Is it really possible to get into karting for 3K?

I started on a budget and am moving on. With that said i do have a complete 08 crg kt1 with a low hours my09 leopard im selling for 2k. Makes a great starter kart and only needs a mychron and maybe a different seat to jump in and go. Even with this setup i spent a lot more than 2k to get going. Sucks racing isnt cheap in any class but it sure is fun!

If you are interested in eventually getting into car racing, probably the most competitive while being lowest cost (and crazy fun) is stage rally. While reliable and durable equipment there is very important, the driver (and co-driver) are much more of the total package than the equipment is in most car motorsports. Still not a cheep sport, but compared to most, the seat time is huge in relation to the costs.

Just a thought…

I can only draw on my experiences with rallying in Ireland, but in general it’s significantly more expensive than karting. Roll cage, belt and extinguisher requirements cause it to get very expensive, very quickly. Even buying an already fully prepared car is steep. Failures/breakages are much more common and of course tires can be challenging with so many choices to try for given conditions.

The other thing to consider is the cost of putting a wheel wrong. In the kart, more often than not it won’t cost you a penny. In rallying you can tear the corner off a car pretty easy.

Rallying is absolutely bonkers fun though.

James, oh I completely agree that compared to karting, rally is much more expensive!

What I thought the OP was getting at is that he eventually wanted to get into car racing. In my experience with the Rally America series it is much easier to be competitive and win races with a great driver and so-so equipment in rally, than pretty much any other four wheeled motorsport. Of course that said, if you are a privateer with a volunteer amateur crew team going up against a well funded factory team, it still is going to be more difficult - but not impossible to win thanks to rocks, flat tires, and occasional mistakes.

After competing in karting and feeling comfortable with it. I would love to move on to other forms of (car) motorsports. Although I do enjoy watching rally, I’d personally rather compete in road racing; specifically open wheelers. In a previous reply that I wrote I said that Formula 4 Americas is my goal which now that I look back is very ambitious and frankly ridiculous but if possible I would love to race in F1600, F2000 or even slightly more competitive forms of open wheelers in my general vicinity.

Look at Formula Vee. It’s even cheaper and they’re still decently quick around a circuit if you run them on Hoosiers. A competitive F1600/F2000 season is still pretty big money.

The Lucas Oil series can be done in one offs if you’d like to try their school. They send out emails for the tracks they will be at and sometimes, if seats aren’t full, offer a deal.

I think I paid 2500 for a 2 day class which was mostly unrestricted lapping after a morning of limiter.

Bonus points if you can find the pre-karting me in the vid.

Edit: 2K. That’s pretty awesome for 2 days of car driving. I’m guessing that’s comparable to what a regional racer would spend on karting for a race weekend.


2k is about 2 race weekends regionally, probably one weekend nationally barring SKUSA.

I saw that and immediately thought about how much karting I could get done for the same price. It’s not a bad deal in the scope of cars, and I never really like comparing karts to cars in terms of how much it costs because they’re so different. How much track time are you actually getting during the racedays?

There was actually a pretty good convo on our facebook page discussing regional Rotax and cars (modified) Miata. But alas… those insights will disappear into facebook oblivion :frowning:

I just did the two day intro school. Didn’t sign up for series. Plenty of track time in the school, however. Basically brief class in am and rest is behind wheel.

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How did you enjoy the cars?

I really did enjoy them a lot. Couple caveats: at the time the sum total of my driving experience was 2 sessions at the porsche school in AL. Which is lovely, but not a racing school. It’s more a bunch of old guys getting to drive nice Porsches around a race track in a safe and supervised atmosphere. N00b quotient: 100%. The staff are fantastic - all real racecar drivers (Pippa Mann was instructor for example).

Lucas is more like our kart race weekends. Nothing fancy, just lots of laps, feedback etc. great instructors as well, all racecar drivers. It’s just more “real” and doesn’t focus on being pretty and fancy.

The cars themselves were, for me, perfect. Low power, no aero, street tires, but around 1k lbs. in short, they took the grip out so you don’t get in over your head.
At the time I hadn’t started karting yet so I was extremely n00bish, so the cars were perfect for my lack of skill. But there were folks there that raced cars and they seemed happy too.

End of big straight I was doing 115 to the 125 of the guy who raced SCCA regularly. So not super fast, but fast enough.

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So @SupremeTaco, how did this turn out for you?
Did you find a kart for this season and what decisions did you end up making?

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Also @SupremeTaco if you need any help I currently go to school in Indianapolis so if you’re ever out at New Castle and I can come by and help you out at practice or raceday. Ohio is a couple hours away so that’d be a little more difficult but I know someone who races Yamaha and 206 that lives out there.

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I see that this is an old thread but I just had a couple questions regarding your posts.

IF you do quite a bit of karting and do well at regional and national races and try to move into F4 or USF2000 do you basically just have to hand the teams a check for a couple hundred thousand dollars to run for a season or even a couple races? How rare is it that you test with a team and get a seat for a race weekend so they can see you drive?

Spending $200,000 outright for a year of racing for a normal person with no sponsorship is damn near impossible.

I think one way is saloon cars. Gentlemen racers looking for hot shoes for their team.

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It’s uncommon for a team to just give you a free test. It’s going to cost you money basically any time you get into a car. It doesn’t have to be a 6-figure check out of the gate, plenty of teams will let you do a one-off weekend if they have a spot and you have the money.

The “teams scouting talent and putting them in cars based on skill” days are long gone.


Pretty rare. It’s about who you know and how much money you have.

This is true. I know of one NASCAR Truck team that helped a driver do a race for only $6000. It was a very minimalist run of course, used tires etc. But nonetheless on the scheme of things he got some seat time in the truck series for a low price.

It pays to be connected.

If you are offered a test, you need to be very clear on what your financial burden for the test is. Including any “What If” like crash damage.

One of the guys I raced against in the rentals was offered a test. He was shocked by the bill afterward. My questions are who jumps in a car without knowing what the deal is. The other funny thing about the situation is why did the car owner let him get into the car without getting the money up front.


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