We have been inundated by calls and WhatsApp’s expressing surprise, disappointment and objections to this presentation.
Rotax South Africa is also not supportive of the strategy presented last night as it does not consider the wishes of the karters in general and more specifically the Rotax owners that represent over 70% of all karting starts this season. The proposals are also Gauteng-centric, where we prefer to factor in the voices of all the regions around the country.
Over the last 20 years, we have always believed in talking to the Rotax karters and building consensus on how best to run the series. For this reason, we had on several occasions asked MSA and the KWG to hear the views of the karters all around the country before making top-down decrees on the future of the sport. We struggle to understand why they insisted on keeping their drafts so secretive and not factoring in any input from the actual karters.
We believe a key factor in the success of the ROTAX series has been stability. People have come to expect and rely on this from the series. Announcing a wide-ranging and secretive set of changes that do not have popular support just 6 weeks before the start of the new year is not something that we can get behind. If we were to make big changes, we should be looking to 2022 and more importantly making sure that the karters want these changes. Even Formula 1 has frozen regulations for 2021 due to the current environment.
It is important to add that while Ed Murray served as an elected non-executive board director of MSA from September 2017 until he resigned in October 2020, not once during this period was he present during any discussions on karting.
The success of karting all around the country is the sole aim of Rotax and EMR. We will continue to attempt to engage with MSA to make sure that the karters voices are heard. So we ask you to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 082 294 7485 and briefly state your objections as well as approval of positive points of the KWG proposal.
Major concerns we have heard so far seem to include:
- Culling two successful Rotax national classes with 15year+ track record of good international, national & regional racing without any notice or rational reason (Junior Max and DD2 masters are well-loved and supported countrywide and many competitors around the country already have equipment and plans for 2021)
- Killing opportunities for South African youngsters to race at the Rotax World Finals – free of charge
- Moving away from proven age limits (and Global regulations more broadly)
- Combined national race weekends (leading to knock-on issues such as days of sitting around doing nothing + extra hotel cost, cancelling successful classes to make time for less successful ones, etc.)
- Increasing the number of national events to five for the majority of competitors (those who only want to do one series) while pleasing the minority (those who participate in both Rotax and Rok) by reducing the number of Nationals for them from 8 to 5.
- With COVID and current economic hardships perhaps a three-round National is a better solution? Allow both Series to continue independently and for those that want to do both, it will only be six rounds?
We look forward to hearing from you.