The standard of driving in Australian karting was one of the many areas identified by Karting Australia as an area that could be improved in last year’s Whole of Sport Review.
As a result the Code of Driving Conduct has been established (Chapter 3 of the Competition Rules in the KA Manual) in 2015. One of the major resources used in the development of the Code of Driving Conduct was V8 Supercars Driving Standards Observer and Karting Australia Competition Committee member Jason Bargwanna.
“I’ve been around various forms of motorsport for many years, when I started to get back involved in karting I really wanted to have a positive influence on the sport by sharing my experiences,” said Bargwanna.
“I’m fortunate to be involved in the top end of motorsport in this country and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with the next generation of motorsport drivers.
“Throughout the years I’ve been on the right and wrong ends of Stewards hearings and one of the first things I identified when working with the Competition Committee was that karting needed to do was get rid of the grey areas in the interpretation of a fair pass. It needs to be black and white, this way drivers and officials know exactly what is expected of them.
“The Code of Driving Conduct provides drivers and officials with a clear and decisive set of rules while allowing drivers to fully understand what they can and can’t do on the track.
“Hopefully what it will do is promote hard and fair racing while assisting to develop the skills of our drivers.”
One of Australia’s most experienced and successful karting drivers, James Sera, believes the new driving conduct has been long overdue and looks forward to it being implemented across the country in 2015.
“It is good to have a proper driving standard and it certainly lifts the professionalism of our sport,” said Sera.
“The Code of Driving Conduct provides everyone with a total understanding of where you need to be when making a move and more importantly what is and what is not a pass. It has been a very grey area for many years, I see this certainly clearing it up.”
Karting Australia National Officials Coordinator Mark Horsley believes the implementation of the Code of Driving Conduct will assist both drivers and officials alike.
“The Code of Driving Conduct is a tool that we’ve needed in our sport for a long time. It gives a clear understanding and interpretation for both drivers and officials of what determines a pass,” said Horsley.
“Previously we only had a rule that focused on contact of karts but no actual black and white rulings on what determined an actual passing move – it was left to interpretation by both sides. The Code certainly clears all of this up and everyone should have a complete understanding of what to expect in all circumstances.”