At what age can we start karting, and then depending on what age we are, which classes we would fall into. Now, this does vary between a country to country. Where I'm located in Melbourne, Australia, the earliest that someone can start kart racing is at six years of age. So at six years of age, you can apply for a practice license only. This then allows you to get 12 months of practice on track, so that you can start to hone your skills and learn the basics, the race lines, build some confidence, get used to the brakes, get more familiar with other karts being around you on the racetrack.
Then after 12 months if you wish to start competing, you don't have to, you can still just practice, but after 12 months you can then decide, I want to apply now for a racing license. That then allows you to enter race events. Depending on where you're located, you can race multiple different tracks in your home state. But seven to 10 years of age is what we classify as our cadet category or overseas that's the equivalent of a micro class, so seven to 10.
Now, if some kids grow earlier than other kids and they're a little bit too tall or they're a little bit heavier and they fall outside of the class weight, it's a disadvantage to those drivers. Then you can apply to go up a category. Now the next category is from 10 to 12 or 13 years of age, but normally 10 to 12 is our cadet 12 category or overseas, it's classified as the mini category.
So what that is, is the same engine but no restrictor. Our micro class has a restrictor just to slow the kids down. They're still traveling at speeds of say, 90 kilometers an hour. Some tracks allow the karts to go upwards of a 100 kilometers an hour. So it's still extremely fast for six to nine and 10-year-old drivers. Then when you take the restrictor out, a little bit more acceleration, maybe about one second per lap faster and maybe an extra three to four kilometers on the straights. Once you've gone through your cadet categories and you want to step into the junior class, that age is basically from about 12 to 15 to 16 years of age. Now, at 16 years of age, you have to go into the senior category in Australia, but at 15 years of age or with some exemptions, whether you've won Australian titles, you can possibly go up at 14 years of age. We like to say 12 to 15 is your junior category.
In your junior category, you've got multiple different classes. You've got 100 cc engines (KA100), you've got some Rotax engines (Junior Max) that are 125 cc with the restrictor that are water cooled. So depending on your skill level, the experience that you have, the class weight as well, that will then determine which class you find yourself into. Then when you're 15 or 16 years of age, you can then go into the senior category.
Seniors have multiple classes as well, so we still have a 100-cc class (KA100). We also have our TaG engine, it's classified as touch and go. So that falls under the Rotax engine, the IAME engine, the PRD engine, and the Vortex engine. That also has a restricted class. If you are just starting kart racing and you might be 16, you might be 30 years of age, you could then start with the same engine that I would race, but it has a restrictor in. It's meant for drivers in their first 12 to 18 months of their racing. At least that way it's only slightly slower than the open performance, but you're driving against people with similar experience levels. So rather than a 20-year-old driver with no experience entering a race against me, it just doesn't make sense because I've got 25 years of experience under my belt. This way, you group up the drivers together, and they can learn together and improve their skills.
There is a Masters category which in most countries is 32 years of age and above, which allows the older drivers, whether they're just starting or whether they've been involved in the sport for 20 plus years to race against people that are paying their own bills, and not coming up against 15-year-old kids that are pretty loose on the track and don't have a perception on if you crash the kart that you have to actually pay for it. The master's category is set up to suit those older drivers that still want to be competitive, still want to have fun and do it in a slightly less aggressive category as well.
So, there's the age limits for your different categories. As I said, you can start at any age in kart racing. We see people starting at 45 years of age because they may have always wanted to do motor racing or they've got a motoring background, whether it's mechanical work or engineering and they think, "You know what? We just want to go to the kart track. We want to tinker on our own go-kart. We want to learn ourselves. We just want to go and have fun."
That's why karting is good. You can just go to the track and circulate yourself. Or if you want to, you can get your racing license and you can go and compete with other drivers in similar age brackets, similar weight classes.
I hope that gives you guys a bit of a rundown on what age you can start in kart racing and depending on your age, which category you would fall into. If you guys need to know any more information on kart racing, be sure to check out our other blog posts below. Or check out our Free and Beginner categories.