Like in all motorsport, the CIK-FIA is trying to improve safety in karting too, and reduce dirty play by clearing the issue concerning front bumpers. In the meantime, private promoters are working on their own solution for this problem…
In Adria, the duel up front between Karol Basz and Tom Joyner ended up in a contact that opened the way for the European title for Pedro Hiltbrand. This is motorsport and it happens. The strange thing was though, that no penalties were given and yet the accident was real, evident… There were no front fairing dislodged, so no penalties for anyone. This fact gave rise to discussions in the paddock; maybe the new regulation was too simple: is just the single parameter of dislodged front fairing enough to guarantee a fair competition? Clearly, the answer was: no. At the end of 2015 season, the CIK-FIA came up with this new regulation, but now they have seen that there’s a big problem concerning safety and fair play, so they have decided to change the rule to guarantee a fair competition. There will be a new homologation regulation concerning front fairings coming out for 2017; however, the new regulations for international karting events will be applicable as from 1st November 2016, which is before the CIK-FIA World Championship in Bahrain. The new regulations relate firstly to the front bumper tubes connected to the front fairing and to the control of its compliance with pushing tests, both to be approved at the end of the race.
As you can see in the picture and from the Technical Drawing No. 8.2.0, the steel part of the front bumper is made of two tubes connected together. The new CIK-FIA regulation foresees that “there must be a clearance at all points between the front bumpers (lower and upper tube) and the front fairing of at least 27 mm at all times”. The size and shape of these bars will be more closely regulated. Moreover, the two corners of the upper bar must have a constant curve radius. The same applies for the lower bar. The length of the straight part of the lower bar must be between 300 and 310 mm (+/- 5 mm), and the straight length of the upper bar must be between 380 and 390 mm (+/- 5 mm), in relation to the longitudinal axis of the kart.
AHD has been developed in collaboration with Spanish electronic experts from Pixelcom; it consists of two sensors fixed to the rear bumper. They are made out of rubber and are screwed between the rear bumper and the metal plate. The sensors turn the rear bumper into a big pressure sensor that measures the intensity of impacts and pushing. A small transmitter sends the information and data via radio frequency (RF) technology automatically to race control, which can react to any unfair incident. The sensibility of the system has been adjusted, meaning that the system distinguishes different intensities of impacts and registers only the most important ones.
“LIKE SOME OTHERS, WE HAVE NOT BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH THE CURRENT SOLUTION OF THE CIK-FIA FRONT FAIRING MOUNTING” SAYS JAMES GEIDEL – RGMMC VICE PRESIDENT “AHD OPTIMIZES THE PROCESS OF CONTROLLING AND PENALIZING. WE THINK THAT THIS IS AN IMPROVED STANDARD FOR ALL PARTIES OF KARTING. IT IS A USEFUL INSTRUMENT FOR ORGANISERS AND GUARANTEES ONCE AGAIN PURER RACING FOR DRIVERS.”
source: A. Roca / VROOM International N.183 2016-9 | LINK