November 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm #16619
I was blown away by the disgusting greed of both, some of the biggest dealers in the industry as well as small shops who had rain tires to sell and took the opportunity to price gouge. A couple of us were short tires under our tent. I spent the entire day Thursday and most of Friday going around the pits looking for Rain tires. The lowest price I was quoted was $1000. and $2500 on the high side. At one point, I was approached in the back parking lot by one of the east coast CRG dealers offering me a set for $1500 like a drug dealer in a dark alley. He knows who he is. I’m embarrassed for our industry. What’s become of karting? This was a sport known for helping your fellow competitors. A sport (as the story goes) where they’ll lend you an engine so they could could whip your ass on track. Now it’s known for sheer greed and opportunists. Riding in the elevators at the Rio I heard a hotel guest not involved with the races ask a racer if it was true that the price gouging was going on. Is how we want the sport to be presented. I will never do business with the shops that quoted me these prices and if given the opportunity I will steer everyone i can away from them.
November 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm #16621
Not saying this would justify anything but, I wonder what the vendors were being charged for selling there.
FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
41 years karting experience
November 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm #16623
I don’t think any of them were set up for vending at the race.
November 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm #16625
Jim Russell, JrParticipant
I am sorry that I didn’t have more sets to sell. We had two sets of rains we used in practice for 1-2 sessions. Sold for $220 a set. If I had more I would have sold them at regular retail. We had enough to cover our guys and the two extra sets.
What I really didn’t understand was the big teams coming unprepared to such an important race. I can understand not having two sets for every driver under the tent but not having any at all was bad planning.
November 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm #16626
Why would anyone pay 1500-2500 for a set of tires? That is insane.
November 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm #16628
Howie, I second your thoughts and I will commend you for not blasting them by name on the forums. That shows your class with this matter that had many of us racers scrambling and very frustrated over the three solid days of rain.
I will start my 2 cents on the matter now. I keep hearing about shops/teams/racers not being prepared for this, what about SKUSA? I know that they where trying as hard or harder than all of us to get tires brought in starting on Thursday when it looked like the weather was going to hang around. If they couldn’t get them, then what chance did anyone else have? At that point is when the problem needed to be addressed. We were asked the next morning at the drivers meeting about who had no tires and we were then instructed to give our contact info to registration and that they were working on something, but the tires wouldn’t be in until Saturday. Well Saturday came and still no tires. There were no further announcements about it, just deal with it was the basic sentiment from any official that was asked about the tires. To make it worse was that fact that they announced that you would be DQ’d from the event if you were caught practicing on another brand of rain tire. I get the fact that they want everyone on the right tire, but when you have an extreme shortage of that tire, they should have allowed practice on whatever you could get out on the track with. Instead myself, my son and many others sat and watched practice even though we had other branded rains to run.
Then there was the fact that you could not borrow someone else’s tires after they had been scanned in. “That would encourage cheating” was the answer I was given. That is just a lack of thinking in my opinion. As long as each driver did not have more than 2 sets scanned to them, it shouldn’t matter how many drivers use that set. I can see if I have two sets and then I borrow another set, yes, now I have used 3 sets and would have an advantage. But I was trying to use a set and it would be the only set I was going to get and it still did not matter.
I just feel that there solutions out there and nobody wanted to talk about the elephant in the room. Don’t tell me that we were all unprepared for this race, the suppliers were as unprepared as we were. If I forgot an axle, it wouldn’t cost $1000 just because I bought it at the track? As a racer you expect to be able to buy “consumable” items at the track without any major gouging. For the 2 classes that we were running we had a total of 3 chassis, 5 engines, 12 axles, 8 chains, 4 sprocket carriers, 10 tie rods+heims, ect… We just needed some rain tires as it turns out.
As for a solution?? I don’t believe in just complaining about something unless I can help find a solution. One solution could have been to let a couple of other classes run on the mojo rains. They could have had people in those classes trade their MG’s in and then those could have been sold to someone that was running a class using them. That could have also been done using bridgestones also. Just like when we used to have to turn in your race tires before the event and then they would give you back however many sets that you turned in. That was done to prevent people from cheating with their tires, but the same concept could have worked well and just been modified to put different classes on different tires and everyone could have practiced and raced.
I understand the need to follow the rules, however there needs to be room for flexibility under an extreme circumstance and I’m sure that I am not the only one that feels that way. What would happen if there was a problem with the fuel? or the oil? I believe that a few years ago there was a problem with the oil that was “spec” and people were sticking engines so they allowed the use of whatever oil? I’m not 100% on that, but it was something like that.
I guess I’m just trying to say that this was a major issue and it was pushed under the rug like it was only a few people. I can only hope that everyone involved in this learns from the frustrations that took away from what has been a great event for many years. I just don’t like the finger being pointed at the racers as it is all our own fault. As I said, we all had a part to play in it and I am not on here to blame anyone, I am just putting out my opinion and offering some solutions that I think could have worked and made a better week of racing.
November 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm #16631
Tom said in the drivers meeting, their was rain in the forecast, 35 drivers pre-ordered rain tires.
should skusa bring 1300 rain tires to the event? What if it didn’t rain, he would be stuck with them.
I Understand both sides of the argument, but the bottom line is its the drivers responsibility to have rains.
And on the flip side of what howie said, I know for a fact that two people in CRG USA gave their slightly used tires away for free so other drivers could race. I’m sure many others were doing the same.
November 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm #16634
When I left for Vegas on Monday the 18th it showed a 20% chance on Thursday, that’s it. I’m not saying that he had to have them there. What I’m saying is that when even he could not get them, someone needed to realize that there was a problem. I did not have an issue with having to have tires shipped to me, the issue was that there were NO TIRES to be shipped to me.
If you read what I said, I said that they (SKUSA) were trying as hard or harder to get tires. The fact is that there was not a supply of them anywhere to be found. I don’t expect them to be sitting on a huge supply of tires. I would think that if anyone could pull off getting them there on short notice it would be Tom & Patti. I know the passion and energy that they have given to this sport and this event in particular since it has become his event. If there were tires out there they would have got them.
