Karting is a growing sport, and there are thousands of racetracks all across the world. Some are incredible, and some are average.
Have you ever wondered which circutis are the best in the world?
HERE’S OUR TOP 10:
2. La Conca
4. Todd Road
7. Le Mans
We aim to choose only one circuit per country, so, while the UK has a number of incredible racetracks, we could only choose one.
What Makes A Good Racetrack?
You might be wondering what makes a racetrack good? This is something that everyone has their own opinion on, but there are some important factors to consider. We set our own criteria in order to find the best circuits.
1. Up To Date
Firstly, the circuit has to be up to date. While drivers do somewhat enjoy bumps in the road and little bits of old, grippy tarmac, we don’t want to see potholes and deteriorating tarmac.
Karts are really hard on tarmac, and they tend to do a lot of damage to it, especially in slower corners where the tires put down a lot of force in order to brake and accelerate harder.
Damaged racetracks are not only dangerous, but they also create a racing environment where you’re more worried about avoiding damage to your kart than having fun. This is why its so crucial that racetracks are kept up to date.
In addition, you don’t want to see overgrown or dead grass on the side of the racetrack. Keeping the surroundings in good shape makes the track an enjoyable place to be as opposed to some deserted no man’s land.
Racing drivers love a challenge. If you ask any Formula 1 driver what their favourite corner on the F1 calendar is, I can gauruntee you that most of them will say Eau Rouge at Spa. The reason for that is that it provides the drivers with a challenge.
When you successfully go through Eau Rouge flat out you get a feeling of accomplishment, confidence and pride. Then it’s only the start of the lap as well. This ties in with another one of our criteria that we will discuss later on.
If a racetrack provides a challenge to drivers, it will form a lasting memory for them. The more difficult a racetrack is the more drivers will work to improve their lap times. It’s also much more impressive if you do have a faster lap time.
In order to provide drivers with a challenge, a racetrack needs to be ‘scary’. It needs to have fast flowing corners, banked turns, or even tight hairpins. Any of these aspects will require bravery and confidence in a kart if you were to tackle them properly.
Another factor that can make a racetrack challenging is providing different racing lines. This is something that is quite rare, however when there are different racing lines it means that every driver needs to adapt to their own driving style, and they can’t just copy someone else.
3. The Emotion Factor
This element links up with the challenging factor when it comes to good racetracks. A good racetrack will cause a driver to form an emotional bond with it.
It’s not something that can easily be put into words, but for most, if not all drivers, there is at least one racetrack that stands out above all the rest. One racetrack that you absolutely love. In most cases, it will also be the racetrack where you perform the best.
There might not be one specific reason as to why you love this circuit, perhaps it’s a specific set of corners, good memories or just great past performances.
4. Internationally Recognised.
Finally, the circuit needs to be internationally recognised by major karting governing bodies. This ensures that they are big circuits and anyone of these can host a karting world championship final for example.
Our Top 10:
Our top ten consists of the above criteria. We have researched various racetracks around the world and connected the criteria to them.
As one of the largest motorsport capitals of the world, the UK has tons of incredible racetracks. However, the stand out one at the moment has to be PFI. PFI is the UK’s largest outdoor karting circuit and it can be found in Licolnshire.
This circuit features arrive and drive, a bar, café, restaurant, and shopping areas all with fantastic views of the racetrack. In 2011, the circuit was updated to add a bridge section, which makes it even more unique.
The circuit is the site of the British European and World Championships. The circuit also hosts its own club race once a month. Think of it as the Silverstone of the karting world.
The circuit opens the lap with a fast chicane before diving underneath the brige section. These first couple of corners are already enough t get your adrenaline pumping. This is then followed by a set of tight and technical corners that lead onto a long straight.
Enough to challenge a driver, but still great for keeping the circuit fast and flowing. The circuit ends off with another technical section, but this time a little bit faster than before.
The layout of this circuit is addictive and fast and gets your adrenaline going thanks to the smoothness of the tarmac and the angles of corners.
La Conca, Italy
La Conca is an international circuit set in the Italian countryside, kind of the middle of nowhere. The circuit is close to the village of Palmariggi.
