The primary role of the Technical Officer is to ensure that competition and equipment used within competition is in accordance with the KartSport New Zealand Rules and Specifications. This can be separated into three main areas.
1. Machine Examination
Every Technical Officer is also a Machine Examiner and as such needs to be fully conversant with all rules regarding all chassis types - Sprint, Cadet and Superkart. Technical Officers may be called upon to assist or to supervise scrutineering.
2. Pit Chute checks
This involves all tasks required during the day including sealing of engines, marking of tyres, weighing karts as well as other checks that may be carried out during the event on the dummy grid, in the pit chute or the impound area.
3. Tech Shed Inspections
This is seen by many as the ‘traditional’ area for the Technical Officer. While this is the area where the majority of checks on engines is carried out it is still only a third of the Technical Officers total role.
It is the Technical Officers responsibility to check the engine(s) ONLY for the legality of the engine in respect to the technical specifications and not to add or delete from them.
Infringements and Penalties
It must be noted that no Technical Officer can issue a penalty. Any infringement of the rules or specifications must go to the Stewards of the Event who are the only ones who can issue a penalty.
In the case of a Judge of Fact (weight/clutch check etc) a Judge of Fact PNR must be completed and handed to the Clerk of the Course. For all other infringements that are not a Judge of Fact (engine checks, rear width etc) an Officials Report on a PNR Form must be submitted to/by the Clerk of the Course. When this is done the Technical Officer will record on the Form the ‘penalty’ and this is taken from the “Table of Penalties - Technical Infringements” within the KartSport Manual. If unsure on the correct penalty to apply then this should be discussed and decided in consultation with the other Technical Officers present, the Clerk of the Course or via a phone call to the National Technical Officer. Further information can be found in the Technical Infringement Guideline.
A Technical Officer is a volunteer who makes themselves available as an independent and totally unbiased judge to determine that a competitor competing at an event does so legally within the KartSport New Zealand rules and technical specifications so that all other competitors can be sure that they are not competing against competitors with illegal equipment.
Any Technical Officer who is not independent and unbiased or is in the role for any other purpose than that stated above, needs to carefully consider their motives and reasons for being a Technical Officer, as anything other than the purpose stated above is unacceptable for any Technical Officer.
It is the Technical Officers responsibility to check chassis and engines ONLY for legality in respect to the rules and technical specifications and never to add to, change or delete any requirements of those rules and technical specifications.
If there is a rule in the manual that you may personally disagree with, you must never the less be prepared to administer the rule according to the manual. If you are not prepared to take action with a competitor for infringing the rules, even though it is not a pleasant job, you are not acting in the best interests of the competitors or KartSport New Zealand. It is not the Technical Officers responsibility to apply their own interpretation to a rule or technical specification. If you cannot make a clear determination of the requirement of the rule or technical specification then you must seek an interpretation ONLY from the National Technical Officer.
However a decision made by a technical officer regarding the legality of a chassis or engine to the rules and technical specifications is binding and is not open to debate or argument by a competitor except to the extent provided by the KartSport New Zealand judicial procedure.
It is not the role of a Technical Officer to deliberately seek out or target competitors that they think may be competing with illegal equipment or doing something wrong.
Technical Officers must work strictly within the rules and technical specifications. They may not penalise someone unless they have clearly breached a rule. If you see something wrong do something about it, because there is nothing more frustrating for the competitors than seeing someone else getting away with something that is not right. If you see something that is not correct prior to a race you are required to point it out to the competitor rather than saying “I'll wait until they come in after racing and then penalise them”.
It is the responsibility of the Technical Officer to read ALL the words within the rules and technical specifications and understand the structure of the rules to ensure that they apply the rules and only the rules, as written.
It is not possible or necessary to check every aspect of every engine inspected. Nor is it possible to say that after an engine is inspected it is legal. It is only possible to say that of the items inspected at that time, all were found to comply (or not comply as the case may be) with the rules.
When faced with making decisions regarding technical matters, always make a rational decision and never one based on emotion. Don’t get ‘backed into a corner’ or ‘pressured’ to make any decision other than the one you know is based on facts, the rules and the situation in front of you and nothing else.