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Suggestion - adult novice class
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Wiley
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:47 am    Post subject: Suggestion - adult novice class Reply with quote

I am writing to suggest that GSKA add an adult novice class in 2014. I think that it would be helpful for the GSKA Board to receive two kinds of feedback on this suggestion: 1) comments on the class structure suggested below and 2) indications of interest in participating in the class. It is likely that some people who might be interested in participating in such a class might not read the forum posts regularly; please share this post with anyone you think might have an interest in a novice class.
Objectives of adult novice class: Provide an opportunity for a novice to try kart racing. Provide an opportunity for novices to gain skills, experience, and confidence to enable them to move to another class. The class would be structured to make it easy for the novice to share a kart with their spouse, child, or friend.
Class structure:
Run the novice sessions after all of the feature races are complete. The novice sessions would not jeopardize the outcome of the primary driverís race for that day.
Begin with one or two practice sessions run as driving clinics with individual comments from experienced drivers and drills such as a braking drill.
Run two short heats; draw for starting position for the first heat; invert the first heat finish for the second heat start.
Run the karts as they are set up for the primary driver. The class will have no minimum weight, no technical inspection, and perhaps allow several engine types.
Motivation for an adult novice class: GSKA provides a class structure for children to enter the sport. It does not provide a class for an adult novice to enter the sport. Clone Sr. Sportsman is in no way a novice class. A novice with only a few laps of experience will be running a pace that is 15 seconds or more slower than the race pace of Clone Sr. Sportsman.
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Jeff Foust



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
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Location: Newnan, GA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only comment on this would be that race days are already really long. Adding additional practice/training sessions along with a couple of heats would tack on another hour or two at the end of the day. It's that much longer that the track workers have to stay around, and that much longer until everyone gets packed up and goes home. I don't know what time the last trailer pulls out, but I know I've been out there well after the last races have ended and things are still being packed away and cleaned up.

I like the concept, but I'm not sure that having it in addition to the regular race days is the best way to do it. Perhaps something at the beginning of the season where volunteers from the club would come out on a non-race day and help newbies, and do some kind of mock-race at the end of the day would be better?

Last year was our first year. My son was 8, so we ran his first race in Jr1. He was basically a moving roadblock for the other drivers. Luckily we were able to move him to kid clone where where he could slow down, learn the track, get a better feel for the kart, learn how to drive it better, etc. My dad joined in the fun after a couple of races in Sr Sportsman. He was way off the pace for quite a while, but eventually figured it out (with help from a lot of folks out there) and was finally competitive towards the end.

I think an intro day with knowledgeable members to assist would have been a good thing for both of them. I don't think either one would want to do a whole season in a "rookie" class, but it would have been awesome to have some experienced eyes look over the kart, watch them drive, and give some pointers to help get them started.
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Daniel White



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We certainly need ideas to increase participation in our adult classes, and perhaps a novice class is an option.

I don't see the benefit or learning to kart for the purpose of racing if the kart couldn't pass tech. However, two other parameters you mentioned may cause problems at some point:

1. When a new karter is trying to get up to speed, it's critical that he / she is at or near the weight of the class. It will give them an accurate barometer of how close they are to being at a reasonable pace, and will give them a better sense of how the kart behaves.

2. Allowing different engines on the track at the same time in the hands of inexperienced drivers is a disaster waiting to happen in my view.

A new driver needs to be on the track alone, or with other karts widely spaced apart. The track is open for practice after the racing has concluded, and that would be an ideal time to coach up a newbie.
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Xracing36



Joined: 02 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a better way to handle this would be to set up a couple weekends throughout the season that aren't racedays, where you bring a friend to the track. Maybe two or three, or even some people that we invite who are looking to get into GSKA.

Have every member available bring their kart out to the track for their own testing of a session or two with others, but also let the friends hop in their karts, so long as they fit. Because it isn't like driving cars where you can easily get damage by dropping a wheel, at worst they may spin out - it takes a lot of momentum to get over to the tires!

Use these days as clinic days as well. Any new karters who have purchased karts but don't feel like they're ready for racedays just yet can come out and learn to work on their line from some of the local racers. The one sunday before the backwards race, Clint, Cody, and Cale Hall were there testing, but we also had a shifter guy from AMP bring down his son to do kid kart practice. There was this couple who had just bought to two Rotax packages that were practicing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkUEjiIcWt4&feature=share

This club in California prides itself on training camps for kids in the cadet/sportsman and kid classes throughout the season. If we could set up a couple of these "training" days and invite out those who have just bought karts for the first time, or those looking to buy, then we could really sell some memberships and get some more entries.
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DrChip
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Joined: 08 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in favor of this. These people are already sold on GSKA and Barnesville. Some just want to take it to the next level and get out on the track.

We could do coaching in the afternoon before a night racing. This way they would save on time and travel since their equipment and crew is already there.

I would gladly do off race weekend clinics as well, for those who are interested.

I would start with a brief drivers meeting, walk the track, do lead-follow with experienced drivers, do practice starts and end with a practice race.

I do not think different equipment would matter. These people are going to be slow. And all sessions will be controlled. I would stick to Briggs 206 and Clone engines. If someone was shown to be particularly fast, we could bump them to a regular class.

Let's hear from these new potential racers so we can gauge interest. And I will plan a session before the regular race season starts, weather permitting.
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Daniel White



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen guys trying out aTAG kart after a race day, even shifters. A newbie is not necessarily a 4 cycler.

My first day at B'ville was in a Rotax (but I had 2 full practice days before I signed up to race).
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DrChip
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel White wrote:
I've seen guys trying out aTAG kart after a race day, even shifters. A newbie is not necessarily a 4 cycler.

My first day at B'ville was in a Rotax (but I had 2 full practice days before I signed up to race).


This is not a trying out after race day, this is a CONTROLLED driving development program. You wouldn't put someone new in motorsports in an F1 vehicle.

If someone wants to try out a kart after a race day and/or enter an already established class, that is their choice.
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DrChip
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And an important part of this would be the reviewing of flags and their meanings.

The blue-with-yellow-diagonal- stripe means you are being passed by a faster racer, and you are to hold your line and let the over coming vehicle choose where and when to pass you..c
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Daniel White



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrChip wrote:
Daniel White wrote:
I've seen guys trying out aTAG kart after a race day, even shifters. A newbie is not necessarily a 4 cycler.

My first day at B'ville was in a Rotax (but I had 2 full practice days before I signed up to race).


This is not a trying out after race day, this is a CONTROLLED driving development program. You wouldn't put someone new in motorsports in an F1 vehicle.

If someone wants to try out a kart after a race day and/or enter an already established class, that is their choice.


The original post called for an adult novice class race with any motor. That is what I'm commenting on.
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Ihor Bilyy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far I see only DrChip in favor of this. Time will tell, you don't have to marry every idea you can hear from people.

Last edited by Ihor Bilyy on Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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