January 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #40389
Just wondering what people think about the fees we are charged at national races. We just race one class and to go to a National race with the wife, 2 kids and me it is always over $400 when you include pit passes, parking, entry fee, practice. I never do the math because it would spoil my weekend, but I feel like sometimes it is close to $600 before putting a tire on the track. Then if your class requires new tires that is another $200.
I pay without complaint. But I have checked out other series and the cost is considerably less. Often under $100 for a national event, and some of them even pay you back for good results. So why is Sprint Karting so expensive? Anybody in the know on here that can break down what the approx $500 goes to that each of us pay on a given weekend?
January 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm #40392
I think the cost is high. That said, I also thinks it’s justified.
All I can say is get involved on a club’s executive, and you’ll quickly see that the costs charged to the competitors are not all that out of line with where they should/need to be to keep the clubs running. And the costs for some clubs are higher than others for a reason too.
One thing that allows club events to be cheaper for the entrants is that they are generally run predominantly on a volunteer basis. While most clubs are fortunate to have these volunteers who rarely get the thanks they deserve, as the saying goes, you do get what you pay for.
At a National event, you want quality and consistency out of your officials – race director, tech personnel, all the way down to registration, etc. This means to keep the same crew, you are flying people around the country, putting them up in hotels, feeding them, and paying them for their time. It’s also only fair to the host club or track-owner that they get something for shutting down their facility to regular use. Some bigger events will beef up the amount of paid medical personnel on site. Etc… more costs to hold the event, meaning higher entry fees.
Karting just doesn’t bring in outside sponsorship money at the same level as other sports, which means that a higher portion of the costs have to be paid by the entrants.
January 13, 2015 at 2:01 pm #40393
Depends on the series and/or promoter.
The first major cost is the track. Each facility has different rental fees, and then you have to understand what comes with it, and what doesn’t. Certain facilities may need you to bring in security, or a front gate person to sell the pit passes. You may need to source out your own Ambulance or medical personal.
Pit pass, parking, entry fee and practice fee all go towards that initial cost. The money left over goes to paying the staff hired to put on the event. That money left over is to pay for prizes and other items.
There is a long list of costs that the normal racer does not see when someone or a group is putting on an event. It takes a lot of work and time, and is not something you can just pick up and do at any moment.
From experience in Road Racing here in Michigan, I believe our break-even point was around 250 entries, depending on the year. If we had less, the club lost money. If we had more, we made money to be able to buy year-end trophies and save for a rainy day.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
January 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm #40412
Its about total costs. Take drag racing, which my dad does. Cost $300ish for a sportsman entry to a 5 day, end of year, no points on the line race. (Halloween classic in boise idaho) Winner gets paid after the second round. This event pulls 600+ racers and a bunch of spectators, concession, each class has a sponsor, etc…
That all adds up to a large pot of money.
where as karting doesn’t come close to 600 entrants, fewer sponsors and not many spectators, from what ive seen. The cost is then passed onto the racer bc they will pay it, they (we) dont have a choice if we want to race.
Couple that with the fact there is no true national series or leader and its that much worse.
January 14, 2015 at 4:13 am #40419
It just seems sprint karting in particular is the most expensive thing going. I just pulled up all kinds of entry forms online – ama road racing, late models, quarter midgets, legends cars, etc and all are considerably less. Most have no spectators. All require the use of a track and professional staff. Most pay back. Heck, even the dirt oval kart race at Daytona cost less than half of what the sprint race was, and paid back. Likely had more overhead too because it ran for longer hours and required track prep.
If I go to a regional race it is the same track rental over 3 days, I park over the same chunk of grass, just as many paid officials (usually staff from the track), same ambulance, same everything really, but fewer entries. And it is usually about a third the cost of a national race. Of course nobody is being flown in and put up in hotels for 4 or 5 days.
Assuming staff gets paid the same whether at a regional race or national race, then the only major difference I can see between regional and national is having to bring in and house staff. What does it take, about 6 people? So figure about $10k to get them to the race and back, feed them well, and put them in a $150/night hotel. So if a race has 200 entries then it means $50 of extra overhead per entry. So this realistically explains $50 of it.
I am only teying to talk this out so perhaps we can figure out why our little corner of motorsports is so expensive vs others. Obviously as prices go up, entrys go down. As series divide, entrys go down, so prices must go up which means entrys will decline even further. Can we tell series we want to give up different things to bring the cost down?
January 14, 2015 at 6:07 am #40420
Those programs you listed all have more support from within the industry to host events. AMA has Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha all behind the sport. Late Models have a huge list of engine builders, parts manufacturers, etc all supporting the sport.