Like I said in my previous post, I am simply putting out some ideas that could have helped the situation in my opinion. I am trying to be as constructive as I can and just put some ideas out there. I was able to get some used tires and make the best of the situation and hopefully this was a freak occurrence.
And yes, I have already started thinking of next years race.
November 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm #16637
I didn’t say anything about SKUSA in my post. That’s not what it was about. I was only talking about the price gouging by the kart dealers. As for used rains, you would have been penalized for running used rains from someone else. Someone under our tent paid top dollar for a set of USED rains and finished 2nd in his heat only to find out that they had been previously checked in under the original owners kart number. He was docked 2 positions and told not to show up on the grid with them again. His weekend ended early. He ran another really old set in qualifying. He could have come to the grid with a third set of rains and only been docked 2 positions.
November 27, 2013 at 9:18 am #16653
That sucks Howie
i was just pointing out that even thoe their was some greedy people there, their was also some drivers and teams bending over backwards to try and help out their fellow racer.
It was tough week fore sure.
November 27, 2013 at 9:38 am #16654
Who imports the MG tires? Do they have their own warehouse here that distributes? Is it Skusa? I’m curious.
November 27, 2013 at 11:18 am #16662
Yes MG has an importer and warehouse, which is in South Florida. You have to remember though, SKUSA purchases direct from MG. The tires (dry) used in a SKUSA event are labeled SKUSA.
GO Designs, LLC
November 27, 2013 at 10:18 am #16658
I’m very curious about all of these rants. $1,000-$2,500 for a set of tires? Yep, I heard all kinds of talk about that. It’s called supply and demand. Bet those tires got sold too. In business, there will always be sharks that take advantage of a situation.
Bad business? Quick math. 600 drivers times 2 sets, 1200 sets. At the beginning of the season Tom was selling rain tires for the promotional price of $170 so we’ll start there. 1200 sets times $170 is $204.000. When was the last time you saw ANYBODY, with $200,000 worth of axels in there trailer let alone rain tires that rarely get used?
2 weeks before snats there was rain in the forecast PERIOD. If all 600 entries would have been responsible, there would have been a shortage of rain tires then, followed by a push to get more tires from Brazil. A week is plenty of time to get 500 sets of tires at a resonable price. Its Toms job to put on a race. It’s the drivers job to make sure he has what he needs to race.
Lets try to keep it real here. Did I miss anything? Feel free to correct me.
November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am #16659
With the amount of money people spend to race the Supernats, it is ridiculous not to show up with at least one set of rain tires. Everyone wants to blame someone else, but if they had preordered then MG would have had them and it’s not SKUSA’s job to make sure you bring the necessary equipment to the race. They had an option to preorder. If you didn’t do it, then rain tires are on you. This is exactly what’s wrong with our society. Not my fault. Not my responsibility. Someone else should take care of it for me. Maybe Obama should add rain tires to the health care program so Big Brother can take care of it for us.
Shame on anyone blaming anyone other than the guy in the mirror. And for Howie’s topic of price gouging, shame on anyone or any shop that was involved.
November 27, 2013 at 10:54 am #16660
It sure is a shame…I actually know one person that paid $1,000 for one set of tires. I had two sets with me and actually hooked up one of the factory drivers with a set but they assured me that they had a set on order and it would be there over night. They made good on their promise. In my opinion, skusa should not be held responsible. It’s the drivers responsibility to be prepared!
November 27, 2013 at 11:22 am #16663
Shame on anyone blaming anyone other than the guy in the mirror. And for Howie’s topic of price gouging, shame on anyone or any shop that was involved.
Agree completely with you Tim. Only thing I’ll add, is I don’t see anything wrong with pay more for the parts, tires at the track. Maybe 50% more is ok. But to pay 500%+ is insane.
GO Designs, LLC
November 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm #16667
We were one of the lucky Teams, all of our drivers had rain tires but it was very stressful there for awhile juggling things around to make sure everyone was covered. We had people offer a few of our drivers $2,000 for their set. We had more overnighted and sold them for $212 plus freight. As Jimmy said we all tried to help anyone we could by giving away used sets to drivers that were in desperate need.
Both as a promoter and a Team owner it is a no win situation, if you order enough rains for all your drivers then it doesn’t rain you are stuck with them usually for the year but if you don’t have them then it is a nightmare.
We are so lucky to have such a great group of people under our tent that anyone of them were willing to help the other out in a second.
November 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm #16669
I think that everyone is missing the boat here. I am not blaming anyone for the problems that we had. I understand that it was MY FAULT for not having the rain tires. The thing that I have been trying to point out is that the issue was not a problem for 1 or 2 drivers. There were a lot of drivers scrambling. If that is the case then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Just like I pointed out a few years ago when the oil was kartguard? or whatever and some people where sticking engines. It was addressed and a solution was found.
I am only saying that everyone knew that this turned into a big problem on Thursday and it never really was addressed and no real solution was found.
Do any of the suggestions that I made above sound like it would have made for a better race? I think so. Just look at the Mylaps reports for the practices and you will see that not many people were running on Thursday. I’m sure that some were not running by choice, but others were just not wanting to run the only set of rains they had.
I think that Stacey’s effort to sell the tires at 212 + shipping was definitely a fair deal and I would have jumped on it had I known.
I was offered some tires that were already scanned, but I didn’t want to get the other driver any type of penalty so I just held out until I found a set that I could use.
November 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm #16671
ok so there was an option offered for some classes to run mojos. Seems like a great idea until you introduce the fact that Tom has a contract with mg.
I wonder if NASCAR or Indycars have ever had any tire issues? I don’t watch the Indy 500 much, but wasn’t there a race where half the feild had to sit out? Haven’t there been NASCAR races with mandatory cautions every 20 laps? These are HUGE rich series and even they cant fix tire issues over night.
November 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm #16677
There were several issues regarding the tyres.
A/ It was the desert and not supposed to rain
B/ International teams were under the impression that tyres would be available on site so didn’t pre order.
