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.
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.
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|
|Race 1||February 3rd||Race 1||July 14th|
|Race 2||February 17th||Race 2||August 18th|
|Race 3||March 10th||Race 3||September 8th|
|Race 4||March 24th||Race 4||September 29th|
|Race 5||April 7th||Race 5||October 13th|
|Race 6||April 28th||Race 6||October 27th|
|Race 7||May 26th||Race 7||November 10th|
|Race 8||June 16th||Race 8||Deceember 8th|
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.
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.
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
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!