Archive for June, 2009


DATE: June 15, 2009
AIM releases a new product called the SmartyCam .

 The SmartyCam is a NEW concept in the way to capture onboard  true digital high resolution colour video and audio with Data overlay for all forms of sporting advents, including Motor Sports - Cars, Bikes, Boats and Karts. It can also be used on such things as cycles, parachuting and hand gliding to mention a few.

This incredible little system can capture colour video in very high resolution at rates never used before in an all-in-one small compacted device. It will overlay data on the video and audio. It has built-in GPS for Track Mapping, Lap Timing, G-Forces, Speed and record video with overlay of all Items as  a standalone unit.

SmartyCam can also be connected to your My-Chron 4 for Karting to produce Track Maps, Lap Timing (without the need for magnetic sensor or infrared  beacons), Video with RPM, Temp, Speed and Lap Times overlayed on the Video from the onboard  high resolution digital camera.

All this is recorded to a SD card which will hold at a minimum of 4 hours Video / audio and Data. The SD card can be remove and played back on a PC or downloaded to PC  via USB.

This is a great driver training tool while watching video to show position and driving technique with data overlay.

At this present time, the camera does not function as a data logger hence GPS data cannot be transferred into the AIM Race Studio software.

KartingSingapore has received stocks of SmartyCams and is now selling the product through its website. For more info, email to







SmartyCam Layout


The Universal TaG Debate

DATE: June 10, 2009

Can there be equal footing in a race where competitors mount different tires and engines?

How does an organisation go about ensuring fair competition amongst race participants?

As follows are some of my personal thoughts on the matter.


# rules for a competition season need to be set early to provide time for participants to prepare their budget and equipment appropriately.

# all participants are invited to attend a “town hall” meeting to run through the proposed rules. Rules that are opposed can be amended to an agreed settlement as long as the number of particpants opposing the rule number a sizeable minority (more than 20%), hence a simple majority (above 50%) cannot bulldoze through a rule. Competition rules that are set cannot be changed for the season and the onus of ensuring that individual interest is met falls solely on each participant - hence attendance for the “town hall” meeting is important.

# as I see it, a single Open category cannot meet the needs and wants of every participant. A competition in which multiple engines, no fixed engine/carburetor specifications, no single tire rule is going to create inequalities and unhappiness. The fraction into individual classes is probably the best solution to narrow this gap - the question is how to do this without narrowing down the field and diluting the racing experience - perhaps it is to recognise the creation of 2-3 class types but have participants in these class types participate in the same race. Hence, a single race can have a RMC-rule class, an Open TaG class (includes 250cc 4 strokes and TaG engines up to 40bhp) and a Shifter/Aixro/and other engines (i.e. 40bhp TaGs, possibly DD2, Stock Motos, TaG ICC’s with a weight credit).

I believe the British have recognised this hence run single engines classes (with the exception of the CIK FIA standard class) whilst the equality for all and free speech Americans seems to have an open can of worms which is the Tag class (a mix of 125cc engines and 250cc 4 strokes).

# in the event that an Open class requires weight balancing, it must be done in an objective manner.

In GT racing, the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (abbreviated as SRO) are responsible for promotion, support, and organization of various national and international auto racing series around the world. The SRO requires the teams to submit their cars for a Balance of Performance test in which the SRO’s official drivers run these cars on a track day and determine the penalties (i.e. weight, etc) that each different car make will run so as to create a balanced field amongst the different cars of varying make, bhp, weight, etc.

Likewise, the  track operator or a select panel of independent experienced karters can run dyno tests of all the different engines. Conversely, this panel could arrnage a track weekend to run the various engines which are to partake in the following competition year, for an objective determination on the weight distributions for each engine.


I have inserted some extracts from two adjoined threads on The argument in the TaG class is never-ending and I have included it in to show the very wide disparity of views on the matter. (Bear in mind 1 pound = 0.4536kg)

Billy Smith

Lower the weights for all the tag engines. Reduce the weight for each engine by at least 10, or even 20 pounds.

