"1/2 inch gear clearance rule"

PitDaddy

New member
Disclaimer: I am new to go kart racing and am learning on-the-fly...

Anyone have ANY idea what the "1/2 inch gear clearance rule" is in go kart racing? It states in my local tracks rules "The ? inch gear clearance rule will be strictly enforced. Anyone not in compliance will lose his or her points for the race day." But that's it! Nothing else! I even searched several search engines online and only one link to another track popped up stating exactly the same thing - with NO explanation of what it means! I can't find anything explaining what it is! :confused:
 

ponytl

Member
as i understand it... and I'm usually wrong... it's a safety issue... the kart as raced sitting on a flat level surface... the rear gear... the one your chain goes around on the rear axle has to have 1/2" clearance to the ground... ie: you can't have a huge rear gear that would/could plow a trench in the track... or someone if you were to run over a body part... that was still attached to a body...
 

PitDaddy

New member
That's honestly what I was thinking, but without more context or description, that's only one possible explanation... does sound "common sense" though. Thanks.
 
When I first started karting at one track to avoid getting ruts in the track they imposed a limit on the size sprocket you could use, at that time a 9-70, we were running 2 cycles. At The Original Speedway Park they had the 1/2" gear rule. They had a concrete pad laid down before the scales with a strip of 1/2" metal sticking up that you could drive over to see if it touches the chain. Caution: your chain can have a little slack on the bottom of the sprocket and hang down, the tension will be on top. If they let you, pull forward then back over the metal strip to put the tension on the bottom of the sprocket so that it doesn`t hang down. I actually lost a state championship because of this in 1983. During practice they had one group of people running the scales, I was close but passed. I asked if they would be checking during the races and they said yes. After the first heat there was a different group of people at the scales and they didn`t pass me, got DQ for the heat and lost the championship.
 
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