An updated official version of GCKI's Rules and Procedures as well as an update to GCKI's Classes and Class Specification have been published. The updates are in accordance with the decisions of GCKI's members as reached in our all member meeting earlier in the month. Where appropriate, the Classes also follow established national sanctioning body guidelines. We've highlighted the changes to the documents for 2013 to make it easier to see the changes. Please familiarize yourself with all rules and regulations. Except where specifically noted these rules will be in effect immediately beginning with Spring Race 1 on February 3rd. It is each competitor's responsibility to ensure that they have the proper tires, fuel, oil, etc to be in compliance with these rules.
The attached file contains the identified fastest lap times per class for events held at GCKI in 2012. Each year the lap times are reset, and the GCKI members recording the fastest times at any officially timed event at GCKI during qualifying or racing are recognized at the annual banquet.
Times posted to MyLaps are the offical times of record. Everyone is encouraged to review the document. This is still a painstakingly manual process to review every session for every race and pick out the fastest times per class. You know your performance better than anyone, and despite great care in reviewing the numbers - it is possible an error could have been made. The results for 2012 become official at midnight Friday January 25th, 2013. To report an error contact John Bartos at
With a successful 2012 season completed (and a celebration of our champions yet to come at the awards banquet on January 26th), it is time to look forward to what is shaping up to be a very exciting 2013 season of kart racing at Gulf Coast Karters in Katy, Tx. We had great racing participation in the fall season of 2012, and a great turn-out for the recent Winter Blast. Both are good signs of things to come.
2013 GCKI General Membership Meeting
On Tuesday 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 turn-out of both new and longtime members who worked passionately and cooperatively to shape the direction of the club for the coming year.
Finances for 2012 were reviewed in detail, and it has become clear that the costs of operating the club – particularly in running races, have gone up substantially year over year. GCKI remains financially strong, and our commitment to putting every dime the club earns back into facility improvements continues. After a lot of thoughtful discussion it was ultimately agreed that the best way to address the rising costs of conducting races was to increase the race fees for both members and non-members by $10. Prices for wrist-bands for spectators and annual membership fees will remain unchanged.
We were pleased to announce the support of RPM Motorsports as our Spring Series sponsor and the return of Trailer World Katy as our Fall Series Sponsor. Please consider both of these businesses when making your purchasing decisions.
2013 GCKI Race Schedule
One of the most critical discussions held during the meeting was the date for the first race of the season. After much deliberation, it was agreed to hold our first points race in 2013 on Sunday February 3rd (yes it's Superbowl Sunday, and as we just proved at the Winter Blast, we can hold a very efficient day of racing and get everyone home in time to see the commercials ahead of kick-off.) From there, the schedule was massaged to continue with our dual 8-race series concluding in Houston's best-weather days in early December.
2013 GCKI Spring Series
2013 GCKI Fall Series
Changes to 2013 Rules
Spec Tires – It was agreed by the members that GCKI will continue with MG Yellow Tires as our spec tire (and club sponsor) for non-Rotax classes. This rule will be in effect as of the first race of the 2013 season. (Kid kart tires will remain "open.") It was agreed that the Chonda Cadets will continue to use MOJO tires (see note below on compounds and timing of that change.) Rain tires will continue to be open for all non-Rotax classes. MOJO "wets" will be mandatory for Rotax rain races. Scrubbed rains will continue to be permitted at club events.
Rotax Class Rule Changes – Rotax national rules have not yet been formally established. Many changes have been discussed, and are in the process of being adopted. Most of the changes relate to slowing down the classes for younger drivers – Micro Max, Mini Max and Junior. One change that appears to be imminent is the change to MOJO D1 tire compounds (from the current D2 compound). GCKI membership agreed to set the standard of MOJO D1 compound as the spec tire for all Micro, Mini and Junior classes. This rule is in effect beginning with Spring Race 1. All other Rotax rule changes will be evaluated as they are finalized at the national level and may be adopted by the club with a reasonable phase-in period.
SKUSA Class Rules – To offer the added flexibility of new racers joining the series in shifter class, GCKI will adopt the S2 class formally into our structure.
Mini Rok - The use of an air filter will remain optional. MG Red will be the spec tire.
CHONDA Class Rules – CHONDA & CHONDA Cadet remain as two of GCKI's most successful classes – appealing to new and experienced racers alike, and continue to grow. There have been many changes to the AKRA rules for engine specifications during 2012, and those rules continue to be in flux. It was agreed by the membership that it is in the best interest of GCKI members to keep our rules as consistent (and cost-effective) as practical. The single component affected most by this decision is the engine flywheel. The ARC Racing BSFW-1 steel flywheel (mandated prior to the 2012 Fall Season) remains our only legal flywheel option. Many other tracks in the country have followed AKRA's allowance of billet-aluminum flywheels – but the membership agreed that the fact that these can effectively double the cost of the engine package (along with a substantial increase in performance) goes against the spirit-and-intent of the class.