That way your ideal sized 150 or 160 pound kart racer could run a leopard or a rotax with no additional weight.

Heavier people could continue to run the more powerful engines. I have no problem running together with the 4 stroke engines.

People say the weights are so high because the average person in this country weighs almost 200 pounds. However, the average person is out of shape.

I would say that the average kart racer is in much better shape than the average person. Why not lower the weights because of that?

Chuck Skowron

The average club karter, the type of karter the TaG class was designed for, is usually NOT around 150-160 lbs., but a bit higher. And for many, its not
because they are obese, but because they are a few inches taller than what is considered normal height.

So lowering weights wouldn’t help the majority of TaG racers. (Although some of the road racing weights may be a bit high.)

Further compounding this weight problem are some of the younger, scrawnier drivers in the senior classes, who look as if they are still struggling to reach pubescence. And as a result, multiple TaG weight classes are formed to accommodate both ends of the spectrum.

Bob Ogden

Billy, you don’t state your age, but I’d guess you’re younger than the TaG target market. If I was in my mid-thirties, I might agree with you since at that age I was a strapping 160 pounds. Now, 25-30 years later, I’ve succumbed to what many call middle age spread. Not for lack of exercise, I own and maintain a 10 acre lot, mostly by hand. I also work out 3-5 days a week. It’s an aging phenomenon that none of us at 30 or younger are ever going to experience. Sadly, most, and I emphasize most, do. Like others have said here, TaG appealed to me in the beginning because it was targeted for older club racers who aren’t going to be climbing any racing ladders or running any national series (with the exception of what Tom Argy envisioned as TaG festivals). Thankfully, many clubs are seeing it that way as well.

Now, I’m not going to suggest you go race ICA or ICC or whatever, but I will suggest you put the weight on the kart and go out and play in the current format. If you’re young and aspiring to a professional racing career, then ICA is probably the best place for you.

Brent Meienburg

You get a 5lb advantage if you race WKA series instead of TaGUSA rules. And it is the only TaG class in Mfg Cup WKA and Divisional Series, so you would smoke all us “normal” sized people. Perfect for lighter weight guys.

Jon Marshall

But thats just the point. Tag is for those of us who are under 35, are tall, are football players and are right on the edge of the weights as it is (like me).

Lets face it the only thing that lower weights would really do is give the small guys an unfair advantage, and you should admit this is really your purpose. Now whether it is because you are not skilled enough to compete on a level field, or because you don’t have the confidence in yourself I don’t know.

Lowering the weight will just result in the bigger guys will not even bothering with karts, and just go race cars. The class will die, and you will be left wondering what happened.

I got into karting because of Tag being competitive for people like myself who were not little guys but were in athletic, in excellent shape, talented and could get out and race without having to spend the $’s full size cars take. If the rules were as you proposed I doubt I would be competitive and I’d just go back to racing real cars.

Billy Smith

I’m really not looking for an advantage. I just dont like filling my seat with holes in it to strap all the extra weight to the kart. I don’t like lifting a heavy kart either. Even with a weight reduction, I will have to add weight. Then I won’t have to add as much weight.

Is the average person under 35 really tipping the scales at almost 200 pounds?

As far as I can tell, most of the fast guys weigh about 150 to 160 pounds, or even less, and have a ton of weight added to their karts. It seems like it is the heavier guys who can’t drive that are always using the extra weight as an excuse for not being competitive.

Kevin Willmorth

Is that where the extra weight is?

Makes sense, since the skinny dudes have to put weight on the seat to make up the difference…

Sorry, but their is no way the average Senior driver is 150-160 pounds. Maybe 175-180. At that, the existing weights seem pretty much right on, if not a touch light - but certainly agreeable in general. Cutting 10 pounds off would not increase class participation, or include more drivers - just put heavier drivers at another 10 pound disadvantage.