The track offers arrive and drive karts as well as some relaxation areas for spectators. The circuit is not too far away from the Tony Kart headquarters. It’s been the host of a large number of massive international karting events.
A lot of famous drivers have also visited the circuit, with Michael Schumacher being at the top of that list.
The circuit starts off with a long main straight which builds up your speed. It then leads you into three fast to medium speed right hand corners. All before throwing you into a more technical section at the center of the track.
The most difficult part of the circuit comes towards the end, with an incredibly fast double right hand corner leading into a left-hander. The quick direction change can easily unsettle the kart, so it’s crucial to keep it well balanced here.
Genk circuit is located in Belgium near Hasselt. The circuit was first built in 1983, but a rebuild was necessary in 2005 in order for the circuit to host international events. In 2011, Genk hosted the Karting World Championship.
The circuit is famous for being challenging, but it’s also very much a favourite for many karting drivers. Max Verstappen spent a lot of time on this racetrack as well during his karting days. Genk has a large fleet of arrive and drive karts and they also offer a lot f entertainment for spectators.
The circuit starts off with a tight right-hand hairpin followed by a long left-hand corner which builds up in speed as you get through it.
The short back straight leads into a fast chicane and then another long flowing right-hand hairpin. Before you even straighten you’re steering wheel you’re thrown back into another hairpin, this time a left-hander that is much tighter.
The final section of the circuit is filled with fast flowing corners. This is a challenging circuit that is extremely technical. There are multiple possible racing lines, and it definitely takes a long time to master this track.
Todd Road, Australia
Todd Road is one of the largest and most active karting circuits in Australia. It’s found in Port Melbourne and overlooks the city of Melbourne. The circuit is just 3 kilometers from the Melbourne CBD. No other circuits are located this close to a major city in the world.
There’s plenty of entertainment for spectators, and the circuit offers a unique challenge to drivers. The long main straight heads straight into a fast left-hand hairpin. The next section is a fast left into a longer, tighter right-hand corner. The next short straight leads into another fast left hairpin.
The next section becomes more technical. There’s a fast left which leads straight into a tighter double right. The bumps and elevation changes try to unsettle the kart here, so keeping the nose pointed into the corner is key.
You’re immediately thrown into another tight left hand corner as you prepare to finish off the lap. The final corner is a fast left-hander which helps you to build up your speed again for the main straight.
The Bahrain International Karting Circuit is still relatively new to the scene. Set right next to the Grand Prix circuit, this karting track is state-of-the-art with floodlights, a restaurant, spectator stands and more.
The track offers arrive and drive services and has a large fleet of the latest Sodi kart rentals for use. The circuit itself is challenging, especially when it comes to the weather conditions.
Bahrain offers immense heat which makes the tarmac extremely hot and the tires very sticky. On the other hand, there is also a lot of dust which can make the tarmac slippery as ice.
The circuit itself is fast paced with some challenging technical sections. The first few corners are fast and flowing with undulating hills. The second half of the circuit is much more technical with a tight hairpin and a fast, long, late apex corner going uphill that tightens up the further you get into it. After the apex it immediately drops downhill again towards the final set of corners, a slow chicane and a long right-hander that helps you to build up speed for the main straight.
This circuit has been the site of a number of international karting events since its inception, including the under 18 Karting World Championships featuring Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Wackersdorf is one of the most famous racetracks in the world. It features both indoor and outdoor circuits, with a resturaunt to entertain the spectators. It’s often the site of famous racing drivers who go out for some training in between their racing seasons.
Wackersdorf is easily one of the most active karting circuits in the world, with new events multiple times every month. The homologation and safety rating of this circuit is top notch, and therefore it is a regular host of huge international karting events.
This is a very tight and technical circuit with short straights, so if you love a challenge, this is the track for you.
The first corner is more of a left-hand kink, but then you’re suddenly thrown into a fast right-hand corner. Shortly after you’ll be hard on the brakes for a tight right hand hairpin. You then build up some speed again with a fast left-hand corner before slowing down for another tight left-hand hairpin.
