The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Things To Consider When Entering The Kart Hobby

4 December 1999

If you're interested in getting involved in SERIOUS Karting, the folks at
Kart Marketing Group have some suggestions.

1. Karts go as fast as you want them to, and they'll cost as much as you
want to pay for them.  Keep in mind, junior drivers race with restrictors to
keep them at safe speeds of 40-50mph.  Senior drivers unrestricted, will
reach speeds up to 70mph.  At the Daytona Motor Speedway, Karts have been
clocked at 120mph.  The increasingly popular "shifter karts" can reach
speeds in excess of 150mph.

New karts range in the neighborhood of $2,500-$3,500.  A competitive kart
can be bought for around $1,500.

2. There are 3 basic types of kart racing  SPRINT, ENDURO or ROAD, and DIRT.
You should make a decision on which types of racing you want to compete.
Sprint racing takes place on short, twisty asphalt road courses with the
driver seated in an upright position.  The races consist generally of 3
heats per day, with each heat consisting of 5-7 minutes of intense
competition.  Enduro/Road Racing tests both driver and machine endurance.
These races are held at such famous tracks as Road America, Watkins Glen,
and Daytona Motor Speedway.  The races can last as long as 45 minutes to an
hour.  The drivers race in a prone or a laydown position.  Dirt or Speedway
racing takes place on short clay or oval tracks with karts similar to the
Sprint racers.  Dirt track racing's biggest challenges are the track
conditions that change with every lap.

3. Consider joining your local or regional kart club.  There are many things
a kart club can offer its members, like a set racing schedule, available
practice days, track time, access to purchasing racing and safety equipment,
lessons, and many others.  Contact your local club and see what benefits
they offer their members.

4. Determine the type of engine you wish to run. 4-cycle and 2-cycle engines
are both popular.  Each has their advantages over the other.  Kart Marketing
International publishes an annual guide to Karting.  That book is an
excellent starting point for building your kart.  The internet can also be
valuable in researching which type of engine and which manufacturer to
choose.

5. Keep safety in mind.  A racing suit or jacket, helmet, neck brace,
driving gloves, and an electric starter and battery are MANDATORY in all
levels of karting.

Of course, the real purpose of karting is to have fun.  It always pays to
"look before you leap" however, so be smart and informed when you begin the
great sport of karting.

Kart Expo International is the nation's oldest and largest show devoted
strictly to karting.  It is a true "shopping mall of karting", featuring
hundreds of exhibits with the latest in karting products and services and
also offers valuable seminars.  The 1999 Kart Expo International will be
held December 3rd and 4th in Covington, KY.  (Greater Cincinnati Area)