C/ MG as tyre supplier should of had sufficent WETs available, if not on site then at least able to be flown in overnight.
Once it was obvious that there was an issue, we scrambled around the teams seeing what deals could be done. One of the MG agents informed us that every wet tyre in USA had been sold out unless you could find a shop somewhere that was sitting on some. The Mexican’s said everything from Mexico was being shipped to SKUSA but nobody seem to know who had control of the shipment. We did a deal with the Canadains at just over $300 a set which included a surcharge of $25 from the Casino. As ones became more desparate it was a case of supply v’s demand which pushed the price up.
SKUSA could have done some lateral thinking by reducing the sets allowed down from 2 to 1 to try an ensure atleast every team had a chance to get a set.
November 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm #16685
Ok that looks stupid. Here’s the link to SKUSA’s site.
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘.HelveticaNeueUI’; font-size: 15px; white-space: nowrap; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(26, 26, 26, 0.296875); -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(175, 192, 227, 0.230469); -webkit-composition-frame-color: rgba(77, 128, 180, 0.230469);”>http://www.superkartsusa.com/national/skusa-supernationals/pricing-overview.html</span>
November 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm #16691
Thank you for the tip that was really frustrating!
November 28, 2013 at 9:04 am #16708
The tire deal at Vegas just proved to me once again that one should always control their own destiny if given the option. I was told by a supplier that they would have a set of rain tires for me to purchase at the event on the Friday before the race. When I got to the track on Tuesday and the forecast for rain had increased, the supplier informed me that they did not have rain tires for me.
The sad part of this is the supplier that had told me he would have a set of rain tires for me (confirmed in an email) still had a brand new set of rains in wrappers sitting in his trailer on Saturday (have a picture to prove it) that were never used at the event.
I, like Howie, scrambled around looking for a set and was only able to find an old style set that were probably three years old and semi hard. The tires proved to be no good at all in the rain. The individual that found the tires for me was a great guy and did all he could do to help me out; meeting this individual was the bright spot of the week for me, a quality person for sure.
I would bet that as part of next years registration a set of rains will be required to be purchased for the event. I am sure Tom was sick of hearing the complaints. As has been stated in prior posts, the rules were very clear and I do not place any of the blame on SKUSA.
All being said – I can’t wait until 2014, and yes I will bring 3 sets of rains;)
November 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm #16727
Okay so the dumbass’s didn’t read the fine print correctly that tyres need to be prte ordered.
But if you look at it from a business point of view, MG’s job is to manufacture and sell tyres to there customers and going into the event excluding those that would use Mojo tyres lets say that 550 drivers would be running on MG’s. So if you say 2.5 sets could be used at this meeting plus extras for defects and being cut down then they would require at least 1350 sets to have been manufactured. With a cutoff of 1 November for pre orders that would give an idea of how many had to be taken to the event for start of practice. So lets say that 300 drivers pre ordered 1.5 sets meaning 450 sets if you add another 100 sets to cover for damage and those that might wish to buy on day one once they saw the weather forcast so at the start they should of brought 550 sets max. Of the 250 drivers that didn’t preorder if they then need to get tyres then going on the 1.5 average for those that already had ordered another 300 sets might be required, which could have been stored in a warehouse close enough to truck or fly in overnight.
So from a business point of view it reflects poorly on MG in the fact that they were unable to meet demand from the stocks held in the USA, Mexico & Canada. For ones coming from countries were the MG SKUSA spec tyre is not in use and the history of the event is no rain they would not be going to the expense of ordering tyres that they may never use and would expect the manufacture to have in place contingencies to be able to cover demand.
November 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm #16732
If I was an MG salesman and I saw that the weather was calling for rain for most of the race I would have made damn sure that I had tires available for the drivers $$$$$
November 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm #16733
If you look at the numbers the worst case called for 1350 sets just for the one event and that didn’t cover the case of still having stock if need for events elsewhere the following couple of weeks, even going on the figures I used there still should have been another 500 sets at the point of manufacture. Going on a low pre order level of 35 yes they had enough for about 300 sets yet the event was attracking 550 entries which means they were never going to meet total demand. This is in effect the showcase event of the season any promotor that had come to see how MG handled it, that was in the market for a new tyre supplier would be talking with another manufacter now.
Mojo the other manufacter at the event had no problems considering they came off a big event the previous week that had chewed thru their wet tyre stock.
Remember this is an international showcase so buy screwing up MG could effect their case for supplying tyres elsewhere in the world.
November 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm #16734
Any ideas on how much it would cost to get 1350 sets of rain tires from Brazil to Las Vegas in a week? Seems like 90% of the drivers thought it wasn’t going to rain. 1350 x 170 is $230,000. That’s a big gamble when that many drivers doubt they will need them. Would you put your money up? Clearly you wouldn’t put $230 up if your complaining about not having rain tires?
November 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm #16810
Is MG the tire supplier? What do suppliers do? Supply tires??? hahahaha!!!
BTW $230,000 is chicken feed!!!!
December 2, 2013 at 10:29 am #16930
Why did this turn into the spoiled little brat kicking and stomping that he couldn’t get a play station 4 because he either, a: didn’t pre-order or or b: didn’t get in line early enough?
If $230,000 is chicken feed, why wasn’t the guy that that’s chicken feed to on the phone getting a cargo plane lined up full of tires? 6100 miles from brazil to Vegas. Roughly a 24 hour trip at 330 miles per hour. Seems like if it was that easy and guaranteed to be a profit, SOMEONE WOULD HAVE DONE IT! Just of of a couple quick google searches and some simple math with no idea how many tires you could fit in a c-130, (assuming roughly 1,000 sets at $170) you could probably have only paid $500 a set vs $1500.
I think what it really comes down to is the theory of I have money and I can fix any of my problems so I don’t need to be on top of it, backfired. I.e. I’ll just get it at the track.
I may not understand every detail of big business. Having said that, if Walmart orders 1,000 TV’s from Sony, why would Sony ship them 5,000? That seems like bad business to me.
