“The fastest drivers are equipped with the fastest equipment”. This is a tried-and-true statement that is effective in all forms of motorsport, and karting is no different. Equipping yourself with the best go-karting equipment, plus your driving technique which you hone through countless laps will give you the best chance of winning races. But what exactly are the fastest go-kart chassis brands on the market? Well, that’s exactly what we are here to figure out.
Tony Kart (OTK KART GROUP)
Quite possibly the most popular kart brand on this list, Tony Kart has a long and prestigious history as one of the oldest kart brands to grace this sport. The over 50-year history begins all the way back in 1958 in a small workshop in Prevalle, Italy. Fast forward to now, it is one of the most recognized and established chassis brands out there. Tony Kart is manufactured by the OTK group, who has also launched different brands over the past few years such as Kosmic Kart, Expirit, and the recently launched Lando Norris Kart which are all the same design, just a different colour scheme. All these karts fall under the umbrella known as the OTK Kart Group (Official Tony Kart).
Original Tony Kart
Kosmic Kart, also made by Tony Kart
The recently released Lando Norris Kart
Like Tony Kart, Birel would get its start in Italy, with it being in Lissone to be specific. They would start operations just a year after Tony Kart launched in 1959 & success would be associated with this brand years later as they have won 26 world karting titles (As of February 2023) and countless European titles. Birel carries the red colors, which can be seen anywhere on circuit as not many other brands use this paint scheme. In 2011, under the leadership of Nicolas Todt, would merge with the formidable ART Grand Prix team which has seen nothing but success especially in the Formula categories. And just like Tony Kart, they would branch out many different types of brands that still fall under the Birel ART umbrella. Examples of this would be the Ricciardo, Kubica, and Leclerc karts, all associated with current or former Formula 1 drivers.
The original Birel ART
Leclerc by Lennox Racing, also made by Birel ART
Daniel Ricciardo driving the Ricciardo Kart
Before we learn about CRG, first we must learn about Kali Kart. Started all the way back in the 1970’s by Calogero Vanaria, someone who many consider to be the father of modern karting in Italy. Even before the birth of CRG, Kali Karts managed to achieve a ton of success in Europe in this era before the brand would evolve in 1986 and turn into the CRG we all know today. As for how it is faring, CRG has won multiple karting titles not just across Europe, but all over the world, following into the footsteps of its predecessor. CRG has always been a leader in the shifter kart category with drivers such as Max Verstappen, Jonathon Thonon, Pedro Hiltbrand, and Davide Fore have waved the flag for the Lonato-based squad. The black & orange scheme is synonymous with the CRG brand.
Max Verstappen driving a CRG
Out of all the brands in this list, SODIKART has the largest platform when it comes to rental karting. Most rental circuits you have visited with your friends utilise the Sodi Kart as their preferred choice, but don’t think they just stick to rentals. Make no mistake, that this French-based manufacturer had its start in Sauron, France back in 1981 by Glidas Merian, who was a former teacher and kart pilot. Drivers such as Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc are recognized karting champions that have driven the SODIKART brand.
Charles Leclerc (left) and Pierre Gasly (centre) in SODIKART gear
Kart Republic is the most recently launched brand on this list, getting it’s start back in 2017. But despite its late start, it has managed to establish itself as one of the best go kart brands on the market winning World Championships, SKUSA SuperNats and WSK events right from the start. The man behind Kart Republic Dino Chiesa has a long history in the development of chassis with Zanardi in the past. Drivers such as Kimi Antonelli, Lorenzo Travisunutto, Arvid Lindblad, and Rafael Camara have all tasted success in KR colors. Kart Republic have recently begun partnerships with leading formula car team Prema to have a kart racing team using their brand of chassis solidifying it as one of the top karting brands in world karting.
Two Kart Republic karts on-track
Arrow Racing Karts
Started in the early 1980’s in Melbourne, Australia, the Arrow Racing Kart brand was designed by Drew Price a former Australian Karting Champion with his dad Trevor. Price was a former team mate of Ayrton Senna in DAP Colours, before embarking on creating his own line of chassis’ that has now seen Arrow Karts exported worldwide. As an Australian brand, this kart has won races in North America, Asia, parts of Europe and has the record of the most Australian Karting Titles in existence. Over the years DPE (Drew Price Engineering) has also manufactured other brands under the same style including Demon Karts, Monaco, Sera Karts and KF Kart.
And those were some of the most well recognised go-kart chassis brands that are currently out in the market. In fact, these brands hold up well that even a second-hand version of these karts still provide a ton of performance and can take your driving to the next level. So, if you are just starting out or thinking of a new chassis, these will hold you in good stead.