I was racing this weekend someone mentioned that at another club they don’t do tech because they don’t want to drive people away. That struck me as very backwards what I have heard most it is that folks leave karting because of uneven enforcement of rules. Race directors and officials are so worried about kart counts that they let folks slide or don’t even bother to enforce the rules.
I agree. I have also heard the opposite sentiment, where people race particular series because the tech is so dialed in and the officials know what to check.
Admin note: So I renamed the thread title only because I’d like to not overly encourage a ‘what’s wrong with karting’ theme.
However, I agree with you Steve that good tech rules are what keep me around. I know some local tracks in my area that are inconsistent with how they tech, and it’s drives away people, and you notice favoritism. That’s an easy way to make people not have as much fun.
I love to get teched. I makes me feel like it’s “real racing” and it matters. Though, we have yet to be torn down so my opinion might change after that.
Personally, being teched doesn’t bother me either, because I do my best to play to the rules. If anything, tech is a good place for me to gain spaces, because someone else might be illegal. lol
I think tech is very important. Without tech inspection you’re just having a lapping day. I actually lost a championship because a competitor was allowed to drop a tech violation race. I usually don’t worry about tech because I’m confident that my stuff is legal, but if lose on a tech issue it’s my fault for not being up on the rules.
I’m a tech guy. Piece of cake with the new wave of Briggs 206s. Any questions in particular?
I tech at the club level, so my standards are a bit different.
Yeah, but what about any other engine that’s not a 206? lol
Not a piece of cake evidently, but 100% necessary to maintain parity.
I would hope that it helps karting. Just knowing you are getting beat fairly is reason enough to want it.
We’ve raced where tech was minimal and I knew there was cheating going on and it bothered the heck out of me. 10 races into a 12 race season finally did some tech and the karts ahead of us in points had soft tires. Not just a little soft, I’m talking 10 points too soft. Tech let them continue to race the day on those tires and we’ve only gone back a few times since.
The regional we race tech’s after qualifying, heats and feature. Being 206 it’s fairly easy tech for Q and Heats. Slide, fuel, jet etc. There has been checks with cam lift, pulling the head and such after the feature.
We’ve been chasing the points leader for 2 years and can’t seem to beat him but he’s always legal and I never have to worry about it. Even if they didn’t tech hard one day, because we know tech will happen and it’s not worth losing a race over.
Sorry typical rambling… carry on.
Engine legality is sometimes mistaken for Safety compliance. That said, I am opposed to any and all tech that is ‘nit picking’. Stock Classes are for those racers who can get closest to the line, find areas to be exploited, and / or Rule interpretation. For example; define “Stock Appearing”. Seems to me that Engine Tech inspection revolves around ‘no go’ measurements. Fuel has never been properly addressed except for the ‘pump around’ system which has it’s own safety risks… Back in the day ‘pushing fuel’ was the challenge of the day that could have been easily remedied. The more Officials available then the larger body count for the Tech inspection crew was a truism. Engine seals seem to have leveled the playing field…oh, I omitted to mention those homemade seals !!
I don’t know why you as a racer wouldn’t want Tech. It helps keep things from getting out of hand. Recently, we had some grumbling in the pits about ‘cheaters’ in 206. It was unfounded, but nevertheless, sure enough next race those motors in tech are torn completely apart as far you could go without cutting seals. People were surprised at first but then happy. Some of our Rotax racers were actually pretty excited to actually learn some things from our tech guy about their engines.
At a recent event, after many beverages, the discussion turned to this topic.
I would just really like the rules to actually be enforced. I am sick and tired of going to events to have a lax enforcing of the rules.
My biggest gripe is starting. (in Australia). Followed by, the officials not watching the event.
I feel like many have mentioned already, that if an event is strictly Tech’d and rules enforced, that it will be a great meeting.
It is ridiculously easy to do, but for some reason the officials don’'t seem to be able to make it happen. They seem to all be worried about how much time the event is taking rather than doing their job.
