Oh yeah, some of our local tracks have done Supermoto too. That was always interesting, but super low turnout.
SoCal and guns don’t mix lol That’d be tough to pass, however, places like Grange and Willow Springs would be more likely to happen if they really pursued it.
No way they’d allow firearms at the racetrack.
Maybe in your neck of the woods… Here folks would love it. MRP has a shooting range down the road and you can always here gunfire on race weekends.
It’s not open to the general public but my home track’s paddock is the entrance way to the police department’s bomb squad practice area. The kart track is always closed on Wednesdays if the PD needs to be out there. I have seen people use the range for air soft. Also, our track shares an entrance with an outdoor paintball place that’s about a half mile beyond the track. Neither of these things really helps the club but figured it related to what was said above.
Years ago, the club let me drive my dad’s BMW on the kart track in the hopes of drying the pavement (since the club doesn’t race in the rain). Other people were welcome to as well, but no one else had a sports car at the track, just tow vehicles. The track never dries out enough to hold the race, but I’ve always thought that a time trial/auto cross event could be interesting.
The conditions at Pats is getting Really bad because of the drifters. You don’t walk the track to look at the surface any more, you walk it to see how big he holes are getting on the edge and to pick up all the debris (tire casings, bodywork, etc.) that the drifters leave. It’s almost as if destructive behavior is celebrated.
Jackson county sports park in southern Oregon has a shooting range next to the track.
IE: Shooting Range - Next to, and on the grounds of, are totally different things in my book.
I don’t mean literally on the track, but on circuit owned land. Usually tracks have much more parking space then they need for most of the time. It wouldn’t work for all track but its something that could be done if its licensed and run correctly.
The UK has a track with a clay pigeon shooting range, and the tracks name, Clay Pigeon.
Another idea might be to use the space (not the track itself) as an RV park or, if theres grass, a campsite. As long as you are clear up front that its an operating track and to keep its free for the race weekends.
Some mentions of gun ranges. At NOLA Motorsport Park there is a range. Every time I go there are people there shooting. As one that has been involved in shooting I am surprised none of the non shooters complain. Louisiana is pretty gun friendly though. I am probably more worried about what could happen than the NGP’s - NGP = Non Gun People. We pit between track and range.
I always thought if you could combine paintball & karts that might be fun, if it could be worked out.
One event that is successful has been the Side by Side lapping track days. (not racing)
Bicycle racing should be doable. In the past I have raced off-road, road, track and criterium. Any decent sized kart track should work for bicycles.
A charity walk or run could be done.
Lapping of old cars as an exhibition - Model T’s and such would not tear up a track, but may drop oil.
I think overall the location of a track would make a difference in what alternative events would succeed.
When I ran the kart track at Pitt Race/BeaveRun a few things worked:
- Supermoto & Minimoto - individual days are fine but any group events get payment up front and cleared.
- Time Trials with our local SCCA region with heavy penalties for dropping a wheel (black flag for one instance, session disqualification for 2, removal from event for 3)
- Rental kart fleet (obvious)
- Corporate events and parties with the rental karts!!! The single best way to keep a facility open and viable.
- Cars & Coffee & car club meet ups were usually great events!
What did not work:
Drifting - horrible for the surface, curbing, grass, broken & falling off parts, etc and a general pain in the butt. They draw a crowd but they also leave the biggest mess behind and are the least respectful group we ever rented to.
Supermoto with a dirt portion. Riders bitched about the dirt portion and you’d spend 10 times what you made on the day to prep and maintain it. And then the pavement was a mess afterward with dust, etc.
Car show utilizing the track for the show - car show people don’t like to pay to participate and car show fans don’t like to pay to see the cars.
Bike races/events - these should have worked but we could never get any traction with groups for the short distance of a kart track. Always thought these could be really cool personally.
Just some observations from my time in the trenches. At the end of the day though every Track or Club should have a rental fleet - the single best key to viability.
How about roller derby?
All excellent stuff Dan.
Can repairs and the extra maintenance/cleanup be feasibly recouped in the rental cost?
