Various definitions of Contact

I had a disagreement with the parent of another driver this weekend. I am doing my best not to be biased so I can teach my son up from down. Part of that process is using the correct terminology when communicating. I would like to know what you guys think of various degrees of contact going into a braking zone and around the corner. This is how I have come to understand these terms

Dump - Deliberate push off the track ending a driver’s race

Bump and Run - Deliberately not releasing off the kart in front of you into the braking zone so they miss their turn in and the passing kart comes out ahead, typically by multiple kart lengths

Move - Typically a less severe form of a BnR where the leading kart is acting like a tool and genuinely holding up the trailing driver. Contact is made and the leading driver is moved off the racing line, but not so much that they couldn’t get right behind the passing kart (but they probably can’t because that’s why they got moved in the first place)

Unintentional Contact - Going through a turn side by side with minor podding and the outside kart getting passed is now behind, or an over under attempt with the ends of the bumpers rubbing

At the core of all of these things is a trailing driver making contact and gaining the lead. Of course you will not find any of this stuff in a rule book, since they cannot establish between intent and mistake. But that is not what I am asking :grinning:

  1. Dump. Yeah, Removing a guy from the racing surface. Verb. Not a specific action, one could dump someone a variety of ways.

  2. Bump and Run: could also be when you give the guy ahead a little bump into/past their braking/turn in point. Can be accidental in close racing.

I’d call pushing someone in and not releasing something else. Not sure what though.

Moving a guy: what it sounds like. Usually in conjunction with a faster driver saying “I had to move him” when referring to a slower defending driver. Again, not a specific thing, can be accomplished a variety of ways, is a verb.

Unintentional contact: bumping sidepods is sort of a given. I’d say that description would be used when describing a race incident that results in a crash.

1 Like

I mostly agree with what you are saying.

A dump doesn’t have to end their race, but it was a move that had no chance of working and the passing driver is using the kart in front to do the steering or stopping.

A bump and run has different levels. At its tamest it’s how you pass or as you say make a “move”, at its worst it becomes the dump.

I think some degree of contact “rub’n” is racing and as long as push backs don’t move and karts don’t go spinning its all good.

How old is your child? None of these words would ever be used when teaching my son how to race (my son is 8 for transparency).

1 Like

It feels like you are implying that I am trying to teach my son how to do these things on the race track, which is strange. I suggest that you should teach your kid the meaning of these words including driving down/impeding, blocking, swerving, etc so they know not what to do.

You are correct. When I re-read my post it did sound that way. I did not mean to imply that at all. I’m just confused why any of those things would be happening in a youth level class. Then I realized your child might be 15+ and in a higher level class so I asked for clarification and provided the extra transparency of my son’s age as to show my assumption might have been false.

To your point, my son does know what blocking, swerving, and contact is. None of those were words you were defining above.

I will also add that I get reminded all the time on here that I am old school. Because of that, I’m gonna assume the things you defined above are getting taught to high level cadet drivers even though my old self doesn’t think they should. I’ll go back to yelling at kids to stay off my lawn now.


I just believe in the Golden Rule in racing; you bump me, you give me permission to bump you, as long as we aren’t putting someone off the track or making deliberately dangerous moves, all is good.

On the final laps, my tolerance for contact goes up a little, but the underlying philosophy remains.

Honestly I think defining these terms is a little bit of a moot point because once you do that, you will just end up arguing semantics when getting into a debate with another driver or parent. One guy says “you dumped me!” and another says “no, I MOVED you!” and undoubtedly everyone has a slightly different opinion on the definition of each term.

I think the better method for coaching this type of stuff is just to explain to your driver how they could approach each situation and what is acceptable in the context of each situation so they build up a knowledge base of how to approach each scenario. Because every situation is a little different anyway.


RD Opinion:

It doesn’t matter what you call each situation. Contact is contact and at the end of the day, if you use it to advance position, you’re getting it called on it. Intentional or mistake doesn’t matter one single bit.

Teach your kid to advance cleanly and the problem is not a problem.

