The 2014 Season is Just Around the Corner!
There will be a rules meeting Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Davenport Airport Terminal Building. If you have any questions, please contact Steve at 563-349-0770.
Clean Up Day will be Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 9:00-11:00 AM and Open House practice will be from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, April 26, 2014. The first race is May 2, 2014. Gates will open at 5:30 PM and the first race is at 7:00 PM. See the new schedule for all the dates.
Karting has become so popular that you should be able to find a track near you. Most of the major cities in the US have one or more tracks designed especially for racing. This is really the most important element at this stage...finding a track you're comfortable with.
Getting Started: Advice for Beginners
Karting has become so popular that you should be able to find a track near you. Most of the major cities in the US have one or more tracks designed especially for racing.
This is really the most important element at this stage...finding a track you're comfortable with. Tracks vary in design. Some are a lot more fun than others, so check around and see what's out there. They also differ in what classes they offer. Even though most typically run under one of the national kart organizations rules, they also offer what's called "local Option" classes. These classes are offered because they feel that a variation of the organizations rules is in order for their particular location. For example: there might be a dealer near a particular track that loves 4 cycle engines, and since that shop services and supports that track weekly, they tend to offer more 4 cycle classes than another track just 30 miles away. So, if you have the option of a couple of tracks, visit them all to see which one best suits your needs.
Once you find a track you prefer, contact them and go watch a race and then attend one of their monthly meetings. There you can get a rule book as well as being able to ask questions and get to know the people you will be racing with. If you haven't been to one of their races do so. You'll find that they are great sources of information. Many dealers also display their wares as do many of the local drivers, so if you're looking for a used kart, this would be the first place to look.
Today there are 3 forms of karts available to you: Fun, Concession and Racing.
Fun Karts are the type that you can find at places like K-Mart and are designed to have fun around your yard or down an alley. They usually are priced around the $500.00 and are mainly for kids.
Concession Karts are those that are used at fun parks that also offer things like miniature golf and batting cages. You can't buy Concession karts, and even if you could, I'm not sure why you'd want to.
Then there's racing karts. These karts are the ones that we're most interested in. Racing karts are purpose built machines designed to allow you the opportunity to tune them to suit your own needs. They are built from the most exotic materials available today. Racing karts are too fast for "concession" type tracks and are built so you can choose which type of engine you'd like to run on it.
We are often asked the question "Are there blueprints available and can I build my own kart"? My answer is, that unless you have a serious mechanical and engineering background and access to the a wealth of machinery, I would suggest otherwise. Not only do you have to conform to stringent rules and regulations set forth by the various racing organizations, but you'll be competing against companies that have decades of racing experience to draw from, and some of them are actually teams that build Indy Cars for a living. That type of experience is hard to beat. My advise is to save the time and headache and buy something from a reliable and established company and go out and have a good time. You'll be glad you did.
Racing karts come in a variety of designs, depending on what type of racing you are interested in competing in. Those divisions are: Enduro, Oval (dirt or asphalt) and Sprint categories.
Sprint racing is by far the most popular. Sprint races are held on road-course type tracks that are anywhere from 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile in length. Sprint karts can also be driven on any of the other types of tracks, which makes them the most versatile of all the karting divisions. This class, depending on engine size, runs speeds in the neighborhood of 45 - 80 MPH and fully prepared, generally cost between $2000.00 and $5000.00. Most Sprint races run short but quick 10 to 15 lap heat races, thus the name "Sprint". Each state usually offers a number of Sprint tracks that run every weekend, which makes it very accessible and the most popular division in the sport.
Oval racing is held on tighter tracks of 1/8 or even 10 mile lengths. They also run on either dirt or asphalt. Oval racing is the 2nd largest division, and is more common in the southern regions due the popularity of NASCAR, but are held in each state across the country as well. Oval chassis are specialized designs that are engineered specifically for tight courses where you only turn one direction. Oval karts can not compete on road courses, however, Sprint karts can and do complete on Oval tracks...and in the right hands, do very well.
Then there is the Enduro division. This division runs longer, endurance races, thus the name Enduro. These karts vary drastically from either the Sprint or Oval divisions in that the karts are designed so the driver lays down in the kart for better aerodynamics. However, Sprint karts, although they run their own separate race, can run in Enduro events too, which is why the Sprint karts are generally more popular. This division runs on the big car tracks like the Daytona International Speedway, Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake, Road Atlanta, and so on and are the fastest of the lot as it is not uncommon to average speeds of well over 90 MPH!. Some Enduro karts even run twin engines, which makes for a truly exciting ride!
Unfortunately, the Enduro tracks are few and far in-between, so this class is the smallest division of karting, but offers a lot of excitement for those you want to run on the same circuits that Mario and AJ have.
Reprinted by permission from National Kart News, www.nkn.com.