Oh yeah, and 10 pounds means a lot in TAG. We tested 10, 15, and 20 pounds added to ours just to see, and found the difference of 2-3 tenths per 10 pounds was impossible to make up in any way by gearing or driving - so I do buy into the heavier drivers not being able to keep pace with those nailing the scales exactly at minimum. To put them down as using weight as an excuse for poor driving skill is … just…. wrong.

Bob Wakeling

I happen to be one of the enigmas - 56 years young(still racing) and about 135 to 142#, 5′7″.

In the Supernats- all engines were at 400#- not 390# like in TAG USA- Vortex Rok in my case. The more powerful group of engines was 430# I think. I can say without a doubt I had the heaviest kart in the paddock- 300 drivers. Yours eyes bug out just trying to lift it!! Approximately 65# of lead.

That’s why it was my 1st Masters race in 6 years of karting. The most interesting observation is the handling of the kart- I’m used to running at 360 to 365# with 20 to 25# of ballast. The kart is much more nimble, dynamic and sharper acceleration off the turn in lighter form. You don’t have nearly as many brake issues - Lots of guys in Masters were dealing with braking problems. The majority of the guys were packing lead- the minority were a more than a little over 400#. From an enjoyment, performance and safety viewpoint we need to keep the weight as low as possible without unduly penalizing the big guys.

Kevin Willmorth

You make a valid point.

What do you see at the regional and local level?

This has and will always be karting’s failing. It is decidedly divided into two separate factions, weekend recreational club racers, who are not interested in expanding their efforts, or investing more than what is required at the local level, and the regional/national level racers, who take the entire sport far more seriously, and invest far more to achieve cussess on a greater scale. That karting continues to insist on forced the two into one combined lump is an error that costs this sport a lot of racers every year.

The problem is, if weights are set to satisfy the lightest drivers, and put the heavier ones at a disadvantage, we really don’t resolve anything. Yes, the karts are less sharp when they are heavier, but that applies to everyone on the track, not to just those carrying ballast. Why did the Supernats add 10# over TAG USA??? Seems they were reacting to something?

Joe Rudynski

I’ve mentioned this before in other threads…here in Japan 125cc TaG classes are 155kg (342lbs). No engines get a break, they are all the same weight. Winners carry a handicap of up to 10kg until they finish off of the podium but no package gets handicapped. Note: they did give the female driver a 5kg break at NTC because she was…a girl–a lightning fast one, but a girl all the same. But Japanese people are lighter than Americans by a lot and must add lots of weight to the karts just to make weight. Even the older guys.

I, on the other hand (aged 39, 6′ & 170+ lbs), have to take off the battery on my TaG and run w/o bars just to be close to 155kg. But this year I think I was hurt more by my budget and choice of kart than by weight.

I feel the weight handicap I was forced to carry most of last year combined with the semi-high grip tires we ran severely shortened the life of my chassis. So despite that fact that I am a little heavy for the 2nd heaviest class in Japan (the nearly dead class of 125 shifters are 160kg or 353 lbs), I would not favor adding more weight to the class.

Is age the issue?

This year at NTC the class was dominated by young (i.e. well under 35, many under 25) current and former national level FA and ICA drivers. 5 of the 6 races were won by former All-Japan (East) FA/ICA/FSA winners or champions–the other was an All-Japan driver for Corse Japan. Veteran FA and ICA national drivers made up over 15 of the 45 drivers that ran the series at NTC. Imagine a half dozen past Stars ICA and ICC winners (if there have even been that many…) and some those they race with at that level showing up at your “local” series.

So when you guys talk about the “intent” of TaG and it being for the more casual karter I always get a chuckle out of it. If you want to keep the young, overly serious guys out of your class, raise the age, not the weight.

At Mobara they formed the F125 Legend class for drivers over 35, and I was just told that next year at New Tokyo Circuit the Leopard class will be 35+ as well. The level of competition will drop of significantly next year, for sure. However, being the competitive people they are, this year at Mobara all but 2 or 3 of the drivers in F125 could run Legend but chose to run F125 instead for the higher level of competition. Go figure.

