Makes sense. This weekend there is a race that’s part of a mini travel series between my local club and two other nearby tracks, but I don’t think very many, if any, other KT guys will be out there. Wondering how equal it would be against the KAs if I took all my weight off (since it wouldn’t matter if no one else was in my class). Probably will end up just skipping for now.
Can you add a little nitro within the rules. That would pep it up. Proceed with caution of course, it generates a lot of heat.
The stories from the '70s and '80s about hot fuel are pretty wild. Can you imagine guys rebuilding the carb every time they came off the track now?
The problem is there is no association to set rules that issues driver licenses like FIA /CIK. That is where the power comes from. Want to race and progress from a club license to a National license to an International license, then you have to participate in sanctioned events that comply with official rules. I actually don’t recall there being “outlaw” races when I lived in Germany. In the USA, since any Tom, Dick or Harry can license, sanction, and run a series they can make their rules.
Not sure how all these series get their insurance, but if they had to comply with a set of rules and a set homologation, requiring an official driver’s license to participate to get their insurance, there would not be an issue.
I see motor grouping/classes as separate to driver licensing. To give my perspectives on Europe vs USA on having a single body like the CIK…
You have to remember in Europe you can travel only a couple of hundred miles to need an international license. In the US… it’s thousands in most cases.
Really only about 400-500 racers out of 20,000 would need a national license. With maybe 50 of them needing an international one. So it doesn’t matter in the US. It’s not worth the effort of enforcement for so few drivers. There’s really no incentive.
Things have changed a lot. (@Alan_Dove can give better details than I can). Until the late 90’s in Europe, CIK sanctioned the majority (practically all) of “competition” Karting.
Then two things happened.
Anti-competition ruling in the EU court allowed FIA drivers to run in non FIA competition without risking their license.
Rotax Max came along and turned the karting demographic upside down.
When it came to product/market fit…the CIK’s response (KF) was tragically off base but was still forced on ASNs
One problem… most kart racers didn’t want it.
Racers, teams spoke with their wallets, the CIK became out of touch with karting beyond their “ladder” bubble. “Independent” karting became a thing and since then I’d wager a significant number of racers are no longer running under an ASN.
It’s not really insurance’s place to enforce that though.
I’m open to correction, but my understanding is that most Karting insurance in the US is underwritten by a Lloyd’s of London… Then brokered by a handful of groups. WKA, NKA, IRA and AKTPA/TAG (from memory).
In short, the effort required to enforce or even incentivize a system like that in the US is not worth it and insurance companies have their own standards
in place for safety based on their assessment of risk.
That said, SKUSA do have a licensing system in place.
Problem is that there’s little incentive for them to do so. They each have their own small markets which are generally married with local karting businesses. They rely on each other to survive, so they do what’s best for them.
In WA… you know how that goes
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it doesn’t suck.
The only way you can get close to uniformity is to offer an incentive of some sort to racers and tracks. This is why the Briggs 206 has done so well.
The simplicity appeals to new and existing racers, especially with how people value their time these days.
It’s not super fast so you can have newcomers drive it and have fun right away.
The parity (always relative of course) is pretty good.
It has marketing and a brand behind it, including prizes and benefits for racers and tracks. Also the prizes
go beyond just awarding the winners of racers.
The rulebook and tech make it easy for tracks to implement.
You need all of these for widespread adoption.
It’s a natural consequence of the high demand for single-make racing. Manufacturers aren’t going to stop building engines, they have to react to market demand. Instead of 6 manufacturers racing in one class we now have 6 different classes or concepts. Complexity is just transferred from one place to the other. Even the cure ‘TaG’ just made everything even more complicated.
The nature of racing makes it very difficult to manufacturers to sustain a monopoly as well which can reduce some of the inherent complexity single-make racing brings for new people to karting. Single-make customers only really allow a certain amount of development, so even if a manufacturers grabs a big chunk of the market with a product which is miles better than everything else (like Rotax did, for all my 100cc I can recognise why the MAX was popular) over time it can’t out-innovate the competition without destroying its customer base. The rivals eventually catch up and everything splinters again. Rotax couldn’t innovate within the MAX market share so tried RM1 and it didn’t work. They’ve tried the electric thing, but that seems to have been invisible this year.
