      I told Mark Coats that you know each practice session is long enough when you pull off before the checkered is out.

      Mark

  • #27069

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Canada karting and USA karting is so different.

    Canada: It has become Rotax and LO206, with Honda 4-cycle racing still taking part at some club level. Rok Cup is also growing ground, but ASN Canada – the country’s ONLY sanctioning body recognizes just Rotax and LO206 as a national class. Thus, I love it and I’d like to do the ECKC event at Goodwood, as my dad raced there roughly 35 years ago.

    USA: Multiple sanctioning bodies equals a country full of diverse engine packages and rule structures. WKA, IKF, TAGUSA, SKUSA, NKA, and others.

    In a perfect world, I would FORCE LO206 to all beginners. It’s inexpensive and a great transition from Rental Kart racing to competition karting.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #27074

    Chris Beasley
    Participant

    First, I don’t intend this as self-promotion. Over at KartRank.com we have data on kart counts for pretty much every track in the Eastern US, and for Midwest tracks we have data going back to 2011. If anyone would like some specific data I’d be happy to provide it.

    In general my take is: Cadet Sportsman is dead (really just a Man Cup class), Komet classes of all varieties are basically dead, Yamaha is just kind of maintaining. Clone seems to have turned a definite corner and is on the way down, with almost every track except some in the SE switching to 206 or running a combined class. 206 is really exploding this year.  At the national level Pro Gas seems to be the only game in town for 4 strokes, not sure why Gold Cup even bothers with the rest. Events like RIGP have very strong 206 counts, so I think it can work for big races.

    TaG is fracturing, seems like every manufacturer wants to be like Rotax and have their own series, with lots of Leopord/Parilla only and now Rok Cup.  I’m guessing this can’t be good long term.

    Canada might have the right idea with the Rotax/206 combo.

    Chris Beasley

  • #27085

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Keep working at it Josh.

    David Cole - EKN Managing Editor

  • #27097

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    I think the price of Nationals is well worth it, well if there were any true Nationals any more. It has become a generic term. Everybody has Nationals, some Nationals come about solely for the purpose of putting other Nationals under. Is that what this sport has come to?

    There was a time when winning a WKA National series was the top, and other series were divisional leading to that. Nowadays its run by business’s that want you on their tires, their engine, chassis, I remember a thread on here where a racer was kicked out because he wouldn’t wear the series spec suit. It doesn’t matter to anyone if you won Man Cup, because you didn’t Win Rotax, or USPKS or Rt 66 or any of the never ending others

    We grew up in this at a time where I could build a few Flatheads, and my kids could race them anywhere, any type of racing, same engines. Load the trailer and just go, everyone was in those classes. I can’t even keep track of just the 4 cy engines anymore

    We went through Dirt races with 2300 entries,  NRRS with over 1000, now they think 300 is a good race. From the link Steve posted, I looked through the results from WKA Nationals in several series. People ask why we don’t travel much anymore in Karting, we should drive 2000 miles one way, cost us 5K and race against 15 karts in our class?

    WE, let it get this way, and its only getting worse

  • #27121

    Timothy Strawkas
    Participant

    Karting has been fragmented for many years, and it has hurt it bad.

    BUT… look at the bigger picture….

    nascar

    nationwide

    ARCA

    silver crown

    indycar

    sprint cars

    latemodels

    sportsmans

    hobby stocks

    bombers

    hornets

    midgets

    minisprints

    on and on it goes and everyone of the classes listed here there has two or 3 variants of that car.

    more places/cars to choose to race…fewer racers overall because more and more  people dont work on cars themselves. So as A whole Racing is going to suffer overall. It is not going to get any better anytime soon from my perspective. Now Karting as A whole can be saved but its not gonna happen because all series get smart and go to SUCH AND SUCH motor all in one yr. Its just going to take YEARS of grtty dirty work of EVERYONE working together (racers/promoters and so on)

    Just me thinking outloud here.

  • #27141

    Bob Vehring
    Participant

    No doubt on you car list Tim, but we can’t count NASCAR, Indy Car, and Sprint in the same as Bombers, hobby Stock, and mini sprints simply because of cost.

    Karting is by far the cheapest thing out there and the nice thing is, you can buy a new chassis for $2500, an engine for a grand and go out to any level of racing you want, the equipment is the same.