Filling the order presented is how all of the businesses I know of run. Has anybody EVER tried to buy something that’s back ordered?
Is it ironic that so many people rolled the dice with there $5,000-$15,000 trips and lost over $230 IN VEGAS?
December 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm #16941
1) I am certainly not an insider, but it appears MG did not have enough tires to supply this race, even if everyone had preordered. SKUSA did everything in their power during the race to get additional rain tires “flown in.” The tires never arrived that I am aware of. It sure appears MG did not have them, as I can think of nowhere else SKUSA would have tried to have this many flown in from once the entire United States was out of them. We can only speculate if MG could have actually made 1000 or so sets of rain tires between the preorder cutoff and the event, but they apparently had none on hand to ship when SKUSA (arguably their largest customer in the world) asked.
2) All MG tires are shipped and their price includes shipping. If they are not currently shipped air, than I am sure the air surcharge would have been gladly paid by those purchasing them (again, if MG actually had them on hand).
3) At least one adamant person in this thread is acting as if he is part of the MG supply chain.
4) Customer service means taking care of your customers if you can, even if they screwed up. That is how good customers remain good customers and successful businesses remain successful businesses.
December 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm #16945
This was never intended to be a blame SKUSA thread. I just felt that the advantage taking by shops that had inventory at the event was (IN MY OPINION) really disgusting and an embarrassment for the sport.
December 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm #16953
damit! i missed this race again!!!
anyway, i agree with what howie said…and i wasnt there…so i ask a question…
is it possible some big money ho type dads offered the big money for the last sets of tires? the $1000 – $1500 a set price…and the shop obliged? just asking. because then the stories can start of how the shop sold these tires at outrageous prices. kinda goes with going to a skusa event and staying at motel 6…or going to a skusa event and staying at a resort….the stories of how much it costs to race skyrocket with the ability for people to spend that much in the first place.
just my opinion…and maybe…just maybe i will be able to show up next year…and it wont rain preferably
December 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm #16957
Spec tires suck.
Spec rain tires? Now that’s funny.
Sad thing is many kart clubs don’t even race in the rain :(
never understood why they didn’t want their drivers to get better.
December 2, 2013 at 9:03 pm #16964
Oscar, I spent the entire day Thursday and part of Friday going around the pits and was quoted between $1000 and $2500 by people who had them. One guy approached me in the back parking lot saying he heard I was looking and would sell them for 2500. It felt like a drug deal.
December 3, 2013 at 12:23 am #16969
It wasn’t “MG Tires” who failed to supply………..who is the sole importer of MG Tires into North America?
Furthermore, a promoter of such a large event with a contract to a “one brand” tire series should always work close with the importer to ensure enough stock at all times…..that should be part of the “control tire” tender/deal process.
December 3, 2013 at 5:26 am #16971
Typical responses that reflect what our pansy a$$ society has become. Blame everyone except yourself. SKUSA’s fault. MG’s fault. The team’s fault. The shop’s fault. Might as well blame the RIO, Las Vegas, the Weather Channel, the RiO drink girls in their nice outfits, Mother Nature, and well, your parents for birthing you.
I don’t care if you are on a budget or from Kazanistan if you came to this race without one set of rain tires or provision for such, you are an idiot. If you planned ahead there were tires. Blame all the people above all you want. It’s on you. When did we all become such p#$$ys that we have to blame someone else for everything that happens in our lives.
Howie, sorry you didn’t get to race and you are right. The price gouging was disgusting. Let me know when you want to come to the South and hit GMX. The 250 is ready and I will have rain tires.
December 3, 2013 at 7:42 am #16976
Yep, price gouging is pretty unfortunate.
As for the rest of the debate, how is MG or SKUSA or an importer or a distributor of kart tires really going to be able to judge the number they’d need to supply? That decision comes from the demand that is driven by the customer – and it seems pretty clear the customers weren’t demanding MG wets…
SKUSA put it out there well in advance that competitors could PRE-ORDER through them, or they were free to go to whatever dealer they wanted to get their rains. SKUSA received very few pre-orders. What does that tell you about demand?
My guess is the dealers weren’t asking MG / importer / distributors for more tires either (until the last minute). Why? Because the competitors weren’t asking for them. Again, where’s the demand?
If nobody is asking for rain tires, a pretty fair and reasonable assumption would be that the competitors HAVE WHAT THEY NEED. So why flood the market with more? That would just raise the cost by carrying excess inventory.
It’s nice to think that MG or whomever should have been sitting on $250,000 of rain tires, but that’s not how the world works. This isn’t F1 where Pirelli is contractually required to supply X number of wets and slicks at each event well ahead of time. This is kart racing, where the onus was clearly on the competitors (SKUSA told the competitors to come prepared well ahead of time – they didn’t tell MG to come prepared). SKUSA provided a deadline to pre-order to ensure that MG could meet whatever demand existed. The competitors spoke and said they didn’t want them. Why can’t some people admit that many of the competitors screwed up and stop blaming others for their mistakes?
I admit, when I first heard the story, I thought SKUSA screwed up. I now realize the only thing that SKUSA screwed up was trusting the competitors to be prepared. Next year, the problem can easily be solved by raising the entry fee by another $500 to include 2 sets of MG wets. Instead of doing that, SKUSA tried to be fair and let people pay whatever they wanted for the tires from whatever dealer they wanted.
December 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm #17022
I agree that the competitor should always arrive prepared, that’s their problem if they didn’t arrive with rain tires.
If there were no wet tires by “MG” in the USA, that means the sole distributor/importer had ran out and they are not doing the right thing by their manufacturer to always ensure stock to their region. Who knows what the true figures are, anyway I wouldn’t even dream of driving to my local track 1 hour away without the wets packed regardless of the forecast, especially at what is the biggest event of the year, so a lesson learned for all those who didn’t have them.
December 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm #17024
The best part of Tim’s $800 insurance policy was that had he not used the tires as needed, he still would have had $800 in product.
