So, you want to get started in racing karts. Where do you start? What do you do first? The following steps will help you become familiarized with karting and start racing!
Step 1 Check It Out!
The first step in karting is to take the family out to a local race and have a good time. All BMI events are open to the public. We recommend you buy a pit pass and wander around the pits and watch the races from there. This way, you're right where the action is. Watch, see how the races are run, and ask anybody your questions. You will find most racers are very enthusiastic and very helpful! Be sure to find about classes, types of engines, recommended karts, rules, and schedules. Ask racers, track officials, or at the registration desk. Most tracks have a rulebook or flyer that contains most of this information.
Step 2 Read Up!
Some excellent books and magazines on Karting available. Interact with other drivers and research how they got started.
Step 3 Try It!
The next step is to try karting. This can be done several ways. One way to try karting is arrive-n-race programs at tracks. The karts and safety equipment are provided, allowing you to show up and race! Another is to go to a local concession track. Although these karts are not as performance oriented, you will get a great feel for the excitement of racing.
Step 4 Decisions, Decisions!
The next step is to decide what type of engine and which class you will run. There are several types of engines. Common engines are Briggs & Stratton, and Clone engines with a pipe. Classes are divided by age, weight, chassis type, and type of engine. Make sure you know what class you wish to race before you buy the equipment.
Step 5 Develop Your Budget
There is some basic equipment you need to start. You should be able to get set up within your budget.
New Chassis: $1200 to $2500
Helmet: $100 to $200
Neck Collar $20 to $40
Engines: $120 to $500
Gloves $20 to $50
Racing Jacket or Suit $60 to $300
Kart Stand $30 to $250
Clutch $50 to $450
Fuel, Lubricants, etc. $50
Spare Parts & Gears $200-plus
Step 6 Go Shopping!
Make a trip to the kart shop. The shop owner will soon be a good friend and is the source for some of your best information. The shop will set you up with equipment that is right for you. The shop can also help with the kart setup, engine tuning, and driving basics. Many of the employees at the shops also build and race karts themselves. Remember that when you have fun, the shop will get a good, long term customer. Listen to their advice.
Step 7 Practice, Practice!
Now you're almost ready to go racing! A little practice in a noncompetitive environment is very helpful. The Indoor Speedway from BMI is available for practice every buisness day unless a scheduled event is occurring that day. Other tracks can be used to practice by contacting the track owners and making arrangements. It is a very affordable way to run many laps and get the feel of the kart. Be sure to practice the basics: starting, stopping, and turning the kart off. If the driver is a junior or rookie, also practice pushing the kart. If the kart has a problem during the race, the driver is responsible for pushing the kart out of harm's way.
Step 8 The Big Day!
Go to the races. Get there early. Take advantage of practice time before the race. Ask to start at the back of the pack. Keep your cool. Learn a lot. Celebrate your achievement! Have a great time, and see you at the races!