Trying to split hairs and define the different terms you listed is a fast track to teaching him this contact is acceptable and this one isn’t… To echo what TJ said, everyone is going to call it something different and have a different view on what haopened. Contact is a no go.

Bump n run: It’s contact, period.
Dumping: It’s contact, period.
Moving: It’s contact, period.
Unintentional Contact: It’s contact, period.

I may see it, I may not. If I see it, you threw your race away.

Racer View:

We race hard, shit is going to happen. I’ll typically concede a position back if contact completed my pass for me. I’ll also put you on the “I owe you…” list if you drive me like an asshole.

Know your competition. Everyone drives different and has different attitudes. Everyone I race, I race differently than I do someone else.


“Know yourself, know your enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”

  • Sun Tzu

I agree with what you are saying, except I think the severity and understanding of each scenario is important, even if it is arbitrary. Essentially because of your last reason. If there are fast drivers who are prone to higher severity moves, then I think they need to be raced differently. No different then the guy swerving down the highway, you need to keep him in front of you if you want to make it home for dinner. If someone is prone to a bump and run, we may need to brake earlier, if someone is prone to swerving we may need to pass with more room, etc etc. Sort of like what TJ is saying in his final paragraph.

I don’t think many coaches/parents are telling their kids to actively do this stuff as most think. I think they may be passively allowing it by not telling their kid they messed up (on purpose or an accident) and race direction not penalizing for it. Maybe it is equal amounts of all of the above.

Also, I do not teach retaliation. I try to instill the confidence in my son to go tell the other in the scale line what they did was not acceptable without yelling and flailing. I do understand it is different with adults. He jokingly asked me yesterday what if it was a race for 100k and i make contact at the final turn for the win. I told him, that won’t happen in karting so just drive right. :rofl:

1 Like

Contact happens in racing. Contact that affects a race outcome is in the hands of the race officials, I don’t care what name we chose to give it. Unfortunately in karting the level of contact that is deemed acceptable looks more like a NASCAR short track or road course race.

This past weekend I saw some extremely aggressive driving that was sometimes called, sometimes not. I know we ended up shoved off from 6th in one heat and had our nose driven over from about 12th in another heat, neither was called. One was an overly aggressive pass, the other was a driver miscalculation on space remaining in the corner. For us, both ended the race. For the 1st one, my son had words with the offending driver in the scale and the young man drove him differently in later races. For the second, my son didn’t bother because the offending driver routinely overdrives and pushes borderline passes, so no point. Its just part of racing…

As a SR driver I have told him to never threaten anyone with retaliation, but feel free to let them know that he doesn’t like being driven dirty and what his issue was with the move. If you have someone that routinely drives erratic, rough, or dirty, drive them accordingly. He has a mental list of people that he passes with care due to erratic driving, people he shows no quarter due to dirty or overly aggressive driving, and people he trusts and races hard with. Being new to the category this year, that list is ever-evolving and changing.

This is 100% accurate. Most parents don’t know what clean racing looks like therefore can’t teach the kids. I don’t believe most coaches are teaching this well or most clubs and lower level races officiating it well. How can a club that has the same parents that don’t know working corners expect someone to know what to call? Also many club folks don’t want to drama that goes with calling penalties. But without mentoring and consistent penalties young and new drivers won’t learn.

1 Like

As someone who doesn’t feel that comfortable with driving competitively with other people, this is an interesting conversation to follow for the sake of getting a read on other people’s dispositions, philosophies, and attitudes about rubbin’. But honestly, for kids (or I guess, anyone) learning to successfully navigate and deal with these type of people-issues are probably going to be among the most valuable lessons to come from karting.

Going off on a tangent for a moment, all this got me thinking about how different the bar is set for 4 wheels vs 2 wheels in regards to contact (my competitive racing experience is on various versions of two wheels, and for obvious reasons, contact is much more of a suicide-pact in many cases so there’s not as much of it, and it’s much more clear cut about what is acceptable I think vs 4 wheels). In this case, I don’t think my background from the 2 wheels helps me with the 4, lol.

