Honda Cadet Clubman
When you first start karting, the initial outlay can be quite a burden, kart, tyres, clothing, club fees, entry fees, licences etc. Very often, the engine can be one of the most significant parts of that outlay. With the Honda Cadet, you do get the option, at some circuits, of entering a “Clubmans” series of races.
If you talk to some engine preparers, they will tell you that the performance you will get from your engine is directly related to how much you are prepared to spend on it, and in some cases, that is true. Of course, that detracts from the basic tenet of Honda Cadet racing, that the best driver on the day will win. It would be very frustrating to know that your driver had performed very well on the day, but had been beaten by someone who had invested a larger sum of money on his engine. In Honda Cadet, the engines are pretty even to start with, but with Honda Cadet Clubman, this process has been taken a stage further.
Most of the regular Honda engine dealers will supply you with a Clubmans engine prepared to a specific standard, and for a standard price (currently £550 + VAT). To ensure that someone won’t take one of these engines and then spend further resources upgrading its performance, Clubman operates a “buy-back” scheme. That broadly means that any competitor can buy any other engine being raced on the day for a fixed fee (currently £725), thus negating the expenditure of further money on a Clubmans engine. The full rules for Clubman buy-back are available from any of the circuits currently running a Clubmans grid.
Is this a fair system?
If you've been racing and you really believe that another kart has an engine advantage, you can purchase that engine for £550. Then you get the opportunity to try it in your kart at a future meeting, and see for yourself if there is any advantage.
If you've been racing and someone wants to buy your engine, you have to sell it to them, for £550. You can then buy a fresh engine for £510, and use the spare cash to run it in for a day and change the oil.
There are limits and safeguards in place within the regulations to keep any buying and selling within sensible limits. In practice, there is very little of this, as the system deters folk from meddling with their engines. Result? There is a very level playing field in Honda Cadet Clubman racing.