FNG Here, Looking to Get Started with your Advice

Hey Ya’ll,

Looking into cart racing for the first time and from what I’ve read it seems like the L0206 class might be were its at; especially considering budget. I own some classic mini bikes, I’m not super mechanically inclined, but I can mig weld and I have enough tools to get me started, but question is, “Where to start?” I live just outside Tallahassee and I’m looking for recommendations. I think we have a carting complex about an hour away. I have half a mind to go out there but do you drop into one of those places anytime or just when they have big races?

I also know next to nothing about carts, or what companies make good ones. I’ve kept my eye out on craigslist for used carts, but Craigslist is dying, and I don’t have Facebook so Marketplace is out of the question because I don’t want to sell my personal information to the devil.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Salute!

Hi Dean,

The first place to start would be, are you interested in sprint karting (small road course), dirt oval, paved oval, or road racing (long road course)? Once we figure that out, we can find out what classes are supported locally and what would be a good place to start. Karting is very regional with some classes being popular on one side of the country, and others being popular in other places.

Some tracks and facilities are open during the week for practice, and you could drop in any time, others just do racing on the weekends. Kind of depends on the track.

In sprint karting at least, there are a few big brands that make most of the smaller sub-brands, and the key is finding a local shop or team that can help you with spare parts, tuning, and general advice. That will determine what brand would be the best fit for you. And likely those local shops will have used equipment that would make a good starter kart. Most karts from the big brands are pretty high-quality and almost anything from them can be competitive.

Good feedback. Sprint is what I’m looking to do (I think).

Clear as mud.

If you are not sure what is around you, try a track directory like https://worldkarting.com/tracks/. I found this with a simple google search for “kart track directory” and it was near the top of the list (below kartpulse).

Looks like Monticello and Ocala are the two closest to you, but that directory may not be up to date. Links to the track websites were included, so you could look up what their hour are or when the next race will be and plan to attend. No better way to learn about something new than being there in person and asking questions. As you can see from this site, most karters are willing and eager to share their knowledge with new people. You could find out who the local dealers are and get a sense of what is available in terms of access and support or other local clubs not found in the directory.

Thanks Greg, that makes alot of sense.

Called my local track down at Monticello and they don’t have rental karts, so they don’t have a school currently unless you bring your own kart. I also learned they don’t race L0206 but instead they race Subaru. I was told if I wanted to go the L0206 route, I’d have to travel to Jacksonville. Bummer, cause that is the only track within an hour of me. The rest are 3-4 hours away.


These look like 4 stroke race/rentals. This is from their site. So they arent doing the rentals because Covid?

I checked their website and they raced LO206 last year. But a glance at their Facebook page shows one mention of 4 stroke this year and none last year? And what on earth is a 4 stroke class? Lo206? World formula? Predator? Tillotson? I’m not familiar with Subaru kart engines.

Between their website and FB I come away with more questions than answers. The website has race dates and zero information on classes or format. Ditto for the fb page. It’s 2021, there is no excuse for kart tracks failing to provide comprehensive information on what you can race and test/drive, how you can do it, and when you can do it. A simple word doc with classes, start times, and race format for each event should be posted to the website at minimum.

Subaru also have an OHV industrial engine similar to the GX series from Honda.
Kohler is another one that gets used in some places.

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I see. I wonder if their rentals use the Subaru and the track employee thought OP was asking about renting an lo206.

Agreed but Covid really messed thing up for these guys in general. My rental series at NJMP was pretty thrown off by this. OVRP still isn’t doing rentals, etc. I think these are unusual circumstances. Truth may be, they just don’t have a reopening plan, maybe?

In any case, this seems like you should call them and find out who runs their karting program and have a chat. Maybe they are planning to open back up their 4 stroke rental racing.

From the conversation I had, their rental program was on hold due to USDA regulations. I had no idea what he was talking about, maybe something Florida specific? (Or he said USDA but meant CDC?)

As for their other stuff, he said something about they were one of the first tracks to push Subaru, so they’re holding strong on that front. Said if it were up to him, they’d move away from Subaru and offer more L0206, but the owner feels differently so his hands are tied. He said I could run with his Subaru guys, but I’d be at a disadvantage in an L0206 as they typically run about one second slower. But again, that’s only if I already owned a kart (which I do not).

He did say they are a Birel ART dealer, so at least I know what products I’d have support for locally. They have a race scheduled for next weekend. I might pop by and get a pit pass just to learn more.

There are some interesting rules in Florida that delineate rental Karting from competition Karting. It was a hot topic 3 or so years ago where I think a track was forced to decide if it was one, or the other.

This as a result of that fatality?

@IRQVET if they have a series that’s on an odd 4 stroke, so long as the series is fun, no biggie. The 4 strikes are inexpensive engines so it’s not a big commitment if you have to buy one. But, more to learn.

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I believe it came under increased scrutiny at that point yes. Rental karts were considered “carnival rides” of sorts from why I recall.

Well the stars aligned and I purchased my first kart today. I have a buddy picking it up for me tonight and I’ll have to make the 5 hour drive tomorrow to get it.

2018 TB Kart S55 (roller) Just need to find out what direction I’m going with motor wise?

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Enjoy the ride and where it takes you. :wink:

Awesome mate! Let us know what motor you end up running. Whatever class you choose, just make sure that other drivers support that class and have fun!!

And there is where my problem lies . . . each track around me is different.

45 min drive- Subaru
Both tracks east and south of me (Jacksonville and Ocala) are 3.5 hours- LO206

I have a Hemi Clone new in the box I’ve been sitting on for a mini bike project. I’ve though about repurposing it as my local track said they run Subaru’s which are faster than the LO206’s. I’ve thought about going the Subaru route, but it seems like the engines and parts are bit scarce. Maybe Subaru stopped making kart engines?

I have a half a mind to build my Hemi, and get an LO206 for travel days?

As far as the 4 stroke class at Monticello goes, when I was there, they only had a handful of guys (4-5) that had four stokes. All the rest (20-30) were 125’s, one 100, and one 175. Seems like their four stoke class is left broad for a reason. The only LO206 I remember seeing was on a few cadet carts.

The 45 min drive is compelling. An engine is always changeable if it doesn’t work out at the closer track over time.

It might just be me, but the drive home after a full race day can be pretty questionable. I am usually pretty close to done, physically, and start getting Charlie horses etc from the physical demands. It can be frankly a bit sketchy trying to drive home.

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