Bill Boyce

My son and I both race tag. Nathen weighs 110lbs soaking wet, I’m 175. My leopard kart has no lead on it and scales with me at 365. Nathens kart is a handfull for our powered lift and all our friends seem to disappear at the end of the day at loading time, but I’d rather strain lifting his kart than be put a disadvantage in my racing.

He, and all small racers have enough of an advantage in the areo world. Leave the weights alone. If they don’t look right to you then think about a different class, you do have that choice. TAGUSA has done a good job of handicaping a load of different motors to the point of some win on some tracks and others win on other tracks. Don’t mess it up again.

Billy Smith

I think that this is the solution. All engines should have the same weight. I think that 365 pounds is too heavy. A 170 pound guy on a 160 pound kart is only 330 pounds. That is the ICA weight that everybody seems to claim only a 150 pound guy could ever make. I admit that only the lighter karts weigh 160 pounds, yet even a 170 pound kart would give a total of 340 pounds, and a 180 pound kart would be 150 pounds.

Set the weight at 350 pounds or lower. You can always lose weight or switch to a lighter chassis. To the “engineers” working at copying(I mean designing) kart chassis, why would anyone buy your chassis if it weighs 20 pounds more than your competition.

Part of the problem is us, the customers. Whenever anyone asks any specifics about a kart, everyone here says, “all karts are the same, buy the one with local support.”

Apparently not all karts are the same.

Chuck Weaver

Heavier chassis for heavier drivers, less chassis flex,AND, the chassis tend to last longer than 1 year .

I don’t know how deep you or your parents pockets are but, “most” of us cannot afford to buy a new chassis every time  we turn around. So maybe we don’t buy the Birel that tunes so easy because it is made out of thinner walled tubing and weighs less than say a CRG (just an example) that is 32mm all the way around.

Bottom line is this, my Rotax on a 99 CRG Maximo with front brakes weighs in in at 200 lbs in Road racing trim, and that is with a half gallon of fuel left AFTER the race. I bet it doesn’t weigh a lot less in sprint trim.

So at the ripe old age of 47 I should sell out and quit racing I guess. NOT going to happen!

Bob Ogden

This discussion has been going on for 3 years that I’ve been following it in its various iterations, and you’ve still missed the point. If you want your KID to run at 330 to 340 then go get into ICA or KF whatever fits when it comes around. Good luck. If you’re an ADULT who wants a place to race, then TaG was made for you.

Andy Seesemann

At no point was STARS discussed as pertaining to TaG in this thread.

As has been discussed a number of times, the average TaG kart weighs about 175-180lbs. A Rotax/birel is the heaviest at close to 190lbs. I have never seen a 160lb TaG kart in race trim with a half full fuel tank.

Gear adds almost 10lbs to your personal weight. If you weigh 165, you are going to be 175 with race gear on.

Take that 175 and add it to an average TaG kart, and you get 355lbs. The TaG Sr. weights for TaGUSA start at 360lbs. Doesn’t that seem about right to you?

Comparing TaG to ICA is not a fair comparison, ICA motors weigh about 25 lbs less than your typical TaG motor. That clutch, battery, wiring, buttons, starter, etc. all adds up.

If you do an analysis of most CIK classes, you will see that they are built around a maximum driver size of 75kg. This is 165lbs.

All this data means nothing when compared to the content of my final statement.

If the weights are lower, less people will be able to make weight and eventually leave the sport, or simply not get into it. Then all the flyweights will be able to take lead off their karts and race against themselves. Then they quit because it is no fun racing against 3 people, as the other 15 left due to the weights being too low.

The point is, would you rather race a lighter kart with 3 other people, or strap a little lead on and have fields of 20? Take your pick.

Michael Sachs

I entered TAG because of my weight so I could have the performance I like. I can see me in an HPV with 15hp, borrrrring. Weight is everything. Iam 5′11” 215lbs with a 17″ neck. I run mid pack everywhere I go. If you made all the front runners add weight to meet me at 405 on the scales I would beat at least 8 out of ten. Try filling your pockets with enough weight to reach 400 and watch your lap times drop at least 1 second or more. Remember you are adding the weight low if you smart so that in itself in advantage for handling. Good luck to all the 200lb plus drivers.