This seems like a massive bash at officials, reading back through what I’ve written. I cant say its not. I just would like to encourage anyone who is an official to actually do your job, to the best of your abilities, not worry about pressure from anyone to do “the right thing” rather than enforce the rules.
I will just leave one last thing that happened to me here.
At a high level event we were about to go on to the out grid, and it started raining. Mad scramble to change tyres. We put the kart down, and having know that the weekend was going to be like this we had made the effort to make our kart legal considering the width difference between dry and wet tyres.(In OZ tyres must be outside the width of the rear bumper)
Out of 25 plus karts I would guess at least 50% of the karts had tyres inside the rear bumper, a clear cut tech violation. We pointed this out to an official, who responded by asking where our money was. (an appeal at that level costs money). I could not believe the response, official had been shown a clear violation of the rule he chose to ignore it.
You could argue that it would make no performance difference so why bother, but a rule is a rule to me.
And the meeting continued on in that vain, where a lot of ‘little’ infringements went unpunished
I even went to the effort of writing a letter to the controlling body after the event, to express my opinion with no response.
So Guess who is now an Official?
I think the biggest challenge with that is that officials are volunteers, just like everyone else to helps the track run smoothly, and unfortunately most of the time, they get the most gruff from people who don’t know how to communicate well.
Most of the officials that I know that are lax on the rules/lazy with them, are mostly just tired. They love what they do, but get tired of the abuse from people when all they get is maybe a free lunch and get to watch the races for free.
Partly, I think tech officials need more support from the racers, and things might feed more positively.
In my experience the tech officials here in the States have always been very thorough and firm with their rulings, however I would tend to agree on some of your points about other officials. I know most of our officials on a pretty personal level, some of them are my best friends who I’ve known through racing for many years. They got the job as official because they are were quality drivers who knew the rules and competed fairly. But like Davin said, we are all human and officials take an unreasonable amount of abuse on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s parents berating them for penalizing their kid, or standing out in the hot sun all day with only a sunburn and a lukewarm hamburger as payment. So I totally feel for them.
I think what separates the good officials from the bad are little things like you mentioned Bill. The good official would have made note of that rule infraction and wouldn’t try to enforce it. It’s a small gesture on his part but it goes a long way in setting the tone for other officiating. As I’m close the series we race in (my dad is the announcer and a background organizer), I’m sometime asked to offer my opinion on rule enforcement or whether the series did the right thing post-race. Obviously I have no direct influence, but it’s good for a current driver to be able to speak up and keep the officiating crew honest if I feel they made a wrong call. Some of the major national series have had what they call “Driver Advocates” on the officiating staff to help plead a driver’s case in protests or give a different perspective. Typically it was someone very experienced at all levels of driving who had seen it all.
Overall, for owner driver racing I would say they help greatly because it’s one of the diffrentiators between it and rental style racing.
Tracks\series that knowingly allow racers to blatantly cheat and do nothing hurt their growth IMO. You’re pandering to a small handful of racers, feeling like they can’t afford to lose them. I have empathy for that, but in the long term, that’s not going to help them long term.
That kind of pandering has contributed to the multitude of classes with 3 or less drivers in them.
I think if racers want to tinker, great! But they need to enter a class for tinkerers.
We run two tracks. A sprint asphalt and a dirt oval. The sprint asphalt does a descent amount of tech, while the dirt oval does zero. I feel much more confident and satisfied with the racing and the results at the sprint track.
People will always look for an edge, that’s just human nature. As someone who does not have a ton of mechanical knowledge are ability, I prefer more rules and more tech. That’s why we run the Briggs 206 classes. I feel we can be competitive because with that rule set.
At the dirt track I’ve been on both sides of the cheating. I get upset when a know an illegal kart wins and doesn’t get tech’d? And I’ve been questioned about my sons kart when he wins by a large margin. But we runs the briggs and don’t cheat. We run against clone motors that are questionable at best.
We won’t be racing at the dirt track next season.