Price gouging sucks, particularly in our small, close industry. But there are squirrels in every line of work and I’m guessing it would pretty easy for most people to guess who would or wouldn’t play that game. Just unfortunate that some people got taken advantage of.
At first I thought this was a black eye on SKUSA and/or MG but its pretty obvious they did everything in their power to accommodate the racers. Some chose not to take advantage of the opportunity offered while other people who paid teams a lot of money to make sure they were well provided for were let down by those teams.
If SKUSA would have amended their rules on the fly to accommodate the unprepared, the prepared would have had every right to be upset. They made the only decision they could.
December 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm #17041
The forecast showed rain, Anyone is silly showing up to a race like this unprepared. We had rain tires last year… this year and will have them next year.
When you pay 5-7k and risk throwing away the chassis to run an event, what is an extra couple hundred for rain tires and piece of mind that your prepared? Tom said it best in the drivers meeting on Saturday.
It is your own personal responsibility to be prepared, you have the option right on that sign up sheet. You choose to not buy them… its your own fault.
Why should anyone have to take the blame for not holding your hand. Its all pretty entertaining, I hope next year everyone buys rains and its 100+ degrees. Then you can complain about it being too hot.
December 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm #17049
i believe howie and i feel bad for the sport as well. pretty sorry….and someone paid for them….bet no one will come forward admitting they paid that much!!!
when i ran pro tour i carried 2 sets of rains the whole year…not to mention all the back up parts. at the end of the year i still had 2 sets! charge it to the game! why spend so much to go to an event only to lose out because of a $2 part…or a $200 part/set of tires
you cant blame skusa..you cant blame mg…and you cant blame the weather man!
blame your self IMO. and for the gouging…it is just sick,,,,but there are plenty of drivers that would have traded there $2000 helmets for a set of tires at that point..and that is why it is just sick that some will spend so much in a little ole go kart that doesnt even have a wing and only has 1 cylinder…isnt it!
but im still trying to get there to spend all my money just to say i went finally! maybe 2014 is my year? i might bring 4 sets of rains..but i will have to bring a white helmet..lmao
December 4, 2013 at 7:03 am #17079
Jim, I think your missing the point. It was stated from DAY 1 that drivers are responsible for their rain tires.
It’s been that way from day one of the Pro Tour back in 2010, and I’m sure for the SuperNationals since it began. If a team is hosting international drivers, something should have been set up ahead of time to be prepared for anything. Extra parts, extra frames and extra engines are always in the hauler. Two or three boxes of rain tires is not going to take up a lot of room.
There should never had been the scramble and price gauging for rain tires if every driver came PREPARED. If you go to a CES race and it rains, are you expecting someone to have rain tires available for you to purchase every time? Or, are you bringing a set just in case you need them? It’s the same situation here. If you don’t bring tires and no one has any available, it’s your own fault for not having them prior to you traveling to the event.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
December 4, 2013 at 7:04 am #17080
How does this not strike anyone as a supply issue? I said it once, and I’ll say it again. If you want to continue to take the stance that it’s the drivers and teams fault and that the spec’d tire supplier are in the clear you can expect to see entries diminish, especially from international drivers and teams. Having $800 of wets hanging around in your trailer is great, until the spec tire gets changed.
People spend half the year planning for this race and don’t plan on having at least one set of rain tires with them?
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December 4, 2013 at 8:41 am #17102
David, one can state what ever they like to the drivers about their responsibility but if a tire is spec’d, the supplier should be able to meet 20% of the demand of ONE of the races don’t you think.
Re CES……I think its worth noting CES do not have a contracted spec tire that you MUST buy and MUST use to even practice. Big difference there. They are also not required stamped or controlled in any way and are free to be used across drivers and classes. Would I expect a scramble for wets at a CES race if I don’t have any? Sure!
Plus, CES while great ain’t the supernats now is it?
The supernats event and SKUSA has publically been MG this, MG that, MG “For the driver”. But now it seems like they have a caveat, if you don’t pre order wets, and it rains, you can suck it. Its a crap attitude to have IMO.
Now lets be clear, I dont expect 100% fulfillment for the kind the demand that came up in Vegas this year event, but the supply was so far off the mark that I think its should be named and identified as a key issue. This is a high profile event.
Its clear that drivers could have pre-ordered wets, given the extreme lack of them for this makes me wonder if they could have even met pre-orders!
Sure you can come back with responses like “champions come prepared”, “responsibility is on drivers” and they are valid to a good extent. However, I feel if one wants to adopt that policy as a whole and ignore the supply issues, you can expect entries to decline. Like it or not, most drivers are not going to stock $800+ in wet tires in case it “might” rain in the desert. At the very least, since wets are used so infrequently over here, I think if you are going to expect that from drivers, you should guarantee that the spec of the tire will not change for three years.
So, in short the way I see it is at least acknowledge there was a supply issue and begin some brainstorming to resolve it (yes including teams and driver’s role too), or expect entries to decline because you basically gave your customer base a one-fingered salute because they didn’t pre-order.
December 4, 2013 at 9:32 am #17124
Jim, I think it’s safe to say that we agree to disagree. And I’ll leave it at that. Superkarts! USA HAD the tires that were pre-ordered for pickup at the track, along with 100 extra sets for those that came unprepared.
The cost for shipping 1000+ sets of rain tires to the race would have to be absorbed somewhere. Example, BRP is the parent company of Rotax and is valued at $2.5 billion. They can produce and ship product to anywhere. Superkarts! USA is trying to pay the bills, and not have the racers take the brunt of all the costs it takes to put on an event like the SuperNationals.
In no way did SKUSA give their customer’s a ‘one-fingered salute’ and I find it insulting that someone who was not at the event or someone who does not race with Superkarts! USA boasts responses like this.
David Cole - EKN Managing Editor
December 4, 2013 at 9:56 am #17126
I was referring to MG and or their distributor where “salutes” were concerned, I apologize I wasn’t clear. I’m actually sympathetic towards SKUSA on this, they were stuck in the middle between the drivers/teams and supply issues.
