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What if the OK and OK-Junior categories were the solution? Everybody is complaining about downsizing in most karting competitions, but the calendars have never been so busy, both internationally and nationally. After the disappearance of the 100cc FA and ICA categories, the engines KF did not arouse the hoped-for enthusiasm. The brand championships have taken the place left vacant among amateurs, offering greater ease of use, lower cost of use and true sportsmanship. In theory, these arguments were irrefutable.

 

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Yet over the years, the recipe seems to have reached its limits. Apart from the major world events that take place once a year, federations and organisers struggle to assemble large grids. The evolution of society, the multiplication of leisure options and the massive eruption of technology in everyday life do not explain everything. There are other reasons, specific to karting today.


We began by sacrificing the pleasure of driving for ease of use. But is pressing a button to start really an argument for sportsmen? Would it be possible to imagine smaller football pitches so that players have less need to run, lighter tennis balls for less effort, or wider and lower basketball baskets? What can easily be imagined on a beach during the holidays has no interest as a real sporting practice. In all sports, the notion of pleasure is linked to the efforts made to win. The reward comes from the progress made in the face of difficulty. The English phrase "No pain, no gain" summarises athletes' approach fairly well.


The other arguments of the one-make categories can no longer be believed. These leisure products have indeed found it difficult to keep their promises when it comes to pure competition. Equity in performance is only an illusion sustained by marketing. As for the costs, they have long since soared due to the desire to win at all costs. This is as valid in international competition as it is at national and regional level. To get the job done, you have to call on professionals who are increasingly specialised and capable of making the most of engines that have not been designed for that purpose.


The drivers will tell you, the pleasure of driving an OK or an OK-Junior is much higher than what comes from a brand competition. These are real racing machines, developed from the outset for competition. The performance gaps are smaller than elsewhere and, except at the highest level, the necessary budgets are not disproportionate if you don't overdo the test sessions. Clearly, 100% competitive, fast and accessible categories such as OK and OK-Junior, present to some specialists a coherent way for the redevelopment of karting.


Few professionals dare to hold this conversation, presumably for the sake of maintaining their business as it is. But is this not a short-term vision that fails to bring real solutions to the problem of karting today? It may be time for new answers so that karting becomes great again!

 

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