USPKS have gone for it and made the pushback nose cone mandatory for 2017.
My opinion is it should be a mandatory piece, but what do you think and will the other series promoters adopt it.
To try and show the change by adopting this system, I’ve highlighted some racing starts in the UK, 2015 before the bumper and 2016 after.
Granted there’s less entries in 2016 but it gives a fairly clear picture of the improvements for starts. And I didn’t watch the whole race so if there is some glaring issues with the bumper later then opps.
I’ve seen a couple people using them at BKC already, it seems a good idea. They got into a crash and instead of the bumper breaking the mount got displaced and it could pop right back into place. Granted, this works in smaller collisions, maybe not bigger ones, and is just a small side benefit but still interesting from what I saw.
Route 66 is following suit and from the race I ran they need it. I started last both days, one for swapping a carb and one from a DNF, but I made 6 positions through just staying on the track. It was a mess and I thought they were going to throw the red flag after one crash right in front of me.
Final thing is that I was talking to Jamie from Franklin Kart the other day, and he told us that at the X30 final in France, their junior driver Maks Kowalski came in at least 50% of the time with his bumper down because in the starts he may get run into, but following too close to the driver ahead of him meant he got his knocked out of place too.
I like the idea and am planning on getting some before the season starts this year to get used to it in case I am doing anything wrong that may cause the bumper to drop.
I haven’t considered the benefit of nose cone saving, but good point.
I think there are and will be initial complaints that you can be brake tested or that it stops good racing but from what I understand those that use it have all eventually come round to it. In the UK it wasn’t implemented in the cadet classes (under 11) and they have begged for it to be implemented for 2017.
There is also something to be said for drivers getting used to not having the bumper as a fail safe and stop following so close. I’m sure that would have been the case for Maks. You can still follow close and not lose the bumper, just watch a CIK race.
IMO is a classic CIK solution to a stepping stone racer problem. It’s doesn’t serve any real purpose for many of us other than annoyance. It’s adoption should be isolated to those cases and classes IMO.
For the rest of us that can (mostly) drive like adults because we aren’t looking to be the next F1 driver, I feel it’s surplus to requirements.
The problem for Maks was just that me would get hit and run into the next kid (usually). The one thing that would keep brake checking from being a thing is that if you get brake checked, what’s keeping you from being more rough in the next turn to get by? You already get the penalty, so there’s nothing else they could do at that point. It’s a negative for a negative, really, so I don’t think it’ll be that much of an issue. Along with if you try brake checking you may get taken out as well and not finish at all.
@KartingIsLife It’s about a $15 dollar piece that shouldn’t need replacing on a consistent basis. That’s, what, two McDonald’s value meals? If you never run into other people that’s $15 you spend once and never think about again. At least that’s how I see it.
I am kind of turned off to it. I have seen more than a few times the bumper flip down and get stuck under the frame. The driver had absolutely no steering at that point. I think instead of bodywork doing the officials job start handing out penalties. My club did that when driving got too aggressive and what happened? In 2 weeks there was some of the cleanest driving we had seen in a while.
My concern isn’t cost. Rather the overall ethos behind it. It seems like a band aid fix to appease upset drivers and their parents. Don’t get me wrong, in those groups it seems to suit them well. But for many weekend warriors who don’t mind a friendly bump and tap here and there it’s a PITA.
The “just hand out penalties” argument comes up every time the bumper is discussed. While I agree with that, we shouldn’t have to have these band-aids as James is accurately calling them, officials should just be able to reprimand and that should be the end, but try keeping an eye on 40+ aggressive karts at the start of a large national race. My guess is the officials who are trying their best will catch maybe 20% of the issues. If I start mid-pack and I need to go forward and I know I have an 80% chance of not getting penalized for punting someone, I’m going to be pretty keen on caving my bumper in.
Now we can also get to the obligatory part of this conversation where everyone complains about plastic bodywork and full-width rear bumpers. It comes down to the rear bumper being a big part of it. There is no consequence for punting someone now. Take that away, and I guarantee it would help. But we’re past that at this point unfortunately.
For now, this seems like a decent solution and if it makes the racing cleaner and less stupid, then I’m all for it, even if it is a gimmicky band-aid.
This. I’ll agree with this. The larger issue, I think are proper driving standards in races, but if it takes a gimmick to change the behavior, then I’m for that. I’ve been on the receiving end of enough ‘ram to pass’ moves that I’d like to see that go away.
A band-aid it may be, but if $15 per driver is what it takes I have no oppositions to the system at this point. I feel like 8 months from now we probably won’t even second guess having them, since once we’re accustomed to it the piece will just be there.
Speaking of front wings, someone on eKn forums was talking about how he made a wing and splitter on his kart and ran quicker.
I see officials get a lot of flack for not seeing incidents, and like you say it’s not easy even at a local race with a small grid. There is a lot to be said for both side having a little empathy for each other.
Something about the drop-down bumper strikes me as it being a major annoyance for the vast majority of kart racers who could care less if the tap into each other once in a while. Reminds me of getting points on your iRacing license for putting a wheel on the grass
For “big” races and series, I can understand the appeal and benefits. But as far as widespread adoption is concerned I’m not fully convinced that it would be a huge benefit.
We raced S1 in the UK last year and found that overall the bumpers are good. The driving standards improve, only one front and rear bumper all year. The only downsides are lots more side podding and a lot of drops happen on the formation lap. UK plans to bring them in for cadets in 2017 (they need it more than juniors and seniors)
I just ran with the new bumpers last weekend at the Route 66 weekend, and overall I really liked them. The bumpers are solid enough that you really need to give someone a good whack to dislodge it. The kid I was following on Sunday’s final got a couple good shunts from behind and I was sure I’d have gotten a 10 second penalty. The bumper held though and we had a good race. I’m hoping the clubs pick it up next year and it spreads even further.
One note was that there is a lot more side contact now. I saw many people talking about how you can run someone off the track once you’re next to them and have a decent chance of getting away with it. No good way to get around the issue but it was better than before.