Americans at the OK/OKJ World Championships

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Have been watching a bit on YouTube (FIA karting streams it live) but got some real hot shoes from the US kicking butt this year.

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Been watching a bit this morning. Looks like an amazing track in an even better setting. Any chance we will see these engines carry over to US? For my quick research it seems like an X30 without a starter, clutch, and battery?

It’s not an X30, they’re built to the “OK” engine formula: Explanation of the 2019 FIA Karting OK Class - YouTube

The successor to the previous top-level single-speed FSA/FA/ICA/KF etc. engine formula.

Very unlikely we ever race OK here on any major level. There have always been attempts to bring over the CIK’s classes but it never really builds momentum here for a variety of reasons.

I tested the Vortex DVS a few years ago and it was a blast to drive. There were some rumblings at the time it might replace X30 as a top-tier category in some national series but it never happened.

Guess I should of said X30 like being watercooled & 125cc. Is it cost and maintenance keeping them from becoming popular? Guessing it would take an importer pushing the engines and a major series running them.

Not just that, they need support from the drivers to adopt it. Part of the season the IAME SSE didn’t take off was because after it was introduced, a lot of people just didn’t like it. You didn’t see it in Pro Shifter as much, but Semi-Pro entries dropped like a bomb. We could see the same thing if USPKS or SKUSA introduced OK as a class to replace X30.

Kart Chaser last week talked about how they should to speed up the “Pro” category. Unless the buy-in costs for OK are the same as an X30, and running costs don’t skyrocket, it wouldn’t make sense to do that verses just speed up the packages we have.

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Costs and maintenance are the main concerns I think. Plus the X30 is proven and has been around for 10+ years here. Even if running costs are decent or comparable for the OK, I think we generally have a sour taste when it comes to whatever Europe is doing. People worry the costs will spiral and the formula will change in a few years. Perception is reality sometimes.

I’ve always been of the mindset that it would be cool to have a CIK class here so if drivers want to go over and race internationally it is a bit easier for them.

I thought it would be interesting to have OK Sr. at Vegas, or the Grand Finals.

We could maybe bring it out as an extra class at SKUSA and USPKS if it went well out there? They’re getting to the point where entries in X30 are starting to get larger than we can handle, so breaking them up could be doable. Realistically, we had almost 90 Senior entries averaged across the entire season. That could easily be divided into 3 classes of 30 entries each, or if we only had 20 in OK, we would have 35 in KA and X30. The numbers could be there, depending on initial reception.

Overall, something does need to be done with the TaG classes though, to make them faster. That’s what I’m understanding from the others that have talked about it at least.

Unrelated, but there are some kids out there that should not be in X30. So while speeding up X30 is necessary for the professional drivers, there probably needs to be a licensing/approval system to make sure the drivers entering are capable for the class.

The answer to speeding up the Pro classes is simple: shifters. I think the barrier there is certain promoters and teams are less interested in that category.

They ran a KF class at Supernats years back and the support was so-so at best.

As cool as direct drive is conceptually, I think we’d be hard pressed to fill a direct drive grid in our convenience-driven world these days.

And also the fact it is not a spec series just makes the price go to the moon. TM, IAME or Vortex ? (And back then there was Maxter).
Also you have to deal with prototype engines and find a way to get one, and you are going to burn through so many blueprinted engines.

I make some sense in Europe due to the sheer amount of competition, but now we don’t even have national championships with those engines anymore.

The only was to race OK (Well, OKJ) with a reasonable budget is through the Academy Trophy.

Perhaps it’s an OK/OKJ class, but a single make engine is chosen. Prevents the necessity to have one of every engine in the trailer.

Similar to most club or series races where it’s either Rotax or X30.

I’d be mostly interested as I’m a sucker for weight and simplicity. No clutch, bat, or starter should make for reduced class weight minimums. While I know it’s for bigger guys like me ~360-370lb senior weight karts just seems too heavy.

It’s doesn’t really work that way. Unlike TaG which is engine built to no technical specification other than what the manufacturer wants, all these engines are built to a specific regulation set. You’ll generally work with a specific engine tuner really. It’s the same ‘formula’ as KZ for simplicity, but that form of FIA karting is measurably more popular (gearbox karters seem less averse to multiple engine manufacturers.)

Anyway, the reason you’ll never have OK is because you need a very strong influence from the governing body (in America you don’t really have one). The ‘only’ form of FIA karting if you want to race under them is OK and KZ. The FIA is ‘strong’ in that regard because it’s perceived as the ‘F1 ladder’. Additionally they have the rights to the ‘FIA World Karting Championship’ name.

But when it gets to National level ASNs they tend to follow the market and ditch the concept or just aren’t able to garner enough interest away from the commercial classes (X30, Rotax) where the ‘;F1 ladder’ is moderately less influential. In Europe OK racing would die overnight if you removed ‘F1 ladder’ from the equation. It has almost zero support from the general European karting community.

In addition this notion of ‘single-make’ OK, while it has happened in the UK (partly because it was heavily subsidised) is that it’s not OK. It’s Vortex DDS (or whatever engine brand you go with). The problem is you have a class where engines are developed constantly so it can’t ‘work’ within a single-make framework. Single-brand classes work (kinda) because the manufacturers don’t change the engines over a long period of time (we know they do in actuality, but not to the same extent). If you want to go faster than X30 and Rotax, there’s single-brand engines that’ll do the job (Codasur 175cc etc…) other than OK…

I prefer the ‘OK’ style of racing, though I think the tech regs are still too complicated. It feels more correct to me. More culturally robust. However the culture outside of gearbox karting is dead. There’s a few of us in the retro scene who keep the torch alight, but in modern karting it’s all but gone. To get these classes accepted needs a promotional and educational campaign I am not sure anyone is capable of. No one has the gumption to race like this anymore. It’s all gone a bit soviet union in modern karting.

The Academy Trophy would work equally well with an X30 or Rotax engine on it. What sells the FIA Acedemy Trophy is the FIA stamp of approval. And I’d argue it isn’t really Junior OK either conceptually.

SKUSA import IAME right? So they have no desire to have OK. They could, in theory, adopt the IAME Reedster V engine, but in a few years you ahve a class that’s redundant becase there’s a new homologation. I know they run KZ at the Supernats, but you get the sense that’s out of tradition more than anything. KZ is culturally stronger for whatever reason. This years numbers might not be great.

I know there’s talk of wanting faster classes, but they’d be better off with the IAME Codasur in my view if IAME are producing something stable. I think there’s a big underestimation how big the market rejection is for proper racing classes in karting.

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Oh boy it’s starting to rain for the OKJ final.

The Academy trophy is more like a cheaper stepping stone into OKJ/OK. A way to get sponsors or the support of a factory, while using the same engines.

well the front fairing strikes again.

Also heard a few complaints about MG slick tyres not really holding up well.

I missed OKJ but OK final is about to start. Still wet!

Just finished watching the OKJ race which was epic! The push back bumper penalty strikes again with Slater almost winning still but needed another half second. Racing is brutal!

An American driver, with a Mario Andretti inspired helmet, on pole for the OK World Championship! Heck yeah!

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