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FRONT FAIRING: WHY?

What happened at PFI during the second continental OK and OKJ event has highlighted those doubts that by now beset pretty much the entire karting world on the issue of the front fairings. Cik’s regulations on the matter never really pleased or convinced anyone, especially as the expedient seems more in answer to the absence of safeguards of race direction, rather than safety itself, increasingly less justified seeing how accidents on the track continue to occur, some even dangerous as witnessed on the British circuit. If, instead, the intention is to educate drivers in what are the first steps of a motorsports supply chain, namely, Mini and Junior, then we cannot but share that purpose, even more so with the forthcoming and, by now, inevitable recognition of the Mini as an international category.

After two years of discussions, all the front fairing issue has, however, produced, a fairing that is meant to detach on contact (but not only), is mainly discontent among the participants of the titled competitions. Also, it has also been signalled out as being deletory to the overall show, as entertainment, for fans and audiences. An increasingly neglected aspect. A kart race is becoming increasingly more like what already happens in F1 where, to see some overtaking, fans have to wait for the car pit for a tire change.

The Travisanutto controversy at PFI has, in fact, spotlighted a problem concerning image and looking after the athletes who actually compete, race and undertake to excel by demonstrating their driving skills, seconded by their vehicles, as is logical. Why I take this opportunity to reiterate that races in the professional categories, such as OK and KZ, should not be subjected to such conditioning or influence. And if the fairing really cannot be rid of, it would be advisable to at least check and verify and find out why, at the end of the race, the driver finds it unhooked, unhinged, detached. More so when none of the drivers denounced any unsportsmanlike behavior or driving damaging to the driver(s), or rivals, to thus explain such an incident. In fact, no irregularities were ascertained, regarding Travisanutto, the winner, no less, of the final at PFI, to explain the front fairing out of kilter … And the cameras at PFI, were they used only to discover the driver’s intentions to restore the front fairing? An inadmissible act, of course, by a professional driver, even if Travisanutto had not a few extentuating circumstances in his favor, such as, also, the penalty halved from 10 to 5”, or so rumors ran… A mockery that does not solve the problem, one that will continue to plague and distort race results, and limit or ruin the show, what fans come to see and enjoy. For a driver, going on a track to race with the fear of finding one’s bumper unhooked is definitely not an incentive for a driver willing to risk and fight for positions or victory. The actions to be taken to resolve this problem should focus on other features, too. First, the ability of race management to guarantee the proper end, or aim, of the race, one that exalts the deeds of the drivers who have proved their ability to respect the rules and, in turn, severely punish those who instead become the protagonists of blatantly unsportsmanlike behavior. Enough of this front fairing!

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Vroom International
n. 204 June 2018
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