With quality and fairness of competition as its north star, SKUSA has long considered every aspect of its rulebook when making any wholesale change to it. With a long-standing commitment to policing driver conduct, in concert with their state-of-the-art video marshalling system, SKUSA have set the benchmark with respects to on-track officiating at a national karting event.
That said, nothing is ever perfect and SKUSA are pleased to usher in the latest adjustments to an everchanging landscape, in the pursuit of the highest caliber of safety and professionalism.
Beginning with the upcoming 2022 SKUSA Winter Series race in Homestead, SKUSA will rescind the mandatory “pushback bumper” for all classes, and instead default to their video marshalling system to officiate on-track incidents.
“As some may recall, the pushback bumper in my mind was always a good example of trading one problem for another,” remarked SKUSA’s principal Tom Kutscher. “We left it to a vote and the majority decided. However, now the majority have spoken out against it. Zero doubt, it cleaned up some of the driving in various classes. But it also introduced a new series of consequences, where many drivers were penalized unfairly in a very binary format for something they were completely blameless in. It’s no secret we’ve made a significant investment in our video marshaling system and we now have the ability to use it in ways to negate the need for a binary mechanism like the bumper.”
Beginning with Homestead’s Winter Series – SKUSA will do a trial run with no bumpers to test the model for use in the ProTour for 2022. The thinking is that SKUSA will look to eliminate bogus penalties for unrelated things like accident avoidance or hitting a curb, and instead rely on the technology to police each race.
“It’s been difficult watching people have their races ruined by non-penalties,” added an emphatic Kutscher. “I personally watched no less than 2 people have their SuperNationals affected by bumper penalties. With a very binary approach, we really have left no room for context, and I feel like we’re better off utilizing the video system to make the determination going forward.
In addition to modifying the bumper regulation, SKUSA are also pleased to confirm the long asked for weight reductions in many of their classes. The change comes after careful consideration and observation to find the median weights across popular classes. The new weights will be as follows:
Micro Swift – 220 lbs (reduced by 5)
Mini Swift – 235 lbs (reduced by 10)
X30 Senior – 355 lbs (reduced by 10)
X30 Masters – 385 lbs (reduced by 15)
“The weight thing may seem random, but it’s anything but,” explained SKUSA’s tech director Lynn Haddock. “We spent the better half of 2021 carefully observing how much lead competitors are actually putting on their karts. Often, unnecessarily. On average, the typical X30 driver was adding 20+ pounds to their kart for no real good reason. No series can ever be all things to all people, so we feel we’ve found a compromise that suits the overwhelming majority of our contingent.”
SKUSA is nothing, if not fluid. The series has strived for transparency in making these revisions. The plan is to try them out at the Winter Series to gain further data and input, and then make a consensus for the upcoming 2022 ProTour.