On Track Conduct
This guide is written to describe and define a set of standards for maneuvers that represent driving offenses common to racing karts on sprint tracks.. It is intended to narrow the gray area of judgment with driver violation, and improve the safety of racing. Drivers, Corner-workers, and Flag-persons should be familiar with these definitions.
The offenses may be unintended or intended. With an unintended offense, the judgment for violation is based on what happens after the offense. With an intended offense, the judgment is usually immediate.
It is the Drivers responsibility to comply with these rules. It is the Corner-worker and Flag-persons responsibility to report violations, and if necessary, monitor the offending competitors for repeated violation.
These standards were composed as a public service and are freely available to any club, organization, track, event, or promoter for utilization as they see fit. The author accepts no responsibility for any damages, injuries or death that some twisted lawyer may try to conjure up in the future as a result of using these standards. Any conditions deemed omitted or neglected are the responsibility of the users to add in.
Summary of drivers offenses
1.0 Straight Sections and offenses
The Straight is the section between the turn exit point and the turn entry. This includes the braking point prior to the turn entry point on a natural line. The lead Kart does not necessarily control the line on a straight.
Defending is a legal maneuver so long as no contact is made. This is a gradual move off the natural line to the left or right, and may only be made once. In case contact is made, it may become an offense depending on the sequence of events as defined below.
2.0 Turn Sections and offenses
The actual change on track from straight to turn should be marked as the last paint stripe between the straight and turn. (It would also be recommended that the paint stripe for each of these "zone separations" be a different color than stripes for start/finish or braking zones). This should be positioned midway between the widest radius entry and the narrowest radius entry to the turn.
Conditions of the layout of each turn at any given track will vary, so the zone stripes may tend to be moved up or back at the discretion of a track official. Reason being that in some turn layouts the correction margin may be longer or shorter. Correction margin is a distance added or subtracted.
Examples of a correction margin;
Subtracted distance may be applied on a turn with a wider exit path or decreasing radius that allows a wider exit path then normally taken. Also in cases where outside passes are often made zone stripe may be moved deeper into a turn.
In any event, a zone stripe should be based on the conditions of the track and turn. Not all track owners are willing to add zone stripes feature, but it certainly makes for cleaner and safer racing.
3.0 General Offenses
Corner-workers are advised to make this call carefully. This is an intentional offense; however this call requires significant judgment in most cases. It is recommended that a warning be issued first, and a stiff penalty be assessed on the second occurrence.
Brake Checking can result in serious injuries if it is applied in certain circumstances. There should have very low tolerance to those who commit a second offense of brake-checking.
3.3 Careless Track Entry
4.0 General Considerations Drivers must realize
4.1 Close battles
4.2 Karts with Different Set-ups or Driving Style
4.3 The Race Directors and Corner-workers are the Judges & Juries
Penalties for offenses should be weighed against the intent and risk factors.
Some offenses may be unintentional, and if the competitor is given warning it is up to the competitor to on their best behavior during the remainder of the race or even event.
Some offenses may be unavoidable, yet unintentional. Whether it is a simple driving mistake, or a set of unusual conditions that lead to an offense may be considered.
Some offenses may be intentional.
The Race Director is normally the party responsible for identifying the appropriate penalty, but in some cases may not be able to clearly identify the level of intent on behalf of the offending competitor.
Repeated offenses indicate a competitor's disrespect to the organization and their fellow competitors.
Risk factors of an offense should be weighted. As the risk of injury rises with a potential offense so to should the penalty as both a deterrent and if necessary, as a reason to remove the competitor as the risk warrants.
Generally the following offenses are generally considered unintentional and lower risk that should result in a warning on the first event. Lower risk in this context means some minor contact was made, but not enough to have put a competitor in harm or off-track, or loose a position. (Note that all offenses can be intentional).
The recommended penalty for the above is a furled black flag for warning, displayed in a manner that the offending competitor should see it. The flag should be pointed at that competitor on a straight section with the flagpole actually pointed at them as they go by. The competitor should be informed in the drivers meeting as the black flag and warning procedures.
In the event an offending competitor commits an unintentional offense resulting causing another competitor to go off-track, or loosing a position, they may be given an additional penalty at after the race is complete in fairness to the affected competitor. It is recommended that the offending moved back in position(s) as deemed appropriate by the Race Director for the particular offense.
If a competitor repeats an offense after being warned, it can be considered an intentional offense.
All offenses can be considered intentional depending on the situation. Penalties for intentional offenses can range from;