Next up, the speed begins to build gain with a flat out double right hander, reminiscent of the final two corners of the Hockenheimring.
The final section is fast and flowing, with a quick chicane section and a long flowing left-hand hairpin. You’re then sent into a right-handed hairpin which leads to another fast right that flows back onto the crooked main straight.
Le Mans, France
The Le Mans karting circuit is the site of a ton of karting events including international championships and 24 hour races. It’s close to the Circuit of Le Mans which hosts the famous 24-hour race once per year.
The circuit is extremely fast and flowing, so if you’re looking for non-stop adrenaline and very little time on the brakes, this is the ideal track for you.
You start off on a long main straight where your kart will comfortably hit its top speed. You then slow it down for a medium-speed left hand hairpin. The speed stays high though as the next section is a straight with some flat-out right and left hand corners.
You hardly even need to touch the brakes as you fly through the fast flowing corners and back onto another long back straight. You hit a 90 degree left, but then keep the speed up once again as you fly through another high speed chicane and onto the fast left that leads back onto the main straight.
The Zuera circuit is set close to Barcelona, and it poses an extreme challenge for drivers. It is an incredibly fast and flowing layout, which means you need to be extra smooth with your throttle, brake and steering inputs.
It’s the site of many large international championships and events, but the weather plays a massive role in the challenges this circuit throws out. The hot and humid Spanish weather can often lead to extreme track temperatures.
You head onto an incredibly long main straight and through a flat-out right-hand kink where the G-forces push you into the left side of your seat. After 17 seconds at full throttle, you finally hit the brakes for turn 2, which is fast and long.
You’re on the throttle once again through a flat-out left-hand kink this time, before slowing it down, but only slightly for a fast and flowing right-handed hairpin corner. And back onto yet another straight.
This time you’re led into a tricky long and smooth left hander before a quick direction change into a tighter right hand corner. The slowest part of the circuit is the tight left-hand hairpin.
The circuit then leads back into another long and flowing right-hander before a quick double right corner. Your speed stays high as you move into the final two corners and back onto the long main straight.
CalSpeed raceway is set in the arid deserts of LA. It’s got a really rustic, almost parking lot feel to it. While it’s not got the best tarmac, its still the scene of some huge events, and it is arguably one of the best circuits in the US.
The circuit has a very technical layout, with plenty of low and medium speed corners that creates close wheel-to-wheel racing situations.
The lap starts off by throwing you into a tight chicane followed by a quick left and then a slow hairpin. You get close to the barriers on the exit here in order to open up the next corner which is a fast right that leads into a flat-out chicane.
Your speed is broken down once again with another slow hairpin. However, the circuit flows nicely as you accelerate through a fast right and onto the back straight and a left hand kink, followed by a medium speed right hand hairpin.
The final section is medium and fast corners which lead back onto the short main straight to end the lap.
Last but certainly not least, is Alaharma in Finland. This is arguably one of the fastest and scariest karting circuits in the world. Flat-out chicanes, bridges and banked corners, this circuit has got it all.
It’s a regular site for large international events, and while it is set in a theme park, it certainly doesn’t mess around when it comes to racing. The track is narrow, and the speeds are insanely high. If none of the previous 9 circuits gave you your adrenaline rush, Alaharma will definitely do the trick.
You set off on the main straight and you’re sent into a very bumpy right-hand hairpin. As you accelerate out of the hairpin you set your sights on an extremely fast and bumpy chicane that leads you to a long medium speed left hander.
You’re sent into yet another chicane, but this time you head over the Suzuka-style bridge section and you immediately fly downhill into a long and fast banked left-handed corner.
You now head underneath the bridge section, going through a dip as full throttle, trying to keep the kart as straight as possible. As you come out the other side there’s a blind crest that immediately goes into another high speed chicane.
The last few corners are medium speed and very technical. The bumpy asphalt tries to unsettle the kart while you keep the throttle pinned down to maximize your speed back onto the pit straight.
That’s our top ten karting circuits in the world. Some of these are incredibly fast and will get your adrenaline pumping, but others require a bit more skill and technicality. Each one is unique, and each one is one of the greatest karting circuits that are definitely worth a visit.