1 Like

:100:% this
We race at the limit, so mistakes happen occasionally. But it’s interesting how much more frequently ‘mistakes’ happen when the potential consequences for making them are lowered. For sure 2 vs 4 wheels, but also, look at how aggression in driving has evolved in f1 as the cars and tracks became safer… so the consequences of making mistakes dropped from getting dead to not finishing the race.

The same thing seems to be happening in motorcycle racing (especially road racing). For sure there are still WAY more potential consequences on bikes (or perhaps that’s off bikes :grin:), but the advancements in safety equipment (kangaroo and ray-skin suits with airbags, super protective boots & gloves, high-tech helmets, etc.) do appear to have dialed up the acceptable risk level in the risk/reward calculation that underlies essentially every overtaking maneuver.

1 Like

After my first 2 races I learned a lot when it comes to incidents may not be experienced as others but I have watched a load of races as well, and to be honest sometimes shit just happens but when something more physical on purpose its on the hands of the stewards, but generally racing incidents happen its unintentional move on and try your best to gain back, however some bumping wouldn’t hurt as long as no one spins out especially in close racing it very much happens, but bump and runs are annoying try to suggest a way out of it, because it end up in a dump now generally dumps don’t always ruin races there is always a chance to come back, especially here in Dubai sws races are brutal I completed a sprint race, unfortunately people drive dirty but I’ve learned to adapt in the second race and avoid their moves, unfortunately I did have an instance where someone absolutely just rammed me off track and slowed down my kart while he continued ahead which ruined my race although he got dq’d won’t change the fact my race is ruined, generally what I learned is when there are dirty drivers stay confident and find a way to pass them with minimal contact, however in close racing stay confident and don’t be too cautious being too careful can make more mistakes its best to be confident, and always find a way out and its best to keep note of who drives dirty and who doesn’t its best not to retaliate back either.

However many of these definitions do have degrees and how badly they have impacted somebody’s race but generally racing incidents do happen and its either 1 person impacted or a bunch, so when there is an irrational driver ahead brake earlier and find a new way out I learned a lot from what to expect, and if anything severe happens its best not to always argue about it and leave it to the stewards to make a decision.

Good point about the increased risk some of the top riders with the top safety equipment have taken advantage of to push the envelope even farther.

That said it seems to be just a select few of the top riders that are willing to do this on a super-regular basis (Marquez would be the most obvious example). Still, I bet the average number of crashes per rider is up over the past couple decades compared to what it was - those airbag leathers are really something and even more cautious riders are probably at least willing to push a bit harder in qualifying than they might have been in other eras.

1 Like

This got me wondering if the way people drive is influenced by culture. Especially senior-aged karters who likely took up karting well after they had their road licenses or junior-level kids who likely “learned” how to drive from a video game.

In your case, how do people drive in Dubai? Do you see similarities to how people race?

For sure Marc Marquez is the gold standard for shredding the envelope :rofl:.
But it seems to be getting more prevalent in the lower classes. The battle for last year’s Moto3 world championship was a complete :poop: show; that was just disgusting, and embarrassing for the sport.

1 Like

Boy, that was bad but not nearly as obscene as the stewards not handing out race suspensions and large fines to the rider and team. That’s honestly the worst sequences I’ve seen since that Moto2 rider intentionally pulled the front brake of another rider a couple years ago. Assuming it wasn’t team orders, if I was the team owner I would have fired him on the spot.


its hard to describe but generally there are people who just drive dirty and petty and every time you attempt a pass they will block you off even if it means by all means crashing so I have to get sneaky with the overtake, there are good drivers who know what to do and aren’t really dirty but generally its mostly people who think the race is bumper cars.

This is SWS but in my opinion majority of the people who race got into a rental now think they are schumacher and the top 5 who are experienced me personally I’ve come from the sim racing side and worked out for me well just started a bit off in rentals got my lap times up and now I’m racing but I may race else where or take a different approach Dubai is a loose cannon

It’s cultural in that it varies from location and series, in my experience.Things can be very chill one place but kind of aggro at another. Depends on the group and frankly, experience level.

I don’t have enough global experience to speak about actual cultural differences…