There’s not real solution to this. The suggestion of emulating the CIK, in my view, doesn’t represent something realistic. Europe isn’t a bastion of simplicity. It’s just as complicated and sporadic as the states. Europe isn’t a homogeneous market and there is just as much diversity in classes and products. In the UK tracks are actually de-affiliating with the MSA and embracing the IKR concept. So they get their own insurance and write their own rules.
But back to the point. To me it seems perfectly logical a manufacturer has to build and sell engines. If they don’t they go out of business.
Curious - do you the karting consuming collective out there think if they took the KA design and said this is the standard/blueprint or whatever you call the exact technical spec for an engine and said to manufacturers build your engines to this standard (homologation), this standard would be in place for 10 years, it would work?
Basically same as ICA, KF, OK homologation but for a simpler engine and it remains in place for 10 years.
I think that’s a decent idea, but that could make it difficult for anyone who already bought a KA100. Since that’s the benchmark, I see all the other manufacturers creating better motors. Suddenly all the drivers who got into KA when it first came out are screwed in terms of competitiveness.
I think if we were to make a formula for 100cc air cooled engines, we would have to define these parameters before any motors come out.
For these specifically, if it happens that the Vortex, IAME, IM, and whoever else are all competitive with each other, I would see no problem with running them in the same class. However, since there are no current guidelines on specs of the motors, this could turn into what used to be the TaG days when there were 4 different motors that each run better at different tracks, and then you end up with 4 motors per driver and costs going way up, at least from what I’ve heard that’s what it was like.
This absolutely would work and it’s how every true multi-engine class SHOULD be implemented.
Its how it should be, but each championship is run by an importer. The only importer who’s been brave enough so far to allow more than one engine manufacturer into a “100cc” class is ROK this weekend in Vegas.
This would work, if people could be mature and not ‘go-kart’ each other, to try and work out an advantage.
Speaking of ROK letting the KA into their class, does anyone know how the two engines are doing comparatively to each other?
I think most series have been too far apart to allow the engines to be compared.
But I could be wrong…
Mixing the motors was at least trialled for a while in Cali:
@dagee2 talks about it here in this topic:
Re-reading this got me thinking… and it’s a rhetorical question IMO.
In a world where well supported, quality engine packages with established rulesets exist…
How do “local” motors add value to the racer?
I disagree that it would absolutely work.
It 100% depends on how it’s implemented and managed.
To me spec, “restricted” spec and open formats can all work… or not.
It’s all down to how it’s implemented… and what the goals of the group implementing it are.
Most people don’t think of it that way however. They seem to think if one is good, the others have to be bad (not saying this is you)
Once you mix them, you know it’s going to be a war of arms… in some ways that can be good and can certainly be interesting. But in the process each engine manufacturer will push their own agenda and attempt to contort rules, perhaps even track selection.
The real test of these motor’s parity will be when they go to different style tracks that say favor mid vs bottom end. At the moment, the specs seem to be close enough that they should be in ballpark… certainly not as wildly different as a PRD vs a Vortex in the 125cc TAG days.
But again, there’s nobody regulating the “parent” regulations for these motors yet. It really depends who takes the lead… It might well be RoK given they have accepted the KA so far. They will have a bit of a PR problem if the VLR keeps wiping the floor though. But the cool thing is that at least the KA owners and come and play and get in the hunt.
If it works out it could well be a cool format for those of us that like to see a bit more variance in packages.
The manufacturers don’t make the rules though. The regulation body would say “make an engine to these specs”, then set the specs tight enough that there is very little room for two different makes of engine to be super different. The issue right now is every series is tied to one manufacturer.
Are the VLR motors significantly faster than KA this week in Vegas?
Personally, I only think that Local Option engines only really works when the local racers can work together to not cannibalize each other.
Also, if the region has enough racers to allow them to support the engine.
Mostly karting typically becomes a zero-sum game where someone had to die for another to live, sometimes introducing new engines just ends up cutting into an existing class, rather than making it grow.
I looked up the results and I can’t tell other than there was 21 racers, a Vortex won and times looked pretty close for the top three at least.
Also nothing on any of Kart360’s reports from the week, I clicked around CKN and found nothing there either
Maybe only Vortex’s turned up?
Are the OK and OK junior classes being established this situation except with 125cc engines?
How are the restrictions on different manufacturers takes on achieving the spec applied?