Some explaination is in order

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    Doug Welch

    Now that it out, I will explain why we took the dq over tearing down our motor. We have brand new Rotax engines that have the orginal seal from SSC. They have not been opened by a service center.

    If the engines had been torn down, I would have had them put back together by a service center in order to get a seal put back in place. I have 3 quotes for this work. $250, $450 and $500 plus any parts (gaskets, seals, etc). I would also have had to pay for shipping them off to a service center to have this work performed. Expedited shipping would have added another $100 to the bill. All that for a $20 trophy and no assurance it wouldn’t happen again the following weekend.

    The reason it’s so expensive to reassemble a Rotax is that once its been taken apart by an unauthorized person, EVERY part has to be measured for compliance to specifications. It has to be done to ensure the parts have not been altered. If I could do the work myself, then no problem, but since we need to have the engines sealed so that we can run R-Max races, its a moot point. If I had the money to put $400 in my motors every week, we would still be racing shifters!

    I know that for some our refusal to let the engines be torn down is “proof” we are cheating, all it proves is that I don’t have a butt load on money to prove the protester doesn’t know what it takes to make a kart go fast.

    One of the other Tag guys needed an axle as the one in his kart was bent. I made a suggestion to change to a different axle. They were reluctant to go as far as I suggested so they went just a bit softer than what they had. Just on axle change alone, they gained .8 of a second over their previous best time. This week they were in and got what I had suggested in the first place!

    The complaint I heard was that we were running shifter times out there. We did a 54.08 in qualifying. Maybe slow shifters but at the CSC race in June, Greg did a 51.7 in his shifter. At a non-technical track like IMI, about a 2 second difference between Tag and shifters is about what I would expect and that is about the difference all over the country.

    What our challenge is, we need to get the rest of the Tag guys up to our speed. To that end I am more than willing to show any of the Tag racers how they can improve. As I watched the other racers, almost every kart is setup way to stiff and we need to soften them up to get them to roll free through the corners.

    We ran the following. 50mm Soft axle, 75mm hubs, full caster (negative), neutral camber, 0 toe, medium ride height in front, lower chassis in rear, 55″ wide rear, 4-1/2 spacers out in front, no seat struts, weight low on seat and toward the front of the seat, soft cast alum wheels, hub mount on front, no ackerman in the steering.

    For the motor, we ran a .158 main jet, a 35 lower pilot jet and a 38 outer pilot jet. All other jets, needles, slides and needle postion are as supplied with the engine. We do clean the power valve every time out. For gearing, we ran a 13 tooth driver and a 78 on the rear.

    I make this offer to all the Tag drivers, if you really want to go faster, I will meet you at the track and I will show you how to get quicker just in chassis set-up alone. Call me at the shop and we will try to set something up. 303-781-7829 The only kart I don’t think I can help is the JFS kart. That one is too soft in the center and it bounces. I have watched it all season and they may well be getting just about all that kart has out of it.

    As long as we intend to run Rmax races, we will have a seal on our engine. As long as it is sealed, that engine will not be torn down by an unauthorized person, i.e., they must be certified by SSC to do Rotax sealing.

    One last point, we think we can get a 53.5 out of our kart.


    I say excellent job out there, you guys are only pushing us to be better olut there. :cheers:


    I am confused. Shouldn’t the party found in error during an engine protest be responsible for all the costs of tearing down and rebuilding the engine? i.e. if the engine is illegal then the owner pays, and if the engine is found legal then the protester pays. This seems self-evident to me.

    The ability to protest an engine is crucial to the integrity of our sport. We must have rules in place to make sure protesting is fair for all involved. We could set a price for each class to protest engines in order to make sure exonerated racers are fairly compensated.

    As a side note, has the integrity of the seal in the Rotax class really been compromised to the point that we can’t even trust it for a local race? This is not a rhetorical question, as I am seriously considering running this class next year.

    How do we handle engine protest in the CSC?

    Rod Whetstone


    While I was not a witness to the IMI races, I heard what happened and I was at the GJMS CSC race and was able to observe Doug and Greg there.

    I don’t believe that anyone is cheating. Greg has brought PRO level driving skills and Doug has brought PRO level tuning skills down to our amateur TAG level. That’s all. We can all learn from both of them. Their willingness to share their setups and whatnot are landmarks of their character. I know I learned a lot at Doug’s chassis tuning seminar that was held over the winter. And I bet I will learn a lot more with them racing TAG with all of us.