    I agree totally about geting back to one engine, but doubt it will happen again. My youngest son Ryan really wanted to go to Daytona again, we haven’t been in a few years. When WKA added another 4cy class a month before the race, we backed out. Looking at the results page yesterday , glad we did. We raced Daytona every year sense 1994 to a couple years ago. My kids could run 335, 360, and 385 with the same karts, just add wt. Sometimes we had 40 Animals in a class. Those days are gone.

  • #27426

    Steve Baker
    Participant
  • #26235

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    David,

    Your first comment hits the point right on the head. “Aside from Gold Cup, where else are 4-Cycle racers racing in the area?” That,s the problem, there is no feeder in the area for the Gold Cup in this area. The 4 cycle sprint racing has declined over the past 5 to 10 years. I remember the older GLSS was very strong in 4 cycle sprint racing years ago. We need a series in this area that truly will promote 4 cycle racing and create a racing venue that will attract new racers to 4 cycle sprint racing, that does not exist today and has not in many years.
    We need a good solid 4 cycle WKA divisional series in this area that offers all the Gold Cup classes. The only current ones are in Florida, Georgia, New York and Maryland!

    Thanks
    Steve

  • #26239

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    The current number of entries at all the 4 cycle sprint tracks in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana that follow the gold cup offered classes is zero. So even at all the local club tracks they are not and have no plans to feed the gold cup series. A properly managed WKA divisional series in the northern area would only help support the gold cup series. I know a lot of racers that want to race the next higher level of racing competition that they cannot get currently at the local club track venues. Maybe this would be different if all the local area club tracks would support WKA with the gold cup classes, but they do not! In fact some of the track owners I have talked to like to keep the rules unique and different than WKA so their little group of racers will stay with them and not want to travel and not race at there track.
    Another good example is the last gold cup race at Jacksonville had about 290 entires and I can count on 1 hand how many of those racers came from the great lakes area. They came mostly from the area of the country that have WKA 4 cycle divisonal series, Florida, Georgia , Maryland and New York, not Ohio, Michigan or Indiana!

    Steve

  • #26244

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    I really do not see the local club tracks around the great lakes area switching over to wka gold cup classes. I wish they would because in fact there kart entry numbers would grow overtime I believe. So in the mean time a WKA divisional 4 cycle sprint series look more attractive to me than waiting for local tracks to come around. Ravena is for sure a track that has there own unique engine rules that do not even follow any other series or organization in the US!
    Personally I would like to get all the 4cycle sprint track owners / promoters in a room at one time and work out a program where all of them would adopt all the exact same classes. That would be better for all parties involved.

    Steve

  • #26257

    Joshua Guiher
    Participant

    This is the problem with all local racing series. If they don’t follow national rules you can’t run the same vehicle elsewhere, and many do it on purpose because they are afraid of losing the local guy to another track or series. They are short-sighted and don’t realize how they can enhance their own track by supporting bigger races & series.

    For instance, if the local guy wins regionally or nationally, more people will want to come to your track to race him on off weekends. Secondly, if they don’t win, you still get your tracks name out there.

    Plus, if you host a regional race, it opens sponsorship opportunities because those visitors use local hotels, restaurants, etc.

    However, if you don’t have common rules, your efforts are nothing but a waste of time.

  • #26259

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    I agree with you 100% Joshua Guiher!

    Some facts,
    I did some research about the last WKA Gold Cup race in March at Jacksonville Florida. Just as I suspected the 4 states that have Divisional series and that follow WKA 4 cycle classes also had the largest entries. Again they are Georgia, Florida, Maryland and New York and Georgia had the most entries. Additionally there were only 6 total racers from Ohio and Michigan combined and absolutely none from Indiana. So I would have to say that the WKA National Gold Cup feeder system from the Great lakes area is severely broken. A properly managed solid 4 cycle sprint series still looks like the best option to me. IMO, this would push the local tracks to follow these classes.

    Steve

  • #26320

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Mark,

    Yes, been on the phone a lot today and looks like some options are looking favorable for the GLSS series in 2015 to have a class structure that would support both 2 cycle and 4 cycle national level classes. Lessons learned from the past having too many classes with a small number of entries in each class is not a good business plan for a series. Agree the LO206 class is picking up momentum and with the National Animal Pro Gas classes along with the key 2 cycle classes this could put the GLSS series back on the map.