The bottom line is that there wasn’t anywhere near enough enough MG wets in the entire country to cover this single event.
That’s a supply issue. Period.
December 4, 2013 at 10:53 am #17136
Jim, I’ll actually agree with you and acknowledge there was a supply issue. You’re also right that there wasn’t enough MG wets in the entire country to cover the event. I honestly don’t see how anyone can dispute that.
But in the real world, sometimes supply issues are not the fault of the supplier, but the fault of the customers…
In this case, the supply issue was caused by the competitors not being prepared. Why do I say this?
Because I don’t think that anyone who pre-ordered their tires from SKUSA or who came to Vegas with their own tires had problems getting them.
There weren’t enough MG wets in the entire country for the event, but there EASILY could have been if the competitors had demanded the tires in advance of the event. So, again, it comes back to the competitors being at fault here. Nobody else.
Seriously, how was MG (or the US supplier) supposed to know how many tires people would need? I think the fair assumption would have been that people would have come prepared to the Supernats. How many showed up to the Supernats without a kart and engine (either their own or a pre-arranged rental)? My guess is a lot of people had a spare chassis and engine – even though, much like the tires, they were hoping not to use them.
December 4, 2013 at 11:12 am #17137
one can state what ever they like to the drivers about their responsibility but if a tire is spec’d, the supplier should be able to meet 20% of the demand of ONE of the races don’t you think.
Ok here we go. Rotax/DD2/DD2 masters = 85 drivers. 605 total entries less 85 = 520. Less 36 drivers that pre-ordered = 484. I know for a fact at least 50 drivers showed up with at least 1 set of rains without looking up the actual numbers that practiced and raced in the rain but we’ll leave it at 484 for funzees. That doubled is 968. If SKUSA had 100 sets and there were 100 sets in Florida, what would that percentage be? That doesn’t even count the other race shops at the track with tires to sell OR internet shops across the nation that overnighted their stocks. Did I mention that more than a few drivers actually brought tires with them?
Where do we stand now? People that didn’t “pre-order” or “get in line” soon enough didn’t get their playstation 4
December 4, 2013 at 11:41 am #17140
Clearly the “misunderstanding” was only a “misunderstanding” for the drivers and teams that ignored the protocol set forth to get what they need to race. For the record, if you didn’t do the math, between SKUSA’s stock and the stock in Florida, it was 20.6%. They met YOUR requirements to spec a tire.
December 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm #17142
Jim, I sort of agree with your point about being the sole supplier of a spec item. At the same time…
I highly doubt that MG has signed on the dotted line to provide exactly X number of tires on-site at each and every event, whether they will be used or not. I’m sure they’d sign onto that agreement, provided fair terms for them… i.e. they get paid whether the tires get used or not.
This isn’t F1 where Pirelli will get a fixed fee to provide X number of tires at each event, whether the teams and cars show up or not. If nobody shows up at a SKUSA event, MG doesn’t sell any tires – that’s a HUGE difference.
My guess is the MG deal with SKUSA provides SKUSA with better pricing than they would otherwise get, which allows SKUSA to make a little money on tires.
SKUSA, in turn, is not stupid and warns their customers to make sure they order (or otherwise secure) the tires they need well in advance of the events because they know that MG is “at risk” if they carry lots of excess inventory.
In other words, it would be stupid for MG to have thousands of sets of wet tires sitting in a warehouse somewhere in the USA – especially in mid-November – when there’s nothing to indicate that anybody wants to buy them.
The wet tires would have been there if the competitors has asked for them when they should have (and were told to).
December 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm #17177
The good news: Next year nobody can complain about their MG Rains being old and dried out. We had a great example of inventory turn. So turn that frown upside down.
December 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm #17181
Their was not a supply issue. SKUSA and MG asked racers to pre order rain tires if they wanted them for the event. Some did pre order tires others did not. Mg can then look at those that did not pre order as already having a source for tires or did not want them. No need to supply something that is not wanted or needed. The communication between drivers, SKUSA, and MG worked just fine. The problem comes from the drivers not wanting the tires.
If you expect promoters and suppliers to have tires on hand for those not prepared you better also expect a large increase in entry fees to pay for those tires.
December 5, 2013 at 5:04 am #17189
Back and forth complaining about who to blame, who not to blame, supply issue or not, price gouging, etc…..It’s time to move on. Next year there will be no excuses not to be prepared. If you were overcharged by a kart shop, team, supplier or other, don’t deal with them again.
How about we promote the good things about the event….Largest North American, if not in the world, some great racing especially some of the TaG Senior heat races with Sera and Allmendinger racing hard but having complete respect for one another, the TaG Cadet final where ten drivers had a shot at the win with two laps remaining, a larger vendors row area then in past years, etc. Ya, the weather sucked for three days for all of us in the pits, but it sucked more for the corner workers, starter and race directors.
Time to look forward to next years event and expect the unexpected….Even rain in the desert
December 5, 2013 at 5:08 am #17190
No one needed $800 worth of tires. We had one $220 set. Just one. A pi$$ drop in the bucket for what anyone spends to go to this race. That one set got us through the event just fine. There was no supply issue if you preordered your tires.
I have two questions that I would like to pose and see a show of hands.
1. How many of you who are bantering about the rain tire issue were actually at the race involved with a team or driver?
2. How many of you who are seemingly experts on supply and demand and the proper way to run a business actually run your own business?
December 5, 2013 at 8:01 am #17204
And moving on to the future…How about some banter about Daytona Kartweek? Just a few weeks away! We were planning on debuting our new ART GP ride there, but that pesky rib injury flared up so no racing for TJ. I’ll still be there to discuss kart stands with everyone though. :)
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December 5, 2013 at 8:14 am #17205
FWT starting up soon too!
November 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm #16635
At the time of the cut off to order rain tires the forecast was dry, so many brought our 1 set of rains. Many of us had to decide to practice or not.
When the forecast changed there was NO option.
In my business I have to buy assets that don’t get used right away, that’s business.
This was bad business. It’s all said and done now only time will tell if this will hurt the event.
