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Progress report

I just wanted to give vintage kart folks a progress report on organizing the Vintage Kart Reunion, and to ask for your help in a couple areas if you are able. This is a bit long, but I wanted to let folks know how things are progressing. Here’s where things are at in terms of features that have been solidified, and things that are in progress:

1. Promotion – We have the vintagekartreunion.com site up and running and just launched the facebook pages. I’ve been keeping those up to date, so please feel free to book mark them and visit often for updates. Vince took flyers with him to the Tucson meet, and I dropped 50 flyers off at Prairie City last weekend. I want to get the word out to as many participants as possible, but I also plan on promoting to the vintage automotive/traditional hot rod crowd to get spectators interested. So posters will go up at local speed shops, I’ll hit any local car shows with flyers, and I’m looking at the cost of taking out ads in Crusin’ News and a couple of smaller national publications such as Traditional Speed and Kulture magazine.

2. Track –  I’m working with Donald Durbin out at Prairie City, and he is extremely accommodating and supportive. He totally gets it and is making putting this together a joy. They will handle the registration and are just charging participants the regular practice fee: $35 per day. I asked about pit passes and at this point there is no charge to spectate, they only need to sign a waiver. I forgot to mention it when I was out there last weekend, but I’m figuring we’ll run the Grand Prix configuration which I believe is the longest one, and the one we always ran in the original era.

3. Accommodations – Because Prairie City is actually a State Park, at this time there is no camping allowed due to Covid. I’m hoping that changes by May, but it’s just too hard to know right now. I will be sure to keep everyone updated. I will put together a list of hotels/motels in the area along with the rates, and I’ll also look to see if we can lock in a special rate at one of them as the “official” meet hotel. Look for this information in the next couple of weeks.

4. Show – The particulars on the show are coming together and we hope to have all the details published soon. With this meet, the intent is to put more focus on the show than perhaps has been done at most meets in the past. Rather than the show only happening for an hour at lunch, we’d like to have the show karts displayed all weekend. At this point in time we have a 20’x40’ tent secured that belongs to the track, and are looking into renting an additional 8’ x 20’ tent. We will have both scored classes, and an exhibition class. Scored classes will be eligible for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place trophies, the exhibition class will be eligible for the “People’s Choice” award. While the goal is always fun, we know a lot of folks have really nice karts they’ve restored or added to their collections that never make it to the meets. So we want to give a space to celebrate these karts all weekend.

We hope to be able to publish the scoring criteria soon to allow folks prepare their karts. For additional questions, you can contact Tom Thorin directly at tom@vintagekartreunion.com

5. On Track Action – Friday willconsist of open track time and setting up the show, and we will have a meet and greet with beverages and light refreshments in the hospitality area of the track that will run from 4pm until the park closes. At this point I’m not sure of when they change their hours but that will be either 6pm or 7pm. There is also a large screen TV in the hospitality area and a number of us have had our old karting movies transferred to DVD, so we will be screening them during this time, as well as during the day on Saturday. It will be a perfect opportunity to catch up with folks and share your scrapbooks, war stories, and bench race.

Saturday morning we will have a short drivers meeting early to go over the program as well as expected on track behavior, then we’ll get the program under way. The 5-lap fun heats will consist of the following groups, followed by a couple special sessions:

·         Historic – karts through 1962 with period engines, or a Mc49 or West Bend 500 rookie engine. Historic dual rears with period engines can also run in this group.

·         Rear singles – the typical karts from ’63-72 with American reed, or early Italian rotary engines that would have been used in period on those karts.

·         Sidewinder – American Reed powered single engine sidewinders from 1969-79ish

·         Duals – twin engine karts later than historic, up through the early 80’s. We can have staggered gridding to keep like-karts together.

·         Yamaha/Foreign Sidewinder – As it reads: Yamaha and Italian (or other Foreign) powered sidewinders from the late 70’s though early 80’s.

·         Open Track – 10/15 minutes of open track time at the end of the heats.

·         Closed Track for juniors – 10/15 minutes for kids and possibly total novices to be able to get laps in without the worry of faster traffic around them.

Once we finish this cycle, we start it at the top again and repeat this schedule throughout the day. Keep in mind, the 5-lap fun heats exist to just get folks out on the track at the same time, and with the anticipation of having a number of spectators, the opportunity to put on a show for the public.  It’s a play race. I’m not going to send a group around for another pace lap if they can’t get it grouped up – when karts in the group come around to the start/finish line, the green flag will be flying. After 4 laps, the white flag will fly and then the checkered on the 5th lap. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’ll have this schedule posted on a pit board in gridding.

