Kart Racing 101

Kart racing is a form of motorsport, and one of the most inexpensive ways to go fast on four wheels and race around in a competitive environment. It uses open-wheeled vehicles that are powered by small engines, in vehicles that weigh only around 160lbs without the driver. With that little weight to haul around, even using diminutive engines, these things can reach speeds in excess of 100mph. Thatís fast in anybodyís book.

The Hardware Used In Kart Racing

Compared to other forms of motorsport, the hardware in kart racing seems entry-level, and in fact it is. Engines are simpler in these vehicles, and donít require that much maintenance in larger, more expensive engines. The chassiss construction of kart racers are of tube steel, which holds the engine and drivetrain components in place, as well as serving as the suspension, since karts donít have springs or dampers to make sure that the tires put the power down to the ground.

There are a few differences in concepts when it comes to chasssiss design, because since the steel tubes also serve as the vehicleís suspension, then it needs to be adjustable, so that traction and vehicle behavior can also be adjusted according to track conditions.

Driver Factor

In karting, because it is a form of racing that has good speed, close competition, and intense precision due to its small size and maneuverability, the driver factor of the race is higher compared to other forms of motorsport. So much depends on the driver because of the fact that it depends on the judgment of the driver to take the vehicle as close to the apex of a corner as is humanly possible. This translates to just centimeters on track, and it also takes a fair amount of courage to take a vehicle to its limits, and have a track barrier that close to you, corner after corner.

Learning While Karting

Due to the inexpensive nature of the sport, karting is also used as a tool to teach aspiring drivers the basics of racing techniques, because much of the underlying concepts of racing karts apply also to other forms of motorsports, and this is a form of racing that can exemplify the importance of good technique more than any other sport. Numerous drivers have used karting as a stepping stone to proceed to higher forms of motorsport, and not a few superstar drivers have karting experience as their foundation on racing.

Racing Types

As is the norm for most paved-venue races in other forms of motorsport, kart racing also uses the same formats for races. These may be generally classified as circuit, sprint, or even speedway events. In circuit and sprint races, drivers must take their machines through left and right corners, and the course layout either mainly going clockwise or anticlockwise for circuit and endurance races.

Sprint races donít have the ending of a race course beginning another lap, and as such, can be considered a one-lap race. Circuit and endurance racing rules vary depending on the class and specific race type. Some other endurance racing competitions run vehicles continuously, even for 24 hours, with 2 or more drivers per vehicle.

Another form of kart race, called an enduro-sprint race, is a form that combines sprint racing and endurance, with continuous running of vehicles without pitstops for 30 minutes of more.


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