I really wish I had the time to check in here more often, so I have to rely on Danica to tell me when I might be needed for input! Please, if ANYONE needs info on Fat Cat (or anything else), I'm more than happy to chat via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok, so from what I understand (aside from the youtube videos I didn't watch), someone got DQ'd for not having an authentic Fat Cat kit again. This is once again a problem with people not knowing what the FCM kits are supposed to look like, or them receiving cars they had built from shops using the AA kits, and not checking for themselves. I don't know whose fault this is. I know exactly what I put on our cars, but can understand that some don't who have their cars built for them, or who have bought cars used and haven't gone over them.
We've been asked to include some sort of indication that the FCM kits we manufacture and distribute to all the dealers to indicate they are selling you the authentic Fat Cat kits, because people are unclear on what kit they have in their cars, and if the kits you're buying are the right ones. We've created a certified logo for dealers websites product pages, and a sticker that we'll be including in every Fat Cat SM kit we send out so people know for certain they're getting the right kit. How we got to this jagged point, I can only imagine along the way it was a mix of people not knowing the difference between an FCM kit and not-FCM kit, not knowing the AA kit wasn't the actual FCM kit, builders buying the AA kit because it was easier to get (and cheaper), and I'm not gonna lie, shops selling the AA kit without telling their customers it wasn't the actual kit specified in the rules, which is not being 100% clear with your customers and a problem between you (the customer) and your shop, in my opinion if it matters.
Historically, I can say with 100% certainty that if you got a kit from Mazdaspeed Motorsports or us, you have the authentic FCM kits, as MMD bought them direct from Fat Cat before we took over production of them. Since then, we've been supplying them to MMD. We've sold them to other shops and resellers before the runoffs debacle as well, but it's best to check with those shop owners or builders to be certain on what they sold you. This isn't a "you must buy from us" scenario, if you are a car builder or SM parts reseller, we will 100% work with you to get your shop access to the kits.
After the runoffs debacle, we've had WAY more shops and builders sign up with us to get the right kits on their cars, so chances are if your kit is purchased post-runoffs, it's most likely authentic. If you bought a kit from Advanced, it's not an FCM kit as he's not signed up with us, which indicates two things:
1. He still might be using his own kits.
2. He gets his kits from Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development.
If he gets them from MMD, then you're probably good to go. I don't know what he's doing. You'll have to ask him. Either way, in about a month, all kits we ship out are going to have an authenticity sticker in them and all websites that sell the FCM kits via us will have the ability to put the authenticity logo on their product pages. That should help people verify they have the right kits, no?
IF you have an old car and are not sure, below are some example pictures of the components of the authentic FCM kits and explanations. If you want the unabridged history of the FCM kits and a comparison between the FCM and Advance kits, here's my novel on the subject. This has been on our since August of last year, but I never advertised it because it wasn't an issue until the runoffs: http://5xracing.com/...ters-guide.html