Leave The Pro Classes To The Professionals

Sometimes, little things bug me.

 This one has for a long, long time; the use of the word ‘Pro’ in reference to karting classes in this country.

In my mind (and when used as a noun in the context of a class name), ‘pro’ is an abbreviation for ‘professional’. The definition of professional can be ‘a person who earns a living in a sport or other occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs’.

We don’t have professional drivers in this sport.

Yes, there are people who could be described as professionals in karting as they do make a living from the sport, but that’s from doing other work in the industry, not driving.

Pro can also be used to describe an ‘expert in the field’, so I guess there is justification for using the term to describe some of the top level classes, such as those in CIK Stars of Karting, and even the Rotax Pro Tour. It might also be appropriate for the occasional special feature race where the country’s top level drivers come together to do battle. But it should have to be a damn good quality field to earn the right to use the term Pro.

Regardless, the term most emphatically should not be used to name a category that is simply running at a ‘middle’ weight.

‘Pro’ has nothing to do with mass!

Senior National Pro, Rotax Pro, TaG 125 Restricted Pro... WFT?! A restricted Pro class? P-Platers competing in a professional category?? The two should be mutually exclusive...

So, what’s the solution? Simple: just leave ‘pro’ out of the name.

If a category runs various weight divisions, then use the standard terms already in use, such as Light and Heavy. But if the category has been combined at some other weight, just use the standard class name.

For example (I’ll use Rotax simply for illustrative purposes), if there are sufficient numbers to justify a split, then fine, you have a choice of entering a Rotax Light division, and/or a Rotax Heavy division.

If there’s just the one Rotax class running (regardless of the weight), then you are simply running ‘Rotax’! It’s most certainly not a special Pro division!

An event that runs many weight divisions of a category could include the class weight as part of the class name (eg, Rotax 185kg). Yes, that’s a bit messy to explain to a non-karter, but at least it’s not misleading the public by claiming ‘pro’ status for a bunch of amateur racers.

Ok, rant over. Go and enjoy your karting.

Mark Wicks


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