By John Copeland, VKA President
In its Vision Statement, the VKA states that the purpose of the organization is to, among other things, “establish Guidelines to create consistency at events across the country.” The VKA Board, and the Rules and Guidelines Committee, work tirelessly to foster a safe, fun environment for VKA members to enjoy the sport we all love.
Like the karts we drive, VKA members come in all shapes and sizes. One of the biggest challenges is how to accommodate drivers of different weights and maximize everyone’s fun on the track. We’ve heard again and again, nobody wants to bolt weights to their lovingly restored vintage kart, but then what is the answer?
First of all, we need to agree that nobody wants to race against one or two other drivers. The more drivers to race with, the more fun, right? The guidelines offer promoters the freedom to determine how many entries a class needs to have before splitting it into light and heavy divisions.
In general, a class with fewer than 10 or 12 entries is just too small to split up. Of course, some of that will depend on the individual track; 10 or 12 karts at Springfield or Brodhead is a lot different than 10 or 12 karts at New Castle or even Whiteland. It is up to the promoter to make that determination; to take into consideration the size and configuration of the track as well as the number of entries.
Since most karts within any given class have nearly the same overall weight, the biggest variable is the size of the driver. And it’s easy enough to get driver weights at registration, either from their driver’s license, or with a bathroom scale. But setting an arbitrary driver weight as the dividing line between Light and Heavy divisions is risky.
Let’s say you have 14 entries in a class and you decide that light will be for drivers under 200 lbs and heavy will be for those 200 and over. It might work out ok, but there’s a good chance that you’ll have 11 lights and 3 heavies, or some other unbalanced distribution. That’s not what you’re looking for, right? A better plan is to determine which classes, if any, have enough entries to split, then look at the driver weights and find the weight where the class has equal, or nearly equal, numbers in light and in heavy.
As the VKA endeavors to maintain a manageable number of classes, it is not in anyone’s best interest to enshrine Light and Heavy classes like we see in other forms of karting. But, when there are sufficient entries, it’s good for promoters to have the flexibility to divide larger classes as a way to increase everyone’s enjoyment of their participation.
So, if you think you’d have more fun at your next VKA event if your class had weight divisions, the best way is to get your buddies, the ones who are sitting at home with vintage karts in their garages, to come out and join the fun. Once there are enough karts in your class, ask the promoter about weight divisions for that event. That’s a win-win solution.
See you at the track!!