Covkartsport is not affiliated with any motorsport organisations such as MSUK or ABKC, therefore our rules and regulations are relatively simple and straightforward. They are broken down into 3 main parts :
As we are racing at various circuits across the UK, and using their karts and marshalls, generally, circuit specific race rules will take precedence over our own race rules where there is a conflict - for example, if the circuit say that 3 kerbing boards results in a Black Flag (i.e. "drive thru" penalty), that ruling would take precedence over our own rules which don't include penalties for kerbing.
Normally, we agree with each circuit's Race Director about the various rules, however, during the driver briefings at each round, and in the days leading up to a championship round, we will clarify. if necessary, exactly what the situation is with the rules if there are significant differences or changes.
Please take the time to read our rules and regulations, so that everything is clear for Raceday...!
Eligibility to Compete
All drivers must be a minimum of 5ft (152cm) tall, and, when seated in the kart, be able to comfortably reach and operate the pedals and/or steering wheel i.e. without stretching. Use of seat inserts, and adjustable seats/pedals (where the karts have them) to facilitate that is allowed, however, if a circuit decides that a driver's seating position in the kart is unsafe, they may not allow you to drive.
Drivers in the Junior Championship must be aged 12 to 15 on the date of the first round that they race at. A Junior driver who is 15 at the start of the Championship year, and who turns 16 during the Championship year can choose to finish the year in the Junior Championship, or move up to the appropriate Lightweight or Heavyweight Championship class. If they choose to move up to the Lightweight or Heavyweight Championship, they cannot carry across points scored in the Junior Championship.
Drivers in the Lightweight and Heavyweight Championships must be aged 16 and above on the date of the first round they race at.
In order to race at any round of the Championships, all drivers must have submitted the appropriate Race Entry form from the Covkartsport website, and paid the appropriate Race Entry fee (either in advance, or on the day at signing-in). 'On the Day' entries are not allowed.
Drivers who have submitted a Membership Form for the Championship and have paid the appropriate Membership Fee are entitled to discounted Race Entry Fees, and are also eligible to win trophies and/or prizes at the end of the Championship Season.
Guest Drivers are welcome to race at any of our championship rounds, however, the full Race Entry Fee must be paid in advance by bank transfer, and whilst they are eligible to win trophies at any Championship Round they race at, any points scored are not included in the main Championship tables, unless they take out a Membership for the Season - in that situation, the points from the last round they raced at as a guest will be added retrospectively to the main Championship tables.
Generally, at each Championship round, we apply a combination of 'Circuit Rules' and 'Covkartsport Rules' - any infringements, violations or transgressions of these rules may result in penalties being awarded to the driver(s) at fault. During the driver briefing at each round, and generally in the days leading up to a championship round, all of the applicable rules will be explained to drivers. Where a Circuit Rule and a Covkartsport Rule contradict each other, the Circuit Rule will take precedence.
Covkartsport have several volunteers who assist at times during race days with 'spotting', however, generally the volunteers are also drivers competing in the championship, so depending on the running order of the weight class races, it is not always possible to have our own spotters watching every race - to that end, we generally rely on the circuit marshalls to inform race control about any incidents / infringements on track.
CovKartSport will endeavour at all times to have a 'Race Director' in Race Control in order to record any warnings / penalties given by the circuit Race Director and, also, if necessary to instruct the circuit Race Director if there are any infringements which CovKartSport view as requiring a specific penalty.
Ultimately, all drivers have an obligation to race cleanly and fairly, and to 'police' their own racing on track. The races are 12 minutes or 15 minutes long, and in a 30 race season, finishing 7th instead of 6th by not making a lunge up the inside on the last lap is not the end of the world...!
It is important that you read and understand the rules that follow, as well as listen carefully to explanations of rules at driver briefings, as we will not accept 'I didn't know' or 'I wasn't aware' from any driver as an excuse...!
At all circuits, the standard motor racing flag and/or light system is generally used to inform drivers about incidents or issues on track. Most circuits will also use warning boards and/or some form of 'Digi-Board' to inform drivers about infringements or penalties. At each round, during the driver briefing, all flags, lights and warning boards will be clearly explained to all drivers.
