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2nd September 2014

Whole of Sport Review Questions, Answers and Clarifications - Part 1 (General)

Q1 KA has said that it has consulted with members in compiling the Whole Of Sport Review. I am a member of a Club but you didn’t talk to me how can you make that statement?
  • Karting in Australia runs under a “Federated Structure”.
  • This means that there is the national body (Karting Australia), State and Territory Associations that are affiliated to the national body, Clubs that are affiliated to the State and Territory Associations and individuals who become members of the Clubs.
  • Other than through general newsletters etc., Karting Australia is required to communicate primarily through our “Ordinary Members” – the States and Territory Associations who in turn communicate with their Clubs and so on. You may better understand this as the A1 process.
  • We followed that process with the Whole of Sport Review just as we do with our normal communications.
  • A major source of information on the current ‘state of the nation’ and future concepts was derived from the completed 50+ page surveys provided by most State and Territory Associations (through our Executive Commission.)
  • We also took account of online surveys that have been conducted over the past 2 years, industry submissions, surveys and discussion with a wide array of stakeholders.
Q2 There has been a lot of comments and questions posted on social media and various forums. Why hasn’t KA answered most of these questions?
  • We have answered any and all reasonable questions presented to us. Social Media has a role in the provision of information but it is a less than ideal format for rational discussion and answers.
  • The Whole Of Sport Review is a very big report. It covers a lot of topics in significant detail. The proper process for discussion is with questions being directed through your Clubs to the State and Territory Associations that can then be raised in an appropriate manner with Karting Australia. The Executive Commissioners are vital in this role.
  • To be clear, we will not be responding to those few Club members and the non-members who, prior to and since the release of the WOSR have endeavored to hijack the agenda with bitterness and invective and have generally behaved like internet trolls without due regard to truth, fact and reason.
  • We are happy to have a conversation and take comments and submissions with reasonable, responsible people who form our constituents at any time. The most appropriate way for this to happen is through the process detailed in Q1 above.
Q3 Are the rules contained in the report definitely coming in for 2015?
  • There are no rules contained in the Whole Of Sport Review.
  • The rules will be developed in the coming months and will take account of the firm decisions detailed in the report, the principles and concepts detailed in the report and adjustments that the Board may consider are warranted following feedback from our member State associations who represent your Clubs and their members.
  • The new engines are definite for 2015 but the current engines can continue to be used as detailed in the WOSR for years to come.
  • If there are good reasons put forward to support modification of some of the principles and concepts related to competition then those matters can be taken into account at that time.
Q4 Why is such a major overhaul of the sport being put forward?
  • Many people will tell you that the best days of karting in Australia are have been considered to be behind it.
  • The Board however believes that with a concerted effort the best days are well and truly in front of us!
  • Participation rates have stagnated or declined, people come and go far too quickly and the sport has not been growing. That can be turned around but not with a ‘band aid’ approach.
  • Obvious decisions have been delayed for too long by a system that frustrated change.
  • The sport has had a “that’s how we have always done it” mentality that has too often put individual wants above the collective needs of the whole sport.
  • The Board has recognised this, believes that modernisation and simplification of the sport in a ‘time poor’ modern community requires a different approach to previous times and understands that difficult choices need to be made now – not to be further delayed.
Q5 How does Karting Australia intend to achieve all of this before next year?
  • We don’t.
  • A number of the initiatives in the report are able to be achieved quickly. Others will take considerably longer.
  • We will create a meaningful program of work to develop and implement the changes and programs that the report foreshadows.
  • E.g. many of our Club initiatives will need to be developed with the assistance of the best representatives of large, medium and small Clubs from across the country prior to their implementation.
Q6 Change costs money – have you thought about that?
  • Yes we have.
  • Yes change does cost money – generally in the short term. For example, our changes on engines will remove the false economies attached to the older competition engines.
  • Let’s look at engines. There are the “horror stories” that we all know about.
  • The $2000 ‘J’ or ‘S’ engine that is leased to selected competitors for $1,000 or more for a single race weekend (over and over again.)
  • The same sort of engine (that may be more than a decade old) that gets sold for $6,000 – $10,000.
  • The competitors who have 10+ engines of the same type in the garage.
  • The constant build and rebuild costs with engines spending more time with the engine tuner than on the kart.

All because the parity between the engines is poor and people are constantly looking for the really great engine.

  • The costs – whether hidden, ignored or front of mind continue to add up.
  • The new engines while directly comparable on price (on a like for like basis) or even if they are slightly more expensive to purchase (on a non like for like basis) will spend more time on your kart, less time with your engine tuner, cost you less to run and maintain across the competition year, and serve you from age 6 to 12 in Cadets and from 13 to Seniors in adult competition.
Q7 What do you expect to achieve with the introduction of the new engines?
  • Essentially we have completed the future engines discussions that had been ongoing for many years under the previous administration.
  • The key decisions on the introduction of the Vortex and IAME engines simply had to be made now.
  • In the medium and long term, these decisions on their own will set about reinvigorating our competition and will make it easier for people to enter karting.
Q8 Why are you making the changes to the National and State Championships?
  • Most mainstream motorsport competition consists of multiple event championships.
  • We feel that it is appropriate for the major karting competitions in Australia to pursue the multi-round event format. Generally speaking this format finds the best driver through multiple competitions rather than having a one-weekend format.
  • It will also server to present more; higher profile Championship standard events more broadly, more frequently.
  • The creation of the category of National Cup and Trophy events and State Cup events presents opportunities for entrepreneurial Clubs and promoters to develop events of significance for inclusion in the National and State calendars.