ROTAX SOUTH AFRICA - REACTION TO SECOND WEBINAR OF KART WORKING GROUP PRESENTATION BY MSA ON 25 NOVEMBER 2020

On the 18th November 2020 we reacted to the MSA Kart Working Group’s proposal and were overwhelmed by the reaction by you, the karters and the clubs. Clearly MSA were also bombarded with emails and calls.

The KWG released a slightly improved proposal on Wednesday 25 November 2020. We welcome the movement and in particular the reinstatement of various Rotax National classes that were cancelled without cause, however various class ages still need to be put back to the 2020 regulations.

On slide 7 of the KWG document, it shows that nearly 100 complaints were received by MSA in addition to those sent to us. Sadly, we believe that the KWG are still not listening to the overwhelming call for stability and remain hellbent on forcing unwelcome and unpopular changes.

All of the feedback we received urged MSA to leave everything alone for 2021. Most karters have already decided on what class to race in 2021 based on the 2020 regulations and the expectation of stability. We still believe that the KWG needs to consult you, the karters and the clubs, in order to develop a consensus that suits karting more broadly. Then any changes need sufficient notice to allow people to plan and adapt. Late November is not the time to make sweeping changes by decree.

The proposals remain National championship and Gauteng focused.  The KWG stated statistic that the series are split 58/42 Rotax/Rok makes it clear that they have only looked at national championship data.  When considering all the starts nationally and regionally, the Rotax competitors move up to 75% of all karting starts in the country.  The voice of these 75% of karters should be carefully considered when creating the “vision” and regulations for karting.

We have heard your feedback and therefore Rotax SA continues to oppose the KWG proposal of combining Rotax and Rok Nationals. The cons significantly outweigh the pros. This combined series has been tried in the past in various forms and is always less successful than the current two series system. We are determined to avoid repeating past mistakes that end up costing you, the karters.

Pro’s of combined Rotax and Rok National events:

  • for the group who choose to do both Rok and Rotax series the combined events are a possible saving

Cons of combined Nationals

  • with COVID still a reality in 2021, larger gatherings are irresponsible and lack common sense
  • Competitors will only get 3 practice sessions on the single practise day because of the increased number of classes to get through. Our experience tells us that 6 practice sessions is the minimum for the average competitor to prepare for a National
  • Lack of practise will give an advantage to those who are willing to visit the circuit on other occasions prior to the National along with the locals
  • There will also be an advantage to competitors who can enter the second series on the day they are forced to sit out. This gives them more practise on the circuit ahead of their primary race day but leads to the extra cost of an additional kart, entry fees, tyres, etc.

It is factually incorrect that we had agreed to the KWG proposals or had any input into them. As per our previous release, Ed Murray was recused from every Board meeting of MSA where karting was discussed. He was present at three presentations of the KWG working group, where they presented proposals. He wrote several detailed letters before and after each of these presentations objecting to the proposals and more importantly pleading that the KWG gather input from karters around the country before they make decisions. Only one letter out of seven was even acknowledged by the KWG.

Our aim has always been for Rotax karting to suit as many competitors as possible not just the small group that do both series. If the vision and regulations work for a broad base of karters, we see a clear path back to 150 entries in the Rotax series alone.  The KWG’s vision of 120 entries across a combined 11 classes in a joint series lacks ambition - suggesting an average of only 10-11 per class in 11 classes. Our aim is to get back to fields >20 in each class as we have done so many times in the past.

Please continue to send us your thoughts and feedback and we will do what we can to make sure you are heard.