In terms of Flags/Lights, the following generally applies :
NOTE : Some circuits may use a Black & White flag to indicate a Drive-thru penalty, and a Black Flag to indicate a DQ. At the driver briefing at each round, the use of both flags will be clearly explained.
Red Flag - Race Restart
In the event of a Red Flag being shown, the following will generally be applied regarding the restart :
NOTE : If a drivers kart suffers an obvious and significant mechanical failure (i.e. loss of wheel, engine cut-out etc) during the first lap, a Red Flag may be shown (at the discretion of the Race Director), and the race re-started from the original grid once the driver has been given a replacement kart. The same may be applied, again at the Race Directors discretion, if there is a significant incident during the first lap i.e. multiple drivers are involved in a crash.
Circuits generally issue warning boards (or use Digi-Board) to inform drivers about infringements of Circuit Rules regarding contact, kerbing and 'track limits'. These warnings are issued at the discretion of the Circuit Race Director and/or Marshalls, and as such, with the exception of Contact warnings, are not relevant to Covkartsport Rules, however, if Circuit Rules determine that a black flag / Digi-board is issued for excessive kerbing, track limits or contact warnings, then that supercedes any Covkartsport Rules.
Penalties - General Overview
Covkartsport has no desire or intention to hand out penalties or disqualifications at championship rounds, however, it is necessary when required, to ensure that drivers are penalised for poor, unfair, overly-aggressive or dangerous driving.
Generally, penalties are given on the basis of what has been seen during races by circuit marshalls and/or Covkartsport spotters and/or circuit race director and/or Covkartsport race director - the view of an incident from 'off-track' is often very different to a driver's view from 'on-track', so, as far as Covkartsport are concerned, any penalties that are given are 'deserved'.
We will inform drivers about any penalties they have received, usually straight after the race, and we expect drivers to accept the penalty, whether they agree with it or not. If a driver can provide compelling evidence to the contrary then Covkartsport may, at their discretion, rescind the penalty, however, we will not amend race results / positions in that situation. "Compelling Evidence" generally would require another driver or drivers (involved in or witnessing the incident in question) to confirm that the incident did not warrant a penalty.
We do not use video footage to retrospectively change penalty decisions, on the basis that not everyone is able to record footage of races.
1. Contact (No Advantage Gained) : the circuit will issue contact board(s) to the driver responsible - any driver receiving 3 contact warnings during a championship round, will receive a 3 point penalty, applied to the points scored in the race in which the 3rd contact board was shown. Any further contact warnings will result in a further 2 point penalty for each warning. Regardless of Circuit Rules on Contact Warnings, even if a Driver is shown a Black-Flag, points penalties will still be applied.
2. Contact (Advantage Gained) - ABC : 'Advantage by Contact' comes under 2 categories -
The driver then has 1 lap to give the position(s) back, otherwise, a 5 point penalty will be given, applied to the points scored in that race.
NOTE : If a driver commits an ABC on the last lap of the race, then the 5 point penalty is automatically applied.
3. Jump Starts - Any Driver who is seen to be accelerating/rolling forward on the grid, before the Lights have indicated race start will be given a 3 point 'jump-start' penalty which will be applied to their points scored in that race. The Race Director may apply a more severe penalty at their discretion if the 'jump-start' gains a driver a significant number of positions.
4. Overtaking under Yellow Flags - Any driver who overtakes another driver(s) whilst under Yellow Flag race conditions will be given a 3 point penalty, unless they immediately acknowledge the act and give the position(s) back. It is each drivers responsibility to look out for Yellow Flags/Lights, and adjust their driving accordingly.
5. Weaving/Multiple line changes - Drivers who 'weave' across the track, or change track line multiple times in order to prevent other drivers from overtaking, will be given a 3 point penalty, applied to points scored in that race.
6. Forcing another Driver off-track - Drivers who are seen to deliberately force another driver off the track will be DQ'd from the race. This type of offence will be particularly watched for at circuits with longer straights, where a slower driver may try to block a faster driver from passing by 'pushing' them towards the edge of, and subsequently off the track.
7. Returning to the Track in an unsafe manner - If a Driver leaves the track for any reason, whether through their own doing, as a result of contact from another driver, or coming in to the pits for whatever reason, if they subsequently rejoin in an unsafe manner, the Race Director can award a 3 point penalty. If by rejoining in an unsafe manner, they subsequently cause a crash or incident where drivers have to take extreme evasive action to avoid them, they may be DQ'd from that race.