Which makes me think… what value-added things could be offered by the hosting track?
Concessions\food (or simply charge a set fee to food truck(s)?
Rental kart special deals?
Charge a small fee to vendors that might want to sell at the event?
Makes sense. Although running an actual rental business is quite an undertaking, so my thought is… rent out the track to someone who would like to start a rental kart business. This fleeting thought has crossed my mind a few times about Eau Claire about 90mins away from me. I’ve never looked into it seriously though.
One thing that seems to be a good thing for the track is the big skid pad.
Autocross, Drifting, Law enforcement, Motorcycle Classes and other events held on it.
Sprint Kart Track
Arrive & Drive Track
The 2 kart tracks are all one big complex they can combine into 1 big configuration or rune 2 separate @ the same time.
On the local kart track the problem for us as club level racers is everything competes with club level karting for track time. The CEO of the track is alleged to not be friendly to kart racing. He is fine with rentals but has something against guys that own their own karts and even rental league racing. That is the extent to which I want to get into the politics of it on here but there is some BS in the management structure. Weird stuff going on.
James - if I owned or managed another track there would be no drifting ever. If I had an adjacent skid pad I would have drifters constantly. They are a fun, unique, loyal customer base - but they are horrible for a race track. They kind of suck as mechanics and as someone mentioned above they revel in the carnage. I don’t get drifting at all personally but I lobbied hard for them to be able to do their thing at BeaveRun when I was there. Just not on my track…
Car show events can work - they just take a staggering amount of effort for little return. Good exposure I suppode. If you don’t have rental karts, probably don’t bother.
As for rental karts, it is the only thing that keeps a track viable. The only tracks staying alive without rental karts are doing so because there is a community ownership situation, a benevolent sportsman owner or an awful businessman that likes leaving money on the table. I have been there, done it and saw the numbers with one of the most vibrant series and highest volume pro shops and I can say unequivocally it still was not viable without rental karts and corporate events.
Mike - Karting takes a phenomenal amount of work to be feasible, particularly in a big complex where you have to work around everything else going on. It also requires an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable person to make it work - just can’t plug and play anyone in the role. It also requires every component clicking - rentals, racing, pro shop sales, garage rentals/kart storage and corporate events - to make a fraction of the money the big tracks on the complex make by just opening the doors and renting out the facility. Without management that is enamored with karting as part of their complete motorsports vision, it is a damn hard sell.
With all the stuff that goes on between the track and karters I tend to see both sides of it. Some karters don’t see the tracks problems at all. Some that complain about the way things are have no solution. Some can’t even articulate their problem to me to the extent that I can understand the problem as if it is so self evident it should require no explanation. Then you have the guys that hold a grudge against the current staff because of what previous management did. Racers want a ton of prizes and perks but want low entry fees.
Gun ranges are the way. Some customers/members want everything perfect and don’t want to spend a dime or do any work to make it that way. Both venues are similar in other ways.
Of course sometimes karters do have valid criticism of the way thing are done, i just didn’t delve into that side of it.
But yeah those are 2 things I wouldn’t want to own based on the probabilities.
Excellent points Mike - having been on all sides of the coin from racer to track management to outside vendor I can 100% agree that the racers are their own worst enemies when it comes to dealing with track management on issues. Every argument should start with a calculator and the understanding that what ever you are asking for needs to be financially justified. It is just a business at the end of the day for these big complexes.
Discussions like this where people come up with ideas and hash out how to make things work are a great step toward doing it the right way as opposed to just complaining to management without offering $olution$.
I disagree on not wanting to own a track though. I’d do it in a heartbeat, or even just manage a facility again. There are amazingly viable examples out there of how to do it properly and I actually enjoyed the utter chaos, commitment and reward of the job. That said, I wouldn’t quit my current gig to do it!
Do Highschool football games still draw a big crowd?
If so, why and how could a track attract a young crowd like so?
What Highschool events could Track owners take note of?
Agree, I very seriously pondered starting an indoor ice kart deal up in MN. I have enough projects though. All in good time.
Not events perse. but shop class/Physics?