November 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm #16684
Reducing the number of tires allowed would do nothing but punish the people that were prepared.
Not sure where you got the impression they would have 1000 sets of rain tires at the track. This is straight from SKUSA’s website.
<h3 style=”text-align: -webkit-auto; margin: 7px 0px 3px; padding-left: 0px;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);”>”Rain Tires</span></span></h3>
<li style=”margin-bottom: 5px;”><span style=”background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);”>MG-WT — $218/set of 4 tires (All classes except TaG Cadet and Rotax)</span>
<li style=”margin-bottom: 5px;”><span style=”background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);”>MG-WT Cadet — $212/set of 4 tires (TaG Cadet)</span>
<li style=”margin-bottom: 5px;”><span style=”background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);”>Mojo W2 — $275/set of 4 tires (Junior Max and DD2 Max)</span>
<span style=”background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);”>NOTE: Competitors may purchase rain tires from SKUSA or their own supplier. If purchasing from SKUSA, all rain tires must be pre-purchased – or pre-ordered via email – by November 1st to guarantee supplies on site. If purchasing from your own supplier, they must be the spec rain tires listed above.”</span>
November 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm #16689
MG-WT — $218/set of 4 tires (All classes except TaG Cadet and Rotax)
MG-WT Cadet — $212/set of 4 tires (TaG Cadet)
Mojo W2 — $275/set of 4 tires (Junior Max and DD2 Max)
NOTE: Competitors may purchase rain tires from SKUSA or their own supplier. If purchasing from SKUSA, all rain tires must be pre-purchased – or pre-ordered via email – by November 1st to guarantee supplies on site. If purchasing from your own supplier, they must be the spec rain tires listed above.
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November 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm #16728
Everyone is always quick to point out the bad but what about the good…..I know of a few individuals/companies/teams that sold tires to competitors at normal retail prices….. :)
November 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm #16730
Okay Ross, that’s a valid point. Now rework your numbers with the 35 or 36 drivers that ACTUALLY pre-ordered tires. Based on your own formula, MG should be in the clear. There were more than 100 sets available to be overnighted in the US. Cool story though.
As was said earlier, had the drivers been responsible even 2 weeks earlier, I’m sure MG could have had 1,000 sets to vegas in a week. The responsibility still falls on the driver.
November 28, 2013 at 9:21 pm #16735
Also if its so easy to handle this situation, why wasn’t there a crunch for tires until the rain actually fell? You don’t have to be an MG salesman to call every dealer in the US to buy up tires on Tuesday when it was still sunny. Wednesday at about 9am was when all of the un-prepared drivers and teams were scrambling.
Edit: We practiced all day Wednesday in the the dry. The crunch came at 9:00 am on THURSDAY!
December 2, 2013 at 8:27 am #16896
I understand Howie’s frustration. Supernats is an event that many people spend a big portion of their year’s budget on, like myself. It is pretty BS to see what the rains were selling for by SOME teams. However, part of the value of being with the “Big Tent” teams is that they usually come prepared and supplied. Some of the “teams” are not retailers though. Some of them simply provide a tuning or engineering service, not product. I usually use multiple sources for weather; Accuweather and Weather.com. There were conflicting reports. But, I remembered a few years back when it was freezing and pouring and I had to wear a trash bag to watch the races. So, apparently, I was one of the 35 that preordered my rains, despite having a set of stickers that I bought earlier in the year (for grand junction, i believe) that never got used.
Lesson #1: Be Prepared. (Drivers and Shops)
So, I had 2 sets of sticker rains, 3 sets of sticker practice tires, and 2 sets of sticker race tires. That is the better part of $1,500 worth of tires. Not to mention the spare chassis I bought on the way to Vegas. That is tough for a lot of people to swing for a single race, including myself. Apparentlty, some big teams came and bought out all of the MG Reds also, (for Tag Cadet). I had a buddy that was also racing this race on a shoestring budget and did not pre order practice tires. By the time he registered, Reds were sold out. So, after realizing that it was going to rain and noticing that he would be screwed without some stickers, I sold him a set, at retail, or slightly less.. I was offered $1,500 for my rains. …and turned it down.
But, my frustration comes from the fact that a big part of the cost of racing for me is being amply supplied for what I MIGHT need. Is it frustrating that my competitors often come to me for parts that they dont keep spares of? Sometimes. But, I thought about it quite a bit and realized that if I spent my money on races, rather than spares and “maybes” my son would have had much more track time.
But, then came supernats. I was prepared. Many were not. My gamble paid off. Now, only if my kid could drive in the rain, on a low grip track with big barriers….
Lesson #2: When it rains, head to the track!! (off topic, I digress)
I just watched the movie “Chasing Mavericks”. I saw them use a weather station radio that told them what the weather was like and the direction of swells, so they would know which break to surf. I did this as a surfing kid from San Diego, so I could relate. When the southwest swell would be coming in, we would head to Coronado…etc
At our local track, we cancel races when it rains. I understand that most people don’t like cleaning up the mess of driving a kart in the rain. But, next time it rains, I will be at the track. Period.
December 2, 2013 at 9:37 am #16924
“Thou shalt not spec a tire supplier if said supplier can’t supply the tire.”
As a tire supplier, did MG have sufficient tires available for the drivers of this event?
Answer is no, it’s their job to supply tires. Anything beyond that is semantics.
Is that an easy job? Absolutely not! But its a job they took on nonetheless.
Sorry, IMO this is on MG. Biggest event in the US, they were tasked with supplying tires for the event and they failed to supply. . Drivers and teams shouldn’t have to carry $500 of tires around just “in case” it might rain at one of the biggest events of the world that has a clearly designated, spec tire supplier.
Sure, we can put it back on the drivers and teams as much as we like but that’s a surefire to see entries diminish in my opinion, especially for the guys that don’t run in the US or SKUSA regularly.
The whole situation was a crap sandwich, you could argue that SKUSA could have allowed drivers to practice or even run on other rubber, but then that’s unfair to those that had the correct tire. It sucks, but I think SKUSA did the right thing by sticking to their rules. At least you know you can count on them for that in the future.