John Denman

Interesting thread, it seems to pop up every year about this time.

Yes when TAG was first put together (2001) the standards were developed NOT to penalize the 200 lb drivers. However a typical 200Lb + driver would need to choose a heavyweight engine to be equal.

At the lighter end of the spectrum was Rotax - which originally was to Rotax weights. Not a lot has really changed since then.

TAG is a class that offers the widest range of driver weight. Some people find it amazing that not all drivcers were manufactured to some 165 lb standard. Part of the success of TAG came from creating a wider range of weight diversity. When you chose a class carefully consider the existing rules before jumping in. If you think you’re going to have a problem adding 80Lbs of lead then it’s not the class for you.

Kerry Cole

And to reiterate… wt. does make a difference…best case scenario…. at New Castle there is one driver who will remain nameless… he is a very good shoe… he consistently ran TAG Senior and TAG Masters… his times were about a 1/2 second (or more) slower by adding only 35 lbs which is the difference for a leopard in those classes…. For what it is worth dept…

Brent Meienburg

If Amber ran WKA Yamaha Can Lite at 330 lbs, she would still have to add about 75lbs, so this issue is not a TaG only issue for light people. The answer is not lowering the weights, but further fracturing the fields by adding a TaG lite class which would be about 30 lbs under TaG Sr. There is no good option to handle drivers from 100 lbs to 230 lbs without each extreme having to conform to the rules which account for the “normal” demographics of humans.

Rick Crist

Makes no difference to me if you are …… Out of Shape, Fat, Obese, Overweight, Plump, Portly, Chubby, or in Shape, Skinny, Thin, Lean, Slender, Scrawny or Lanky. Just show everyone the data used to determine the chosen engine weights. It’s not that hard to do if it really exists.

Brent Meienburg

The best thing TaG USA could do is go through and highlight each change and give a brief explanation of each. All could understand (not necessarily agree with) the changes. It appears the TaG classes are very hot and growing, and rules stability and clarification is key to maintain the growth.

Best done on the TaGUSA web site under “2007 rules update”. Also why release an entire new document instead of a living ongoing document with the revisions noted in the rev block. This would do the same thing.

Jim Conlin

At the Super Nats: There were no Bilands in TaG Senior. At least not by the time the finals ran on Sunday. There were two or three Bilands in TaG Masters, only one of which was running up front.

Travis Irving qualified 2nd .010 off the pole (Rotax) and .05 ahead of 3rd fastest (Parilla).

He won Heat One by a little over a second. Finished 3rd in Heat Two 5 seconds back behind the Rotax & Parilla. DQ’d out of Heat Three (only completed 3 laps)

In the Final he started 9th and worked his way up but it wasn’t a dominating run and he certainly didn’t pass on power. On the long back straight the Biland ran the same speed as the motors around it. Irving did most of his passing under braking and setting up his moves a corner or two ahead of time. Even once in the lead he didn’t set fastest lap.

As far as the TAG Worlds, I didn’t get to watch the Masters race but I know Bill Wolters and I know he was “on” all weekend. We raced with him and Dale Bales (also a Biland) all year in GLSKUSA (great guys) and they were the class of the field - except when the likes of Brandon Atkins, Conor Daly, Jamie Ferrell & Zack Beard ran a GLSKUSA event in advance of a Stars or Worlds event. In those cases no one had anything for those Leopards.

It certainly seems strange that the weights an organization thought were fair in August suddenly needed to be changed 4 months later after, one could argue, the very good and very high-profile performances of two very good drivers.

Coincidentally, until these new weights were announced our local club was pushing to raise the weights of the Biland (regardless of what TAGUSA was going to do in 2007) based on the performance of one very good driver winning a bunch of races with a Biland. But this guy was beating every one the year before by the same margin with an Easykart.