Depending on kart count and as the day wears on, groups may be combined in order to keep things running briskly.

Need volunteers:  we would like to have a “point person” for each group to help keep them informed when they should roll up to grid (ideally when the group before them rolls out.) Gary Crawford has volunteered to be the point person for the Yamaha/Foreign sidewinder group. If this is something you can do, please let me know. Also, anyone that can take a little time out here and there to hang around the grid and help start karts when you’re not running, that would be a huge help as well.

6. BBQ – we will put together a BBQ lunch for participants on Saturday, but the details are currently being worked out. If you have any questions or would like to help out, please contact Vince Hughes at vince@vintagekartreunion.com

7. Swap Meet – We will have a dedicated swap meet area in the pits for folks who want to sell vintage karts and parts, and we are open to vintage mini bike stuff as well. I will probably reach out to the vintage mini bike community to let them know. No charge for swap space, just set up in the area.

Raffles, Awards Ceremony, Memorial – Rather than shut things down at lunch to have a raffle and show, we will do this at the end of the day on Saturday. We will probably secure the track around 4pm, and then have a closing program.

With the raffles, since the UVKA is a philosophy and not a club, we figured that it would be good to raise funds for organizations that are doing good work to help people out.

For the main raffle – and we want to just keep all the prizes kart-related – the proceeds will go to the Cancer Research Institute. They are graded A with 84% going to programs, and out of every $100, only $15 goes towards administrative costs. A number of us have been affected by cancer either directly or had a friend or loved one have to mount that battle. This organization helps fund research so we can see a decline in cancer rates. 

The proceeds from the 50/50 will go to the Wounded Warriors Family Support. We have a number of veterans in our ranks, and would like to do something that helps the families of those who serve and have served. They have an A rating with 87% of money raised going to the programs, and out of every $100, only $6 goes towards administrative costs. 

If possible I’d like to try to do a third raffle – I’ve got a spare See-Level tank, a set of Azusa Tri-stars, a rear axle, Bendix brake setup, sprocket hub, sprockets, chain, a Mc91 in pieces minus intake setup, pedals, and an Azusa steering shaft. If I can find a cheap/free rear engine frame that is straight, I’d like to build a raffle kart which would be a separate raffle with $5 or $10 tickets. 

The proceeds from the raffle kart would go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. With so many of us affected by the wildfires out west, the Red Cross has been invaluable to helping folks out.

With all these donations, I will be 100% transparent and publish a record of the donations here, so you know that your efforts have strictly gone where it is intended.

The other thing I would like to do is to condense the raffle prizes into perhaps 10 -12 lots, and then have folks able to put their tickets in for the specific lot they would like to try to win.

We will do the raffles at the end of the day Saturday, also award the show winners their trophies, and would also like to take a few moments to have a roll call and a moment of silence for those vintage karters who were active in the hobby and have left us in the last 20 years.

Need your help: if you have any kart parts, books, magazines, memorabilia you’d care to donate as raffle prizes, please let me know. Also, if you can contribute any needed parts or labor to the raffle kart, please let me know. Would also love to have folks work shifts at the raffle table if you have a half hour or hour to spare on Saturday.

Also, I’d like to try to get everyone included in the memorial – Vince and I are making a list of folks we know who have passed, but please forward your list of any kart folks from the original era, or our vintage karting era of the last 20 or so years who have passed. We would like to make sure we honor their memory.

9. Sponsorship – We’re working hard to make this meet a weekend to remember with lots of great times with great folks. Because there is no club, there is no operating capital other than what is coming out of our pockets, which we are glad to do. However, if you have a karting-related business, or any kind of business and would care to help out with a sponsorship for the BBQ, raffle, or show, we’ll be sure to get you both a spot to hang your banner on the track fence or the show area. In addition, I will be publishing an event program and will create and incorporate your ad into the program letting folks know that you are an event sponsor.

Thanks so much! Please get the word out to folks who might not hear about this otherwise.

I’m really looking forward to seeing each of you out there – your participation and attendance really means a lot.

I’ll update the sites with developing news, but I’ll send an email out from time to time as well. If you’d like to be added to my email list (your address is hidden from the other email recipients) please let me know via the email address below and I will add you.

Thanks so much for your time.

All the best,
Dean
dean@vintagekartreunion.com

Proposed layout for the meet

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