Welcome to Midstate Ohio Kart Club
If you've been around racing at all you know karting is the
training ground that develops winners. The Mid State Ohio Kart Club is proud to be the Central Ohio's
largest active sprint kart racing organization.
Our members will be competing at several tracks in the Midwest this season. Real head down, wheel-to-wheel, bugs-on-your-visor, gut-check racing.
Bill Davis - President - MSOKC
24 Dec 2015
It's been awhile since I posted an article here but I have posted articles on the Forum and as acting Secretary for the Board, I have been submitting the minutes of the BOD meetings. Here is an article that I posted a couple years ago that's still relevant. Background of the article is that I fielded a Predator engine into the Clone class. Dale was my driver. One of the other crew Chiefs, Kevin Roach, took great exception to my entering an engine that did not meet the specs for the Clone Class. As I said, this is still relevant today in that we need to be creative to try to get our Club growing.
Oct 13, 2013
Predator is a Clone:
There are several clone engine manufactures: Box Stock Project, Dupor. Dufan, Champion, Lefan, Greyhound, and Predator, and probably more. As with any of these brands, I contend that the Predator is a clone and therefore a viable entry in the "Clone" class.
The Predator's black paint job stands out from the yellow, blue, and red engines. So what ? It's just another color. Since they are readily available at Harbor Freight, as was its predecessor, the Blue Greyhound, its adoption into racing in general and MSOKC is particular is inevitable. Predator is coming and there is no way to stop it from coming. In Kevin's recent post, he encouraged us to travel to and observe other tracks. I've done just that and attended races at about a half dozen tracks. About half of the entries in the clone classes are Black Predators. As I mentioned above, since they are so available at the neighborhood Harbor Freight, allot of new blood is attracted into racing by the Predator's $100 price tag just like the Greyhound did. With this in mind, like when Steve Tatman and I first got the Clone class going in MSOKC only a brief 3 years ago, I thought it was time to see how the Predator Clone stacked up with the other colored engines at our track.
Yes, granted, the Predator has more cc than the others so it wouldn't pass the 200 cc tech, but the Predator's head and cam are vastly detuned relative to the other colors so I didn't think it had a competitive advantage.
When I entered a Predator into the Clone class, I was very aware of the "spirit and intent" rule and in no way was my intent to cheat and to enter that engine and gain a competitive advantage. Had it "blown people away", I would have asked my driver Dale to disqualify himself and forfeit any points that he may have earned for the race day.
As it turned out, in no way did that engine have even a semblance of an advantage over the other engines as evidenced by its finish in the rear end pack, the slower fourth as Matt spelled it. In no way did I then or do I now think we were cheating because we didn't even come close to the others in the field, some of whom were running 2 to 3 seconds faster lap times. Cheating to me is gaining an unfair advantage and as the results showed, the engine was actually at a disadvantage. How anyone ( Kevin ? ) could take offense to my team running in the class is beyond me. Again, I contend that the Predator is just another Clone and it's not another class being mixed in.
For arguments sake however, even if it were, let's address the issue of it being another class "mixed in".
In his post, Kevin encouraged us to be innovative and try new things to grow the kart count. As I mentioned above, the Predator's low cost and availability will definitely help - proof being the popularity of the engine at other tracks. At the upcoming indoor season, I challenge everyone to go watch some races and count the number of Predators.
Also, back in the golden years of karting, there were classes comprised of different engines. When I raced back then, I remember how superior I felt revving my Power Products 61 alongside a competitor's Mac 7 or another guy's West Bend 610. What fun it was to razz each other about how much better our engine was. Even today though, much to Greg Wilkinson's dismay, different engine brands routinely race together in the TAG class.
So, I've noted some advantages of letting the Black Predator mix it up literally with the Yellows, Blues, and Reds. Notably, cost, availability, kart count, and competition. I do agree that we'll need to figure out a set of specs for the engine. Also someone will figure out how to put that engine's additional displacement to advantage. However, several years ago, if you recall in the CART series, Roger Penske saw an inherent advantage in the not-to-commonly-used-at-the-time Mercedes engine and applied the "Penske Magic" to it and essentially dominated the field during one season. If something like that happens, we can make adjustments just like is done in the TAG class.
My point is though, in the meantime, our kart count needs a good shot in the arm. Also, if we can get more karts, we could to split the Predators into their own class and even into light/heavy weight, Novice/Experienced, Claiming/Open, or create a Masters Class --- lots of different combinations. I agree with Kevin, ( see, Kevin, we do agree sometimes ) innovations will make things interesting and help us grow.
Cost is and always has been a barrier to getting people to enter our great sport. An AKRA ( our existing rule ) compliant engine costs about $650 for a bare ( no clutch, chain guard, exhaust ) blueprinted engine as opposed to a stock Predator engine purchased from Harbor Freight for $119. No, the Predator engine won't beat a McCall B/P ( for example ) as explained in the above article, but at least it gets guys in -------- WHICH IS THE IMPORTANT THING. -------- Once we get them in, the potential is infinite !!!
If you follow the BOD minutes, you will see that we are creating a Predator class for the Juniors. Eight kids so far and it's still 2015. Butch has sold 5 kart packages with Predator engines and I have sold 3. I'm really excited about getting kids going in this low cost, starter class. As indicated above, we can get Seniors going too by allowing the Predators in the Clone class. No, they won't be competitive at first, but keep mind, my main objectives are KART COUNT and GROWTH ! Also, let's get your heads out of the sand and look around ! OVKA is already running Predators ( called the "212 Class" ) where they have the Predator and they allow the 196 AKRA Yellow engines as well as the 206's. Kinda opposite of what I'm advocating. A great, fun class ---- to get people in ---- at a low cost. Predators are very common in Indoor racing and the dirt tracks.
As another approach, for people who want more speed/power, we made good progress in revitalizing the Yamaha Can Class a couple years ago. Mike, Brian, Chris, and Grant had some good, fun battles and had 11 entries by the end of the year. Dizmore stayed with the Cans at New Castle as well as one of the other real big kart series and WKA has returned to the Can for 2016. ( too bad OVKA followed WKA's ill-fated approach to go to the Yamaha pipe. ) The point is, following the old adage " stand still long enough and you'll be on the cutting edge of technology." The Yamaha can class can make a big comeback in our club if we focus on it. Dale has one and I've got a Cook B/P / First Kart that just needs a driver. Any Volunteers ?
2016 will be an exciting year with the reuniting of our Club and CRP. We are going to race at some other tracks also such as Wilmington and maybe even Adkins, so we will do some traveling which will make for some extra fun. See Ya'll then.
In closing, on another issue, we are in the process of seating a new Board of Directors for 2016 and in addition, my term as your President is also expiring. Butch and I need to discuss who will run next year and anyone else of you out there need to express your interest and intentions as well.
President - MSOKC
Cell/Text 740 364 8013