    I believe in the ROTAX seal program. “The Seal is the Deal”. It insures that all recieve a fair DEAL when racing ROTAX motors. I don’t believe the integrity of the seal has been compromised.

    So, if anyone really believes that Doug’s new SEALED motors are actually illegal, then speak up. I’ll trade motors with Doug, and Greg can race with my motor, and I’ll use Gregs. Now, remember that I basically come in last every time in Masters, so my motor must really suck. I’m betting that Greg will still be fast in my motor.

    My Motor Details (for the record)
    Purchased USED in October 2002 (unknown hours, from a ROTAX dealer, SEALED)
    Raced 11 races last year and 5 this year.
    Practiced on about every month of the year (even in the winter)
    Was top end refreshed on June 25, 2003 by Acceleration Karting.
    Motor Serial Number: 773127
    Seal Serial Number: 112752

    If you want to know why I am making this offer, it is because I believe in the SEALED motor concept. I believe in ROTAX. And I believe in our racers.



    Not sure if you will disclose this, but who made the protest? Sounds like someone is getting way too bent out of shape, especially at a local club race. 🙄

    I’m personally glad to see the Welchs in our class. Doug and Greg are both very friendly and more than happy to help anyone out. I saw Doug explain chassis setup and driving technique for about 20 minutes to a novice 125cc. I just dont see many others going out of their way like this.

    Thanks for those chassis tips Doug… might have to try those out next time out. :cheers:

    Mike Jansen

    Once again, if you’re fast then you must be cheating. :bs:

    I’ve bought parts from Shockwave and Doug has been a real help in getting my kart set up. So much that I’ve actually doubted what he’s said (I thought he was full of it, what could a shifter karting dude know about TAG class?!) Well, seeing his kids wax my a _ _ on the same rotax motor i have has made me a believer. I didn’t race Sunday but Doug let me check out his set up and gave me some additional pointers (I am taller than most racers so I feel l’m in chassis tuning by myself)

    Protest? We are ALL entitled but common sense tells you that you can’t doctor a sealed motor (D. Garwood can tell you that 8) ) and that is what the rotax is, a sealed motor. What is the protest procedure? IMHO if you want to protest a sealed rotax then fine, just make sure those that protest pony up the money to send it to an authorized dealer to tear it down and bring it back to compliance, shipping included. If you ARE cheating then you pay to have your engine returned. If it’s legit then the protesting parties should pay. They will then have a clear conscience knowing that their kid got beat by a better tuned engine, chassis and driver and should serve as a wake up call. STEP UP! Nobody (to my knowledge) said the same thing when Donel bought Chaz’s kart and worked his magic at Bandemere round #1?

    Doug, you have nothing to explain in my opinion. Hell, Greg got passed on the start EVERY SINGLE TIME so you still have some tuning to do for the starts! Thanks again for your advice about axles and chassis tuning. Watching your kids, Donel and a few select others means I know I have to raise my own level of performance to maximize myself and my kart if I want to be number 1.

    The Tall Guy


    Well I will chime in.

    There seems to be some miss information here. I was told there was NO seal on the rotax, therefore a tear down was no big deal. :bs:

    Now I hear there was a seal on there.

    Sorry, but I have to go along with Doug on this one. If the Bilands/Sonics/etc want to protest then we better raise the costs of protests if they involve Rotaxes.

    Doug is correct is saying that if you break the seal the WHOLE motor has to be check against specs—I found this out once, because I wanted to see the insides before I sent it in for refeshing. It was like 3 hrs labor to check everything + gaskets. Protest fee of about $400 would be about right.

    I am kind of dissappointed that some people in the TAG classes thought it necessary to protest the Welch’s. These kids are practically pro drivers and hold it, didn’t Dane Buckly beat Greg in Sunday’s tag race. Nobody protested Dane the 1st place driver? 😳


    Jason Benoit

    Someone should make a suggestion for some sort of rules change as far as sealed motors go. If a motor is sealed then there is no way to tamper with it without breaking the seal so why should these motors even be subject to tear down. As far as I’m concerned the tear down procedure should be to check to ensure the seal is not broken. If it is broken then do the complete tear down but if not then the tear down should be complete. Just a thought


    I absolutely protest!!!!!! How can somebody be faster than ME? Just kidding Doug. Which Biland or Leopard or Sonik protested because they are getting their ass handed to them by better tuned and better driven karts? What a joke. A sealed moter is practically impossible to tamper with and why would you anyway? It’s a regional race or local club race that you are talking about. If I remember correctly there really aren’t any rotax shops in colorado that i trusted with my motor due to conflict of interest and down right poor business practices.

