Better late than never! Spring weather is finally here and with that comes the opening of kart tracks across Canada and the opening races for many karting clubs. We have all endured a very long off-season and have definitely been looking forward to the first race of the season for far too long!
Personally, I can’t wait for the season to start and to get back to race tracks across the country to see all your lovely faces. We, as a karting community, are a tightly-knit family to be sure, but in all honesty our family is getting thin lately. And that is something I’d like to see change through the next couple of years.
So to CKN Nation and karting enthusiasts everywhere, I propose to you a new karting resolution: grow our sport by introducing new members to our karting family.
The class or program doesn’t matter. These new faces don’t need to race in the ECKC or the WCC, or be a Canadian Champion in 2015. These new racers just need to start off at any of our karting clubs or Arrive-and-Drive series and support entry-level racing. Some will move up in time, others not, but certainly club or Arrive-and-Drive racing can be a great experience in its own right and the sport as a whole will benefit from having new participants. My career in the seat was five race seasons, and club racing was the majority of it with a couple of Regional races thrown in. I loved chasing trophies week after week while learning more about the higher levels of our sport and I believe new faces can too.
So I ask you all, bring a few friends to join you at a race this year. Introduce them to our sport. Show them videos and pictures, and let them know how much fun it really is. If they like it and show interest, point them in the direction of a kart club or Arrive-and-Drive program. If they can’t make it to a race, have them join you at a test day. A single kart can be as infectious as a full field and lead to the same result in the end. Or if they can’t make it to a race, have them schedule a session at one of the many coast to coast stops of KartSTART presented by Toyota (www.kartstart.ca); a great program to help inform and get potential racers into kart seats to try it out.
2014 Toyota KartSTART Event Dates:
|Nicku, AB (Edmonton)
|Delaware, ON (London)
|Innisfil, ON (Toronto)
|Saint Eustache, QC (Montreal)
|Dieppe, NB (Moncton)
Club operators like Daniel Di Leo at Goodwood Kartways or Gord Costello at Lombardy Karting know what it takes to get potential racers in the karting seat, but they need people to spread the word as well. Arrive-and-Drive programs like those at SRA Karting and PSL Montreal also do a great job of introducing the sport, but many don’t hear the message. And on the west coast there are many tracks and clubs that would welcome new members, and word of mouth is free.
We all need to become promotors of our sport. As successful as our National and Regional championships are, the future prospect pool has thinned over the years and that doesn’t look good for our future. We all love to talk about our sport and know more than enough about it, so spread the word and let’s take karting conversations outside the limits of each track property and get some more karters on track across the country.
Easiest start – share this story. Post it to your social media, email it to your friends, pass it around. Let’s get this idea in front of everyone and put this plan into action. I know we can do it. I know we can grow our sport.
See you at the track soon.
– Cody Schindel