On September 19, 2013 the Los Angeles Karting Championship announced on its website that it will not be offering the Comer Kid Kart Class in the 2014 season. According to the post by Greg Jackson, “Honda Performance Development is all set to supply your kart shop with sealed GX50 engines that are ready to go”. LAKC has embraced the move by Honda to support a low-cost developmental karting class by offering ten GXH50 engines for $599 on the first-come-first-served bases along with paid race entries in the 2013 season.
Skyforce Racing was recipient of one of these GXH50 engines. Team principal Adam Geczi believes that Honda’s entry into kid karting is what young drivers and the sport needed. According to Geczi, kart racing is built on the three pillars of chassis, engine and driver. “Removing the engine component from that equation with a reliable and consistent 4-stroke power plant allows for the development of the driver and fosters the art of chassis tuning”, Geczi said.
But not everyone seems rejoiced by these developments. Chuck Wagner was concerned that LAKC would alienate many families with the decision to kill off the Comer C-51 class. Wagner encouraged dissension from LAKC rather than switching to the Honda platform. LAKC president Chris Latorre defended the move and stated that “entry count for the new GX50 shows bigger growth with what seems to be a lot less expensive package to run”. Many agree with Latorre. Dave Hicks of Dave’s Motor Works whose son Cooper drives a Top Kart with a GXH50 engine applauded the move “as the only way to go”. Hicks believes the new HPD GXH50 engines leveled the playing field where Cooper can now be competitive with his driving skills.
Geczi also agrees. His driver Skyler is now faster than the Comer drivers thanks to a huge improvement in his driving performance. “We spend less time tweaking the engines and more time coaching the drivers. HPD has given the sport a transfusion with the new Honda Kid Kart class and the result should be more and better drivers”, something the sport needed in order to strengthen in the next few years.