We don’t own Bilands but we had the very good fortune to run one at the 200. We ran at 390 (NCMP 200 rules) and we’re glad to be at that weight for only one race. Until these new weights came out we had planned on buying three this year. But I can’t see running the whole season with 40lbs of lead on the karts (the curse of light drivers) so if the weights stick we’re going to be looking again. Which is a shame - the Biland is a solid engine, gobs of fun to drive and maybe the most reliable TaG motor out there which is the most important benefit to me.

Waqar Meyer

The biland did not dominate the supernats. The driver that was consistently the quickest was the Rotax driver. The biland driver won but if the rotax driver had not crashed out i am pretty confident he would have won.

I was there watching every session and a visit to my laps will confirm that observation.

The Tag world finals was a bit of a joke in terms of turn out so I don’t think anything can be deduced from that event.

John Denman

Too many classes?

Looks like thats just the way karting is. The whole concept was based on avoiding umpteen new classes. To a large part thats why the Stock moto was based on a single brand and model of a motor - to avoid class proliferation. It is what it is.

Front brakes or not front brakes?

Most of the Rotaxians already went down this road. What they learned was front brakes wouldn’t get them to Portugal.

Living Documents ?

What happens when you take someone who was raised in the early days of ISO 9000 in industry and have them create a karting rulebook?They use a Living Document format

In the early days TAG was about as ad-hoc as it got (not that any other org including CIK isn’t ad-hoc). Look at the players we had to deal with such as the motor manufacturers in Italy. I can recall one motor (aka “The Hedgehog”) that sent us a sample with a pipe that was about 6 feet long. It brick-waled at 15,000 RPM and had no torque. A few were sold but not many. Then at the last minute just as TAG added to a famous US event a new pipe came along. Revved like an F1 motor and made a ton more power.

Knowing that some manufacturer would pull a stunt like that the Living Document was intended to serve notice that at any time, even while karts were on the grid the rules may change. Tom Argy agreed with this as does Dave Larson.

Anyway from the FWIW sideline. I wish everyone a great year of racing in 2007. Go have some big fun thats really what it’s all about.

Mike Burrell

The Leopard was the first TAG engine I saw (outside of Rotax, which was it’s own class); it’s the power/performance/etc. that everyone in authority over TAG racing has said the ”class needs to be based on”. But
then they approve a couple of dozen more; more powerful engines “boost port engines”…

Next one of these go out and kick butt weekly at a certain track. “Average Joe Karter” thinks he has to have one to be competitive. So he sells the engine you sold him a year ago to buy something else or he just sells (in his opinion) the “boat anchor” he now has and gets a boat, motorcycle, Porsche, or younger woman…

Alot of people thought this was happening with the Sonik TX. Sort of did; I ran out and bought one, just in case, so did alot of people. Who knows if one of these “new” engines is the one to obselete the 4000+ Leopards out there?

Jim Conlin

Great Lakes SKUSA ran their last race of the season at NCMP which was two weeks before the WF (TAGUSA World Finals). With top TaG drivers like Conor Daly, Jamie Ferrell, Bill Lewis entering the SKUSA race for tracktime, the Bilands were no match for their Leopards. Bill was 1.7 secs off Daly’s time on Saturday and 1.1 secs on Sunday. Dale Bales, who was GLSKUSA’s ‘06 TaG champ couldn’t get within a half second Daly and Ferrell for either day’s qualifying. He finished behind 3 Leopards both days and was nearly a second off Daly’s Finals fastest lap on both days. Bill was further back still. Behind him was two more Bilands. Hardly a dominating performance. Actually, if you were drawing conclusions just from this one race, you’d be inclined to increase the Leopard’s weight by 15lbs.

As far as the Stars reference, I just meant drivers of that caliber. When they ran with SKUSA’s fastest Bilands those “Stars drivers” had no trouble with the Bilands.

