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Is it due to the little traffic that now comes to this forum, that no one is talking about the AGM Report and Financials?

Interesting that no one here is analyzing either.

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Not in so many words Terry, but when they start telling clubs how to  improve its number, then you know something is amiss.


Terry Sheedy said:

Neville, KA has admitted participation is declining? Well bugger me!!! So maybe Di Smith was right after all. Perhaps KA should reconsider that 5 year ban in that case.

I was on a budget of under $3k per year for our 10 local meetings plus our one open meeting. 5 race meetings on a set of MG reds. This included licence, membership and all consumables (not damage)

This did not include engine rebuilds, (as that was only one), or upgrading of gear (always second hand).

I done a couple of country series rounds over the years(about 6 for memory). First time on the track Sunday morning for the carbie session as a sighting lap, and go from there with the random draw, learning the track in the first heat. I always finished in the front half of the field and even have some silverware, so as for kart setup and driver, Im not all bad.

Back to club days.

For me it was always about racing and not just winning. Winning was the goal, but making the best of what I had and could afford was far more of a challenge and far more fun. Knowing my chassis was 6 years old, the engine had 30 hours on it without being touched, tyres that had done 200+ laps and still able to run at a pace that was a few tenths off, was great satisfaction for me and as long as I was dicing with someone, I had way more fun than the "Gun" driver with the new kart, tyres, engine who was out in front driving around on their own.

This was all taken away with the advent of qualifying. Sure, where was less damage but ........ there was also far less racing and more of, just an extended precession.

Again, to get numbers back to club days, it simply has to be about the fun of racing. The more affordable you can make it, the more that can afford it and the more you will have doing it. It isn't rocket science. If it is racing a victor, J or shifter kart realy doesn't matter to most club day drivers, as long as they are racing (and not just driving around on their own) and the best way to have everyone racing someone is to fill up the grid, then even the parity argument becomes less of an issue.

Then there is the TAG R class that saved Karting all on its own. It was a perfect club day class but even then the powers that be were trying to kill it off. SA had even further perfected this by having multiple restrictors to make it a single class with varying weights, so that light and heaving could all be on par and race together (on SL1's). It was a great success and what a great club day concept but again, this concept was met with opposition at every turn and eventually, like everything clubs have done to deliver the service their members wanted, it was killed off.

Get number back at club days, and the rest will look after its self. The only way you will get this is bring karting back to focus on the fun and make it affordable. Its as simple as that.

I dont know about that David. Our budget for the year is 11k ($211 per week) and that includes all club days, 6 race series, a couple of open meets and Closed titles at end of year. We are currently on budget. 

We race Tag R Light and we buy a set of tyres for the series races then follow up on that same set on the club day. A set of DFM's last at least 150 laps and a race meeting you would rack up some where around 60 laps.

If you were running just club days and winning or podium you would go at least 2 meets with one set. If you were middle of a 10 kart field you would go at least 3 meets because a new set of tyres arent really going to change as much as a good setup.

Petrol and oil at 4 litres max x $1.60 per liter plus oil 50 mils per liter of petrol at 7 cents a ml for oil 

(4 x 1.60) + (50 x .07) = 9.90

Entry $50

Tyres at $280 / 3 meets = $94 a meet

If all goes well its $154 for the day 

Lets add a chain $60 

Spark plug $20

Egg and Bacon Roll, Chips and drink $12

$94 + $154 = 248

1 club day per month works out at $57 per week add 20 per week if you want to include engine rebuild 1 per year

So if nothing goes wrong its $154 day or $248 for the day for extras

Going to the footy in a premium seat (I dont seat anywhere else) is $95 + $30 food + $20 parking $145

I'd much rather watch my son race 

Dave

"Get number back at club days, and the rest will look after its self. The only way you will get this is bring karting back to focus on the fun and make it affordable. Its as simple as that."

Great sentiment Dave, but just to get back to status quo we need to encourage nearly 2,000 drivers back and then try to build on that.

How the hell it got this bad, well there is no need for further comment. 

Let KA have the AKC,  am sure the 200 entries will support the ongoing business.

Let us run club events without all the bullying tactics.

Cost and fun will all work but it will take time in returning karters to club days. 

We need to work with what we have and I might sound like a broken record but to fix the problem of low club day numbers immediately without any or minimal cost is to introduce something like the KA Points system.

It will make majority of karters have to race at club days all the while the argument for cost is being worked on. Fields will be full, competition will be present and fun will will return. 

