Go-kart racing is one of the most popular motorsports amongst youths and adults. While this racing sport is growing over the years, it’s important to understand more about go-kart racing itself. There are plenty of interesting things to learn about the art of racing karts. In this article, we’ll be discussing the most fascinating facts about go-kart racing.
1. Many Famous Racers Started With Go-Karts
Many of the world-renowned F1 racers that you may be familiar with today got their start through go-karting. Racers like Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and Lewis Hamilton, among many others, started off with casual karting at a very young age. They then moved on to take part in competitive races before joining the world of auto racing and Formula 1.
A lot these racers enjoy karting even to this day and some even prefer karting to other forms of motorsport. This just goes to show how much of an impact go-karting has had on their lives and racing careers. Some of the best racers even thank go-karting for most of their ability and success.
2. Go-Kart Racing Has a Low Barrier to Entry
Another important fact is that unlike car racing for which you need to have specific licenses and tracks to drive on, go-karting can be enjoyed by anyone almost anywhere. Whether you start at a very young age in your neighborhood or you want to experience it at an older age, there’s very little standing in your way.
There are a lot of professional go-kart tracks in the US, and also in other parts of the world, that you can go to and start racing at. The cost of go-karts are not that expensive and are easy to transport too so you can just take them along whenever there’s a race near you.
3. There Are Different Types of Go-Karts
Go-karts offer something for everyone just because there are so many types of go-karts available. There are off-road, racing, pedal, electric and even drift karts. Each of these go-karts has a different application made by various go-kart manufacturers.
Such a vast variety of go-karts that are easily available make them one of the most diverse racing vehicle types to consider. Whether you like the horsepower of gas-powered karts or the silence of electrical-powered ones, there are many different options to suit your preferences and needs.
4. Go-Karting Is One of the Most Popular Motorsports
It is estimated that by 2026, the go-kart market will be worth $186.2 million and about 35 million Americans enjoy karting annually. Go-karting is regularly named as one of the most popular motorsports in the world mainly because it can be accessed and enjoyed by so many people.
Not only is it fun to actually race around in karts, but it’s also a lot of fun to watch competitive events take place. Add to that the fact that go-karting has been a part of so many famous racers’ lives and you have a motorsport that is well-respected not only by fans but also by professionals.
5. Racing Go-Karts Is Safe With Proper Gear
Another important fact to consider is that go-kart racing is safe when compared to other forms of racing. All you need to ensure is that you wear the appropriate go-kart racing gear while racing. Go-karts also come with safety features such as roll cages, bumpers, seat belts, roll bars, among many more. They are designed to prevent injury and increase overall driver safety.
With a low center of gravity, go-karts don’t very easily flip over. Add to that safety gear like a racing helmet, neck brace, gloves, rib protectors and close-toed boots and you’re bound to have a safe racing experience.
6. There Are Different Type Of Racing Classes
One of the reasons why karting is so popular among different age groups is because there are many different racing classes that drivers can take part in competitively. It doesn’t matter what age you are, there’s bound to be a class that racers can be part of.
Children as young as 5 can take part in competitive races as part of the ‘Kid Karts’ Class. Some other competitive racing classes include the Junior, Senior, and Masters classes. These are some of the most competitive classes in kart racing, although there are also others for different age groups.
Each class has its own regulations and requirements, giving all kinds of drivers a highly competitive experience throughout their karting journey.
7. Karting Can Be Enjoyed Indoors and Outdoors
Here’s another awesome fact about go-kart racing: It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside because you can always enjoy karting at an indoor facility. Such facilities usually offer “arrive-and-drive” packages where you can just show up and race around in rental karts.
If you’re more of an outdoor person, then you can race on outdoor tracks too. Some of these tracks provide rental karts but many also let you bring your own. This is a great option for racers who are more passionate about go-kart racing and own their own go-karts.
There are plenty of go-kart racing tracks in the United States and around the world. You can simply check them out and head down to your favorite one.
8. Kids Can Also Race Go-Karts
You don’t have to be ‘this tall’ to ride go-karts! There are so many options for kids out there that kids of all ages can easily drive go-karts. Whether they ride them on their private property in their own pedal karts or on rough terrain in their off-road karts, the choices are wide open.
They can even go to actual go-kart tracks and facilities if they are a certain age or height – usually 8 years old and around 55 – 60” tall. Many tracks out there have designated ‘kiddie tracks’ too for children as young as 3! This is one of those sports that can truly be enjoyed by people of all ages.
9. Go-Karts Have No Suspensions
This may sound like a strange fact, but go-karts generally do not have suspensions. The vehicles are designed in a way that they don’t really need a suspension one. The frame itself provides the necessary flexibility.
Actually, one of the reasons why this sport has remained so accessible and so popular for so long is because go-kart manufacturers don’t need to add complex components to karts, which can be a very tricky part of any vehicle’s design. The stiffness of the chassis of a kart is usually adjusted with torsion bars to provide the necessary support.
10. Go-Karts Don’t Have a Differential
Another interesting fact about go-karts is that they do not have a differential. The job of a differential in a vehicle is to adjust the speed of the wheels while turning. The need to adjust the speed comes from the fact that the wheel on the outer side of a turn has to travel a longer distance as compared to the wheel on the inner side – so the inner wheel has to turn slower to create a balance.
Go-karts achieve this effect thanks to their flexible frames. Instead of using a complicated differential, they simply raise the inner wheel slightly on turns. This is known as ‘jacking’ and is one of the most interesting facts about how go-karts work on a racetrack.
11. Go-Kart Racing Is Affordable
When it comes to cost, go-kart racing is much more affordable than car racing. Those who want to go professional can get their own go-kart for somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000 from one of the leading manufacturers. Compare that to cars, and you’d have to spend a whole lot more. Also, the maintenance costs and the prices for safety gear are also much less significant.
For more casual racers, you can easily take a short trip to the nearest karting facility and rent a kart. Each karting session usually costs $8 – $20 and you can also make use of different packages. You don’t have to buy any safety gear either as most facilities provide that too.
12. Racing Go-Karts Can Be Upgraded and Modified
When you get a racing kart, you might feel like you need to go faster or have a better braking system after driving it for a year or so. Instead of having to spend thousands on a new kart, you can simply upgrade your current one. For example, there are plenty of ways to make a go-kart faster!
Many people upgrade the engines of their karts for better performance while others install turbochargers for additional horsepower. You can even install larger tires to your kart for more speed. Other than additions, it is also possible to make changes to your kart.
Another example are speed governors that put a cap on the maximum speed. Removing this can make it go as fast as its engine allows. The possibility to modify a kart only adds to the whole affordability factor and also allows you to make your go-kart truly your own.