How Old Is Too Old For Karting? (Age Limits Explained)

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Karting is a sport that is perfect for youngsters who are getting into motorsport. However, it’s not uncommon for adults to also race in karts and enjoy the thrill that these machines bring. But you might be wondering when you could be too old for karting, and if there are any age limits.

There is no upper age limit for karting, and you can’t really be ‘too old’ for it. However, it is an extremely physical sport, and you need to have physical strength to drive the kart around the track. Adults who stay fit can still race in karts up to the age of 50 or older.

While you can’t really be too old to enjoy karting, there is an age limit when it comes to being in the sport and aspiring to reach Formula 1 or becoming a professional racing driver. Below, we take a closer look at the age limits in karting.

6 people driving racing go-karts on a track with a kerb on the right hand side and a tire barrier on the left and tents in the background, How Old Is Too Old For Karting?

Is There An Age Limit For Karting?

Karting doesn’t have an official age limit, but many racing series will have their own restrictions. Drivers have started karting as young as 3 years old, and some people still drive karts at 70+. While they might not be competing, it shows that this sport can be enjoyed by all ages.

When it comes to competitive racing, such as FIA events, age limits and restrictions become more important. Races are divided into different classes and categories, such as cadet, junior, senior etc. Each of these categories has a specific age bracket that the drivers need to be in. The only exception is when drivers reach senior, DD2, and KZ classes, where there is no upper age limit.

As for rental karts, the requirements are slightly stricter. Kids karts are available for younger drivers, but for the “adult” karts, drivers usually need to meet a minimum age requirement and a height limit too. The same goes for older drivers who want to join in on the fun. The problem is that there is much more risk and liability involved for owners of rental karts if something goes wrong.

Masters Series

You may also come across a ‘masters’ series. This is where drivers over a specific age will be given their own separate category. An example of this is a DD2 masters series where drivers over the age of 35 are separated from younger drivers. This is usually only done when there are too many drivers and more space is needed on the circuit.

The FIA also uses the masters concept in their official international events. For example, the Karting World Championship has a KZ2 masters category. In this category, drivers over the age of 35 are entered into this series, and the minimum weight limit is increased. This series is separated from the rest, so a World Champion can be crowned in the masters category.

How Old Is Too Old For Kart Racing?

You can’t really be too old for kart racing, as long as you are fit and able to drive the kart. There are some drivers who only get started in karting when they are in their late 30s. The only thing that would stop you from getting into a kart is being physically unfit or not having the budget.

If you’re aiming to get into Formula 1, starting karting at the age of 14 is cutting it fine. Most Formula 1 drivers started karting under the age of 10, with an odd few starting in their early teens. However, if you’re aiming for other forms of motorsport, you can start karting up to the age of 18 (sometimes older) and still make it.

There will always be people who say that you can be too old for karting. It’s an incredibly difficult sport that requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, as well as laser focus. If you’re older than 30, it’s unlikely that you can compete with the younger drivers because they will be sharper and fitter, and they pick up karting techniques much faster.

Drawbacks To Starting Late

The main problem with starting karting when you’re much older is that it’s often harder to learn new skills the older you are. If you have been driving for several years, you have already formed driving habits, such as using your right foot for the gas and the brake for example. These are habits that will make you slower on track. Having no driving experience is a huge benefit.

Drivers who start out young can be coached into being faster on track and they don’t have any old habits holding them back. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of older drivers who can beat younger drivers out on the track!

KEY POINTS

• Karting doesn’t really have a proper age limit

• Racing series will have their own lower and upper age limits though

• As long as you are fit, able to drive, and can afford to race, you can’t really be too old for karting

Is 17 Too Old To Start Kart Racing?

17 is not too old to start kart racing. Drivers at this age don’t have a long history of driving cars, which means that they can usually pick up new driving abilities and skills fairly easily. They are also old enough to understand how to maintain their karts and set them up.

On top of that, coaches will have a much easier time communicating with drivers who are 17 years old. This means that it’s much quicker and easier for drivers to learn new techniques and skills that advance their driving out on track. It also helps the drivers to use better setup techniques that they learn from coaches.

Drawbacks To Starting Young

However, starting at the age of 17 also comes with challenges. It’s far too late for a driver to make it to Formula 1 if they’re starting karting at 17. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not possible for the driver to become a professional racing driver, but it would still be incredibly challenging for these drivers because they lack the experience needed to progress to other racing series.

Another drawback that drivers would face when starting at 17 is that their time in school could become challenging. There is also the prospect of having to move out of the house soon and perhaps attend university in the near future, so it’s not the ideal age to start karting, as it is a sport that could be incredibly distracting.

Is 30 Too Old To Start Karting?

The age of 30 is too old to start karting if you’re aiming for a career change into motorsport. However, it’s not too late to start karting if you’re just taking it up as a hobby. There are plenty of drivers who start karting as a hobby at the age of 30 and thoroughly enjoy it.

Drivers who start karting at the age of 30 might find themselves facing a steep learning curve, but it can be a good time to get into the sport, as you may have savings built up that can help you budget for the high costs involved in karting.

On top of that, many people are stable in their careers and lifestyles at the age of 30, so starting a new hobby like karting won’t throw everything out of balance (such as having school or university to focus on), which can make the sport much more enjoyable and easier to fit into your lifestyle away from the track.

Karting is also a great opportunity for drivers to join a community and make new friends. It’s often more difficult for people to make friends after the age of 30, so having a common hobby is a great idea. Meeting people at the track regularly and enjoying your time together can help to cultivate excellent friendships!

Do Karting Tracks Have An Age Limit?

Karting tracks don’t always have age limits. Anyone can visit the track regardless of their age. Whether they are allowed to compete or not will depend on a variety of factors. Every karting track is unique, and some may allow drivers as young as 4 to race, while others might have an age limit of 7.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to age limits at karting tracks. Your country or state’s laws and regulations come first and will be applied to each and every track in the country. So, if the laws state that no one under the age of 15 is allowed to operate a motorized vehicle for example, that law would need to be applied at the track too.

From there, each and every track (both indoor and outdoor) will have their own rules and regulations that are applied in terms of age limits. That’s why it’s impossible to provide one blanket statement on the age limits at race tracks.

It’s always best to check with your local track on the age limits that they have in place. In most cases, they will allow drivers to head out with their own karts as long as they do so safely and with proper safety gear regardless of their age. For racing, there will be a variety of age limits in place depending on the category. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re aiming to get to Formula 1, starting karting at the age of 14 might be considered too late. However, if you’re starting karting as a hobby, then you can’t really be too old for the sport as long as you are fit enough and can drive. There are advantages and disadvantages to starting karting later, but if you’re racing for fun, it’s never too late to start!