Written by Paul Jones
With a successful 2013 season completed (and a celebration of our champions yet to come at the awards banquet on January 25th), it is time to look forward to what is shaping up to be a very exciting 2014 season of kart racing at Gulf Coast Karters in Katy, Tx. We had record participation in the 2013 race season, and the club stands at all-time record membership. These statistics combined with the support of long-time as well as new members of the club will make 2014 the best year yet in the long history of GCKI.
2014 GCKI General Membership Meeting
On Wednesday evening January 8th GCKI held its annual all-members meeting at the Memorial West Community Club. The facility, arranged and hosted by Becky and Bill Choice, continues to serve as an excellent venue for this important event. We had an excellent turnout of members representing all of the classes raced at GCKI. The topics were discussed positively and decisions were reached that will shape the club and form the basis of our operations for the next year.
Finances for 2013 were reviewed in detail. With record racing participation in 2013 as well as the club setting new records for membership, the financial picture of the club is very strong. As a result the club will be reinvesting those funds into strategic facility improvements that will greatly enhance everyone's enjoyment at the track.
Resulting from the adoption of MG-SK tires, the Texas ProKart Challenge will serve as GCKI's 2014 overall Season Sponsor. We were pleased to announce the continued year-over-year support of RPM Motorsports as our 2014 Fall Series sponsor and the introduction of Consolidated Communications as our 2014 Spring Series sponsor. With the reinstatement of the very popular BK Rotax Max Challenge Series, Burger King will serve as the sponsor for that series. Finally, we are grateful for the support of many longtime as well as new GCKI sponsors who have already committed to 2014 namely, ARC Racing, Awesome Shots, Gaddy Web Design, Parcel Plus, Margison Graphics and SwedeTech Racing Engines. Please endeavor to support these great supporters of GCKI whenever your purchasing decisions allow. GCKI is always looking to add businesses that are interested in furthering their exposure through a beneficial affiliation with GCKI. Please contact members of our Sponsorship Committee for details.
2014 GCKI Race Schedule
The membership reviewed the proposal for race dates in the 2014 season. In a best-effort to avoid conflicts with holidays, major karting events, and motorsports events in the Houston, TX area the following schedule was adopted:
|2014 - Spring Series by Consolidate Communications
Race 1 – February 9th
Race 2 – February 23rd
Race 3 - March 16th
Race 4 – March 30th
Race 5 – April 13th
Race 6 – May 4th
Race 7 – May 18th
Race 8 – June 1st
||2014 Fall Series by RPM Motorsports
Race 1 – July 13th
Race 2 – August 10th
Race 3 – September 7th
Race 4 – September 28th
Race 5 – October 12th
Race 6 – October 26th
Race 7 – November 9th
Race 8 – December 7th
Changes to 2014 Rules
Spec Tires – It was agreed by the members that GCKI will adopt MG-SK "whites" tires as our spec tire for all SKUSA-based classes (Tag & Shifter.) MG-HZ "reds" will be the spec tire for cadets. This adoption will have multiple benefits. First and foremost, it enables the club to receive a very generous season sponsorship from the Texas ProKart Challenge and SKUSA. TPKC will also provide a set of tires to each of the 2014 season high-points champions in each of the MG-SK spec classes. This decision also permits GCKI members who participate in the regional TPKC/SKUSA events to only manage one spec of tire. It also enables out-of-town racers to run at GCKI with the same tires they would use at sanctioned SKUSA events. This rule will be in effect as of the first race of the 2014 season. CHONDA Senior racers will have the option to run MG "yellows" or adopt the MG "whites" as their tire of choice. (no awards tires will be offered.) Rotax sanctioned classes will utilize that series' specified compound of MOJO tires. Kid kart tires will remain "open." Chonda Cadets will continue to use MOJO D1 tires. Rain tires will continue to be open for all non-Rotax classes. MOJO "wets" will be mandatory for Rotax rain races.
Rotax Class Rule Changes – The main change in Rotax for 2014 affects those who run in the Mini Max class. In effort to eliminate the performance phenomenon that has come to be known as "turbo" the sanctioning body has specified a minimum squish gap of 2.80mm. Further, they are mandating the installation of two intake reed pedal stoppers. Both of these changes must be completed by certified Rotax engine builders. In order to enable GCKI participants to make the required changes, these rules will go into effect beginning at Spring Race 3.
BK Rotax Challenge Series – Burger King (facilitated through Dave Pauly, owner of 3G Karting) will once again be supporting the BK Rmax Challenge Series at GCKI. Final details are still being ironed out. The benefit to GCKI members will be that they can race at GCKI and receive the all-important "punches" required to qualify for national Rotax-sanctioned events. The BK Challenge Series will act as a series-within-a-series with certain race dates to be designated as sanctioned races. All national Rotax rules will apply to competitors registering for those races.
SKUSA Class Rules – Another benefit of adopting the MG-SK tires for all SKUSA-spec classes is the allowance of GCKI to adopt the official SKUSA rulebook for our club. However, we have been granted permission to have certain local deviations as best suit the membership. Most importantly, GCKI will continue to allow legacy models of TaG engines to compete on a weight-basis that we have found to be historically very competitive and fair as outlined below.