Another example: When GLSKUSA visited MRP in South Bend in August a Rotax beat the Bilands both days. Steve Scudder, a young local guy was looking to get some attention. He did. He used his home track advantage and a big dose of adrenillen to make his point. As I said in an earlier post, I don’t have vested interest in the Biland. I just think the weight change was unnecessary and unjust.

Dale Bales

Here’s my take. Why doesn’t TAG USA just convert Argy’s dream into a single engine class and call is Leopard USA? Why is it nobody, and I mean nobody, ever starts these threads and discussions because Leopard’s are winning? I mainly race with Great Lakes SKUSA and I’ve had my back side handed to me by Rotaxes and Leopards. Why is always that the Biland is so fast? Oh, that’s right, it’s because the Biland weight is too low. Well here’s a news flash for you, I’ve weighed in over 390 all year long. My body weight is too high to meet the 375 weight, so from my personal standpoint, TAG USA accomplished absolutely nothing except penalize those that can make a fair weight and penalized me from be competitive against top class Leopard drivers. If I can’t compete against top level Rotax and Leopards at 390 previously, I’m still not going to be able to. You haven’t heard me previously complaining because I’ve got whooped by Leopards or Rotaxes.

I’m sure this will bring all the Leopard and Rotax guys out of the woodwork, but I’m sick of the Biland being the engine that get’s all the attention and all the weight added. So it won two big events? That’s proof enough that it’s too fast for the other motors? I absolutely disagree. You’re penalizing those who can actually set up their chassis and can drive. That’s wrong. The two men that won those races are extremely talented drivers, and have extremely good set up knowledge. Set up knowledge never seems to get brought up in these discussions though. What’s happens if a FEW drivers continue to be competitive at 390? Is the new weight going to be 410 for senior?

Here’s a noble and extremely logical idea. Why doesn’t TAG USA go back again as they originally did and get one of each motors (built) and do a true side by side Dyno test and destermine how much difference there really is? Determine the weights off that again. Don’t continually add and subtract weights based on finishes of qualified drivers. That’s not a very professional way to make determinations.

Here’s another question. What happens if those of us racing the Bilands got Leopards or Rotaxes and are just as competitive if not more? Add weight to the Leopards? Where does it stop?

Unfortunately the TAG idea is a great idea but it’s never going to work. NEVER!!! There it’s been said. I love the idea of it but these threads, discussions, and debates will gone on as long as TAG is a valid organization. Somebody is always going to be upset because they got beat by another motor, however you don’t get beat by another motor. You get beat by a better driver/motor/chassis package that was set up better than yours that day. Go back and figure out how to be faster. That’s what I try to do when I don’t win. Tag now has even more motors that are never going to be equal. Even if TAG only had one engine to choose from, people will continue to complain because they were beaten by somebody who’s got a faster motor of the same brand. It’s always been that way and it always will.

Quit singling out the Bilands and figure out a way to fix the currently flawed TAG USA vision, if there is a way.

Brad Linkus

I know you are all about the data. We have 5 years of data from many tracks throughout the USA. What more do you need? What does it mean anyway? If you run a Motori at sea level with the cc’s in the head the way they had them they were slugs. At our altitude (5500′) they can’t be beat on my track. On a short track they get creamed. TAGUSA weights are very close for many tracks but not all situations. They have done the best they could to make things equal but you cannot expect the weights to work for every track and altitude in the USA. It is up to the clubs and promoters to make fine adjustments to the weights if their situation warrants a change. You don’t really think there is a perfect weight for each engine that will work in every situation do you? If you believe that then your way of thinking is flawed. It is more important that each and every track be open to adjustment of the weights for their conditions and not be bound by the weights that TAGUSA has offered from their research. Marty has said many times that the weights are a starting point and not the final say in every situation. Everyone needs to be more flexable in their thinking and open to adjustment if there is an obvious domination of one engine at their facility. Testing would be fine if every track in the USA were the same and raced under the same conditions, in the real world that is not the case. Your demand for data may make you happy if you had it but it will not solve the problem.