Looking at dirt oval karting compared to sprint oval is like apples and oranges. The track rental is much less, as you can build a dirt oval in your own backyard. To do a sprint track, you are looking at a much larger piece of land, a lot of money dropped into pavement. So rental fees for clubs/series to go into a dirt track is much, much less than a sprint track.
Example: WKA Daytona KartWeek – entry was $240 for a trophy class. That includes practice, qualifying, two heat races, a Prefinal and Final. Say you get 5 sessions of practice, that’s around $24 a session, not counting the two warm-up sessions. That’s pretty good considering indoor karting is around $15 a session.
Example: Rotax Challenge of the Americas for Senior Max is $1095. That includes the following:
Saturday Race Entry
Sunday Race Entry
1 pail of race fuel* ($75)
1L XPS oil* ($20)
Race tires** ($276×2)
Driver Pit Pass ($25)
1 Pit spot for trailer – you’ll need an extra pit spot if you want a motorhome on the paddock. ($100)
If you look just at Friday-Sunday Entry, that’s $323. Break that down by the session, 5 on Friday, 4 Saturday, 4 Sunday, that’s $24 a session.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
January 14, 2015 at 9:28 am #40442
Having been involved in Dirt Late Models for the last 30 yrs, I will give you part of the difference in the sports. Late Models, sprints, midgets, etc. race for money; when I would look at an event it had nothing to do with how much ‘track time’ I would get- in fact sometimes just the opposite (cost money to run laps, less laps for more money was always a win). Although I do not drive them for a living, I did expect to come close to a ‘break even’ proposition when I owned my own equipment.
Getting back into karting (with my daughter) was eye opening. I truly think it is some of the best competition and thoroughly enjoy the time on the track, however it has been hard to manage the mindset. I wish there was a way to help ‘manage’ the cost with purse money, however that not only seems unlike but is probably not in the best interest of the kids- who the sport needs to be aimed toward.
In short, work with your local venue to produce the most cost effective, family fun you can. Run with them when you can and realize that it is a stepping stone (not below other forms, just not ‘profitable’ for most). Support those that give you the most ‘bang for your buck’.
January 14, 2015 at 9:36 am #40443
Sorry, I forgot to include the most important difference between AMA, Dirt Late Models and other forms of motorsports to karting – Spectators.
Tracks can make their money on charging $10-20 per person to come and watch an event. AMA, they get thousandths of spectators, so plenty of revenue there. Oval tracks, most local programs can get anywhere from 100 t0 500 depending on the size of facility, weather, location, etc. 500 people at $20 a ticket is an easy $10,000. There is your purse for racing.
Karting, pit pass money goes toward paying the insurance, anywhere from $3-5 per pass, about the same goes to the track for their insurance program, and then the rest goes to the series/promoter to help pay costs, or to fund the trophy fund.
Is national karting expensive, yes, it can be when you include all the travel costs and equipment to be at the best it can be. Are promoters making million$ on hosting events. No, they are making decent living while taking the risk of promoting events.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
January 14, 2015 at 9:59 am #40445
When you say AMA are you talking Pro AMA events. I live close to Spring Creek which has a Pro AMA Motorcross and is one of the best tracks in the country. Go there for one of there club series races and there are no spectators. The spectators are the family just like karting. The difference is there are a lot more of them. Karting has just less people racing which in turn makes entries more costly. My Son is 8 and is racing motocross. Would like to get him into karting but if you look at it from a cost prospective things do not favor karting in any manner.
January 14, 2015 at 11:38 am #40450
I’ll assume those facilities make their money on the big events, so they can afford to not ‘gouge’ the club racers at AMA tracks. And once again, to build a dirt track costs much less than a pavement track, thus the initial cost is not comparable. Hell, Grattan built one with a couple of earth movers, that’s its. Spend some money on water and the equipment upkeep, and you have yourself an AMA course.
Everything they brought in was profit. No overhead costs, nothing. You look at the 2-mile road course, they spent thousands of dollars to pave the road course, so prices go up, and up and up to rent the track, especially operating only from April to October.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
January 14, 2015 at 12:09 pm #40451
I’ve said this before on this site but perhaps it bears repeating.
My hairdresser has two kids that race moto-cross. Up until this past year, they were pretty well big-time. (The oldest, who is a girl, is now 16, and has a lot of “other interests”.) They did lots of big races, such as a biggie in the spring in TX, and Ponca City, OK. FL Thanksgiving. And “Loretta” every summer. And they did a MO state series every year plus a couple of local tracks.
We got to talking about how much they spent one time, and I was totally shocked when she told me they had no insurance passes they had to pay for at the club and state series’ races!
I have no idea what happened (who paid what) when one of the mothers died when she was run over by the guy grading the track on Saturday night. She ran out onto the track to save her dog from being run over, and —. She was behind the grader and it backed up, not having seen her back there.
Keep on kartin'. llb
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