    Doug are you going to be at RIGP this year? Do you have any plans that weekend? Can I hire you as a tuner (sorry Preston) for a 4 kart team that weekend?


    Doug, you don’t owe anyone any explaination. If someone wants you to tear your sealed motor down then they should ” PUT UP OR SHUT UP” Rotax motors are sealed by certified service centers that have way to much to lose by sealing a cheater motor. The fact that some simple minded idiot can buy you out of a race for $50 is disturbing at best, but their the ones who will have to live with that. You did the right thing, and I will to if faced with the same :bs: Its a SAD day when a man feels the need to publish his entire play book to justify his success. Doug, you and your boys are a refreshing addition to the tag senior class and I hope you are here to stay. :cheers:


    Okay where are the other guys on the other side.

    Tell your story!

    You protested now lay it all on the table from your perspective. Where are we wrong?

    This needs to be ironed out quickly, so it will not happen again.

    I talked to one person who was going to move up to the rotax class. This kind of BS does not make a good impression on him or others thinking of joining.

    Dave Galegor

    The protest last Sunday was uncalled for.
    This is exactly why sealed motors and the TAG concept came to be.
    To get away from this kind of crap of motor protest and checkbook racing.
    A lot of time, effort and money has been put into finding the best solution
    for putting all the various TAG motors on an even playing ground by several national sanctioning bodies. And adjustments to the rules for each motor are being made as more is being discovered about the differences in these motor packages.
    As already said, many think it’s all about the motor.
    They forget about chassis setup and driver skill.
    And then they don’t spend the time testing and learning what they need to learn to get the most out of themselves and their racing package.
    If someone wants to protest a motor, then fine let them, but before they open their mouth, they should be ready to cut a check to cover the cost of shipping and resealing the motor via an approved service center.
    Frankly, I hope the ones who want to play the protest game either go to 4 stroke motors or shifters. (Nothing personal on those two setups)
    Then they can checkbook race and point fingers all they want.
    Let’s keep racing affordable, fast, clean and fun.

    Taylor Broekemeier

    I don’t think that there is anything that I can add about this whole deal but I just wanted to let the Welches know that they are a welcome addition to the class!


    I think that teardowns of sealed motors really defeats the purpose for sealed motors. I would like to see protests against sealed motors extend no further than to verify that the motor is properly sealed. If this is not acceptable and sealed motors are going to be torn down, then if the motor is found to be legal, the owner should be reimbursed for the costs of resealing the motor. Races shouldn’t be won through protest economic warfare.

    I am very sorry that Doug and his sons took the brunt of this problem. Doug has always answered my dumb questions gladly and he builds good products. The Welches performance is pushing us all to a higher level. I hope they continue to run TaG.

    There have been a lot of comments on this thread. How can we get the protest policies changed?

    Doug Welch

    I want to thank everyone for your support and kind words. I have no problem with teching any and everything up to breaking the seal. If the seal has to be broken, then it should be done by a certified tech person. In this case, sending the engine to a Rotax shop is the proper way to handle it. First, they have the tools and the expertise to certify the engine is legal. If its out, the the owner pays, if its legal, the protester pays. Fair and simple.

    Rod raised a question that should be answered, is the integrity of the Rotax seal in doubt? In our case, ours engines still have the orginal seal directly from SSC. Since they pulled two off the self and shipped them the same day as orderd, I have no doubt they are just what ever came done the line that day at the Rotax plant.

    If a service center makes an illegal engine and it is discovered, that service center is subject to a very large fine and the loss of their Rotax certification. IMHO, that is too high price to pay for the few $$ they get for an engine. The service centers just don’t do it, pure and simple.

    But lets look at it another way, we were a lot faster than most of the field. For a second, lets assume equal karts and drivers. Do you have any idea how much power we would have to have to make that much of a difference. We’re talking 10 hp here folks. To do that, the engine would have to be highly modified, not just a simple blueprint. No service center on this planet would do that and put their name (seal) on it.

    I completly believe the “seal is the deal”. Do I think every Rotax engine is equal, no, but I don’t think there is an illegal sealed engine out there. Rod, you will always find individuals who don’t think the seal is effective but it is and the motors are relatively equal.

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