    Steve

  • #26354

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    John,

    The LO206 should be looking very attractive these days for all club tracks for entry level racing. At price levels in the $600.00 to $750.00 for complete race ready packages I can imagine healthy growth levels are in the near future. Again we just need all the great lakes region tracks to commonize on these types of classes and specs. When tracks have classes that combine flat heads, clones, animals & LO206 all racing together with the thought this will promote large entry classes with no chance of making the competition level equal it actually limits the kart counts. Racers like to compete in large classes with equal class rules and engine packages. Just remember back in the common flat head days, everybody had them and you could race anywhere in the country.The LO206 is now the lowest cost 4cycle entry level engine package available and then for the advanced level racer the WKA Animal Pro Gas is still very low cost in the $850.00 to $975.00 price range for packages as compared to the Animal Alky for $1500.00+ and the daily increasing cost of the BP clone in the $1000 + range. In addition to lower cost of the Animal LO206 and Pro Gas packages the once a year rebuilds are all that is required.

    Steve

  • #26425

    Paul Hir
    Participant

    Perhaps someone can clarify the progression club-regional-nationals, and why someone would be motivated to do this? Even when there were national events at my local track, I did not race because it would require my entire budget for the season times 4 (for one day). More than likely, I would be a backmarker, because I think there is such a differential in commitment and money. Clone hit it big because people dusted off their old chassis and put a $100 motor on their kart. As mentioned above every local track had different rules, whether it is an AKRA or WKA motor it changed yearly. What I found to be the biggest detractor and what ended up killing clone was all the manufacturers pushing people to continually buy items during the season. I have a 206 and seem that people are buying in, but when the next generation 206 hits the market (next year?), will it be a clone/flathead situation all over again. How are you supposed to grow a sport when you have to spend $5k+ in new equipment each year? Look at what Chumpcar and Lemons racing has done, they have bigger followings then SCCA and NASA which have been around for years, all based upon budget racing, why can’t karting do that?

  • #26434

    Paul Hir
    Participant

    David,

    The biggest expense would be tires. I never had to buy tires, the regional and national series locally both ran different tires, so I would have to have a couple sets of tires, and rain tires for each race weekend. 5 sets x$200 is $1,000, other then a clone engine I haven’t purchased much during the past 3 seasons.

    I think the expense of all the different rules, series, and classes is a big turn off.  Hopefully some others will chime in, but are these regional and national events only to folks that are dedicated and are after competition? Does it turn from hobby to Pro driving at nationals? is it any fun?

  • #26500

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    Basically in a nut shell if we could just get all the race tracks in this region, about 6 states for starters, to offer the same classes in 2 cycle and 4 cycle instead of being so fragmented in their class offerings. Better yet have these classes the same as being raced at the Divisional and National level. If we just had a good organizer person to start this ball rolling is what we really need. The intent here is not to create problems but just the opposite to bring all the racing parties together for what would be best for everyone. We need for everyone to start thinking about what’s best for racing and not what is best for them in there little area. Commonizing classes will only make bigger and more exciting races!
    On a side note, I looked at some of the bigger tracks in the 5 states around the Great Lakes, OH,IN,IL,MI,and WI and it was mind boggling of all the different classes and rule packages, i was running out of paper. Can this really be good for our karting sport?
    Thanks Bob V. – Its encouraging that we still have people around that can still see the forest through the trees!

    Thanks
    Steve

  • #27039

    Steve Baker
    Participant

    The GLSS WKA Divisional series has added 4 WKA 4 cycle classes to the remaining 3 races for this year. Next race is at G&J Kartway in Camden Ohio on June 13,14 & 15.

    For the the Gold Cup racers this will be a good tune up race for the upcoming Gold Cup race in July.
    More info to be announced later for this event.

    Animal Pro Gas Sportsman
    Animal Pro Gas Jr
    Animal Pro Gas Sr
    LO206 Sr

    http://www.worldkarting.com/index.php/series/great-lakes-series-page
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-Lakes-Sprint-Series/160581637292875

    Steve

  • #27052

    Joshua Guiher
    Participant

    I think this is the GLSS results and should show all the classes.

    http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1010849

    Unless I am missing something, I don’t see a single 4-cycle race?

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