I’m in Canada but I believe the Canadian and US issues are very similar except we don’t even get live streams. I never said costs would be lower, but at least with OK-N no one is hiding behind some false promise of equality and cost savings, it’d probably be the same cost now with OK-N compared to X30 and ROK.
All we are talking about is distributing the wealth as right now promotors get entry fees, tires and engines. In an OK-N scenario they still get 2/3 and then allow each team or engine builder a bit of help by being able to be a direct importer of engines or at least giving them a choice of importer to partner with.
While I agree philosophically about hiding behind false promises of equality and cost savings … the FIA are promoting the OK-N category along the lines of ‘cost-savings’ and ‘parity’… which I believe to be a fundamental error on their part. but we’ll see. If you’re marketing material says low costs and parity, then naturally people will look at Rotax and X30 and go “well… that seems to do it better”
"n order to simplify technical inspections as much as possible and to avoid disparities, preparation of the OK-N engine is only allowed within the limits of the homologation form and the technical regulations."
"Accessibility is also measured in financial terms. Without an arms race, the investment to race in OK-N remains extremely affordable."
You don’t lower the cost by destroying the championship and point of the FIA. Because you ahven’t dropped costs… you’ve just destroyed something that actually represents one of the FIA’s longest running World Championship contests.
The costs are a problem but they are largely a function of F1, not so much the equipment itself, though that does play a part (i.e KF and complexity). If the FIA said “if you race karts you’re banned from F1” costs would drop 80% over night. So maybe that is what needs looking at.
The FIA just need better people involved. It’s as simple as that. It’s complex I won’t lie, but I can’t stand for desecration of karting.
To me CIK\FIA represents a small segment (Although very visible) of the sport overall, even in Europe?
I think it’s pretty clear that the intention of CIK\FIA’s program is to feed FIA funnel with drivers. That emphasis has reduced the broader influence it had on karting through ASNs that was prevalent prior to the 00’s.
(Although it’s fair to say that the chassis specs are essentially 100% adopted across the world, even if the chassis themselves are not homologated with CIK\FIA.)
In my mind I’ve compartmentalized CIK\FIA as being focused primarily on feeding that funnel of racers, so I’m not expecting them to change their focus. I’m open to correction, but it seems like we’re kinda barking up the wrong tree as the saying goes.
I think it’s up to the other segments of the sport to promote themselves.
I can make the argument that “multi-make engines” really means “unless you’re contractually obligated to use something else, you can choose between TM and losing” but that might just be making Alan’s argument for him!
I agree with your general assessment of the current situation but they does not justify destruction of one of the oldest FIA World Championships in my view. History and culture are important, and while the thread to the sport’s history is still there it should be maintained, even if those in charge are almost totally blind to it.
That’s racing at the end of the day. Do better or get beat.
Yeah I guess the FIA champions OK-N for that reason but if it were introduced in NA I don’t think anyone would be naïve enough to think that it would be introduced to be cheaper than X30 or ROK. The ‘cost savings’ of spec racing is what I find ridiculous, it costs no less for spec racing and arguably has less parity.
All I think we can say for sure is spec-racing has not reduced complaints about parity and cost. I suspect it’s made it worse, not because it necessarily is, but because of the sales pitch. I think what may have happened is that people believe in parity as a philosophical desire (or indoctrinated :)), and when that isn’t the actual reality, the anger is greater.
In the 100cc stuff I do, no one is getting angry coz that’s not what they were sold. It is amazing you can race with different eras of engines with different carbs and it’s epic af, but that aside, it’s not sold on those grounds. It’s a different (and more rich imo) culture of racing and no one is complaining all that much about engine parity because that’s stupid in a development class.
I think it can go array though still, if the engines are overly complex so that it becomes almost impossible to get good gear as what happened with KF. So it’s a delicate balance. With multi-make you still need a fundamental belief that high performance can be achieved on your budget. KF (and OK) are just too far.
This might be a separate topic, but I’m very curious to hear recent examples of this. Some specifics like:
What classes are we talking about?
What comparative costs and parity differences are being observed?
Whats the expectation of parity?
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, the cost of racing hasn’t changed since day 1: It costs everything you have. You can bring the grids closer, but you can’t stop people spending money.
If we’re going to criticize programs, we might as well be specific on what we expect.
I’m not saying that spec programs are perfect in terms of parity. Rotax had some big issues prior to Evo both in their certification program and manufacturing tolerances. But looking at X30 and KA100 as an example, the lap times seem to be pretty close.
It exists in all of the ‘spec’ classes that I have witnessed in north america eg. Rok, Rotax and X30. I have seen engines in all 3 classes differ by up to 8 tenths per lap. I do not know the costs of OK-N, only that it cannot be worse than we have now in the top classes in NA.
I think the expectation of parity if it were a ‘spec’ class is that engines are within 1 to 2 tenths and that you shouldn’t need to have a very close relationship with an engine builder or be on an engine rental program in order to compete.
I completely agree with you that racing costs the same no matter what which is why I think we should stop hiding behind the ridiculousness of ‘spec racing’ when it is anything but spec.
There’s no way there is a variation of 8 tenths between engines purely based on performance without some kind of mechanical issue. And even if you have seen some horrible engine be 8 tenths off the pace, that of course is not the norm.
I’ve driven dozens of X30s and have never felt like I had one that was a monster or a turd either way. I’ve driven builders’ “good” engines and beat old rental engines and stock engines and there has never been an instance where I felt the parity wasn’t similar between them. Same goes for KA. I have raced stock KAs against “built” KAs and everything in between and the parity is always good. Hell, at USPKS this year my tired old stock KA back-to-backed against the builder’s “monster top-end” engine at the same lap time and top speed.
I can’t speak for Rotax or Rok, I haven’t driven them in years, but at least for IAME products, the parity has gotten really strong. When SKUSA switched to X30 only for Pro Tour, there was a noticeable tightening of the field spread and I had numerous conversations with the other X30 drivers that the class had gotten much closer and tougher because of the parity of the X30 engine.
In Yamaha or Komet, we certainly had some real monster engines, but the tolerances on the latest generation of products has gotten a lot closer.
To say that X30s are varying 8 tenths is patently untrue. All you have to do is go look at any X30 race result and you can see that the gap in lap times from 1st to last is like 0.9 in most cases. And surely that isn’t attributed all to engine disparity or “lack of a relationship with a builder”. I would venture to guess that driving and possibly even chassis setup plays a role in that gap.
I won’t add my remarks on the benefits or pitfalls of ‘spec’ racing as a whole because frankly that topic has been argued to death around here and no one seems to want to budge on their feelings about it, so it’s a boring thing to debate.
Well to be fair its been on a few ROK engines and previously some Rotax, not X30, and I cannot verify the engine maintenance or how far past it’s rebuild it may have been. I do not think every engine out of the box is off by that much just that you can get some duds but certainly not within a region where spec racing should be when compared to the top of the field. I should definitely edit my statement to not include X30 as I do not have relevant experience there other than just observing most X30 races.
Regardless though you are right that the topic of spec vs open is beaten to death.
I do have to say X30 grids have collapsed in the UK somewhat partly due to people becoming disaffected with engine parity. They’ve largely waltzed back to Rotax… and naturally yes… people are once again moaning about engine parity there too, interestingly a lot of it surrounding exhausts. Maybe it’s a UK thing, maybe we’re just nuts. lol
To me, nowadays I have no time for engine parity talk beyond the odd thread on here. The game, even in spec-racing because you’re still buying the gear, is to get the best stuff and go racing. No point moaning about it, it’s how the game works.