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New Rotax Engines:
Surprised, Excited & Concerned!

Update further to KartSport New Zealand Statement of 30-11-14.

KartSport New Zealand has experienced unprecedented inquiry from members who are concerned with the announcement of a completely new generation of Rotax EVO engines by manufacturer BRP and, like our members, we share these concerns, the excitement and the opportunity this new development presents for karters in New Zealand.

Clearly the new product is a huge step up on what is now a 17+ year-old design and addresses many of the performance, reliability and parity issues existing owners have faced.

Rotax have rightly made a major change as they look to address heavy competition faced in global TaG markets around the world from new product from Vortex, IAME, PRD, etc. There are two harsh realities however to the New Zealand environment; Rotax enjoy a unique position of being a stand alone single designation engine in (now seven) classes for competition in New Zealand and we are a miniscule market by world standards.

Clearly this represents both an opportunity and a threat for existing KartSport New Zealand members who own a Rotax engine(s). There is no doubt that those with the available budget or backing will be eager to embrace the latest performance and technology while those with more limited funds will be seeking to protect their existing ability to compete on a level playing field.

With what is essentially new classes of engines we have much to review and discuss:

Is it time to follow world markets and open the existing Rotax class designation to a full TAG class or other one brand engine classes?

Does KartSport New Zealand simply open the door to not just the new Rotax EVO engines but also the proposed new Rotax EVO multi parts upgrade options presented by BRP that would allow a plethora of mix and match performance choices for both karters and officials to manage and control?

Do we wait 6, 12 or 18 months and see what the real results and impacts are of the new engines in global markets before taking a measured approach that best suits our grass roots and at the same time ensures existing parity for elite drivers?

There is much to consider and all this strikes KartSport New Zealand (and other ASN's around the world) out of the blue when we are already deep in major structural changes with a ground breaking new set of Judicial Code rules about to implemented along with massive training for officials and karters.

We are also heavily committed with our limited resource to our existing number one priority: the extremely important Clubman Classes Engine Review where we are urgently looking to address the demise of the Yamaha classes and options for an affordable Club Class engine for Junior and Senior members.

A decision will not be rushed. At this stage all we ask is karters be patient and respect the fact that KartSport New Zealand will weigh up all the factors as we address the age old dilemma of new versus old, elite versus grass roots, manufacturer commercial imperatives versus karters financial realities. We will work with all interested parties to find a timely solution that continues to deliver Safe-Affordable-Fun for our members nationwide.

Graeme Moore

National President

The above is an extract from KartSport New Zealand members newsletter - E-Line #90

Archive HERE

KartSport New Zealand