We see lots of race series gain and lose popularity annually. What makes a perfect series? Your thoughts?
For me it needs to be a) convenient b)affordable c) frequent.
In many ways the ideal for me is a club format or rental series format. Something that provides year round weekly or bimonthly races within 1.5 hrs drive.
Insofar as owner-driving is concerned, I’d need a
4-stroke field and then the usual 2-stroke suspects. Keep it to one set of tires per weekend for two stroke type racing. I’d hope the 4 stroke field wouldn’t be on overly grippy tires. I’d prefer a hard compound.
Insofar as rental racing I’d like to have a facility like NJMP participate in Sodi World Series. I also very much like the OKC speedy kart league karts. Race karts with a more powerful 4 Stroke on hard tires. Their speedy series seems ideal. It’s affordable and frequent.
I don’t think there is such thing. Engines, rules, and what’s popular with customers tend to come and go. You can’t satisfy everyone, so no matter how good your series is, there will always be people unhappy at the end of the day.
I would say friendly and personable staff, well-organized race weekends, good value for your entry fee, large fields, and healthy competition would be the what series should strive for.
One of my biggest gripes is when weekends are too long. I like a 3 day weekend, with a late start for practice on Friday. This way you can roll out Thur afternoon after work or school, and only miss one day. You can do the final kart prep and pit setup Friday morning, then start practice around noon. USPKS did it like this one year and it was great.
I don’t mind traveling as long as the laps and track time are there. When series start getting too many classes then track time gets less.
Small class list with large fields and open tires. Preferably street racing. Saturday/Sunday show. 3 days is too long unless it’s a huge race event.
This applies more to a regional than a national race series, but I’ll go one step further with the previous posts and say an ideal series to me would have ONE day race events.
For example, not too long ago, a popular series in this region would normally have 5 or 6 races a season. Each event would have (optional) practice on Friday and race day on Saturday; that’s it. The series’ demographics started changing and one year the final race of the season became a Saturday/Sunday double-header. Then, not long after that, another double-race weekend was added to the schedule.
Fast forward to now and this year’s schedule is a four-event series, three of them being Saturday-Sunday double race weekends (with Friday practice), only one is a single day event. Great, I guess, for the racers and teams that criss-cross the country trying to hit every one of the zillion regional and national kart series out there. But if you were trying to do this race series on your own, it becomes very impractical, if not impossible.
And now, some series stretch their event to 3 days, with qualifying on Friday. Sorry to say it, but holding the racers hostage for an extra day makes it look like such an obvious scheme by various teams and race organizers to milk as much money from the competitors as possible.
(I should mention what I said above doesn’t apply as much to enduro / road racing as their situation tends to be very different from the sprint side).
So I guess with length if it is a national event where people might be traveling in from all over then a 3 day event (1 practice day, 2 race days) is good, but for regional and local events it should just be one day.
I thought this would be a popular topic lol. So much to talk about. Big trophies vs lower entry costs? Push back bumpers. Are cameras needed? Should officials review onboard footage? Hard tires vs soft tires. Drops. # of events. Modernized systems with barcoding and stuff vs old school and simple. Charging for pit spots. Maybe it is too much to discuss. Maybe just post a few of your biggest gripes and a few of the things you like best.
Jim, my experience is limited to local series and just watching regional and national stuff so not much to add.
Since you have experience racing all over this country as well as others, can you share some interesting things you’ve experienced that helped improve race weekends and experience with the series?
I think it boils down to the type of event. I think there’s 3 kinds of races…
Club: KISS: 1 race day. 1 set of tires. Small trophies. Focus on affordability. Tech should be relatively simple and there shouldn’t be too much in the way of specialized equipment needed (specific bodywork/engines etc). Durable tire choices for the lower hp classes.
Regional: This gets more “serious” and the affordability becomes secondary. Good tires, multiple sets, more heats. I’d expect drop down bumper rules etc.
The big ones: Supernats etc… no knowledge of these types of events, personally. I’d expect that there would be much more emphasis placed on rules etc. I’d expect the races to be filmed and incidents to be reviewed for decision.
A series where rules are properly written and then enforced. Then we need tech to be intelligent.
Personally I wish more series here in the states would run more heats with varied grid positions (i think its called pea-pick here?). I think the kids learn more that way, instead of always qualifying up front and battling the same 2-3 people all weekend. Maybe that format has a place at SKUSA level but club level should be more about learning.
Till you are tearing up equipment getting through the mid pack because people want to do stupid stuff.
Just giving my 2 cents, I run in a local club here in the NE and we run 8 race events (2 being a Saturday/Sunday format) in the 6 months available to us. This makes it frequent enough to keep you going but doesn’t completely take over the summer season. I do like the multi-day races, but but only a couple times a year as it would be a bit much every time. The one day events work out well. We run a spec tire for the 4 stroke classes and a different spec for the 2 stroke.