How to Start Karting
The BKDA guide to help you start karting
Karting now has so many different options and routes it can be hard to establish what is best for you.
There is so much advice out there, its easy to get lost.
At the BKDA we have no bias, no alligence to any series, we are just a hub of information.
Maybe you're the next Lewis Hamilton, or maybe you're in your 40's and just like the idea of going racing at the weekends!
Every driver is different, and what suits one person may not be best for another.
First you need to be realistic and think about what you want to get out of your karting
Are you serious about having a career as a racing driver?
Are you a competative person who wants to race the very best?
Have you got the space and money to own your own kart?
Do you just want to turn up and drive on equal equipment?
Do you like tinkering and want to maintain your own kart?
Do you like to be different?
Do you like high reving screeming 2 stroke engines or prefere the low down sound and torque of a 4 stroke?
How often do you want to race? Do you want to travel the country?
How much money are you willing to spend?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself
as they will effect the route you initially take and the path you should potentially choose.
This is where most people with friends and family not already involved in motorsport/karting start or get their first taster for karting.
This is a huge industry catering from stag/hen parties, birthdays, and days out.
Arrive and Drive Series
1 Driver Championships
Arrive and Drive Series
Team and Individual events
F100 Spirit of the 90s
Revs, Smoke, Noise!
Historic Kart Racing
Held around the UK
Retro Kart Fun
Its not just about Racing!
The Open Endurance Karting Championship
Owner Driver Open Endurance
A Few Videos that show the different types of karting
IKR and Arrive & Drive Series
Indoor is almost 100% corporate style karting where you turn up (or book) pay your fee and have a set amount of time on track. Some facilities do offer leagues, championships etc and it is probably going to be the lowest cost karting you can do.
The tracks are usually quite small and speeds will not usually exceed 30-40mph. The Karts are either Electric, Gas, or petrol driven.
This is the ideal place to start if you have zero experience of driving a kart and just want to have a go. Everything is provided, including a safety breifing, helmet, and overalls.
Outdoor karting can vary slighlty more usually always petrol driven the speed of the karts can be upto around 50mph as the tracks are usually longer. They will offer the same turn up and drive packages but will also have their own leagues and competitions on the track.
This is a great way of getting a bit more speed. It may cost slighlty more than indoor karting.
The other eliment to consider is the weather, Karting is run in all conditions so you get to expeirence the fun of sliding a kart in the wet!
Once again everything is provided including the safety equipment and breifings.
If you want to take things to a higher level there are some great arrive & drive champs for the more experienced driver.
If you want to travel to other tracks and get an expirence closer to the karts people own and race at the top level championships in the UK then you have two main choices.
Arrive & Drive Champs
Advertised as the Fastest Arrive & Drive series in the UK
They use a restricted version of a full race spec 2 stroke, water cooled motor you see used at events such as the Rotax Max World Finals.
The karts are lighter than your normal Leisure/Corperate kart and also offer more grip.
The championship travels the country and has two main flavours. Edurance and Sprint series.
Both the endurance and Sprint series are for individuals (no teams) and there are lightweight, intermediate, and heavy classes with minimum weights and ballast.
Great idea if you havent the space, time, or desire to own a kart but still want great racing.
The original 2 stroke arrive & drive series.
The engine of choice is a Aircooled 2 stroke as seen in MSA and IKR owner driver racing (TKM).
They offer both endurance and sprint championships, and have different weight class, as well as experience classes so rookies will not be racing against series vetruns.
The championships travel the country in both sprint and enduance format, however the endurances are classed as team events and as such are longer than the Dmax 1 hour endurance.
Fuel stops also play a part in the endurance racing.
Once again a great idea if space, time, and the desire to own a kart is limited.
Elite Karting Leauge
Using Twin engined 4 stroke motors, as these machines are built to last 24 hour races!
The EKL people also organise Iron Man races at Teeside kart track and the European Endurance championship, so they know how to prepare and organise events.
The EKL mixes Sprint and endurance races in one event giving a great mixture for those that want good value variety.
British Universities Karting Championship.
This is for students, and runs in teams based on their chosen university. They use the Club100 karts for team endurance and sprint races at each round. For the annual 24hour race the BUKC use the EKL karts.
There is a mix of very experienced drivers who have raced at national/european level and rookies.
Independent Kart Racing
This describes anything not run under the MSA umbrella.
Rules may vary between championships and tracks as rules and class structure is designed by the host circuits and organisers.
The level of racing can vary, however classes such as EasyKart, and F100 - Spirit of the 90's attract high levels of competition comparable to national MSA racing. Usually with less cost, but this is not always the case.
With the added flexability liceneces and medicals for over 18's are not always required. But ofcors you should check with your chosen race organisers requirements. Some series run just at one circuit, the others travel around the country
Motorsport Association Racing
Many years ago this was the only way to go racing with your own kart. However as you can see this is no longer the case.
You are required to take a test to obtain your kart licence.
(There are costs involved to obtain such a licence and do the test.)
There are centralised rules which govern all MSA events, so many like the consistency this gives.
Class's are more restricted and limited so your kart has to reach a certain specification.
There are Club, Reginal and national champs all organised under the MSA framework. An International Licence is also needed if you wish to go european and world level.
Tracks Offering IKR racing
Clay Pigeon - Dorset - South West England
Three Sisters - Wigan - North West England
LLandow - Cardiff - South Wales
Fulbeck - Lincolnshire - East England
Teesside - North East England
Lydd Karting - Kent - South East England
Ellough Park - Suffolk - East of England
PF International - Lincolnshire - East of England
Bourne Karting - East Kirkby - Lincolnshire (may-Oct)
Coningsby kart club - East Kirkby - Lincolnshire (Nov-Apr)
Ancaster Karting - Lincolnshire - East of England
Grampian Kart club - Scotland
Crail Kart Club - Scotland
Rednall kart club - Oswestry - North West England
F100 - Spirit of the 90s
F100 Spirit of the 90s - A series which celebrates the ultimate era of karting. When Air cooled engines were at their maximum development. Revs were high, noise was high and the karts were light. This is a series for the purists.
A new series in 2014 it has grown to the biggest IKR series in the UK and attacts novices to British Champions just because of the pure nature of the machines.
IKR Travelling Championships
Owner driver but where all the chassis and engines are identical.
With cadets, Juniors and Senior class with both heavy weight and light weight its an attractive option if you desire ownership but want the most equal playing field possible.
This used to be an MSA series but has now stepped away into IKR.
Run by ACR (MSA racing team) and Club100 it offers a unique owner driver concept which many enjoy.
Retro Racer - HKS
Retro Racer is a historic kart racing series.
With many different class to choose from the vintage karts to classic karts of the early 80's.
Although the karts are rare due to age, they are still raced hard, and its a joy to see, smell and experience these karts.
Elite Karting Leauge
Endurance and Sprints in 4 stroke Prokarts
British Universities Karting Championship
Using Club100 karts but for student teams
Open Endurance Kart Championship
An open endurance for teams travelling to tracks around the country.
The Fastest Endurance racing in the country.
Ideal for Teams/friends who own a kart.
Classes for Rotax Max engines and a class for Open engines.
For those that wish to own their own kart. To spend the time tinkering with it, to customise the designs.
You can add your own touches, and spend money on upgrades and spares.
Many tracks allow you to practise & test with your own kart. Which for some is just as good fun as racing.
We will focus on the racing side of owner driver.
Multiple Classes at Fulbeck