View from the Edge

After my last month’s article, I’ve been having a deeper think about what I said and what I hope could be the light and the future of karting.

Thinking about it, and I felt strongly, after hearing people’s reception to my last article and I think most people that I’ve talked to seem to agree with the things I’ve said so it only makes me believe more in my feelings and my feelings are still the same.
I think the Rotax category other than Micromax is fixed so I need say no more than that other than good luck guys and have great racing in the future.
I believe that Cadet and Super Cadet are fantastic. Normal Cadet is fantastic, and Super Cadet, having been testing for the last five weeks, is equally as good. The tyres in Europe are great, the engines are very reliable, for me it’s perfect.
Then thinking about KF3, I also think that’s close to perfect. If they could just tweak the wiring loom a little bit and make it a much more professional product similar to the BMB thing, I think KF3 is fixed. So, on to the premier classes: KF1 and KF2. Well, I hope that the manufacturers of our current engines will get together and make some regulations whereby the homologation of the engine actually means what it says. The rod and every moving part in the engine, and also the liner were homologated for a given period, which means that the manufacturers cannot change them at all in the given period.
So my only hope for this is that the big engine manufacturers all get together and create a common engine where the engine tuners could tune again instead of a new cylinder every week or a new barrel every week. The engine tuners could actually do their job again and tune engines not just fit pistons and tell you it’s the best engine on the planet – because the manufacturer has created a new cylinder or a new whatever they create every week. Let’s have a common engine where it stays the same for ten years.
And then let’s get back to how it used to be where the engine tuners tuned engines and when if you had a good engine it was good! And it was good for the next five years!
For me the other things that need to go from the engine are the water pump, we don’t need it, the water pump on the axle was perfectly good enough and also we need to get rid of the power valve, it’s a joke! The best racing, for sure, is in KF3 where it has no power valve! And while
we’re getting rid of things let’s get rid of the limiter because it’s not necessary either, it’s just an encumbrance on the engine that we don’t need. If you want to limit the engines at a given track have a maximum sprocket. Just say at PF the maximum sprocket is 82 and it’s the same for everyone and you can slipstream people up the straight.
This is my hope for karting, that the manufacturers all get together and said let’s create a common KF engine that is fixed for ten years and the piston, the liner, the con rod, the crank shaft and any moving part in the engine is fixed for ten years and it doesn’t change.
So then the engine tuners of old can come back and we can have some great racing. Because for all the big drivers in the world to be racing in shifter is a sin. The KF1 thing this year is going to be a joke! I mean what interest could you have in 31 drivers who are not the best drivers in the world? I hope and pray that the manufacturers get together to make it mean something.
When I buy an engine it should be an engine that lasts me a long time, not something that’s out of date in a week. But I fear this: I don’t believe that the big three or big six or whoever, is actually capable of doing it as they all want it to stay as it is as that’s how they make their money, with a new part every week and it’s sad for karting as the first WSK proves conclusively.
I’m there now, at La Conca, and there are 75 60 Minis, which is effectively Super Cadet, there are 70-something KF3s, so those two classes are definitively right, and at the very first round of WSK there are 50 KF2s. So that tells us with numbers that the two major classes are where the
problems are, and the problem is that it costs too much money, because people are constantly changing stuff in their engines and we don’t need it.
So lose the power valve, lose the limiter and lose the water pump in the engines. Common engine, engine tuners live again, we can have a fantastic sport.
But I don’t think they are capable of working together. I think that probably the only company that can make any of this happen would be Rotax. If Rotax can make a KF engine they would clean up completely because so far they’ve done an unbelievable job with their classes.
I’m not saying they want to do it and I’m not saying they will do it but I think that if the big three can’t learn from what Rotax have done then we’re all in trouble.