View Full Version : Karting

03-18-2006, 06:59 AM
Dave Russell's most recent comment about getting into racing and the cost of it, reminded me of something...

I started by building a race Sprite and it took me quite a while and was expensive. I eventually got into enduro bikes because the cost and space-needs of a race car were beyond me.

If I were to do it all over again, I start with Karting. This is a much better, easier and simpler way to get into wheel-to-wheel racing and you will get lots of seat time and experience. You won't need a big storage area and a kart will fit in a minivan.
Later, after a few years of karting, if you move up to real cars, you'll be much better for it (I've seen it time and time again).

Also, many of these karts are much faster than our LBCs.

So, if you are young (and for me, that would mean under 40....and don't worry, there are plenty of 50+ age karters), I'd say get into karts first....I think it's even a better route than autocross. I'd still be racing Spridget today, but if I'd started with karts, I would have had a better "education".

More info:


03-18-2006, 07:19 AM
Nial, it's somewhat ironic, but I was formulating much the same post.
I have one particular friend here who crossed over from karts to a Formula Continental, and ultimately went back to karts due to the expense of running the FC. (Think $1200 tire bills for one National weekend.)
Of course, now his kart engines cost $16,000 a pop, but he <u>does</u> have a sponsor.
As far as the speed, Randy was clocked at the start/finish line at Daytona this year at 155 MPH, and was accelerating at the time. 163 into turn 1.

03-18-2006, 10:28 AM
...with your butt a 1/4 inch from the ground /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif

03-18-2006, 11:10 AM
I went Karting a few years ago. Took the (then) girlfriend as a birthday present. These were only 100cc non-shifter Karts, so not that fast relatively speaking.

It was the most fun I've had vertical, once I got used to not slamming the brakes on as hard as I could and the thing stopped doing 360s...

The problem occurred when I got back into the car. I thought someone had stolen three of the cylinders. I was tooling down the road back to the freeway, trying to go gently to ease back into not racing. SWMBO asked why we were going so slow, and I answered that I wanted to chill out otherwise I'd get a ticket (the car was a ticket magnet). Then I looked at the speedo and saw that we were doing well into three digits. I slowed right down pronto.
I'm not exactly proud of the fact, but it does show that the sensation of speed is quite different............

03-18-2006, 12:33 PM
Funny. "...stolen three cylinders". It is an odd thing, the transition. Do laps in a F-Ford or F-Vee (remember those?) then drive the "regular" car back home... first few miles feel weird. The Elan was less a "shock" than the MGB's tho. The B always felt like someone threw a spare block inna trunk as a joke while it was parked in the infield... there were times I'd think about actually lookin' /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

03-18-2006, 01:28 PM
Shifter karts are a real thrill ride. Dunno about it being the cheapest form of racing. You can go down to a local SCCA auto-x and for under $50 have a great time racing just about anything you own. Tweaking need not be expensive as little adjustments here and there can yield great results.
Best ever thing to do as a first timer is take a class from one of the major schools. miles of smiles, seat time in a real (detuned) racecar and most valuable of all... experience!
Formula V is alive an well in the SCCA.

03-20-2006, 06:05 PM
The B always felt like someone threw a spare block inna trunk as a joke while it was parked in the infield... there were times I'd think about actually lookin' /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

[/ QUOTE ]
From the old archive photos of the B ... the competition playing jokes trying to slow down the car.
I tried Karting after I had been racing Formula Fords for a few years .. scared the heck out of me .. eventhough they were much slower overall speed. I also swapped ends numerous times trying to figure out the braking.


03-20-2006, 06:59 PM
hehee... good'un!

Matthew E. Herd
03-20-2006, 07:02 PM
Still and all ... 163 MPH is fast ... (if I read that one correctly).

As to shifter karts, how might one get into it? I'm interested in something that'd fit in the back of a pickup. I'm familiar with the karts (at least a little bit) and the appeal of more seat time, less money, and less stuff to break is quite powerful! It's not like I'm a pro racer and although I'm a decent autocrosser, my midget isn't really set up to be really competitive. I'd rather enjoy it on the street a bit more for now, so I'm interested in this possibility.

03-20-2006, 10:19 PM
The easiest quick-way to get into kart racing in the eastern US is this way:


Good kart info here:



Also, browse through my original link (first post).