STATEMENT REGARDING FUTURE ENGINES IN THE AUSTRALIAN KARTING ASSOCIATION
Over the past few months there have been various rumors circulating in the Australian karting community regarding possible future engines to be used in the Cadet, Rookie, National and Clubman categories within the Australian Karting Association (AKA).
The AKA would like to advise its members of the following details:
- For a number of years, the AKA has been investigating options in order to provide a more even playing field within the above mentioned categories at a cost effective level i.e. looking to eliminate the perception, or the reality, of needing to purchase second hand engines at exorbitant prices in order to be competitive.
- At a future-planning meeting in May 2011, this investigation was accelerated when two committees were formed, both of which included a reputable member of the karting industry.
- The first committee is studying possible engines for the Cadet and Rookie categories which combined, represented 19% of 2011 AKA overall participation. The second committee is concentrating on the National and Clubman categories. In 2011, National and Clubman classes combined represented 51% of AKA participation. (National classes 27%, Clubman classes 24%)
- At this point in time there has been NO decision made to eliminate ANY engine from ANY of the AKA categories above. The committees are doing their due diligence and investigating a wide range of potential options.
- The process of reviewing these categories and considering potential future engines is a large project that requires many resources. The collaboration of AKA and industry has enabled what is an extremely difficult and lengthy process to progress at a faster rate. The AKA has also been able to benefit and draw upon many years of industry knowledge and expertise.
- The ultimate decision on what direction to take rests with the National Karting Council but this process has been an excellent illustration of the AKA and Industry working together for the future benefit of karting.
- If a new engine were to be introduced to either category, they will not be in competition until 2014 at the earliest.
- If new engines are implemented, the current Yamaha and Comer engines would still be eligible for a number of years. Depending on the implementation process of new engines, it could be up to five, or more years following their introduction before a complete change is seen at all levels of Australian karting.
- During this period, the AKA envisages that new and existing engines would run together within the current class.
- During the investigation by the two committees, a number of solutions were proposed to the AKA. These included ‘grind to the line’, inserting a CNC liner to the KT100J engine, an aftermarket CNC cylinder for the KT100J and opening up the engine regulations.
- Several KT100J and KT100S barrels were tested by two of Australia’s leading engine builders then “ground to the line”. The results showed minimal performance increase indicating that it is not just the port timings that affect an engines performance.
- A prototype CNC cylinder for the KT100J engine was also carefully considered and tested during the course of due diligence.
- After consideration it was decided that all of these proposals were more of a short-term “band aid” fix, rather than long-term solutions and were therefore decided against, with the AKA choosing to seek more meaningful solutions for the future.
The research by the future engine committees, and subsequent decision by the AKA, is one of the most important decisions in the Association’s 50-year history, it is also one that will ensure the sport continues to develop well into the future.
The AKA fully understands the significance and importance of these future engine projects and is treating all aspects of them with great caution and diligence. It is however the AKA’s responsibility to not shy away from dealing with important projects that stand to improve the future of Australian karting.
The AKA will continue to provide updates on the progress from the future engine committees as the information comes to hand and investigations progress.