More Details from Tom Kutscher on the Future of the IKF under SKUSA Ownership

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(James McMahon) #1

Clipped from the SKUSA Springnationals “Tomversation”, Kutscher talked with @chrisortenburger to give more details on the road ahead for the IKF.

See more IKF topics here: #ikf

What do you think?

IMO it’s something the sport needs, badly. Now whether we like how it’s implemented by SKUSA (IKF V2.0) is another topic. But really, so many clubs out there need help with organization, resources, professionalism and modernization out there, to an extent something like this was bound to happen sooner or later.

I’m not super stoked about how Tom talks about “little guys”, but that’s kinda his spiel sometimes.
I think many will take issue with him saying that IKF is club racing, but I think if we’re brutally honest, for the most part, that is where it is at right now and has been for ten or more years.


(TJ Koyen) #2

I think this is a step towards what we’ve all been asking for for years; a true ladder from the bottom up to streamline club racing and help people get into the sport while providing a good path to help regional and national programs grow as well.

Lots of people have differing opinions on Tom or SKUSA, but this seems like a win to me. It’s nice to see IKF relevant again.

Curious what everyone else thinks.


(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #3

I’d agree with that, TJ.
I do think that sometimes politics in our sport can get in the way of pragmatism. So as long as it helps to clean up the route and connect the series together, I’d be fine with that.


(Sean Mann) #4

This feels like a lateral move, mostly. It at least maintains the IKF’s existence, but I’m not sure that anything he’s outlined will have a concrete benefit. The benefit of IKF’s broader rulebook was it could cater to any clubs classes, and had at least a workable weight limit to try to balance it all out. I’m not sure any of these change, though, other than they still exist.

From an insurance standpoint, it sounds like that’s still the same? No real change other than they’re waiving fees for 2018, which is certainly something.

I guess I’m not clear on what they will offer beyond the rulebook for a struggling club. Do they have a timing/scoring package? Race-day format? Marketing package?

I guess the vagueness surrounding how support is distributed leaves a lot to be desired. The way he’s phrasing it, there will be incentives to run Tom’s products (Evinco, IAME), but if clubs abstain from offering those because the region doesn’t have the class, will they still benefit at all? Evinco seems to be a potential club kick-back based on usage, so that’s fairly straightforward. Is there something beyond all of that, though? Year end awards (Parts, Tires, Engines, etc.)?

I view the transaction on SKUSA’s side as maybe 15% sentimental, 85% strategic. I’m sure Tom wanted to keep history alive, but it was easier to swoop in and absorb an entire distribution network for rules that stretches across the country than start his own up. He now has a platform to market his engine and tires from club to regional, and ultimately feed himself more drivers. Makes sense.

Where I struggle is that the X30 package is still a bad club engine. It costs a good amount to keep running for a long season with roughly 3-4x the rebuild frequency of a Rotax, even with similar power and new engine costs. I don’t think SKUSA will ban them or anything, but I do think their intention is to withhold full funding/benefits if clubs and series don’t run his classes. This is where I’m not sure I like it. For some clubs it will be great. For others, if people just don’t want to run IAME it will be exactly what IKF is now. If clubs go forward with it anyway, it could be a net loss for all parties.

It is what it is, and only time will tell. As far as I can tell, there’s no information as to what specifics will apply come 2019 that the IKF isn’t doing now.


(David Schorn) #5

It seems to me that skusa is picking on the northwest. With the comments he said. We will have to see what the future holds for us in the northwest. The gold cup conference is going to make a decision for us as clubs members. Which you tell you 4 reps for you would like to see for the future of the nw gold. If he wants to cut down the classes like he says that means that there will only be 3 tag classes a shifter class and 3 4cycle class. What are the other 3 and does that help the club or the ikf?


(Eric Gunderson) #6

As someone that works a lot with an IKF regional series, I can say I am a big believer in IKF. With that said, we have been cautiously optimistic of what we have heard so far with this acquisition. I think as long as a ‘fix what is broken, don’t change what isn’t’ approach is taken, it can really benefit a lot of organizations.

One thing that is the most intriguing to me of all of this is the briefly mentioned ‘club in a box’ program that was mentioned in a presser. I don’t have much more info on it than that, but it is interesting to me.


(Daniel Agee) #7

I haven’t had time to listen to the Tomversation yet, so this is just based on what I’ve read. What I’d love to see with this IKF tie up is a better regional program for California, primarily NorCal, which would hopefully help build the club numbers back up. Back a decade ago when I was a teenager running TaG, we had IKF Region 11, which was truly a regional series as we would race across a half dozen tracks in Northern California, as well as Reno NV and Medford OR. But there was also ProKart NorCal which only raced at Sonoma. But Region 11 died during the recession and ProKart NorCal and SoCal merged to just be PKC California. However, PKC California is really still just a SoCal series in my opinion as they only come to one track I’d label as “NorCal” and that’s at the very southern edge of our region. So us NorCal racers are left without a strong regional program. We have KPX, which has been doing well, but this started as a 206 only series and only for this year added KA100. I’m not exactly sure who KPX is aligned with for insurance, but they’ve been their own organization.

TaG numbers used to be really good in NorCal, but nowadays, there really is nowhere to race them. KA has been doing ok, but could really take off with better regional program for them. CR80 shifters used to be a good class, too, and I think guys would come back to it if there was a series for it. Obviously no one knows for sure if numbers will return, but personally, I’d love to see the tie up with SKUSA bring back the NorCal Region 11 vs. SoCal Region 7 rivalry. I would set it up as such:

Saturday Classes
206 Jr. 2
KA100 Sr.
X30 Jr.
X30 Masters/Super Masters
S4 Master/S4M Super Masters
S5 Jr/CR80 Sr.

Sunday Classes
IAME Micro/Mini Swift
206 Jr. 1
206 Sr.
KA100 Jr. 2
X30 Sr.
S1/S2/S3

My reasoning for splitting them as such is there is likely to be blend over between slow/medium (206/KA) or medium/fast (KA/X30) classes, so this would allow those racers to run both days. I wouldn’t imagine a guy running 206 Sr. to also be running X30 Sr., much like I wouldn’t expect a Jr. 1 running Mini Swift to also run 206.

NorCal Series - 4 Races
Sonoma, Monterey Bay, Reno, Prairie City

SoCal Series - 4 Races
CalSpeed, Willow Springs, Santa Maria, Adams

All of this would culminate with the California State Karting Championships at the Streets of Lancaster. Winners of the current SKUSA classes would receive a 50% discount on a SuperNats entry.


(Jim Maier) #8

I think if they truly offer a “turn key” package for clubs to have classes, rules, insurance, discounts for tires and engines, and a regional/national racing ladder that it will be a huge success.