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 :
- Yellow Flag/Light - there is an incident ahead, raise your arm to alert following drivers, slow down to half racing speed, no overtaking. Racing can resume once drivers have passed the incident and/or seen a green flag/light.
- Red Flag/Light - an incident or issue means the race has to be stopped - raise your arm to alert following drivers, then come to a steady and controlled stop, as soon as possible. Remain in your kart and await further instructions from the marshalls.
- Blue Flag : Not used at Covkartsport rounds
- Black & White Flag/Digi-Board - Generally given as a warning to drivers who have infringed on Circuit Rules more than once - further infringements are likely to result in a Black Flag/Digi-board.
- Black Flag/Digi-Board - a Black Flag is generally given when a driver infringes circuit rules to excess, is driving dangerously or beyond their limits, has committed a serious racing offence, or simply there is an issue with the kart - Generally, a Black Flag/Digi-Board results in a drive-thru penalty, where the driver returns to the pits, and the reason for the penalty is explained to them.
- Chequered Flag/Digi-Board - end of Practice or Race - slow down to half race speed, and continue round the circuit either to the pits, or to a designated stopping/changeover point on circuit which will have been advised in the driver briefings.
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 :
- Red Flag is shown during the first 3 laps of a the race = Restart from Grid in original starting order, and run the race over the remaining number of laps/time
- Red Flag is shown during the last 3 minutes of a race = No Restart - Drivers finishing positions as per their position when they crossed the line prior to the Red Flag.
- Red Flag in between those two periods = Rolling Restart in order of position when crossing the line prior to the Red Flag.
Depending on the nature of the incident, or the reason for the Red Flag, a different course of action may be applied - this will be made clear to drivers by the marshalls.
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 -
- Gaining Advantage by Contact and simply gaining a position (or positions)
Any driver who is deemed to have committed an 'ABC' by the Race Director (Covkartsport and/or Circuit) and/or the Circuit Marshalls will be shown the ABC Board when they cross the line