Just like with other sports, Karting is divided into different classes. Things such as age, engine used, and weight are some of the things that separate go-kart classes from each other. There are usually 3 classes that drivers can join. Those are Cadet, Junior, and Senior classes, & while the name of these classes may differ depending on where you live, the technical and sporting regulations are relatively similar. In this article, we are going to cover the cadet class. Is this the class for you? Well, if you are to join this class, here are some of the requirements.
Age Bracket: 7-12 years old
The cadet class is reserved for the youth and kids just starting out in karting. For parents, this is a good first step for your child to smoothly transition into the world of competitive karting. Most countries will split the cadet category into Micro (7-10 years old) and Mini (10-12 years old) with the differences being weight and a larger restrictor.
Minimum Weight: Micro 220lbs & Mini 235lbs (Kart and Driver)
To avoid any unfair advantage, this class requires the total weight of both the driver and kart to be at least that weight, but it’s always wise to be 1-2lbs over the minimum in case of scale fluctuations, the loss of fuel & fluids when driving. On the other hand, while there is no maximum weight limit for any class, it still presents a disadvantage for the driver if they are over the minimum weight of the class.
Engine Used: 60cc IAME Swift, Vortex 60cc ROK & 4-Stroke Engines
Depending on what series and location you race in, there are different engines used. The IAME Swift is a 60cc engine that has a tunable carburetor, meaning that the driver can alter the fuel – mix ratio whilst driving. This can have its advantages but can also be a lot to ask of a young cadet driver at the speeds they are travelling.
The other engine used in the USA, Italy, Australia & New Zealand is the Vortex 60cc ROK engine. This is like the IAME Swift, with a push button start, clutch, but the main difference is it has a fixed carburation. This means that once the jet is set, it can’t be altered whilst driving.
These 4-stroke engines have a top speed of 50-60 mph or 80-96 kmh. Furthermore, these engines have a displacement of around 150-250 cc (Cubic Centimeters) which translates to roughly 5-16 hp (horsepower). Sometimes, cadet classes only allow a certain engine manufacturer for competition. One example of this are Honda Cadet classes located across the United Kingdom. For good quality 4-stroke engines, the Honda GX390, Briggs & Stratton LO206, and Tillotson 225 make reliable and durable 4-stroke engines.
Most countries require any driver competing even at the local level to hold a competition license. Every country has an organization that gives a competition license in accordance with the rules and regulations of the FIA. For more information on licenses and how to get one yourself, check the article we made about it (http://lnkiy.in/HowToGetAGo-KartLicense).
Chassis: Homologated Cadet
Go karts in the cadet category range in size from 900mm – 950mm in wheelbase. They tend to use a 30mm diameter axle that can be altered to change the stiffness depending on the track conditions.
In the United Kingdom, the go-kart you wish to enter in the cadet class, you must consider many things in order for you kart to be homologated/approved. Here are some things to take note. For starters, a cadet kart must have a wheelbase of 900mm +/- 5mm (millimeters). The axles must also be a solid magnetic parallel 25mm diameter axle. Lastly, the wheels must also be taken into consideration. They can be mono aluminum or two-piece made, and the hubs must have an overall length lesser than 60mm. If you want to have a general idea and learn more about the technical regulations of the cadet class, you can check out the official website of the cadet kart championship (https://cadetkartchampionship.co.uk/rules/) which is being held in the United Kingdom.
So those were some of the general rules/instructions to follow if one is to join and be eligible for the cadet class. Keep in mind that these are not concrete and simply a basis and reference as to how cadet championships are operated. Always check your nearest racetrack as rules in your country may differ or have slight variations. In the next article of this 3-part series, we will cover the information you need to know if you want to join the Junior class.