MSA to provide tyre barcoding free to kart clubs


In a move designed to curb tyre usage and reduce costs to competitors, the MSA will supply barcoding systems free of charge to all registered kart clubs in 2019.

The process for homologating kart tyres now requires a barcode to be incorporated on the sidewall, so their use can be tracked using barcode readers connected to specialist software and a dedicated database.

To contain costs, clubs can now restrict the actual usage of tyres during a race meeting or championship, meaning that competitors do not have to buy an excessive number of sets to remain competitive.

A recent survey of competitors across motorsport revealed that tyres are their single biggest ongoing expense, so limiting usage is an important cost-saving measure. An added benefit is that clubs can identify the origins of any abandoned or discarded tyres at events, helping to ensure they are disposed of properly.

To encourage the widespread use of this technology, the MSA has negotiated a three-year software subscription deal with Alpha Timings. The MSA will also provide clubs with the wireless handheld scanners. In total, the governing body’s initial investment is worth a significant five-figure sum, with support from Dunlop.

Any clubs that have already invested in the Alpha barcoding software will be able to cancel their subscription payments from 2019, and those that have purchased a scanner will be reimbursed or provided with a second unit if preferred.

David Richards CBE, MSA Chairman, said: “Karting should be one of the most accessible forms of motorsport, yet costs have been allowed to spiral in recent years. This initiative is just the start of a fresh drive to lower these cost barriers and return the sport to a more affordable position. We will also explore whether this technology could benefit other types of motorsport in a similar way.”

Alpha Timings’ Will Tew added: “We’re delighted that the MSA has taken the initiative to provide our industry-leading tyre scanning software to all its kart clubs. It means that any decisions in the future to reduce tyre usage can be measured effectively. We believe this is a world-first for a governing body to take this kind of initiative and we are very proud to be part of it.”

In conjunction with this initiative, the MSA will be encouraging all clubs to incorporate tyre usage controls into their 2019 regulations – many already do so successfully in certain classes, such as Cadets.

All MSA-registered kart clubs will be contacted directly with full details of how to take advantage of this offer.

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