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- - The Kart - - Setup Info - - Starting Karting - - Race Reports - -

STARTING KARTING

Karting has to be one of the most exciting motorsports available. A combination of close racing, friendly competitors and interesting challenging circuits all over the country make it a sport that many people enjoy on a regular basis. Macg Karting (Subsidiary of Macg Racing) offer a slight introduction to kart racing here, which will help you make an informed decision what path is right for you to choose.

Many people start out by experiencing karting at its base level; the indoor ‘arrive and drive’ centre. These centres offer karting to the masses, with people being able to turn up, have a brief briefing about the technical aspects of the sport and also safety, then hitting the track with friends and colleagues. Often the bug bites and people want more speed and more competition!

The sport can be broadly divided up into two categories; RACMSA events, for which you need a competition license (more on that shortly), and events for which you don’t need a license. We will look at these first.

MacG Racing driver Jonathan MacGregor waiting on the grid for a Rotax Max 125 race

The majority of events where you don’t need a licence are arrive and drive type places. The benefit of these is that clearly you don’t need to layout the initial cost of owning your own equipment to be able to participate. In many cases all of the equipment is available for hire even including suit, gloves and helmet. These events can vary from relatively tame hire karts all the way through to the faster 125cc liquid cooled karts and above, which can reach speeds approaching 100mph!

These arrive and drive events can be one off races or championships, which can either be at one track or a selection around the area/country. They also range hugely in ability and competitiveness! There are many commercial options open to a competitor wishing to take part in this kind of event, and we would recommend either searching the web or contacting us for more information.

RACMSA events require the driver to own their own karting equipment and to hold a valid RACMSA competition license. To obtain one of these, the driver must complete an ARKS (Association of Racing Kart Schools) training course. The driver starts off as a ‘novice’ in racing events, starting off at the back of the grid so that experience of racing can be gained without being embroiled and overwhelmed by the faster drivers. A signature is obtained for each raceday that they compete in. Once six signatures have been obtained, the novice plates can be removed and the driver is then included in the main pack on the grid. The ARKS course counts as one signature.

Buying and owning equipment is a major investment; however initial costs for a club racer do not have to be huge when first starting out. Obviously as time progresses and the driver becomes more competitive, the urge to spend more money to knock off that crucial last couple of tenths a lap increases dramatically! Reasonable second hand outfits can be found starting at around £1000 - £1500 (depending on class) on auction websites or in classified sections in karting magazines or at kart clubs. The major decision is which class to enter. This is normally based on budget and personal preference, but other factors such as driver size may also be taken into account. (For example, a larger driver may struggle to get near to the minimum weight and so may opt for a heavyweight class.) Direct drive or gearbox classes are available. Direct drive classes are the most popular and run for drivers as young as 8 years old! It is advisable to visit your local track/club to get a feel for the sport and the costs involved, since different classes require different budgets! A directory of clubs can be obtained from the RACMSA.

To give you some idea, the range of popular classes run at most clubs at this current time are as follows:

 

Age: Class

8-12: WTP Cadet, Comer Cadet, Mini Max
12-16 (Juniors): Junior TKM, Junior Max
16+ (Seniors): Rotax Max, Senior TKM, Various 100cc classes*

*The above shows the classes run at most tracks around the country. At clubs with bigger grids and more members, various senior 100cc classes are run. Contact the clubs for more details. Various ‘heavyweight’ classes also exist and are run at certain clubs which cater for larger drivers.

 

It is important that people get a rough idea of the costs before they get involved. Apart from the initial costs of the kart itself, other parts and some basic spares are crucial, including the following: (Rough new costs shown in brackets)

Helmet (£75 - £1000!!)
Kart suit, boots and gloves (£200+)
Wet tyres on rims (£150 - £200)
Spare sprockets (£10 each)
Spare chain (£15)
Spare stub axles (£40 each)
Spare track rods (£10 each)
Spare jets/filters for carburettor (£10+)
Spare sparkplug(s) (£10+)

Obviously this list can get huge depending on what level of backup you feel you require. It is not uncommon when first starting out to get through spare parts like they are going out of fashion! Bodywork can sometimes suffer heavily too depending on how ‘forceful’ or simply unlucky your driver is! However, most tracks have onsite shops and/or dealers that will sell you parts and even help you to some extent. On top of the costs above there is entry (IRO. £40) and club membership (IRO £40), licence (IRO £35) as well as fuel and oil which is minimal. Obviously not to be overlooked is the fact that you will need a trailer/van or as a bare minimum a roof rack to get your kart to the track!

As mentioned, as the driver gets more competitive it will be found that the desire to gain those extra tenths becomes greater, so inevitably the temptation to spend more money is there. However this may not be the ideal solution. It is not uncommon for many people to try to save some money by not buying fresh tyres, then suffering all raceday and having a miserable day because of it. This is definitely false economy, and it is worth remembering that it is meant to be a fun sport after all!!

As mentioned previously, for more information please do not hesitate to contact us. The information given above is for reference only.

Just Doors UK sponsoring MacG Racing
PTR Exhausts
Braid Wheels
AWS Racewear sponsoring MacG Racing
Quantum Racing Suspension sponsors MacG Racing
Albins Performance Transmissions sponsors MacG Racing
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