It’s been so long since I wrote the last update. The whole last season has been a crazy busy roller coaster. It was the RaceBox’s best season ever, but personally I don’t think I’ve been more busy or stressed.
Let me update you first of all on what we’re working on for this year. We will be trying to cover all the WSK, CIK, DKM as well as the international X30 and Rotax races, not forgetting the Winter Cup and possibly the Margutti Trophy and, if conditions allow, the US Open and the SKUSA races in Las Vegas.
This year we will see the introduction of the new OK engines, which is CIK’s bet to revitalising the direct drive categories both nationally and internationally. The new engines promise to be much more cost-effective, reliable as well as simplified. My personal view differs a little bit for the one of CIK but hopefully I’ll be proven wrong. See, I’ve always been annoyed by the rev limiter, and also by the power valve. I liked the endlessly revving engines of the 90s. Also, while I don’t personally have a problem with pushing starting the kart myself, I think it will drive many drivers away as it’s not convenient on a number of occasions. All of this is to be analysed at another point however. At this point there seems to be a lot of excitement and I can’t wait to get to Adria for the first race and see what it really brings.
In the Rotax front there doesn’t seem to be many changes, even though they seem to have lost a number of drivers to X30 due to the sudden big changes in last year’s engines with the introduction of the EVO engines. The initial EVOs brought with them a lot of reliability issues as well as big question marks over the performance differences. The reliability seems to have been resolved now with the new parts that Rotax released, but the performance cost a lot of money in testing and big disappointment in the faces of the drivers and tuners who failed to get it right last year. Hopefully everything will have been resolved by the first race in Valencia and we’ll see again a great Euro Challenge season.
RGMMC as an organisation – not directly affiliated with Rotax but running the Euro Challenge for a long time – has been one of the best organisations, always investing in making racing better. So this year we expect to see two big things from them. Firstly they will be organising the new official X30 Euro Series (on top of the one-race X30 Europa and the X30 International final, which are organised by IAME themselves). They did already organise the X30 in the past with mixed success but it seems that now they have the full support of IAME, as well as interest from many strong teams and drivers. I’m really looking forward to it.
The second big innovation from RGMMC, and what I’m really looking forward to seeing this year, is their response to CIK’s drop-bumper system. According to our information, RGMMC has developed a new patented electronic system control system developed and tested by themselves, that instead of causing a damage on the kart that pushes (forcing the driver to pit or face a penalty, but causing a safety concern in the meantime as the driver continues to drive with dropped parts), will be installed on the read bumper of the karts automatically sensing when it’s being pushed and sending a signal to race control to investigate. It seems like a well thought, much cleaner and far safer solution, and from what we hear it’s going to be inexpensive as well. It will be used in both X30 and Rotax series organised by RGMMC and hopefully – if it’s as good as it promises – other organisations will consider it as well.
From our part we will try to keep all our channels up to date as much as possible, firstly as always our facebook page, but also our instagram with photos, youtube with onboard as well as other videos we get to shoot on and off track, and the website with as much information as possible on the upcoming races, live timing and live streaming.
We are looking forward to the opening of an exciting new season!