Class A (Sr 385 lbs, Master 420) Rok TT, Sonik TX 125, IAME Dragon
Class B (Sr 380 lbs, Master 415) Motori 7
Class C (Sr 365 lbs, Master 400) Leopard* (original and MY09), Rotax*, X30*
Class D (Sr 355 lbs, Master 390) PRD Fireball 2008
*TaG Junior equivalents at 320 lbs.
Shifter Classes – In keeping with GCKI's policy of being a good neighbor to the communities that surround our facility we have agreed to adopt measures that limit the noise output of our loudest class of race karts – shifters. The following SKUSA verbiage will be incorporated into our class rules for shifters:
Air boxes mandatory for all shifter classes. Must be in stock form with NO MODIFICATIONS to the box or the inlet tubes. Air boxes may have up to 3 inlet tubes, each not to exceed 29mm +- 1mm inside diameter and 95mm minimum length. Approved air boxes are limited to CIK approved and RLV. (S-5 per SKUSA rules)
Further the following will be added to GCKI's general rules:
Effective 2/9/14 - Air boxes are mandatory for all shifter karts on track at any time (practice and race days) at the facility. Air boxes must conform to GCKI class rules. Shifter karts without an air box will not be permitted on track.
CHONDA Class Rules – CHONDA & CHONDA Cadet remain as two of GCKI's most successful classes – appealing to new and experienced racers alike, and continuing to grow. The spirit-and-intent of CHONDA at GCKI is to ensure that CHONDA remains a low-cost, competitively equal racing class. However, rules changes by the national sanctioning body for "clone-engine" competition has resulted in disparities in the engine rules of many local tracks from where GCKI could also draw racers to our events. The biggest disparity is in the area of the engine flywheel. As a result the GCKI membership as adopted the provision that CHONDA senior classes will permit the use of nationally-allowed flywheels. GCKI's rules for flywheels will be updated with the wording below:
Approved Flywheels, with a minimum weight of 3.3 pounds. No modification or removal of "fins" is allowed:
• RaceSeng RSP-13-075 & 077 Rev Wheel F-S1 ™
• ARC-6619 flywheel ™
• ARC-6618 flywheel ™
• Dyno PVL flywheel ™
• King Wheel Billet Steel DJ-168F-16200-A ™
• King Billet Aluminum Slipstream Flywheel ™
Steel BSFW-1 flywheels will remain permitted in CHONDA Senior class.
To minimize the financial impact to GCKI members we will be implementing a flywheel buy-back program. GCKI will purchase used BSFW-1 Steel Flywheels from GCKI members-in-good-standing through Spring Race 4 for a price of $50 per flywheel. This transaction will only be conducted at scheduled GCKI races 1 through 4. Anyone wishing to trade-in their flywheel can do so at the registration desk by showing a valid GCKI membership card. The flywheel must be in original, unmodified, and undamaged condition.
CHONDA Cadet will continue to require BSFW-1 steel flywheels. Thus, no modification is necessary to any existing cadet engines. Persons wishing to purchase a BSFW-1 steel flywheel may do so via any commercial "clone" engine parts supplier or through GCKI at any GCKI scheduled club race or through a select group of GCKI-designated distribution channels.
The claimer price for a CHONDA engine (senior or cadet ) will increase to $350 owing to increasing costs of the base engine.
To ensure that the spirit-and-intent of CHONDA racing is clearly understood the following wording will be added into GCKI's official rules:
All parts must be Box Stock factory production parts unless otherwise specified in this rules manual. No machining or alteration of parts is allowed unless specifically noted. All parts will be subject to a comparison to a known Box Stock part.
2014 GCKI Officers, Elected Board of Trustee, Compensated and Position Volunteers
We continue to see more and more membership involvement in the leadership of the club. For 2014, we'll see a healthy mix of continued service by experienced club veterans along with the introduction of fresh talent into our key positions.
|Voluntary Officer Roles
President – Paul Jones
Vice President – Patrick Roth
Treasurer – Bill & Becky Choice
Membership Director – Scott Boone
Compensated Race-Day Roles
Race Director – Joel Yelton
Tech Inspector – Frank D'Angelo
Race Secretary – To be announced
Assistant Race Secretary – Krischen Rodriguez
Starter – Austin Johnson
Timing and Scoring – Michael Hopkins
Concessions – Elise Yelton
Track Director – Bryan Joplin
Assistant Track Director – David McKee
Trophies and Awards – Michelle Watts
Championship Points – Pier Alvarado
Sponsorship Committee – Rick Gero*, Brian Warwas, Gerald Dasbach
|Elected Board of Trustees
Bill Choice (Serving year 2 of 2 year term)
David McKee (Serving year 2 of 2 year term)
John Bartos (Elected to a 2-year Term)
Brad Johnson (Elected to a 2-year Term)
I would like to thank all the outgoing, incoming and continuing leadership and volunteers of GCKI. Without your dedication and help, the success of this club would not be possible. I would personally like to thank John Bartos, whom as President of GCKI, has played an instrumental role in bringing our club to a level of success we have not seen before. Although John will be stepping down from his role as President for a much deserved rest, he will remain on as an elected Board of Trustees member. While John's day to day duties with the club will be lightened, his experience and wisdom will continue to guide us and remain an asset to the club.
Here is wishing everyone a safe, competitive and FUN 2014 season at GCKI!