After covering the cadet and junior classes, including what is required in order join these classes, all but one class remains, that being the senior class. Just below the shifter karts, this is the pinnacle of karting in the TaG (Touch and Go) engine category, topped off with the best drivers all racing for victory. These one make categories have the best engine parity and the most cost effective for drivers to get started.
Age Bracket: 14 and above
It is important to note that there is overlap between the junior and senior categories in terms of age as it is possible to still compete in the junior class at age 14. Therefore, drivers have two options. One is to stay in the junior class and continue to compete at the front of the field then make a move up to senior when you turn 15, or the driver can try to adapt to the kart and move up to the senior class to prepare themselves better for their next year in the senior category. The determining factor might be the weight of the driver is too light to move up to the senior category at 14, so you choose to stay another year in the hope the driver gains size.
Minimum and Maximum Weight: 345-390 lbs. (Driver & Kart)
The minimum and maximum weight will always differ depending on where you compete. For instance, the KA100 Senior class in SKUSA has a minimum weight of 345lbs, while the CIK-FIA allows only above 320lbs. But the weight required will range around 345 lbs. (155kg) KA Senior to 390 lbs. (175kg) for Masters.
Engines Used: 2-Stroke Engines
For the most part, drivers still use the same single cylinder 2-stroke engine they had in the junior category, with the major and only difference being the maximum power the engine can achieve. An example of this change is the difference between the KA100 engines between the junior and senior category. The KA100 junior class races with the same IAME KA100 engine as the senior class, however their engines are fitted with a restrictor (also called a factory or exhaust header) which limits the power (horsepower). Compare this to the senior category without the restrictor, and the engine can produce 21hp which translates to roughly one second per lap faster lap times. The next engine senior drivers compete with is the TaG engine (IAME X30, Rotax & Vortex ROK). These are push button start engines, fitted with a radiator, water pump, and boast more power than the IAME KA air-cooled engine.
Whether you are competing locally or internationally, a license is always required to be eligible for competition. The process for applying for a license may take long and a lot of things are needed such as your birth certificate, passport, home address, and a waiver from your parents if you are a minor. So, make sure to prepare these essential items ahead of time.
Chassis and Technical Parts: Must be homologated
Just like all the classes we have covered, the kart must be approved/homologated and must abide by the rules of the senior category. The chassis size doesn’t differ from X30 / Rotax Junior, so the step up to seniors shouldn’t entail a new chassis. However, it is not just the kart itself that requires homologation, but also your racing equipment. For starters, the race suit/overalls you will use must be a level 2 racing suit if you are to compete in championships such as the CIK-FIA championships, SKUSA, and the IAME series to name a few. Your helmet must be within ten years old, and the Snell rating can generally be found on the inside of the helmet. Other gear such as gloves and racing shoes don’t usually have any rules to follow, but make sure to check with the organizer of the championship you plan to race in to make sure this is the case for you.
So those were some of the general rules/instructions to follow if one is to join and be eligible for the senior class. Keep in mind that these are not concrete and simply a basis and reference as to how senior championships are operated and the classes on offer. Always check your nearest racetrack as rules in your country may differ or have slight variations. Now that you have knowledge on the main classes in karting, the rest is up to you. With all the criteria and requirements, we’ve given, which class will you join?