The beauty of karting is that it is a sport for all ages. You can find kids from the ages of 4, to adults to the ages of 40 and over. There are a few factors to consider before you get into it though. It is arguably easier for kids to get into, so how do adults get into kart racing?
There is nothing to stop an adult getting into kart racing. However, before getting into kart racing, 3 things an adult should consider are:
- Time availability
- Health conditions
There are some other factors that we will cover, however, these are the main ones you need to look at. We will be covering a few topics on how to start in the world of karting, and hopefully it will help you to get started in this incredible sport.
3 Things An Adult Should Consider When Getting Into Kart Racing
As we have previously covered, karting is an extremely expensive sport to get into. Not only do you have a high start-up cost when buying your kart and safety gear, but you also have a running cost. Whenever you get into a kart and take it around a track, it will cost you money.
As an adult, this is something that you will need to be prepared for. Participating in this sport is going to cost you a lot of money, but if you can afford it, then it is the most incredible sport to be a part of.
All in all, your initial start-up cost will most likely be around the $11,000 mark, depending on whether you buy new or second-hand, and how much you shop around to save some cash. In this sport, saving money is important because you can always put it towards something else like spare parts, extra fuel and tires etc.
A benefit that you have as an adult, is that you can provide value to some potential sponsors. If you are able to secure sponsorship, you can get started in karting for little to know cost at all! The challenge though, is to secure that sponsorship in the first place.
In addition to these costs, will be travel and accommodation costs to and from the track. You will also need to consider storage costs if you are leaving your kart at the circuit. It’s best to go down to your local karting circuit to find out about these costs beforehand in your local area.
Aim to visit your local karting circuit on a race weekend and try to speak to at least 3 different drivers. This will give you 3 different opinions on where to go for the equipment you need to get and where to get the best prices.
Also try to find out when drivers go to the circuit for practice sessions. It’s always nice to be on track with other drivers rather than being out there alone. This means that there will be other drivers around to help you out with driving techniques or mechanical issues you might have.
It will also be a good idea to try and chat to the race organizer or race director in order to get an idea of the race fees that you will need to pay if you were to enter into the championship.
Attending a race weekend will give you a pretty good idea of how the championship runs and the type of format they use in their race weekends. This is always helpful to know so that you know what is happening before you attend your first race meeting as a driver.
2. Time Availability
Kart racing is a sport that takes up a lot of your time. You won’t just be turning up at the circuit, getting into your kart and racing for the day. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes as well; much more than most people expect.
If you want to be competitive in karting, you will need to devote a lot of time and effort into the sport. You will need time on track in order to become more comfortable in the kart. Being comfortable in the kart will mean that you can start to find speed, which will result in you being more confident in improving your driving techniques.
In addition to this, time on track will also allow you to work more on the kart’s setup, which can play a big role in getting your lap times down. You will need to be comfortable in the kart before you can start working on your setup, otherwise you won’t know what works and what doesn’t work for you.
Setup work also takes a lot of time. For example, it might take you at least a full day of testing, maybe even two full days just to find which rear track width works for you for example. Then you might test something else on your kart and it throws everything off balance, and you need to start again.
Your time will be equally consumed off track though. You will most likely be spending hours cleaning and maintaining your kart if you aren’t driving it. The maintenance aspect is just as important as the driving itself, and it should definitely not be overlooked.
This is all before we have even got to the racing yet! Race meetings will take at least a full day, most of the times on a Friday or a Saturday. So, you now you also need to give up your weekends for races, plus perhaps a day or two per week for testing and practice.
I am probably making this sound more like a chore, but the times that I have spent at the track, have been some of my fondest memories, even if it is just sitting around and chatting with other drivers, or working on my kart. The racetrack quickly becomes a really fun and happy place to be for the whole family.
3. Health Conditions
Karting is a sport, and as such, there are some medical requirements that you will need to pass in order to be declared fit to race. This will come in the form of a general medical check-up at the hospital in order to get your racing license. It’s nothing to stress about though, just precaution.
Believe it or not, karting requires quite a lot of physical and mental fitness. However, it’s a different kind of fitness to what other sports require. You can’t prepare for a karting race by long distance running or spending 5 days a week in the gym, although it does help a lot.
In the motorsport world there is something called race fitness. This is something you will experience if it is your first time in a race, or your first time in a kart after a long while. Racing is strenuous on your body because of the g-forces involved. Your body can only stay ‘race fit’ through experiencing those g-forces regularly.
You will even see Formula 1 drivers struggling if it’s their first time in the car after a long break, no matter how much training they have done beforehand. This is why it is so important to get as much time in the kart as regularly as you can.
Karting also has a heavy mental fitness requirement. You will need to be able to focus for a long period of time while under physical pressure. Being able to concentrate throughout the full course of the race will be crucial in reducing mistakes during the later stages of the race when drivers become more tired.
3 Practical Steps To Take To Get Into Karting
1. Visit Your Local Karting Circuit
The best thing you can do if you want to get into karting is to visit your local karting circuit. This way you can meet some of the drivers who are competing in the series. Talk to as many drivers as you can. Most if not all driver would love to help out and give advice.
2. Find Out The Best Places To Buy Equipment
All drivers love to talk about themselves and their journey, so they won’t if mind you are asking about it. It will also help you to find out where it’s best to buy equipment in your local area. You might get lucky and find a driver who is willing to sell you their kart as well.
3. Make As Many Connections As Possible
This is the best possible first step you can take. Try and make as many connections at the track as possible and make some friends. Offer to help a driver out and learn about the karts and the mechanics behind them so that you can get a head start in this aspect.
I hope that this article has helped you get a better idea of the challenges you might be facing if you were to start karting as an adult. There are huge time investments, and there is also a lot of money involved. You will need to be fit, healthy, and keep your mind sharp.
It might sound like a huge task and like a lot of effort, but it is absolutely worth it. Karting is the best sport in the world, and you will never regret your decision to start off in this incredible sport.