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What Karting lacks from getting bigger
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Rod Hawkins



Joined: 23 Dec 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: What Karting lacks from getting bigger Reply with quote

Is a few things, in my opinion.

1. Exposure. Exposure. Exposure. I have never seen it on tv, and never even mentioned on speed channel. Kind of sad when I am in California and I see snowmobile racing get some type of coverage, yet never a mention of karting. It seems like someone, a present or former cart, Indy or f1 racer could talk someone into letting a karting race take place on a race weekend. Why couldn't the karts be on the track at long beach GP for an exhibition race and occupy the track for just a short time? (After all, they have the stupid celeb race). Couldn't some former racer or even someone who has a vested interest in the sport (Zanardi, Tracy, etc?) be able to pull some strings? I have even seen lawn mower racing, swamp racing and other similar crap on tv, but never an actual Kart race.

2. Too many governing bodies and/or classes. I have been trying to educate myself on who the top karters are, but have given up because it is so dang confusing, it was a waste of my time. I can't even find enough info on the Internet to really follow the sport weekend after weekend.

I am a huge racing fan. Used to wake up at 4am to watch f1 live, attend local CART races and follow that series as well. Over the past 10 or so years, f1 is practically a 2 hr parade lap, after qualifying, and CART and Indy organizations have ruined open wheel racing in the US. No, I don't like NASCAR. I think It would be sweet to follow and watch karting, but outside of watching some foreign broadcasts or past euro races on YouTube, there really isn't anything out there. It is amazing to me that in a day and age where we can find some punk kid from Canada on YouTube and turn him into a superstar tool (bieber) yet we can't watch a good karting series. It isn't like this is a strange sport, most all of the good open wheel racers out there started with karts, yet it gets no publicity.
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Cory Ross



Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 192
Location: United States, Colorado, El Jebel

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your 2nd point is a big one. Karters almost seem to be more competitive about proving their race series is the best then they are about racing. Every part of the US has there own series, rules, etc. If you live on the east coast and want to race on the west coast you have to research the rules and make changes to be compatible. Is there a true US National Champion? No, there is no single way to determine who the National Champion is. There is SKUSA Pro Tour, but honestly it is just a west coast/mountain series. Then you have USPKS and WKA, but they are really just the east coast.

If you wanted to race against the best in the country and see where you place among the top drivers there is not a single series you could follow. You have to jump and skip around to different series.

The Rotax races are the closest thing we have to a consistent nation wide series.
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TJ Koyen



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 1500

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go again...
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Walt Gifford



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does everybody think karting should be Formula One. The only thing lower is pocket bike racing who think they're Moto GP.


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TJ Koyen



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 1500

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: What Karting lacks from getting bigger Reply with quote

Rod Hawkins wrote:
Is a few things, in my opinion.

1. Exposure. Exposure. Exposure. I have never seen it on tv, and never even mentioned on speed channel. Kind of sad when I am in California and I see snowmobile racing get some type of coverage, yet never a mention of karting. It seems like someone, a present or former cart, Indy or f1 racer could talk someone into letting a karting race take place on a race weekend. Why couldn't the karts be on the track at long beach GP for an exhibition race and occupy the track for just a short time? (After all, they have the stupid celeb race). Couldn't some former racer or even someone who has a vested interest in the sport (Zanardi, Tracy, etc?) be able to pull some strings? I have even seen lawn mower racing, swamp racing and other similar crap on tv, but never an actual Kart race.

2. Too many governing bodies and/or classes. I have been trying to educate myself on who the top karters are, but have given up because it is so dang confusing, it was a waste of my time. I can't even find enough info on the Internet to really follow the sport weekend after weekend.

I am a huge racing fan. Used to wake up at 4am to watch f1 live, attend local CART races and follow that series as well. Over the past 10 or so years, f1 is practically a 2 hr parade lap, after qualifying, and CART and Indy organizations have ruined open wheel racing in the US. No, I don't like NASCAR. I think It would be sweet to follow and watch karting, but outside of watching some foreign broadcasts or past euro races on YouTube, there really isn't anything out there. It is amazing to me that in a day and age where we can find some punk kid from Canada on YouTube and turn him into a superstar tool (bieber) yet we can't watch a good karting series. It isn't like this is a strange sport, most all of the good open wheel racers out there started with karts, yet it gets no publicity.


1. It's been on Speed Channel. Several times. ICA/ICC Stars race about 8 years ago with great coverage as well as some Stars events from New Castle. I would imagine a lack of viewership or funds has contributed to it not being on anymore.

2. What about this website you're currently visiting that does live updates via Twitter, Facebook, and here on the discussion board, as well as live audio/timing from select events?

3. You must've taken a break from F1 the past 3 years. Hasn't been much in the way of parade races since the mid to late 2000s.

4. The problem is, it IS a strange sport to the public. There's even tons of race fans who have no idea what karting is about.

First reaction from the public is always, "you mean like Mario Kart?" or "look at that tiny car! The wheels are so small!"

I agree with Walt, why do we need to constantly grow karting or making it available to the public? Karting has survived for decades in it's own little bubble with a select group of enthusiasts who love the sport for what it is.

