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Getting Started

Kart racers range anywhere in age from 5 years old up into the 60s!

Karts are very low to the ground with virtually no suspension. They range anywhere from 60” – 72” in length and 45” – 55” in width depending on what type. Again, depending on the style along with the different kind of motor, tires, etc., karts weight from 100lbs – 150lbs. The kart engine can have up to 30 horsepower and as little as 5.

The “go-kart” phenomenon began in the late 1950s as a fun and reasonable form of motorsports with casual parking lot events rapidly growing into organized competition on purpose-built tracks. Since then, the sport has spread around the world, forming a true “grassroots” of motorsports and spawning a multi-billion dollar industry. While the “go” in the name has long since been dropped by those involved with the sport, karting (properly spelled with a “k”) has gone on to become a primary recreational activity for an estimated 100,000 plus Americans annually.

Regardless of any aspiring driver’s age, experience or budget, there is a karting class for them. An excellent place to get started in this sport is at a nearby kart shop. A kart shop will help beginners get acquainted with what is happening in their area and provide valuable assistance in securing the right equipment to get started.

There is not a better way of introducing yourself to motorsports. It offers an excellent entry level for racing that is safe, economical and fun. From the beginner to the experienced veteran, it is a sport that involves the entire family. It teaches the humble way to enjoy a victory and continued success, as well as, overcoming defeat and moving on to the next race.

A lot of today’s most famous racers began their careers in competitive kart racing. They include Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Sam Hornish Jr, Sara Fisher and Danica Patrick, to name just a few. Many others have made karting a life long hobby and/or career. It is not necessarily a stepping stone to higher levels of racing—some of the best racing in the world happens in karting.

Karting is a great way to grow as a family, a person and as a driver. (Above Ref: World Karting Association, www.worldkarting.com.)

A competition level Kart is made up of only a small number of components that effect overall performance. This keeps competitors on an equal level, generating close wheel to wheel racing and places the emphasis on driving skill. After all, Kart racing is for all ages.

Your first step should be to visit your local track. Be sure to get pit passes so you can be where the action is. Get a good look at the various types of karts up close. Meet and visit with the owners, drivers and track officials. You will find that are very friendly and are eager to help those interested in getting involved in this great sport.

All tracks and clubs have regulations in regards to various types of Kart classes and required safety. Before purchasing your equipment, we recommend that you contact a local club official about these regulations. Junior classes are structured by age, which have rules to control the performance and speeds they generate. Safety gear requirements include a full face Snell approved helmet, and abrasive resistant jacket or suit, gloves, gloves and a neck collar. Chest protectors are required for drivers 12 years of age and younger.

So what is it going to cost? There are a number of factors involved to answer that question, such as what age group an class will you be competing in, and simply how fast do you want to go. The greatest diversity is in the senior divisions when considering the various types of chassis and engine combinations available today. For more information, contact a club official or a Kart shop. H. O. T. Club Officials can be found on the contact info page of this site.