Due to availability of engines, sheet metal color will be a non-tech item.
The requirement for full-width rear bumpers for CHONDA Classes remains in effect. However it was clarified that during rainy conditions (when declared a "wet race" by the race director) that the rear tires must remain at least even with the full extent of the rear bumper. That is, the rear bumper may not protrude beyond the rear tires under any conditions.
CHONDA Cadet – Resulting from the changes to the Rotax cadet classes, CHONDA Cadet tires will become MOJO D1 beginning in Spring Race 4. Either D1 or D2 compounds may be used during the first three races. This should ensure the continued availability of used tires for racers to claim.
Kid Kart Class – Burris Castor 927 oil will become the spec oil. The stock washer or a head temperature sensor must be used under the spark plug.
2013 Facility Improvements
Our initial and primary focus will remain our commitment to be "good neighbors" to the surrounding community. The leadership of GCKI is working to develop a plan to install a noise-abatement fence/wall surrounding the north perimeter of the track. The expense of performing this necessary improvement will dictate the remainder of this year's facility improvements.
2013 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 2013, we'll see a healthy mix of continued service by experienced club veterans along with the injection of fresh talent into our key positions.
Voluntary Officer Roles President – John Bartos Vice President – Patrick Roth Treasurer – Bill Choice Technical Director – Eric Meservey Competition Director – Paul Jones Membership Director – Marcia Bartos
Compensated Race-Day Roles Race Director – Joel Yelton Tech Inspector – Currently Open – Seeking nominations Race Secretary – Marcia Bartos Assistant Race Secretary – Sandra Roth / Becky Choice Starter – Austin Johnson Timing and Scoring – Michael Hopkins Concessions – Elise Yelton
Volunteer Positions Track Director – David Young Assistant Track Director – Paul Jones Trophies and Awards – Michelle Watts Championship Points – David Pergande Sponsorship Committee – Scott Boone, Mark Reid, Brian Warwas
Elected Board of Trustees Bill Choice (Elected to a 2-year Term) David McKee (Elected to a 2-year Term) Bryan Joplin (Serving year 2 of 2 year term) Brad Johnson (Serving year 2 of 2 year term)
Here is wishing everyone a safe, competitive and FUN 2013 season at GCKI!
By popular demand, GCKI is planning to hold the annual Winter-Blast, non-points, fundraiser, fun race. The planned date is Sunday January 5th. The event will be conditional upon two factors – the weather and the willingness of people to volunteer. If the prediction is for rain or temperatures below 45 degrees on Sunday per the “Weather Bug” forecast on Friday January 3rd – the race will be cancelled.
All current 2013 class rules and driver eligibilities will apply to this event.
Additionally, we will need the following positions filled – (2) volunteer corner workers (we already have 1 volunteer), assistant race secretary (wristbands), scales, grid. Please respond to this posting with your willingness to commit to one of these positions at
. Workers will qualify for 2014 Spring Series worker points for the driver of their choice. If the roles are not filled by Friday January 3rd with volunteers – the race will be cancelled.
When you visit the HVP website be sure to check out the TPKC DVD ~ Only $15, it includes all the TPKC race videos with a 15 minute Main Presentation and a digital copy of the DVD cover! The DVD will be for sale at the TPKC BBQ Banquet & Awards Ceremony September 29th!
A big "Thank You!" to all the racers that attended Fall 2 and everyone is invited to attend Fall 3 next weekend on August 19th. If you can't make it out to the track be sure to watch the live timing & scoring here on the website with live chat also to give your favorite driver a shout out!
An Introduction to Kid Karting - A New Racer's Dad's Perspective
This is a great time to become involved with the GCKI Kid Kart program for young racers age 5 to 8. There are several new 5 year olds currently starting, and the more involvement we can get generated now, the more even the playing field will be the rest of the year. Growing our organization will also insure outstanding possibilities for next year’s young drivers. We consider Kid Karting an exhibition class, and all finishers earn trophies at the awards ceremony held after each race. I can tell you the kids get the full fledged experience in every aspect that any professional racer would feel. This has by far been the single best sport I have been involved in with my son and one that has held his attention the longest. It has taught him patience, confidence, dedication, and discipline, which he has been learning together with the other youngsters at the track. I had the same concerns any parent would have about his safety by allowing him to get behind the wheel of what resembles a miniature Indy car. However, GCKI makes safety as a top priority which is such an important consideration for us all. Everyone at the track has been fantastic about sharing information, emphasizing safety, and making the karts competitive and fun to drive. At GCKI we found a great group of people and a wonderful club to be a involved with. One of my favorite parts of joining GCKI was that we had access to the track anytime and could arrange practice with equally experienced drivers via the forum and email. The times we’ve shared the facilities with more experienced drivers they were all fantastic about taking turns on the track so I never had the worry of my son making a mistake or being intimidated by a faster driver. GCKI encourages the use of their forum, where many more questions can be answered. Our club membership has paid off in ways I cannot begin to describe.
