I’m going to jump in here and say that good coaching always helps, whether you’re finding seconds or tenths. A good coach will know how to help you set the goals that you’re after. The driver mod is the best investment you can make, regardless of the age of the chassis.
Honestly, the age of the chassis and how much it’s been used will matter to me more than the year. Over all of the chassis that I’ve had, I’ve only bought new once or twice, either just for the experience, or to support a dealer.
It is a nice feeling to be on something that has only had one owner, but that’s just also to make myself feel good.
Like I tell everyone though, new eventually becomes used, so unless you’re fighting for national wins, look for a good kart, not always a new one.
Easy answer, if you feel like you need a new kart, is look to at the karts that are already fighting at the front of the field in your class. Are they regularly on new chassis? How much experience do the drivers in them have? That’ll help you make a decision.
But I’m with James, I’d rather choose a nice used chassis on new rubber, than a new chassis on used rubber, any day.