8. Retaliation - any driver who deliberately drives into another driver, as an act of retaliation, either during or after a race will be DQ'd from the championship round as a minimum. Depending on the seriousness of the incident, they may even be banned from competing at any future Covkartsport Championship rounds.
9. Aggressive/Obscene Gestures - any driver who is seen to be making aggressive or obscene gestures, either during or after a race, to any other driver, spectator, marshall or anyone else, may be given a penalty at the Race Director's discretion, depending on the nature of the gesture.
10. Ignoring a Black Flag - Any driver who ignores a Black Flag, or any other method that a circuit may use to inform a driver that they are to return to the pits immediately, will be DQ'd from that race. Normally, the driver will be allowed a 1 lap 'grace' to react to the Black Flag (i.e. they may miss it the first time, but must react the second time). It is each driver's responsibility to check each time they pass race control and/or start/finish line and/or digiboards if there are any warnings / flags which are being shown to them, so "I didn't see the black flag" or "I didn't realise it was for me" will not be accepted as 'excuses' for ignoring a black flag.
11. The Race Director retains the right to award penalties, at their discretion, for any other offence/incident etc that they deem to be dangerous, unfair and/or not in the spirit of racing.
In all cases, regardless of the stated rules and penalties, the Race Director's decision on any infringements and/or penalties, even after discussions with involved driver(s), is final.
General Rules and Regulations
Below are various points that apply during Race-days, on track, off track, as well as some general expectations .
1. Covkartsport is a competitive championship, but we expect all drivers, friends, family and spectators to treat each other with respect, courtesy and common decency. Any person making threatening, abusive, aggressive, obscene or unwelcome gestures, whether by way of actions or words, towards any other person at a Covkartsport Championship round, may be banned from attending future Covkartsport rounds, and depending on the nature and/or seriousness of the incident, it may be necessary to involve the Police.
The same applies to any comments, photographs etc that are posted on social media forums, away from or during racedays, if they are deemed to be offensive in nature to anyone involved with or associated with Covkartsport, or if they fundamentally undermine Covkartsport itself without clear justification.
2. At any Covkartsport round, there will be people of all ages, sex, gender and race, and as such, everyone who is present at any Covkartsport Round is expected to avoid the use of foul, abusive, discriminatory or inflammatory language, regardless of where they are, or who is around.
3. Drivers who are late for signing-in, and do not inform the Covkartsport team before the end of signing in will start from the back of the grid in their races. If they miss the driver briefing due to lateness, the circuit may not allow them to race. If they miss the practice and/or a race, there will be no refunds, or additional track time / races.
4. 'Pay in Advance' discounts are only valid if the payment is received by Covkartsport before the stated 'Pay in Advance' Deadline. For Race Entry Fees, this is generally one week before the date of each Championship Round. Drivers submitting a 'Pay in Advance' Race Entry who do not actually make the payment before the deadline will not be entitled to the discounted Race Fee, regardless of whether they pay before Race Day or on the Day. If a driver pays the discounted race fee in advance, but after the deadline, the balance will be payable in cash on raceday.
5. Race Fees paid in advance are non-refundable. If a Driver pays in advance, and does not attend the championship round they have paid for, there are two possible outcomes :
6. Any Driver turning up at a Championship round who is clearly under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will not be allowed to race. Depending on the circumstances, the Police may be informed, and/or the driver may be banned from any future Covkartsport Championship rounds. Any drivers who are discovered to be drinking alcohol during a championship round, unless they have completed all of their races, will be DQ'd from the Championship Round, and possibly banned from Covkartsport for life.
Any Person at a Championship Round (drivers or spectators) partaking of any drug related activities will be banned from Covkartsport for life.
7. Any or all matters arising or issues to be addressed should be raised in the first instance to a member of the Covkartsport team - whether verbally, or in writing (via e-mail). In all such cases, if the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the decision of the main Championship Organiser will be final, unless there is warranted justification to overturn any such decision.
8. Covkartsport retains the right to add, remove, or change any rules or regulations when required.