Bottom line and root cause: MG failed to supply. I’m not saying the fix is trivial or that its not a logistical nightmare for them, but it is still their responsibility as tire suppliers to supply the tire.
FWIW I think wet tires should stay open, or even a controlled spec where drivers choose from a list of brands and specific compounds.
December 3, 2013 at 7:33 am #16975
This wasn’t my first Supernats, so we had 4 sets of rain tires with us. I don’t spend $7k+ and drive 30hrs each way across the country just to be unable to race because I didn’t plan for the possibility of rain. I sold one of my sets of tires to another guy in our tent for retail on Wednesday. Unfortunately my driver separated his ribs in practice Friday and couldn’t race. I actually took new rain tires home with me. By Friday night, no one wanted them.
Bottom line is, there were 600 racers there. At 4 sets of rains per racer, that’s 2400 sets, or 9600 tires. I really don’t think we can expect SKUSA or MG to have those sitting around waiting for a chance to be used. If all the racers has brought their own tires, the risk is divided up among 600 and its an $800 insurance policy per racer. We all knew that we were responsible for our own rain tires, yet some people gambled. They paid a price. I’m not a fan of price gouging though.
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December 4, 2013 at 6:45 am #17077
Sorry your thread got a little hijacked Howie! I think the gouging came from individuals as well as teams. That’s the free market in effect however.
The amount of “industry apologists” on here amazes me sometimes.
My understanding is that there were about 100 sets of wets available in the US from “whoever supplies MGs”. If this is inaccurate, then please correct me.
At a time when just one of the races across the entire US has 600 drivers, there were not enough wets to be found to even cover 10% of ONE of those races. I’m assuming two sets per driver here. Ok you can play semantics and say, Rotax ran mojos so they should not be included. Fine, it doesn’t change the fact that supply was way, way, way off demand.
How does this not strike anyone as a supply issue?
I said it once, and I’ll say it again. If you want to continue to take the stance that it’s the drivers and teams fault and that the spec’d tire supplier are in the clear you can expect to see entries diminish, especially from international drivers and teams.
Having $800 of wets hanging around in your trailer is great, until the spec tire gets changed.
December 4, 2013 at 8:00 am #17087
“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.”
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln
I bet Old Abe would of been a heck wet weather kart racer.
we live in the time of its not my fault Im not prepared. I guess its someone elses job to do the preperation for you. The rules say its on the driver. They gave a chance to pre order. So still not your fault?
December 4, 2013 at 10:29 am #17130
Jim, why don’t you call any kart shop in America and order 1,000 of the same axel, and tell them you need them tomorrow by 8am and see what happens. Why wouldn’t you be able to get them? I’ll tell you why. On a normal basis I’m sure they sell maybe 20 a month, so why have 1,000 on hand? Because they want to be able to give there customers the on finger salute I’m sure! Isn’t that why everyone’s in business?
Do we remember that MG’s factory is in Brazil? I bet they have a whole warehouse full of rain tires there. It just takes time and money to move them 6,000 miles. Why would any business spend the money to move something if there has not been a demand?
Ps I don’t work for Mg, SKUSA or any parts supplier for anything to do with karting. I love racing and am fortunate to get to tag along with a team as a lowly mechanic. I’m in this conversation out of principle. I was ACTUALLY AT SUPERNATS and saw and heard all of this going on. I feel it’s completely erroneous to blame ANYBODY but the drivers themselves.
I digress, clearly total ignorance, a severe lack of logic and common sense are driving quite a few of you as you try and blame someone for you not being prepared and them being business savy.
December 4, 2013 at 10:47 am #17133
I don’t consider axles consumables like tires, but I’ll bite anyway as I know some do.
Unless you are talking about a spec axle that everyone is required to use with a designated and contracted supplier your analogy doesn’t apply.
That’s my main gripe with this. MG (or distributor etc) signed up as the supplier of tires for this event. Yet they didn’t have enough, across the entire country in inventory to cover this single big event, not even a fraction of it. I think its fair to say it would be difficult for them to cover all of the drivers, but they didn’t event get close!
From a business POV, its hardly prudent for drivers and teams to hold $800 of tires without a commitment of some sort that the spec’d tire will not change.
December 4, 2013 at 11:23 am #17139
Rob what you quoted re customer and suppliers is true, however I still feel if you sign up to be a spec tire supplier, certain expectations should hold up.
Chris, no matter what the percentage, we are still only talking about one event across the nation. Granted its the big kahuna, but it’s a single event nonetheless.
Clearly the current setup and strategy between SKUSA, MG and the teams/drivers didn’t work, there was misunderstanding and miscommunication of expectations on both end.
Hopefully a compromise can be met that won’t involve drivers carrying around 2-3 sets of wets, nor MG having to sit on $250,000 of inventory.
December 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm #17147
This was never intended to be a pissing match about who’s to blame for a short supply of tires. Nor was it a Blame SKUSA or MG thing either. We f’d up and didn’t have enough. I’m not a victim of any of this. Same can be said for many many others. I mainly wrote about how ugly and disgustingly greedy some in the industry became when they saw the problem. Instead of offering tires for a fair price they saw an opportunity to gouge and that’s what I had a problem with. I have no problem taking responsibility for not being fully prepared – thats on me. I do have a problem for the Looting tactics of some VERY established karting industry business folks. I have new found opinions about these businesses and will do everything in my power to persuade anyone I can away from doing business with them.
December 5, 2013 at 5:52 am #17195
You don’t need to be a “pachydemologist” to know what an elephant is.
No I wasnt at the soggynats.
Yes I have run my own business with inventory that sinks in value a lot faster than the precious spec MG tire.
Going forward, if it rains an entire event you better have two sets maybe even three depending on conditions and the number of days you run, if you plan on being up front that is.
Chris, I never mentioned a 20% being “my requirement” of fulfillment for a spec tire, it was simply a reference figure.
December 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm #17249
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