Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:52 pm
Open letter regarding LAKC and Tri-C/EP1K merger
For those who don't know me, my company, Karting Ventures, Inc., owns and operates the CalSpeed Karting Center at Auto Club Speedway. CalSpeed has been the home track to LAKC since 2005, the track's first full year of operation. Over the past 5 years, LAKC has grown into the largest and most successful kart club in Southern California and IKF Region 7. It is my personal belief that this success results from a recipe of competitive racers, dedicated officials/board members, popular class offerings, and a centrally located track. As such, LAKC and CalSpeed have been very good for one another.
With the recent announcement that Tri-C Karters and EP1K have merged and will be running all races at CalSpeed in 2010, a few questions have surfaced that I would like to answer and share with everyone.
1. Why the merger?
Both Tri-C and EP1K have considerably lower attendance than LAKC, however the operational expenses to put on an event at CalSpeed is nearly the same, no matter how many racers attend. By merging the separate race days into one, these expenses can be shared without raising the price of entry for the racers.
2. Why have 2 clubs running at the same track?
First and foremost, LAKC is the largest club in SoCal, both in terms of attendance and class offerings. As such, LAKC's program is designed to handle the large turnout and is run at the same level as a regional event, but on a monthly basis. The Tri-C/EP1K club will cater to a different crowd by offering different classes, different format, and a different points structure. The club is not pursuing the LAKC racers, as they (you) already have a home with LAKC. Instead, the focus will be on offering classes that LAKC does not and marketing to people outside the sport who are new to karting.
3. Can both clubs survive/prosper at the same track?
I certainly believe they can and will do everything I can to make sure they do. There is enough room at CalSpeed for 2 kart clubs that offer unique programs from each other. The same way that ProKart and Gatorz co-exist in SoCal (and CalSpeed), so too can LAKC and Tri-C/EP1K.
4. How is Tri-C/EP1K different from LAKC?
In many ways. However, I do not feel it is appropriate to go into too many details here since this is LAKC's site and I do not want the comparisons to come off as one-sided. I will say that these 3 clubs have co-existed in harmony over the years, all the while offering racing programs to very distinct audiences. The distinctions remain, and are spelled out on each of the club's web sites, should you want to see them for yourself.
In closing, CalSpeed is LAKC's home track and intends to remain so for years to come. The racers, board members, officials, and volunteers are all responsible for the success the LAKC/CalSpeed partnership has enjoyed. I would certainly like for that success to continue to grow and prosper into the future.
A sincere thank you to all those involved with LAKC and I look forward to seeing you at the season opener on January 17.
Best of luck this year,
Rob Niles, President
Karting Ventures, Inc.
CalSpeed Karting Center