Home » Features » Colin Wright – Back to the future?

Colin Wright – Back to the future?

Back to the Future? This week when hunting through a drawer I came across a 2004 Karting Magazine whereby Steve Chapman, the previous Chairman of the ABkC, proposed a vote of no confidence in the MSA!

There was not a majority appetite there for change and this set me thinking as to what has changed in those ten years, have we as a sport kept up with the demands of the modern world and what our customers need and want, I’ll leave you to decide?So have we as a sport progressed since 2004, have we kept up with external pressures and taken advantage of change or resisted it? A previous boss of mine, CEO of a global software company once drilled into me “the only constant is change and if we cannot accept that change we cease to be relevant and wither”, Is that mantra any different to what we need to embrace and accept?

Let’s look at 2004 what did we have.A mobile phone was a phone, it had basic text based internet access, this year our phone is our centre of communications, we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.Our access to information is instant and insatiable, we enter a race online, we look at online timing instantly, and we are dismissive of circuits whereby results are not online as soon as we get home Sunday night! We have come to expect more, the clubs have by and large done well to keep up with this but have all our other processes, judicial systems and the way we treat you as customers? Arguably no?2004 we saw very little IKR racing, the majority of karting came within the MSA regulated umbrella, step forward 10 years what do we have? A growing IKR community, MSA registered tracks running IKR events, increasing historics interest, 100cc resurgence, single one off day events, and our world has changed forever and we have increasingly become impatient with lack of change and instant responses?

Clubs are taking a decision to augment or at times replace MSA racing within their circuits, maybe giving them the flexibility of being able to respond to a customer’s needs and demands on a local level, it seems to be working for a number of clubs who are seeing their IKR grids now in excess of their MSA grids and financially present a better return, anything that brings people into karting has to be applauded and not ignored.With the changes to our lives over the past decade and ever increasing pulls and constraints onto our time we are invariably being pulled to do more with less, trackdays are increasing significantly, with the ability to book in, turn up, thrash around, have fun and leave, to our discipline that’s a threat but a threat of our own making. Where these other activities are beating us is their lack of unnecessary regulation, the ease of access, the lack of entry barriers, the customer centric approach…..

If we are to reverse the decline in numbers within regulated karting we need to look outside of our little karting world, look to adopt a more business centric approach, look to adopt technology more, accept and welcome criticism, be present when our customers are and give the very best experience and value for money, our time is becoming more and more precious and we need to look at every part of what we deliver else risk losing out to other sports, trackdays and activities. Most importantly we need to accept that we HAVE to change and use that change to create a positive drive forward.The purity of a kart has not changed much since 2004, looking at 2004 results online there has been a stability generally in those class structures but too many “peripheral” structures have stayed the same when in reality they NEEDED to change most, let’s look at change as being positive for our whole wider discipline, give customers what they need now and not in three/four/five years’ time and maybe just maybe watch the numbers start to increase. If we stay as we are we may not have another 10 years!As always feel free to contact me at chairman@abkc.org or +44 (0) 7841 034192