Mandatory seat throttle activation device in OK: at least it's a start

Columns: Zoom
The FIA mandates the use of a mechanical throttle activation device mounted on the back of the seat to make it easier to restart the kart on the track after an incident in OK, OKJ karts, and in OK-N. Turney's accident has likely prompted the need to address both a sporting and safety issue.

The mandatory use of a push-start aid system aims to allow the driver to restart more quickly following contact, reconsidering the unfortunate outcome of Turney's restart maneuver after contact with Gomez at the last OK World Championship. The choice seems logical. However, in that case, as in many other cases not captured by cameras, there are many other factors that can cause a safety problem: the point of the track at which one chooses to restart – which is entirely at the discretion of the driver – the timing and context, and in this regard, it is crucial that stewards also fulfill their role effectively with yellow flags. Because when the right decision needs to be made, the importance of the briefing becomes fundamental, in an environment where this important safety procedure for drivers is somewhat overlooked. 

The system to be mounted behind the seat is simple to attach and in terms of its operating principle, it's certainly not a new concept, as many were already using it. Having said that, there will definitely be a sporting repercussion as well, with many drivers perhaps now able to push the kart and get back into the race after contact (even though they should have known how to do this already, since there was no prohibition on installing this system before...), and how the young racers approach the races, where we often saw desolate drivers sitting trackside after half a lap of the race when they could have very well restarted and still achieved a result, either in the Final or even just in the heats. The good thing about this measure, therefore, is that we see the Federation attempting to address an existing problem to some extent, even though, compared to the main problem of these categories, namely weight, we are still far from a real solution.

Created by: cggiuliano - 01/03/24

Browse by Columns








Stay tuned!
Sign up for our mailing list