What You Should Know About Go-Kart Racing Before Getting Started
Kart racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsport around the world. There are hundreds of different competitions in different countries. It is considered to be the purest form of motorsport. Even professional racing drivers use karting during the off season to keep fit and keep their minds sharp.
It’s the cheapest form of motorsport there is, which is why it’s the best place to start if you want to have a career in motorsport one day. However, there are some important things to know before you get started in karting. If you’re a parent trying to get your child into karting, but you don’t know what to expect, you’re in the right place.
There are some great things to expect when you start karting. Firstly, it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to drive a go-kart as fast as they can around a racetrack?
It’s a really satisfying feeling being able to drive as fast as possible. It can also be extremely rewarding when you start getting it right. There’s something about improving your lap times and developing your driving technique that brings a new sense of enjoyment to your life.
For kids it can be an incredible experience as well. It’s far more fun to go and drive go-karts for the day than sitting at home. You’ll find a lot of enjoyment in spending the day at the racetrack, working on your kart, and driving it as fast as you can. Kids as young as 6 years old can drive at speeds of 95km/h or 60mph which will develop their reflexes and car driving safety when the time comes.
Participating in championships is just as much fun. You’re surrounded by a bunch of people who have the same interest as you. You’re competing to be the fastest driver on the track and to win trophies for doing so.
It's Good For Your Health
Karting has several important health benefits. Firstly, it is great for your fitness levels. Because of the g-forces involved in karting, it is unique in how it can build up your strength especially in your core, neck, and arms.
Karting can help you to lose weight because of the amount of physical effort required combined with the heat and weight of your safety gear. The combination of these two can help you to lose weight and build muscle. Many drivers lose over 1 kilogram during a race meeting.
Karting helps your mental strength as well. It forces you to remain focused over long periods of time which helps to improve your concentration span. It also helps to improve your overall reaction times as you react to what the kart is doing and the karts around you.
The adrenaline your body experiences while karting is also good for your health. An increased heart rate allows more blood and oxygen to flow through your body, which is linked to burning more calories, lowering cholesterol, and lowering cancer risk.
It’s Good For Your Social Life
Karting can also be great for your social life. You can make tons of new friends and meet new people at racetracks. They will also have the same interest as you in that they enjoy motorsport and karting which will naturally create a bond for you.
Race meetings are usually a big social gathering. There are a lot of people gathered in one place for the same reason. They love motorsport and they want to race. Most people will use race meetings as somewhat of a social gathering, bringing drinks and food and generally having a great time. Karting is a fantastic community to be a part of.
Not many people can say that they’ve raced karts, which is a great fun fact you can use if you’re meeting new people and they want to know more about you. It can be a great conversation starter and it’ll be much easier to talk about if you’re not the most socially active person.
Families can travel around their country or internationally if they desire meaning kart racing is a global sport.
It Can Be Expensive
Motorsport in general is expensive, but kart racing is the cheapest form of motorsport you will experience. You can expect to spend at least $10,000 if you’re getting started. You’ll need to buy a kart, safety gear, tools, storage, a kart trailer, parts, and lubricants.
There are always second-hand deals through local kart shops, karting forums and facebookmarketplace, so keep an eye for a bargain if you’re looking to get started on the cheap.
There are other costs you need to know about as well. If you’re participating in a race, there are entry fees and the costs of new sets of tires for each race meeting if you want to have the maximum amount of grip. On top of that there’s the cost of fuel as well.
If the kart is damaged during the race through an accident or general wear and tear, you’re going to need to replace those parts before you drive it again, which is another expense you need to consider if you’re getting into karting.
It Requires Dedication
Karting requires a lot of dedication and commitment. You’re spending a lot of time and money on karting, and you can’t just drop it or not put in any effort into improving your craft and learning from others.
With the amount of time and money that is spent on karting you need to commit to making it a priority. It’s not worth going into karting half-heartedly or just trying it out to see how it goes. However, you can try out karting with rentals which are much cheaper and does not require you to buy anything.
Even if you’re getting into karting as a hobby, you should be committing some effort into it. Considering how expensive it is, it’s not worth buying a kart just for it to sit in a storage room and be driven around the track once a month.
If you’re planning on getting into karting, you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing. This involves buying all the tools you need and understanding how to use them properly when working on your kart.
It's Time Consuming
Something that you need to understand about karting is that it can take up a lot of your time. Unlike your average school sports, a race meeting can take up an entire day over the weekend. Some events can take up an entire weekend as well.
On a typical race day, you’ll need to be at the track early to get your kart through scrutineering (checking that its legal). You’ll need to attend a driver’s briefing and then you start with practice sessions, qualifying heats, and finals. After the event there are podium ceremonies and packing up of equipment.
It’s not just the racing that takes up a lot of time either. Standard practice sessions can take hours out of your day. It’s not just about turning up at the track and driving the kart around. There’s a lot of work and preparation on the kart that needs to be done before it is driven.
Depending on how often you practice in your kart you could easily spend between 4 and 10 hours at the track per week. This is a lot of time to spend at the track, so you need to ensure that you have this free time available to do so.
It's A Big Learning Curve
Being new to karting comes with a massive learning curve. Not just in terms of your driving ability and race craft, but also in the mechanical aspects of caring for the kart and setting it up properly according to your driving style.
There’s a lot of mechanical elements to understand on your kart. However, most of them are basic and it’s a good idea to understand how they work. Working on your kart becomes something that you will enjoy, and it will help you to understand how karts work.
Driving a kart is another learning curve that you’ll need to consider. Whether you’re anadult with a driver’s license or a kid who’s never driven anything before, it’s a steep learning curve either way. It’s arguably easier for kids though because they don’t have pre-existing driving habits and can naturally adapt to karting elements such as left foot braking.
On top of that, you’ll learn what your driving style is and how you need to adapt your kart to suit your driving style. Being able to set up your kart correctly will help you to go faster and drive the kart more comfortably.