Sure I'd love for karting to get some more respect from the general public or for people to recognize how awesome it is, but I don't race karts for the approval of others.
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Kerry Matthews



Joined: 01 Oct 2008
Posts: 792
Location: United States, California, Sacramento

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything that becomes more popular becomes more expensive.
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Cory Ross



Joined: 19 Nov 2012
Posts: 192
Location: United States, Colorado, El Jebel

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karting is very small. Yet people seem to want to break it up even more. I have my local club track, then another track a little farther away that I like. Yet to race at both is expensive with them having different rules. So I chose to only race at one. It looks like this is the story all over the country. You cannot easily travel from one track to another without extra expense to make sure you are legal to each clubs own rules.
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Justin Martin



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I agree with Walt, why do we need to constantly grow karting or making it available to the public? Karting has survived for decades in it's own little bubble with a select group of enthusiasts who love the sport for what it is.


Tj, Personally I think if it were known to the public as a serious form of racing, such as motox or even Supermoto (before AMA dropped it), then it COULD drive down prices... Look at the motorcycle world, you can buy a fuel injected 4 with crazy advanced suspension for less than a shifter kart with a crazy simple 2 stroke! Have you rebuilt a 2 stroke personally, if so I ask have you rebuilt a 4 stroke? Why would I pay $1000 for a 2 stroke rebuild and <$400 for a 450 4 stroke rebuild? It makes no sense when a 4 stroke takes 3-4 times the labor hours... I personally feel that if karting were more public and could get away from the mario kart, or rental kart stigma, we could bring down prices, help keep ding clubs alive, and possibly, just possibly create a nation wide racing organization with standardized rules such as the AMA has done with both on road and of road moto raing.


EDIT: That being said, I do not wish for the "bro" following themotocross world has adopted in the past 5-10 years... It use to be much less redneck. However I think NATURALLY karting wouldn't fall under that social class anyways, I think naturally it would appeal to road racing or open wheeled enthusiasts (F1 etc...). Yes, most F1 enthusiasts know about karting, but they dont REALLY know.... ya know? Laughing Shocked
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dan may



Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Location: United States, California, san marcos

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rotax world finals in the New Orleans, would be a perfect event for Speed or any TV channel to show what kart racing is about.
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John Matthews



Joined: 04 Dec 2004
Posts: 2046
Location: United States, Michigan, Williamsburg

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun karts....

Used to be kart manufacturers would have fun karts that kids would drive around the neighborhood. We can't do that anymore and the liability insurance drove all the manufacturers out so now anybody that buys a kart is either racing or getting some c^appy Chinese thing that will fall apart in 10 minutes. I'd start building the Time Machine again in a heartbeat if I could also sell fun karts to help cover the manufacturing overhead.

+

Tracks....

Go to your county commission and ask if you can build a kart track Laughing
If there isn't any place to race how can you expect it to grow????


The point about sanctioning bodies is well taken. If the different clubs and businesses that are involved all got together we could probably fix the problems above but that's a big, big issue.

For the vast majority of kart racers all they probably need is for their local tracks to focus on good kids programs. If kids get in and fall in love with the sport they'll figure out what it needs to be going forward....

Cheers,
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Patrick Roth



Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 51
Location: United States, Texas, Houston

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is to have more street races, preferably near local karting clubs. Television gives the audience a limited view of the sport and does not allow interaction with the sport.

Street races have the opportunity to attract a new crowd because they don't realize what karting is until their downtown is shut down and they see their first 12 year old kid flying by at 90+ mph. This doesn't rely on much more than just being there and causing some racket.

In addition I really liked the interaction the Lonestar Grand Prix had with the autograph signing sessions and giving access to the sport by pitting on their streets. I must have answered a gajillion questions just by people stopping by and checking out my kart. I could've cared less about my finish because it was more about the crowd and the show being put on to the wonderful residents of Lockhart, TX!

Just talking about this makes me wish the 2014 LSGP was here!!! I'm trying to figure out if I can make the RIGP just because I enjoyed the street racing so much!
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Wayne Williams



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey sweet! It's the monthly "Karting needs to be on TV then all our problems will be solved/ there are too many classes" thread!

AKA - "Hey look everyone it's a dead horse, let's all go beat the sh!t out of it again"
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Justin Martin



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, I agree with you, however long before building more tracks, we need to draw in more matters to keep the current tracks alive!

One prime example is Tucson Vs Phoenix. Both tracks have a modest following (phoenix having many more members) however BOTH tracks could do better,have more business, and potentially attract more races if they would get together with a set of rules and run an "Arizona Series" even if it was 6 races, 3 at each... It would still be regional, and a semi-club level, it would draw Tucson guys to phoenix and vise versa. It might also draw some from so-cal, new mex, and even west Texas (el paso. And no it is not a long stretch, we actually have a group of matters who drive to Tucson because it is closer than the next nearest kart track!) On top of that, if new matters could see a series that they could have potential racing in they could be more interested in taking up the sport. For instance, it is more than just a club race, without the expense of SKUSA or a national series race.

That is just in AZ alone... If you could standardize rules I wouldn't hesitate to venture to gorace in so cal even in club events.

Secondly I agree that TV is a long stretch, but look at all the filler crap on modern day speed! Sand drags? Mud drags? Mud climbs? Swamp racing? Even if we could portray kart racing as it truely is, and seperate it from Mario or rental karts, it would be a huge step in the right direction
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Wayne Williams



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All you guys hankering to get karting on SPEED better get your butts in gear given the SPEED is going away in the near future.
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Justin Martin



Joined: 27 Mar 2012
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayne Williams wrote:
All you guys hankering to get karting on SPEED better get your butts in gear given the SPEED is going away in the near future.


We aren't referring specifically to getting it on speed. Simply stating that speed plays some real BS, even BS amateur racing... And I apologize to any of you who may enjoy swamp racing or the other forms of racing they air that I personally would consider "bs"
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