Once again I find myself in the position of needing to define AKRA’s position as to concerns and comments being made on this forum. These statements are the official position of AKRA and I will not come back on this forum and enter into a debate as to our position, however as always your opinions will be read and possibly considered. The topics that I will address are as follows first and foremost, what is AKRA’s vision for the Box Stock classes. Secondly, changes that have taken place and why? Finally, AKRA’s committement to you, the racer.
Let’s get started with topic number one. It has been and will always be the intention of AKRA to keep the Box Stock classes cost effective for the racer looking to enjoy karting without having to spend an arm and a leg to do so. AKRA would have preferred these classes to have remained under a claiming rule, but that dog didn’t hunt. We knew from the beginning that many would not be in favor of the claiming rule; we all know the many reasons for that. So we prepared a simple set of tech rules to help control where these classes would go. Unfortunately as always in the world of racing the creative juices began flowing and the real race was on. How do you keep in check the creativity of those searching for that competitive edge? You can blame it on those “GRAY AREAS” as they are often referred to or the racer with deep pockets who will go to any cost to get little Johnny that winners trophy. Neither of which will ever be completely controlled no matter how many rules you have in place. I will use a quote that was made by a man that I have a lot of respect for, Glenn Kenworthy. He made this comment at a WKA board meeting some 15+ years ago, “ You can take 10 of the best 4 cycle engine builders and put them in a room full of spare parts and in 30 days they’ll put a man on the moon; he might be dead, but they’ll put him there.” That to this day is the best analogy that I have ever heard! AKRA can only put in place the rules; it’s up to the Tracks, Promoters, and Racers to see that those rules are adhered to. So with that thought process at hand let’s talk about the changes to date in these classes.
Secondly, the changes that have occurred and why? I’ll try and take them one at a time. The exhaust system and the need for the change from the stock assembly. This was primarily a safety issue, but it was also determined that controlling RPM’s must be a contributing factor in the change process. Why do we need to control rpm’s; the first concern was the stock cast flywheel and secondly how rpm’s would effect the possible failure to other stock components (both of which have an effect on end user costs). The need to duplicate stock levels of exhaust restriction was the key to controlling these two concerns. So we opted to use an existing exhaust system in the field designed by Dan Lemke, the “Winnie Pipe” as referred to by many. It had some issues but after contracting RLV, the leader in kart exhaust systems, most of those issues went away. Then came the fuel tank change, again a safety concern. Next was the issue with the stock air box and the poor filter design. Then came the cam rule, which was for the purpose of stopping the already present $125 handpicked, twisted cam. Now for $35 a racer with a $10 set of feeler gauges could be on equal ground with his fellow racer. The last concern was for the stock flywheel and it’s potential safety issues. AKRA had two main criteria in place for this change. First and foremost that it not create a performance gain (5.4 lbs requirement) and secondly that it would be priced so as not to create a big jump in overall cost of this engine. AKRA’s only concern with the flywheel change was to remove the stock cast flywheel from the racing programs as quickly and reasonably as possible. To date all of the other changes in the rules have been implemented to keep in check the spirit and intent of this stock class. As with the new valve spring rule, heavier springs will lead to more RPM’s, which lead to more money to the racer. WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER $1500 STOCK ENGINE, if you want to play and create, build a BP engine. We need to keep the BS classes as intended. Promoters, Tracks, Sponsors, need to put the big money in the BP classes where it belongs, not in the Box Stock classes! Also Tracks and Promoters don’t need to be making exceptions to the rules that will ultimately add to higher costs for these engines (Big pipes open the door for expensive creativity).
In summary, AKRA will take whatever steps needed to keep the creative juices from taking us down the same path that we traveled with the Flat Head. We don’t like to ad tech changes during the season, but we can’t afford to wait at times when we see things that will have a negative effect on the BS programs ( As Glenn so appropriately stated, let’s don’t put dead men on the moon). As stated in other posts, it’s hard to close a door once it’s open, but there are times when slamming the door on the hand is needed. AKRA’s comittement to you the racer is to fight to keep the BS classes what they were intended to be. Please help us in this effort as we move forward. Your comments are welcome and will be valued as we continue to grow.