Just a simple policy that you have to compete at all of the club days before you qualify to race at a state or national event will work quite easily.

Then there is no restrictions on finishing position.

Joe Torcasio said:

Cost and fun will all work but it will take time in returning karters to club days. 

We need to work with what we have and I might sound like a broken record but to fix the problem of low club day numbers immediately without any or minimal cost is to introduce something like the KA Points system.

It will make majority of karters have to race at club days all the while the argument for cost is being worked on. Fields will be full, competition will be present and fun will will return. 

The point system will only work (maybe) to get the "professional" karters to run at club days. For our local club, that might lift the entry numbers from 10 to say 14 (in total) While this is a great way to incentivise club day participation it may also be the final straw for some who have had to financially choose between them.
Returning fun to the racing will take us back to around 50 (for status quo) and no doubt if we retained 50% of the last 10 years turn over, perhaps as good as 150 drivers.
In 2012, we had up to 18 just in TAG-R alone.

Neville. The why it has been allowed to get to this is another topic in its self.

I agree that local attendance should be a criteria for larger events, especially titles, it really is a measure that should not be necessary and could be viewed as addressing a symptom rather than the problem.


Dave there is no provision for emoji's here. 

Just image a grown man crying, and you get the picture.


David Arnold said:


Neville. The why it has been allowed to get to this is another topic in its self.

I understand the tears, but I am one of the Good riddance by KA people (voluntary though I might add, unlike many)

I have found cheaper much more fun things to do with my family, despite there still being a gap that karting could fill, it is just simply not worth it on so many levels for us.

Until karting focuses back on being a fun hobby, it will stay that way for us.
 
Neville Scullion said:


Dave there is no provision for emoji's here. 

Just image a grown man crying, and you get the picture.


David Arnold said:


Neville. The why it has been allowed to get to this is another topic in its self.

I have had a bit of a brainstorm session with myself on the way into work today and have come to conclusion of a couple of things.

David you are right the points system will work for the more serious karter who wants to race series and titles. However I feel there are definitely 2 types of karters. The serious karter and the club karter.

Serious karter has a interest to race against competition only and the harder the better. Prepared to spend a respectable amount of money toward the sport. This person also doesnt mind the 2 day meets and can afford the time to be there.

Club karter, someone who wants to go down on club days and maybe an odd meet or 2 throughout the year that works into a comfortable budget without the demands of too much time. 

We all like to race just some of us want different levels of it but in the end we all want healthy fields. 

Looking at the VCS entries and just basing it on GKCV, Geelong and Oakleigh members I was surprised at the number of entries each club represented to date


GVKC GEEL OGKRC
CADET 9 10 1 1 1
CADET 12 32 6 7 2
KA4 JL 20 3 2 2
KA3 J 13 1 1 6
KA3 S L 16 0 1 3
KA3 S M 8 2 1 1
TAG 125 L 19 2 6 1
TAG 125 H 12 3 2 0
TAG 125 R L 21 1 3 3
TAG 125 R M 15 2 3 0
TAG 125 R H 6 0 0 0
VIC COMBINED M 15 1 1 0
KA4 J 23 1 4 3
210 23 32 22

What VCS and other series have done is tell us that karters want racing and are prepared to travel a little.

Now in conjunction with the VCS, GP, Open events and Titles 

What if we do away with club days and replace them with a series or a 2 series (Summer/Autumn series  5 races and a Winter/Spring series 5 races)

Join a group of clubs together for each series. 

Race meet is to be a one day event (just like club day)

Lets try this for example

Lets say Geelong, GKCV, Oakleigh get together and run the Summer/Autumn series and a Winter/Spring series consisting of 5 races inn each series in place of a club day. Or a big one that runs for 9 races and that gives 3 events per club a year at the least 

If entries were anywhere around 200 that would more than beat the current average club day attendance of 60-70 at the moment.

3 meets at 70 entries =200

or 

1 meet at 200

Same, Same but different

Country clubs within a certain range can do the same making it easy for karters to get there

Maybe we need to look ate changing the way we think rather than change the way karters think!!

In regards to cost maybe a look into cheaper club only licence being a lot cheaper and club memberships could look at first 3 months free to make it easier on the hip pocket entry.

Also have a range of hire gear suits, helmets and stuff which will also help in getting people started. 

