Tony… you point out an additional great element needed here. Passion. Good for you.
Cost is not the reason we don’t have bigger fields. It’s an important consideration yes. But not the fundamental problem. And what “cost” are you going to go after? Motors? I’ve run most of them. A Rotax costs the most but is the least expensive to run over a season. A LO206 costs the least but is actually rather expensive to run competitively over a season. Tires with entry fees? With low entry numbers, track owners and series promoters need to make money somehow – or there isn’t going to be a race to enter. You address cost most effectively through economies of scale. Which means more people (both new and existing racers)…
Too many clubs, series, etc. is not the reason we don’t have bigger fields. The CJKC does a great job opening up families to karting. SKUSA and Racing the Rockies are the two best regional level series we could ask for – especially for those of us who aspire to national level racing. Craig’s series is superb for all the obvious reasons. PPKRC and GJMS are great because you know you can go race there and simply have fun – totally inclusive. However, if any of these series had it all figured out, then they would have full fields and the others would die off. But no one series/club does have this totally figured out.
In my opinion, we need a CJKC, SKUSA, RtR, Racing for Heroes, AND healthy club/track series. What we really need is more opportunities to race together. For example, I keep wondering how many renters would sign up for a rental series that races the same day as a CJKC/SKUSA/RtR, etc event. Craig’s model may be perfect for this. Or how about every weekend that hosts a Sunday “series” race (i.e. CJKC/Rotax/SKUSA, etc.) we run a Saturday “show up and run for fun” race. Imagine on a Saturday before a Rotax race, there is a cadet race for example in which LO206’s, MiniROK’s, Micro Max, Mini Max, Comer 80, etc all ran in the same group. I’ll bet the potential is there right now for the fields to be so large that you would have to divide them up. You could do the same thing with Junior/Senior/Masters and Shifters. No series, no point standings, but maybe individual “class” winners. We’ve done this at various locations over the past couple of years and the results have been great. Add this idea and a “renter race series” and you might be on to something.
Awareness, Marketing/Promotion, Education/Support, and Passion. This is the formula for getting more people entering races. More people entering will drive costs lower. More entrants and lower costs will raise retention rates among existing racers. Ideas have to be formed into proposals that the stakeholders (clubs, series, track owners, shop owners) can get behind and support because they are good for their respective businesses.