For more information on getting started, please contact any of the GCKI volunteers or you can contact me at
- I'd be glad to help you get started, the same way others have helped me.
It has truly been an awesome experience for my son and me!
Thanks to everyone who came out and braved the weather for GCKI's first race of the Fall Season. We had a pretty impressive turn-out all things considered, and those competitors who raced in the changing conditions looked to be having a blast. GCKI is fortunate to have several high-quality photographers supporting us this year. Many thanks to Ryan Hollis from "RTH Photography" and Kenny Lau from "Awesome Shots" who come to the track to shoot the action at GCKI. Please continue to support them by visiting their sites.
At the club’s May board meeting, membership totals were tallied. As of mid-May, GCKI now enjoys 336 total members (master members and associates.) This far eclipses the club’s old record of 300 total members set in March of 2010 (before the global economic downturn.) It also represents a greater than 10% increase in our total membership from just the start of this year. The surge in membership is attributed to a number of factors – the excitement surrounding the Texas Pro Kart Challenge, the growing field of Chonda and Chonda Cadet classes as well as the hard-work and dedication of a core group of club members to make GCKI the best karting experience in the United States.
GCKI is grateful to all who continue to support the club. Please help spread the word. Like lap records – this is one record, we hope will continue to be broken over and over again!
Joe Bauhs & Bryan Joplin - Spreading the parking lotThis week a dedicated team of GCKI volunteers worked very hard to make improvements to our facility. Mike Hewitt arranged for 45 tons of crushed concrete and 75 tons of granular asphalt to be delivered to the track. Bill Choice, Bryan Joplin and Joe Bauhs did the "heavy lifting" using much slower machinery than we usually have racing around our grounds. The goal was to fill in the low spots in our paddock area to improve drainage and reduce the puddles we've seen this year on our rainy race weekends. Anyone coming out to this weekend's races will surely notice an improvement. We will be calling for a few work days ahead of the big TPKC races, and are hopeful many of our other members will be able to join us.
Jennifer Vogel of KIAH TV Houston's local Channel 39 came out to Gulf Coast Kartway to feature the kart club on the TV show "Anything That Rolls". Come out to GCKI on a race day to see for yourself how much fun it is to race and watch close open wheel racing at Gulf Coast Kartway. Check out our Race Schedule for race dates. Spectator passes are only $5 per person. We look forward to seeing you at the track!
Thanks to the heroic efforts of a volunteer crew of GCKI members, race fans attending upcoming events at the GCKI track will be able to view the excitement in total comfort. A new awning has been installed completely covering the new aluminum bleachers in most welcome shade. The new awning system features a high-tech remote control enabling the covers to be opened for races, then retracted to preserve them from wind and sun damage. The effect on anyone sitting in the bleachers is very dramatic. The sun is totally blocked while completely preserving the excellent viewing lines of the track. So fear not the Houston summer heat - come out and watch the next races under the shade of our newest track improvement.
Gulf Coast Karters offers racers of any age the opportunity to go wheel to wheel in high-tech, high performance racing machines. Our recently expanded 0.7 mile kart road racing track provides the challenge. You provide the kart, the skill and the mettle against the best the Houston area has to offer.
Located just northwest of Katy, Texas, Gulf Coast Kartway is Houston's oldest kart racing club with an exceptional racing facility and annual memberships available at a very low cost. With your membership to Gulf Coast Karters you get virtually unlimited access to Gulf Coast Kartway on non-race dates for practice or just to go have fun. There are a wide variety of racing classes available, from 30 MPH "Kid Karts" for young kids, all the way up to 48 HP, 0-60 MPH in 3.5 second "125cc Shifters" that rival any car on the street. Check out our year-round racing schedule and more about Gulf Coast Karters on the links provided above.
Get off the couch, stop watching and START RACING! You'll see why ALL of the top road racing drivers in Formula One, Champcar, IRL and NASCAR got their start in kart racing.
CLICK HERE to learn how to become a GCKI Member! It's the best motor sports bargain in Houston!