Shifter racing has lived and flourished here at the F-Series for over six seasons. First in the form of the NESKS and now in the form of three classes we call KZ, Rok and Honda. The years have become ever more competitive while the group remains to have the same camaraderie that existed from the start. We are happy to know this camaraderie is a major part of our growth, we see from year to year. However every off season some part of karting sadly encounters unknowns for racers and teams, as the industry keeps changing the playing field. This upcoming year the big talking point has become shifter racing as the uncertainty of some karting engines is in question. Witnessing declining shifter fields in some series and events we would like to offer a little insight and ensure what is in store in the upcoming 2018 Gearup Challenge season.
KZ is undoubtedly considered a premier class in karting worldwide and we here at the F-Series are very proud to promote the only KZ category championship here in the United States. Many industry experts have claimed KZ will not work in the US but contrary to such believes we have hosted the KZ championship for many years and continue to look forward to a bright future for this fabulous format! Going into 2018 we are receiving a huge amount of interest not just from national but international competition and we urge all racer to join us in this race of a lifetime. Being inline with the rule set created by the CIK/FIA is fantastic in so many ways, we are inline even when it comes to the brand of tires used in the prestigious KZ 1 & 2 World Championships. LeCont Prime will be the tire used in all international and F-Series Competitions for the next two seasons. This might seem very insignificant to some, but in fact it is huge as the US has never seen such an alignment with the international karting scene. With the format allowing many top level manufactures we are beyond excited to see the competition expand in 2018.
To all that have ever dreamed of racing KZ. The time is now!
Addressing the work horse of gearbox karting, Stock Honda has been promoted as the most reliable and economical form of shifter racing and was for many years regarded as the savior of shifter karting in the US. Apparently all of a sudden the package is not as good as it was once advertised, well we let you make that choice as we have seen first hand the competition is off the chart. With many proven Honda engines on the market and many racers already racing this package it will be a great year to see more competition joining the already large class. The F-Series has truly enjoyed some great racing over the past six seasons with the Honda package and we are confident to promote this category until the racers decide they prefer something different. Rules and regulations will stay consistent to ensure an easy entry or continuation of the challenge that has existed in the F-Series.
Rok Shifter continues to build and ever more appealing platform when it comes to shifter racing as it is constructed with KZ in mind while including the benefits of a spec engine program. Rok Cup has produced a very stable rule book with minimal changes that have now been locked into a freeze for the next five years. We do believe the concept of freezing the rules is super beneficial not just for the racers but also the series as it allows us to focus on promoting improved events that will make our racers enjoy their time at the track. Vortex also made another brilliant decision to stay with the proven 125 cc shifter design that will benefit a multiple application racer. The formula has undoubtedly made the most sense as it makes the engine design very versatile, not just at major events such as the Gearup Challenge and Rok Cup but also at all multi engine shifter programs around the country. At the F-Series we have always tried to make classes equal when it comes to prizes and giveaways but Vortex has been super committed to making the Rok program very special. That has been evident for many years as the prizes have ranged from prestigious trips to Italy to complete shifter engines and big money prizes. Vortex and the F-Series have been working on some special incentives that will make ROK Shifter the package hard to resit. Stay tuned for our complete 2018 prize package that will make Rok the choice of the future.