Reply To: Mid-Season TAG Weight Changes…NOT!!

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Hello everyone. Todd is out doing a test for our Project Stock Honda program today, so I thought I would touch on this. I’ll have a more “official” statement on our website soon.

From above, Doug is mostly correct. We do follow engine rules, meaning allowed engines, and technical guidelines. We use their weights as a matter of making our racers in line with other groups that also use the weights. But, we do allow ourselves the right to deviate if necessary. As a side note, we wrote all of those rules in 2004, so it made sense for us to keep using them this year to get a return on that investment.

About two months ago, a committee was formed that includes the technical staff of all major organizations. A primary purpose for this committee was to make joint decisions so that we avoid problems such as this. Simply, TAG USA put out the new weight rule without notifying anyone from the committee. This caught all of us by surprise. Honestly, this was one of my worries about following another group for what you intend to be a huge class in the future. Outside of this committee, each organization is naturally allowed to make a ruling in its best interest. Of course, this is muddied when some orgs are following another orgs rules. So here we are in this situation now.

I’m not going to argue whether the weight rule is correct or not. We’re still compiling information regarding this specific weight issue. However, I’m not thrilled with the idea of 415 (445 if you’re a master) pound kart with no front brakes and 80 pounds of lead on it. What I will argue is that TAG USA has forced other organizations to go into “fast decision” mode to decide whether to follow this change, or not. Usually, a hasty decision is not the correct decision.

I can say this at this point; we will continue to allow all engines that were approved to run in the junior classes to continue to run for their championships this year. To force someone to go out and buy a new engine in the middle of a race season is stupid. In addition, we are working quickly to determine what impact the weight change will have on our racers, and will make a decision very soon. We do have a poll on our website asking your opinion on this subject, so if you feel strongly about it, please vote.

About rules in general: You can trust me when I say that rules are difficult to write. When writing them, you have to try and plan for all possible scenarios, and sometimes you miss one. Also, when new information becomes available that was not available when you made a rule, then you must return to the rule and amend it if the new information calls for this. This was the case for our stock honda (S3) class, and the unclear wording regarding airboxes on K80 (a new adventure for us). Ironically, that is the beauty of a good rule book. It constantly gets better, more refined, and easier to follow. There are two trains of thought regarding this ability. Some organizations prefer to not do anything until their rules meeting for the next year. This can be good, and bad. We prefer to not make any wholesale change, rather amendments or clarifications during a year.

Take our stock honda amendment about a month ago. Our rules called for no interchangeability between engine years. This is great until you discover that 1999 “kit” engines from Honda come with different year cases, and sometimes ignitions. In that case, we had members out there racing thinking they were legal, when indeed they were not. As there is no performance issue involved, we amended the rule, brought everyone into compliance, and provided a great foundation for the growth of the class. If we were like other orgs, we couldn’t have rectified this situation until next year.

Jay, as for 4 year olds running kid karts, the answer is really simple. It is a matter of the insurance for events. The policy allows for kid kart drivers to be 5 years old and up. So it really isn’t a rule issue. Just one of coverage.


Joe Janowski