Poll: Option Tyres for Club Level Racing

by Mark Wicks

In the most recent edition of Karting Australia’s Full Throttle e-zine, Karting Australia CEO Kelvin O’Reilly told Karting Australia members about “The Plus 1 Project” the organisation is communicating to its affiliated clubs.

Tyres was one of the topics mentioned in the article, specifically the final two years of the current five-year tyre contracts, and whether a “club level only” tyre should be investigated.

To quote O’Reilly: “Shortly we will be polling our Drivers, our Affiliated Clubs and our State Associations as to whether or not their preference is to use the current (Prime) tyres or specified Option Tyres in club competition in each Competition Class.”

So far there’s been no evidence of this poll happening (at least, not that we’re privy to), so thought we’d ask you the question – but with an extra option, plus the ability to submit your own answer.

Logically, KA’s thinking is aimed at getting more people karting more often by reducing running costs, which is one of the key barriers to participation.

But could the plan backfire? Let me explain.




No question, having a more durable club level tyre would reduce costs for club level karters and no doubt get participation up – for people who race only at club level.

But what about those who compete in other series and state level? I know of many competitors who race at these events on a new tyre, then get another meeting out of them by racing a club day.

If club days move to an option tyre, these karters would require another set of rims for their “club day” tyre and not get to re-use the one-meeting-old Prime tyre. Would these drivers therefore give up their club level racing?

Then there’s the chassis issue – would a different kart or axle be required when switching between Prime and Option? If so, that cost and effort is a deterrent to participation.

Maybe KA is intending that competitors can choose either the Prime or Option for club level racing? While that has merit and allows the karter to choose, I think it’s sorta dumb as it would create another split in performance, much like having another class. Anyway, if there’s a choice of a fast tyre and a slow tyre, people won’t be using the slow one…

Many have criticized the current spec tyres, but others are more than happy with what we have. Should things just be left as they are for another two years?

Or should KA force a change to a longer wearing tyre, but enforce it across ALL events, not just club level?

Cast your vote, feel free to comment.

 

 

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7 Responses to Poll: Option Tyres for Club Level Racing

  1. David Dvorak says:

    we all keep forgetting that we only have 25mil people living in this country, spread over area large then Europe, if anything less variations in tyres, engines, racing classes would be the way to go and reduce the # tracks – less tracks to maintain!!!!

  2. Grant Wicks says:

    I am glad to see that over 73% of people currently say “No – a new longer wearing tyre should be used for ALL events, not just club level”
    Something to add to this percentage is the people that have left karting because of the cost of tyres that probably no longer visit Kartsportnews

  3. Donald Singh says:

    Hello there folks, we had this problem not very long ago where the clubman classes were dead all over our continent. But as soon as the tyre change was made to ( MG RED ) all the clubs started to get more drivers racing again and the full set only cost $235-00 . This tyres also gave a lot of laps before it died. I think a lot of drivers will agree with me. I believe if we make this change might see the clubs get all drivers racing again.

  4. Donald Singh says:

    Well! Well! Well! There`s your answer to this . So far 73.79% of racing drivers have given their views of what they want to get back into racing again. Well KA better start doing some changes now before its too late. Also with the kart chassis technologies we have today the chassis adept to different compound tyres easily.

  5. Steve Southwell says:

    “Anyway, if there’s a choice of a fast tyre and a slow tyre, people won’t be using the slow one…” puzzled why you would say this when your asking for peoples opinion on choosing between a soft or harder tire? Some people have the idea that faster is better, but generally, faster does not automatically mean “better racing”.
    Some tire testing has already been carried out. KA said late last year, at an “executive council meeting”, that the new tires would be in by April….(this year)…..

  6. Jumpei Morita says:

    Back in karting after many years but got puzzled why CIK tyres (DFM) need to be used in entry level category at club level. DFM was the tyres used in National series in Japan last year and was not produced for the purpose of local club races.Where did good old SL tyres or even MG red go? They are harder tyres allowing drivers learn smooth kart control than CIK tyres which drivers wear out before doing a decent laps in to “learn”.