Brad Linkus

It appears that you seem to think the weights are not correct for TAG with your constant whining about your need for data. Please save us all the drama and just tell everyone how far off the weights are in your opinion. I know you won’t because you need more data! What I meant by saying that we have 5 years of data is that each and every track that runs TAG can tell you which engines do best at their track with the TAGUSA weights. We
have 5 tracks in Colorado that we all race at. It does not take a rocket scientist to be able to see which engine or engines have an advantage at each track. All it takes is one corner that is very tight and the Rotax will not win
at that track. My track and Grand Junction are the longest and fastest tracks and the Rotax and Motori have the advantage. It is the opposite at the Bandimere track, which is short, and has 1 very tight corner. It is no secret
to anyone who has raced or watched the races to see which engines do better at each track. We even have racers who have more than one engine so that they can use the engine that best suits the track. Greg Welch is a perfect example; he owns a Rotax and a Leopard. Greg is one our most consistent drivers and usually finishes up front. He will not even waste his time with the Rotax at the Banidimere track. All the track owners in the state can tell you which engines are the fastest at their tracks. Getting everyone to agree on a weight adjustment for each track has been talked about for a few years in Colorado. We have discussed this situation many times and it is difficult to get all of the track owners to stand up together and make a change. We have also considered allowing only one engine package for each racer. Decisions like this are difficult to make when there are many people with financial interests involved. It would be great if all things were equal but they are not.
The only way any scientific test is truly valid is when all of the testing is done using the same parameters. What you want is impossible to achieve because the racetrack is the largest variable in the equation. You can spend a year of testing and get it perfect for the track that you are using for the test but then what? Garbage in = garbage out. If you were provided with this data just what would you do with it and what would it mean anyway? You are all about complaining and have offered nothing as a solution. At least I have tried to offer a solution even though nobody is listening. If the weights are so far off then why aren’t they’re more people complaining about it? TAGUSA has given us what they think are the weights that will work for the majority of tracks. You cannot expect those weights to be perfect for every situation. The competition would be much closer between engines at most tracks if TAGUSA required a rev limiter for each and every engine and then adjust the weights. The 13K rev limiter for the new 4-strokes has made those engines very equal. They also all run at the same weight!

Brad Linkus

You should know that it is a secret formula. They will not disclose the engine data as that would open a can of worms when other people compare their dyno data to theirs. Testing conditions would not be able to be duplicated the same and the results may be different.

Ted Hamilton

Carroll Smith put it well when he wrote that “there’s no way on God’s green earth to prepare 2 (10, 50?) race cars the same way”.

imho, the best equalizer from a theoretical standpoint is having the same power-to-weight ratio, and that’s not equal because mass and traction issues come into play…

To have motors without fixed gearing,some with limiters some not, and pretend that they can be equalized is frankly silly….but the reality is that TaG is the current popular class (read: growing grids so I know that there’s someone to race against), and equality aside, has some good rec. points — I could theoretically show up alone, offload from my open trailer, push to the grid, climb in, start up, and go.

The biggest barrier to equalization isn’t the fact that the motors are unequal — it’s that nationally, people have different goals in racing this class. The ‘hot shoes headed to indy 500′ want to prove themselves in a large grid. The ‘hot shoes headed to the hot tub after’ want to race in a thrifty manner without getting their equipment torn up and buying new tires every heat.

If you want parity, run good specimens through a dyno, spec the min and max weights to obtain equal power-to-weight for the class, define a jr. and sr. rec (fixed gear) and a sr. pro (rev limit) class and have at it…

As a TaG wanna-be-newbie, this thread has been interesting to follow. I look forward to seeing how the rules settle, and hope someone will let me run a tonykart/easy 125 somewhere… Heck, if this is recreational karting, why don’t we do away with ‘points’. Winners of the Masters class get a case of beer, winners of the Sr. class get a set of tires, winners of Heavy get a back brace for all that lifting…)


Included below are some screen shots of the 2009 weight limits set by TaG.

2009 TaG Weights

OK, so what did the Americans finally achieve after all these on-going discussions ….. (view below)