By Karting1 ~ December 27th, 2009. Filed under: Kart Racing News.
Over the past few months it appears the major kart manufacturers and the CIK have been moving further away from each other. It first started with the major teams boycotting the European SKF Championships and now Giancarlo Tinini, the chairman of CRG SPA, has launched an assault into the current KF regulation structure. The CIK played their part earlier this year announcing the new ‘Under-18 World Karting World Championship‘ designed to tackle the over-professionalism of karting. This is what the CIK said at the time of it’s announcement.
“Karting is the foundation of Motor Sport. Most racing drivers begin in Karting competition and it represents the natural first step in career progression. However, in recent years top level Karting has become more specialised, with professional drivers and escalating costs.”
“The price of a top-level season in Karting is comparable to that of a season in a bottom grade single-seater. The level of professionalism and involvement of certain teams has become such that some drivers no longer stand a chance of being competitive or are simply unable to finance their participation.”
The CIK also made it clear the subservient role they want karting to remain as for larger interests involved in motor racing “One must have the courage to take important decisions, and although this concept explores new avenues which will seem revolutionary to the Karting community, they are simply aimed at giving an image of Karting that is more in keeping with its roots by reviving the young talent-scouting capacity of competition and by contributing to educate younger drivers.”
Now it’s the turn of one of the major manufacturers of world karting to have their say on the position of top flight karting. CRG SPA’s Giancarlo Tinini launched an incredible attack on the current set of KF regulations. “KF Class is in troubled waters” says Mr Tinini “and this situation has nothing to do with the product, which is of excellent quality. It is rather a matter of regulation, because it is far too strict. If we want to keep on going steadily towards the KF failure, we just need to keep on with this system. If we won’t make it simpler we won’t get anything good out of it. We need to simplify.”
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While dissatisfied with the overly complex regulations, Tinini is also careful not to discredit the actual product that is KF “It is necessary to make simpler regulations, which means giving the possibility to racers to spend more time on the tracks rather than on the trolleys for the technical tests. With today’s regulation you spend a lot of time in tests instead of running on tracks, which is what people want. This is the direct consequence of the stubbornness of many people. We should be more sensible and go back to the well-tested technical and sports rules we had had for so many years, starting all over, but always with KF.”
Tinini then goes on to describe why he thinks costs have risen, and why the current regulations run the risk of karting losing it’s best engineering talent “Our firm has got clear ideas: we know karting better than others and we know that the direction we are following for the regulations is not the right one. Just keep in mind that a driver doesn’t go on the track by himself. Together with him there’s a group of people: mechanics, technicians and all those who cooperate in the setting of the chassis and of the engine. All these people work together to get better and better results.”
Giancarlo Tinini CRG SPA
“If we take away this opportunity from them, they will lack in adrenalin and people will prefer …to go fishing, because we have denied them the possibility to do their best . This is the most stupid thing we can do. In these last three years we have been making a lot of fuss and now I can say that we have often denounced how unfit these regulations were, in particular those rules that oblige the constructors to work on projects which are much more complex and, consequently, much more expensive too.”
“Today I’m happy, because the other firms which had initially supported these regulations are now beginning to understand that things can’t go on like that. If, even today, many ASNs refuse to introduce KF in their countries, it’s because it is a ‘scary’ product, but not because of the way the engine is made. We all know that this is a concept very similar to the Rotax ‘single-brand’, which is the number one in the world as a product: still, it is a ‘single-brand’.”
Tinini then has a direct message for the regulatory bodies “We should be honest and take a step back in the regulations, for the sake of karting. The engine, as it is now, is perfect. We are in contact with many ASNs and together we are trying to lay the foundations for a specific set of rules which, probably, could mend the situation.””
With the war of words no doubt set to continue between the CIK and manufacturers it does raise a serious question over whether karting at the top level is suffering a serious identity crisis. Is karting just a school for future talent or is it a motorsport that can sustain itself without the burden of being a servant to car racing teams? And is the KF concept perfect to satisfy the needs of top level karting as Tinini believes, or is the engine fundamentally over complex? Comment below or have your say on the Karting1.com Forums!