It can be intimidating to think of getting involved in a go kart championship or any competitive kart racing, both because of the level of competition and the degree of financial outlay required to compete. However, used karting equipment can be found in karting magazines, online, and through local karting clubs. You can get a second hand kart for around £700 and you can be fully kitted out for as little as £1,200. Full kit includes the kart chassis and engine, boots, helmet, race suit and gloves.
If this is still not an affordable option, or you don’t want to commit to the full expense before being sure karting is the right choice for you, then it is possible for you to hire a kart.
There are a range of hire option to suit your needs and budget. For example, you can hire a kart with the support of a mechanic, receive expert driving tips, race suit, helmet and gloves, for around £200. You’ll have access to the track for an hour of drive time, typically divided into six 10 minute sessions.
If you are looking to hire a kart to race in then you’ll get all the gear, support and advice as described above, and use of the kart for somewhere in the region of £250. Fees to enter races will typically run to £50 or £60. For this you will have the opportunity to run some practice laps, followed by two or three heats and then (if you make the grade) a final.
Kart racing is accessible to children and young people from ages six to 18. Here’s a quick overview of the racing classes available:
This class is restricted to six to eight year olds. Each driver undertakes a mandatory training and competency program. Only when this is successfully completed can a licence be applied for.
This class is the ideal starting point for eight to 13 year olds. Competitors must achieve a minimum weight when fully kitted out in race wear.
For 11-17 year olds, this class has fewer restrictions than the lower age categories. That said, there are still limits on available power.
Formula OKJ (OK Junior)
A still more focused category (than Junior TKM) for 13-17 year olds. Please note that this class is not currently raced in the UK, but is raced internationally.
Category for 16 years and over. Various options are available to account for the size and weight of the driver.
These classes are available at different age groups and have various options accordingly. Categories are available for 11-15 year olds, called MiniMax, and for 13-17 year olds, called Junior Max X30 classes.
The Junior and Senior X30 classes started in 2014 and are growing in popularity. Be aware, as they are new classes, not all clubs may be offering them.
Kart racing is a sport accessible to most budgets. Try it out; you’ll be hooked – we promise!