But we need a fast fix and new members are always welcome and needed to keep the sport going. The quickest way to get clubs back up to speed is with the return and karters who have a setup sitting in the garage doing nothing. There are many just in the background unsure of where or what to do. Maybe they may have left the sport but I am betting that a lot still have most of the gear around. 

Joe Torcasio said:

Cost is not the reason why people dont race club days

Joe,

it's obvious that cost is not a big deal for you (or you wouldn't be saying that), but it is for a huge number of people.

Cost is the main reason I for one am not involved anymore (time being the significant other). It's the only reason I have been given when I have talked to ex karters I have known or met. There may well be people who have opted out solely due to lack of competition numbers, but why are those numbers down in the first place? I would suggest that the root cause is cost, the cancer that is eating this sport.

And, for every ex karter who has had to pull the pin for financial reasons, there is a cloud of potential karters who have not started because they have been informed of the realistic costs now involved, just to compete at club level. The cost to compete per meeting is now bad enough, but I think it is the start up costs that frighten plenty off. I think KA has unneccesarily blown out the start up costs, as well as the ongoing costs. 

The thing is, many karters can only just barely  bear or justify the cost, to themselves and their families. They can only just manage to participate, at the cost of other things they or their families might also wish to do (like pay off the mortgage early, rent a better abode, go on a holiday, or get a better car, the list is endless). Wantonly getting rid of these people by needlessly inflating costs is not smart management of the sport. Remove the foundations and the building will ultimately collapse..

Regards,

John.


Cost is a factor for me but I dont know any better and have made the choice to be here with the budget I can afford. If it can get cheaper without compromising the quality of racing and speed then I am all for it.

Does anyone know what the magic number is though?

What can people afford?

I go to the footy and spend 100+ others go and spend 200+ some spend spend 30+ what is expensive. I think 200+ is expensive, the 30+ thinks I am expensive. Is it not all relative.

Are we really all part of a big change where the focus is to bring money into the sport and do away with low level budget karters.

I dont know and I will take one race year at a time. Who knows where I will be next year but I do like what karting offers and enjoying racing. Only wish club days were better fielded and I believe some of the solutions I have put forward may have merit. 

Thats all for me now, good luck to all those racing and for all those that dont or cant I hope you come back one day. 

Joe, you have nailed it right here.

The karters that KA have no interest in is the second one you have listed. These are the ones that make up the numbers and these are the fragile ones, that really require nurturing to retain them in a costly hobby. In my case, potentially multiply the costs by 3 or 4 when all the kids want to get involved or do I have to choose which one gets a go?

The serious karter also needs to be given a place that supports their wishes and delivers what they are looking to get out of karting. Club day racing is not going to be that thing.

what KA have done is try to get everyone to step to the serious/professional karter and the costs associated with it and have taken away the opportunity that the social karter once had due to cost alone.

What KA should have done was to leave social karting alone for the most part, and just focus on providing the resources to run professional race meetings in the manner in which they are conducted, regardless of the driver quality or type of engine being used.

The big reason that they did not go this was I believe was that they had to sell lots of new engines as one of the engine suppliers was Micky D's mate and also KA get a good % of every new engine sold.

This has all been laid out here in the past but the simple thing is KA have no interest in the recreational/social karter and would rather they did not exist. Well they are fast getting their wish it would seem and only now, the people that the KA changes did not directly effect, are now being directly effected by having no one left to fill the grids and regardless how fast they can drive around a race track, it is a hollow victory in a field of 3. All this was predicted years ago by myself and many others (many of which are now banned from KA as a result of voicing this on social media) and without requiring a crystal ball, it was very easy to see for those on the ground. (clearly not so for those in their helicopters)

I wish you and you boy the best karting has to offer, as it is a fantastic life experience lesson for kids and adults alike.

Here's to hoping it can one day be what is once was, a great social sport with full fields and great friends with a little bit of competition thrown in.
 
Joe Torcasio said:

I have had a bit of a brainstorm session with myself on the way into work today and have come to conclusion of a couple of things.

David you are right the points system will work for the more serious karter who wants to race series and titles. However I feel there are definitely 2 types of karters. The serious karter and the club karter.

Serious karter has a interest to race against competition only and the harder the better. Prepared to spend a respectable amount of money toward the sport. This person also doesnt mind the 2 day meets and can afford the time to be there.

Club karter, someone who wants to go down on club days and maybe an odd meet or 2 throughout the year that works into a comfortable budget without the demands of too much time. 

We all like to race just some of us want different levels of it but in the end we all want healthy fields. 

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