A Beginners Guide To Karting
Kart racing is a challenging and exciting sport in its own right – and also the first stepping stone on the way to full size car racing. Just ask Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and a host of other top drivers who all started in karts.
To those coming in from the outside it can seem complicated and confusing to begin with so here are some simple pointers in the right direction:
Try a kart at a commercially operated kart track – often indoors. These will commonly run right through the week and will charge you either by the session or race loaning you all the equipment you will need. The karts are slow but fun on a low grip surface. You’ll find details of these indoor tracks in Google, Yellow Pages or local guides.
If you like it then try to find a local outdoor circuit that runs proper kart racing under the Motor Sports Association. You can get details of circuits by looking at the Karting UK website – www.karting.co.uk or from the Association of British Kart Clubs – www.abkc.org.uk.
Contact the local club and ask if they can put you in touch with a local trader who would be able to loan you equipment for a test. You will find the outdoor track has much more grip, the kart faster and the whole experience great fun.
If you want to go on and race then you will have to get a kart race licence. Contact the Motorsports Association on www.msauk.org and order a kart starter pack for which you will have to pay. This will include a licence application and an instructional video which you must watch and learn. Then arrange with a local track to have your ARKS licence test. You will have to be medically OK so if you are colour blind, have diabetes or any impediment then seek further advice from the MSA.
Once you have passed your test then you are ready to go and race – though some extra practice before is always good. You need to choose a class that is suitable for a beginner. Formula TKM classes are run at most UK tracks and the karts are relatively simple to use and evenly matched so a big cheque book is not required for you to win! It will be down to the drivers ability. Formula TKM is widely recognised as the ideal starter class for ages between 11 to 60+.
You may be able to hire equipment from a local trader or you may to choose to buy your own. Second hand karts (look in Karting Magazine or contact Tal-Ko who usually have some ex works ones available at keen prices ) can be excellent value but you might need the expert eye of a competitor to tell you if what you are looking at is good. Tal-Ko also offer great value low cost complete new ready to race package outfits. Look under click to link
Before you go racing you will need an approved race crash helmet, race boots, gloves and overall. You might need a trailer to help move the equipment around. You will also have to join the local ABkC kart club so you can enter for your first race meeting. The race entry must be carried out in advance. Make sure you get there is good time. And then the fun really begins. You are a race driver!!
If you don’t want to have the hassle of owning your own equipment then there is a very good alternative with Club 100. They provide the best racing using TKM powered karts you just jump in and drive at circuits all over the UK. For more information go to www.club100.co.uk