What is Go-Karting…
Go-karting is not a new concept, in-fact it has been relatively popular since the 1950s! Racer, Art Ingels, is often given credit as being the father of go-karting as he built the first kart in Southern California in 1956. Since then, go-karting has been increasing in popularity, especially in recent years!
Technology has changed massively since Ingels began the phenomena that is go-karting, meaning that the sport is much different now, than it was in the 50s. One of the things to be massively improvement is the safety aspect.
As you can imagine, back in the 50s safety wasn’t the greatest priority. However, with safety regulations constantly evolving and updating, go-karting has to keep up with these changes.
There are two main choices of go-karts on the market at the moment… electric go-karts (which are primarily used for indoor circuits) and gas-powered karts (which are mostly used outside due to the fumes).
The indoor go-karting scene is now worldwide! Especially due to modern technological advances, which mean that electric karts are quicker than ever! These tracks are usually built in old warehouses or the like, as these are the perfect space to build an amazing circuit. Even more exciting, some go-karting facilities offer indoor/outdoor hybrid tracks, this means that the tracks can now be longer!
Browse Go-Karting Locations
What Do You Need to Know About Go Kart Racing Before Your 1st Visit?
Before you don your helmet, there are some things you need to be aware of.
- Most sites have restrictions regarding who can drive. In order to accommodate younger people, the sites usually have two different classes of drivers. More often than not, junior drivers must be at least 48’’ and may have to be over a certain age. Adult drivers must be at least 56’’ tall and some sites have minimum ages of 16/18 depending on their rules. The junior karts can be speed restricted as an extra safety measure. Checkout the rules of the track you’re planning on visiting as each one is different. You don’t want to get all the way there to be told your little one is too young, or too small.
- The prices vary between different go-kart facilities. However, most charge per race, with some discount if you book more than one race. Races usually cost between $15-$25, dependent upon the franchise, how many races you book and the size of your party. You can pre-book your races or walk in. Remember though, during busier periods it is always worth booking in advance, just in case you get there and it is all booked up!
- You can wear normal clothes. However, you should probably avoid sandals, high-heels, skirts or dresses if you want to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. Closed toes shoes are usually required.
What Can I Expect from My First Experience?
It can be confusing for new patrons to show up for the first time at a go-kart track. There are some things you need to know to make your first time as simple as possible.
The first thing that you will do is check-in. You need to go over to the reception desk, as each driver is required to create a driver profile and sign a waiver. If one of the drivers in your group is under the age of 18, a parent of guardian will need to sign the waiver on their behalf. Once this is done and dusted, you will book your races if you haven’t already done so. Your race will more than likely have other racers in it, depending on how large your party is. The majority of races last around ten minutes at a time.
The next time that will happen is you will be prepped for your race. About 15 minutes before your scheduled race, you will be called to make your way over to the track. You should lock any of your valuables in the lockers available or give them to somebody in your party who is not racing to save for you. You will then be given your racing gear. This will include a balaclava hair cover, racing helmet, jump suit and neck pad. Once you’re all suited up, it’s time to race!
So, it’s now race time. You’ll be instructed on which kart to go to by a member of staff. Once you’re in, get yourself buckled up and adjust the kart as needed. Usually, you’ll be given instructions on how to use the kart by a member of staff, either one-to-one or as a group. Sometimes this even happens as a video. Do not worry, ask any questions you have when the talk or video is completed. The first lap around the track will be a slow lap, to make sure everyone has control of their kart. Then it’s time to race! The final lap, once the race is completed, will be a slow lap again before you’re directed back to the pit.
Finally, you will exit the track when the member of staff gives you the go-ahead. Once you have returned your gear, you can check your lap times. Some locations will give you printed off results!
If you’ve caught the go-karting bug, then good for you! It is a fantastic way to have fun and meet new people. Some tracks offer leagues to compete in, this is a great way to improve your skills! Another brilliant idea is to begin to use the park more during slower times, this will allow you to hone your skills and improve, without the pressure of a league. Remember to research the track you are planning to visit first as everyone is different. Happy racing!