The people behind the Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) have been working hard since the last round in 2011, reviewing old practices and implementing best practices for a better season ahead.
The 2012 SKC calendar will only be released after the Lunar New Year, but discussions between the SKC team and the Singapore Motor Sport Association (the local motorsports governing body) have resulted in some probable changes to the regulations for this year.
Technicalities aside, some of the potential changes to the SKC that might be of concern to the local race karter community at large include the one about all Singaporean kart racing licence holders needing to participate in at least one round of the SKC 2012 in order to renew their licence for the next year.
Outside of the SKC, there are actually a lot more Singaporean karters racing across the Causeway and even across the globe. For example, Andrew Tang, the Asian Karting Open Championship 2011 Senior champion, did not race in the SKC at all last year and was concentrating his efforts in Europe. Should this regulation be implemented, it means drivers like Andrew have to make a trip back home to do one national round to renew his race licence. [Some extra news: The national ASN actually wanted to have all Singaporean karters go through 3 rounds of the SKC in order to renew their race licence but the SKC team put forward a case and it was eventually decided on 1 round instead.]
In tandem with its objective of educating about motorsports, the SKC has allowed for a programme that enters students from the ITE mechanical course to take part in the series. This gives students the opportunity to drive race karts and gain practical knowledge about mechanics. An independent points system will be created for these ITE students so they effectively have their own championship within and separate from the SKC main championships.
Taking a leaf from the inaugural OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge last year – where companies sent in teams of four drivers to compete in a four-hour endurance race using rental karts – the SKC is looking into having an additional category for sponsors and partners to have a friendly corporate race. Karts used for this new corporate race segment will be rental karts and not the professional race karts of the SKC.
With all these upcoming potentialities, the SKC 2012 season holds immense promise for an exciting year ahead.
Here are the possible changes to the SKC 2012 regulations:
CIK-FIA Weight Classification
The weight classification will follow the CIK-FIA ruling. This will result in the minimum weight being around 10kgs difference to the current regulations.
Engines that will be allowed into the SKC including KF2, KF3, Mini Rok and Rotax Max. This has been decided as 2011 saw very few engines outside these categories, thus allowing an ideal time to simplify the regulations to lower costs in the overall infrastructure of the sport and allowing for industry development.
The education for drivers and teams on how to approach a heated situation will be addressed. This will be done with proper behavior and procedures when interacting with stewards and officials. Information, pre-determined by drivers will dictate roles of responsibility within teams, drivers and parents. This also includes any occurrences do take place such as un-sportmanship behaviour and penalties will be given accordingly. The objective is to educate teams and drivers that sometimes calls don’t go your way and that stewards interpret a set of rules, they are not there to explain fairness or themselves.
Official SKC Tyres
After two seasons with the Yokohama kart tyre, the SKC will be most likely moving to European tyre manufacturer, Vega. The Vega tyre current is the official tyre for World Series karting and has been proven on the world stage in modern times, showing more consistent performances than the Yokohama counterpart.
The engine seal used on the engine to seal after scruteneering will be re-designed to make the engine harder to tamper with.
At the SKC in 2012, there may be an added category that will allow sponsors and partners to take part in the SKC carnival over the weekend. This will be a fun kart race added to help promote new driving experiences with the race being held on the SKC weekend itself.
The SMSA may be adding a new rule that will require Singaporean karters to participate in 1 Singaporean National round per year, in order to renew their licence for the year after. This means that all Singaporean licence holders will need to participate in at least 1 round of the SKC 2012.
Drivers for the SKC will be taken from the ITE Mechanical course. This gives students the opportunity to drive race karts after learning about mechanics, promoting karting within a relevant educational facility. These drivers will run inside the SKC though will have their own championship standings.
*Reference: Singapore Karting Championship official website