How to start racing in karts

Columns: Some Advice
It’s never too late to take up karting, but there are some things that you ought to know before doing it.

If you’re reading this article, you are probably already into karting, but plenty of people out there who would like to experience karting in some way, and they haven’t got the faintest idea of how to get started.

That’s why we are writing this article: tag or share it to your friends who would like to start racing in karts, but they don’t know how to go about it! However, don’t forget to warn them: once they get involved in karting they won’t be able to stop, it’s too addicting!

First of all, it’s useful to get an idea of the tracks that are close to you. Choose your local karting facility and get in touch with them. They often set up driving courses, or they have rental karts that will give you a taste of karting. Karting is quite expensive, so we advise you to try it before you start wasting money on it.
Ok, you’ve tried and, of course, you can’t wait to get in a kart again. Welcome in the club mate! After a few track sessions that help you to get faster and faster, you’d like to enter for a real race. There are two ways to do this: the first is you pay a team to have your kart ready to race on track on any given Sunday, and the other is to buy your own go-kart. Well, that’s up to you: if you have some mechanical skills, and you love dirtying your hands, I recommend the second option.
Which category? Which engine? Which chassis? Which tyres?
Well, here I’m going to ask you an uncomfortable question: how big is your wallet? If your budget for karting is limited, you will have to find a good balance between cost and quality of the product. You can buy the best engine for the lowest price, but probably it will blow up during the warm-up lap…!
So, the main issue is: the budget. Depending on that, you can choose between a great range of options: if you want to experience top level karting, you can buy an OK or a KZ kart and compete against the best drivers all around the world. Good for you! If your budget is somewhat limited, I suggest a single make series like Rotax MAX Challenge, Rok Cup or something similar. Thanks to these mounting equal engines and given tyres, they do promote drivers’ skills and nothing else.
What about 4-stroke engines? Briggs & Stratton make the 206, a 4-stroke engine, which is made by hand in Milwaukee, which allows you to race with very little mechanical skills and with a low budget: you can buy a new turn-key kart package in the States for under $4,000, and a second hand pack for around $2,000. This kind of engine is highly diffused in the USA and Canada, and they’re stepping into Europe too, so you race without spending all the money that you have saved up. Forget 2-stroke performance, but it’s better than watching races on a TV screen…!
Generally speaking, buying a kart is a decision taken simultaneously to the choice of championship that you want to race in, so, you just need to organize your little team and keep an eye on costs.
Kart racing is some of the purest form of racing that you can experience. It takes a lot of preparation to get prepare for it, but once you’re on the track, it’s all been worth it.
If you need more detailed information, write an email to and I will be happy to help you (if possible of course!). Have fun!

Alessandro Roca 

Created by: - 10/11/16

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