Starting with race 9, kid karts will return to using the tunnel during their exit from the track. Expecting them to make a VERY sharp turn at the bottom of the hill, avoid track workers, not being distracted by their crew, while braking over the hill has turned out to be more than they can handle safely.
Brief History: For many years, starting in 1992, the tunnel was the exit of choice for the ALL classes. As karts got wider, it became marginal that they would fit so it was reduced to kid karts only. Earlier this year we had to seek an alternate route when the tunnel contained too much water to navigate. This lead to racers asking to use this route full time.
We have struggled to keep crew (parents) from meeting drivers on the track prior to the scale area. When drivers pay more attention to the crew than the track staff, it leads to confusion for their young minds. We (staff and parents) have asked them to become competent in negotiating a hill descent while braking, watching for traffic and avoiding collisions, making a sharp turn (some karts hardly turn this much) without crowd distractions, and proceed to the scale in an orderly line. When you analyze it from this perspective, it is too much to expect from an entry level driver. We will return to the exit allowing more vision, longer time to brake, less sharper turns, more escape routes if mistakes are made, and expect safer results.