Karting History and Sports Karts

Karting History

There are at least two versions of the origin of karting. The first one says that in the 1930s, military pilots in America amused themselves out of boredom by riding around the runway on cargo trolleys. Of course, everyone tried to outrun their rivals and improve their vehicle — this is how the first karts appeared.

The second version is that karting was also invented in the United States, but already by sailors who served on aircraft carriers.

What is go-karting?

This is a kind of racing on microliter cars. The idea of creating a go-kart was in the air. At first, everyone assembled the car as they wanted, from improvised materials, from pieces of rusty pipes. Only after 25 years did the first karts appear.

The history of karting began thanks to Art Ingels in the early 1950s. He was a former racing driver and worked as a mechanic at the Curtis Craft garage. Art took a steel frame, reinforced it with chunks of pipe, and installed a motor that had been removed from his lawn mower as the engine. The prototype model was first shown by Ingels during the 1956 auto race. in Pomona, California.

The name of the karts comes from English, and means cart, reminding of the race of pilots on the airfield on trolleys.

Go-karting's finest hour came in 1960. It was then, according to the official conclusion of the International Motorsport Federation, that this sport was recognized as a sports competition.

At the same time, the British magazine "Karting" begins to be published. And the number of go-karting companies in this country has exceeded one hundred. It would seem that the development of this transport will continue to be more than successful, but let's remind you what was the reason for the initial success:

  • simple design
  • easy to operate
  • affordable price (100-200 USD)

However, after the official recognition and transition to a professional environment, everything changed. New maps have become more powerful. Their design also became more complicated, which ensured greater operational safety. As you can see, all these changes significantly affected the price of the final product.

After just two years, the maps turned into high-speed monsters. They were assembled from expensive and high-strength materials. Since 1964, karting has become the second motorsport discipline to host the World Championship.

Types of go-karts

What is karting like? This is a kind of motorsport, its meaning is to conduct races on specially designed subcompact cars, in fact, maps. Their design provides for the presence of an engine, steering system and seat. Of course, there should also be wheels, but there is no suspension, differential and bodywork available.

  • Rental go-karts
  • Sports or professional go-karts

With a rental go-kart, everything is simple. Anyone can drive with a breeze on the race track, even children.
Sports go-karts

Karts for professionals are much more powerful, they put a reinforced gearbox on them. The engine is installed to the right of the driver, and in amateur cars it is located at the rear, which is safer. In turn, professional karting is divided into summer and winter.

Sports karting, like any professional sport, places high demands on both racers and karts. Races are held on specially equipped karting tracks like we have in Athboy, Co. Meath.

Sports karting is probably the most popular form of motorsport. Strong competition between pilots places high demands on the professional qualities of the pilot and the quality of the driver himself. A map assembled from scrap metal at hand in the garage will no longer work, its design has become much more complex. The engine of modern karts is so powerful that the rider can easily accelerate to 260 km/h.

It is not safe for an amateur to participate in such races, only a professional who constantly trains can take part in competitions and achieve high results.

Races are held on tracks called kartodrom. This is a specially equipped area for racing on karts. It can be open or closed. For sports karting, open tracks with a length of 900 to 1300 m and a width of 7 to 12 m are used.

Sports karting includes the following classes:

International ones.
Competitions in this class are held at a global level, which requires compliance with the technical characteristics of karts at a high level. The division is made by age group, engine capacity, and weight of the card with the driver.

National ones.
These classes differ in criteria and depend on the requirements of the national motorsport federations. As a rule, national classes use engines produced by the domestic automotive industry.

Competitions are held in several national classes. The gender of the race participants does not matter.
Participation in national sports classes is very important for a driver's career. Many famous athletes started out in karting, moving from there to Formula 1. Among them, you can recall Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, the Schumacher brothers.

If your little one has F1-legend aspirations, maybe taking him to one of our regular Race events can help you figure out what those goals are.

Even if they are only 5 or 6 years old, skilled racers already participate in our races. We are confident that they will provide you with sound guidance and responses to all of your inquiries.