Colin Wright: MSA vs. IKR

The MSA versus IKR debate continues. You’re a valuable part of karting, so what do you suggest we do right now to improve karting for everyone?

Following on from last month’s piece about alignment between Non MSA (IKR) and MSA I was lucky enough to get an hour at Buckmore on track for a company briefing. Great track, well prepared “corporate” karts, first place, rain came after 30 minutes, could it have got any better?

Well yes, facilities such as Buckmore are a great feeder for MSA racing and the “alignment” between the NKA and MSA racing cannot come quick enough to see numbers grow. Besides being a little older than “race prime” the sheer thrill and adrenalin of racing was/ is still there and this started me thinking as to why we keep this sport a secret! After an hour, 21 people were physically drained, excited and the conversations in the bar afterwards centred around “how good it was”, “can we do more”, “are there faster karts”, “how is Colin so quick”! OK maybe not the last one! But for every one of us that gets in a kart for fun to race MSA or non MSA why can we not tell five separate people about the sport, bring them along, let them see that it’s not quite Paultons Park?

We are complacent, we take our sport for granted, if we want more people then we ALL need to tell more, the Governing bodies and Associations can only do so much but if we have 4000 license holders get 20000 along to watch, how many race at IKR, same thing lets tell 5 friends and get them along, then they can decide whether to go MSA or IKR, the pool grows bigger, everyone benefits?

Next year, with Nigel Edwards great efforts within the MSA we could possibly see the barriers to entry dropped massively, align this to more interested parties and we should be able to halt/ stabilise license number decline and then work to increase those license holders over the coming years. Let’s dispel a little of the apathy and get people along, stop the web forum “my class is better than yours” debates. Decide at your local track what you want to do, two choices, regulated MSA or less regulated IKR, that should not be too tough should it?

Driving standards. I have watched with interest into what we can do to enhance better driving standards, remove “loading” or more rightly termed shoving, pushing, cheating? “It’s the officials fault, they do not punish the guilty” I hear that often. Well having been an observer and a Clerk it’s a damn hard job trying to identify exactly who is pushing in a grid full of adrenalin, I’d love to see EVERY driver and PG holder have to stand with a marshal on post and try to identify the culprit, it’s much harder just watching your own driver.

Are standing starts the answer? Possibly, but the side effects such as clutch failure and second corner incidents perhaps suggest otherwise?

CIK droppable nosecones, perhaps? This one has split the opinion 50/50, but we as a sport are sometimes way too pessimistic, “that will never work, its rubbish” How about we change tact, let’s welcome new ideas, let’s look at trials and see the results instead of knee jerk uninformed reactions, I for one welcome anything that is self-policing, one that perhaps allows Officials to deal with key issues instead of a queue of loading incidents making their way to the office.

Clubs struggle to get officials and I’m not seeing many new Clerks coming through. If we had a self-policing solution allowing Clerks and Observers to focus elsewhere we may have a solution? I’m prepared to see it in action before I condemn it out of hand. Just imagine that it works, that it changes driving mentality, that overtakes are clean and without contact, that nosecones last a year. Now is that not something we should at least consider rather than dismiss it out of hand? Work with us, suggest ideas, contact us, give ideas a chance…