A multi-series licencing system will be launched in the United States next year that will see penalty points applied for poor driving.
ekartingnews reports the North American Kart License (NAKL) program has been put together under an agreement between Koyen Media, Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) and the United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS).
Kart Chaser reports the tiered licensing will prevent amateurs from racing Pro designated classes, such as 125 Senior and 125 Shifter (no more 1st ever race weekend drivers in those classes) and that penalty points wil be tracked across all participating series (no more crashing in an LCQ or Sunday Main Event with just a paper slip to show for it).
original press release from ekartingnews:
Koyen Media, LLC of Sun Prairie, WI recently reached an agreement with Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) and the United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS) to develop and operate a multi-series licensing program. The initial phase of the North American Kart License (NAKL) program will include the USPKS national series and the SKUSA Pro Tour, beginning in 2024.
The North American Kart License program was developed as a tool with several goals in mind. First, to provide a clear path for young drivers to attain the necessary experience to safely compete at the highest levels of American karting. The NAKL will track driver experience through their karting journey and provide a mechanism for reporting it. The participating series will control the specific levels of experience needed before a driver is eligible for the higher-level classes, however, the NAKL will provide better information moving forward. There will still always be a place for less experienced drivers to compete, but there will be a few milestones to reach before they have top level access.
The second main purpose of this license is to improve racecraft and reduce avoidable contact and incidents by tracking and limiting driver penalties. For each penalty that a driver receives, he/she will receive points on their license. If too many are accumulated, that driver will be unable to register for another event until the oldest points expire or drop off. Specific details on how points will expire or drop off will be revealed as the program nears implementation. While all competitors will be required to have the $150/year license to register for these events, there will be a provision for “one-off” temporary or non-US competitors holding other countries’ licenses. More details, including the penalty points table, will be released in the coming weeks.
The North American Kart License program will be limited to three major US karting series, with SKUSA and USPKS being the first two to secure their spot. NAKL is still working to secure the participation of the third series. This cooperative effort to further top-level karting’s pro status is unprecedented in the industry and will provide better competition, and safer racing for everyone.
Koyen Media is wholly owned by long time industry professional Tim Koyen and has been providing operations management and support services to racing series since 2018. Koyen began his involvement in karting in 2002, when his son TJ began racing karts, and shortly thereafter began manufacturing and marketing the popular KartLift Kart Stand line, which was sold in 2019 and continues to this day under new ownership.
“We started working together on this path over a year ago, and we still have a long way to go, but I want to personally thank SKUSA’s Tom Kutscher and Mark Coats of USPKS for entrusting me to bring this increasingly important initiative to life. Over the past year, I have spoken to racers, team owners, series owners, industry leaders, and anyone else that might have insight on the subject, in order to put together this comprehensive program. It’s always been in important to me that the racers see the value in things like this, but for the price of a couple cans of fuel, this is something that will actually make a difference in the racing, and hopefully far less spare parts get sold because of it,” said Koyen Media, LLC President Tim Koyen.
More information on the NAKL program and the timetable of the rollout will be released soon. It is expected that drivers will be able to begin signing up for their licenses by June of this year, with early adopters receiving certain benefits. The requirement for the license will not kick in until 2024.