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


(Noah Fischer) #21

I don’t know much about Hamilton because I’m not a fan of him but I’m pretty sure he started off in Cadets KT100 and did that for 5 years until entering the junior championship for another 5 or so years. I’ve driven a bit of a friend’s LO206 around a track for 20 or so minutes and I didn’t understand what was so impressive about it. It has a top speed of about 10 or so MPH over a standard rental kart and does excellerate quite a bit faster but is just as expensive and much much slower than a KT or KA100. It was also quite a bit heavier than the 2-strokes that I have driven but that might not necessarily be the engine.

I think that a KA100 is a good start personally as it is cheaper than a X30 and (in my opinion) a better package than a LO206. F4 is not my goal atm, it is the Route 66 Championship. I don’t expect to win any races but I do expect a chunk of the racers in a position like me with a similar amount of seat time, experience and money.

In the meantime, I guess I am just going to keep racing on my simulator, try to get more seat time on a kart and learn how to race better. Thanks for the advice, means a lot.

(James McMahon) #22

KA does seem to be a good package and Rt66 is the right series to run it in. Are you budgeting for non Rt66 races too? I’d recommend you do.

The difference between 206 vs rentals for example isn’t the outright speed… it’s the competition level, relative low maintenance, ease of use/tuning etc. Purchase cost is comparable to a used KT, however ongoing costs are not. A KT or KA is going to run you more money on fuel/oil. Plus at least one mid season piston, couple of spark plugs, carb diaphragms.

I’ve dabbled in most types of karts up to 250 superkarts and I still think the 206 is pretty enjoyable.

That said, Rt66 doesn’t have a 206 class anyway, so it’s kinda moot. Hopefully I’ll catch you at at race next year. Would be interesting to see how you feel KRP helped you.

(Noah Fischer) #23

I am absolutely doing non Rt66 races before and while I’m in the championship. With the Briggs motor, I guess the problem for me is that I don’t want to spend the money on the LO206 motor and then either not be able to use it or not find a fitting championship for me. I’m fine with working and spending on the 2-stroke too since I know quite a bit about them. I do hope that KRP has taught me at least something.

See you on the track.

(Andy Kutscher) #24

Also from Columbus and fairly new to karting, My suggestion on your budget would be to get a chassis and KT100 Yamaha. Keeps you in the 2 stroke engines, makes better power than the briggs and most importantly it’s got a great following with both OVKA (G&J Kartway) and KRA (New Castle). Lets you learn the ropes with everything while getting into the racing game. Also gets you into your $3k budget if you shop wisely. Join as many club races with OVKA and KRA as possible and if you get it worked out by the end of next season sell the KT and step up to the X30. I think WKA still races Yamaha so you could jump into the WKA national race at PITT and New Castle if you wanted to experience that level of competition.

OVKA only had TAG entries at like 2 races this year, they do have a KA100 class but are considering dropping it for next season as there was never more than 3 on any weekends, usually we only had 2.

IF you’re bound and determined to jump into X30 New Castle is the only place you will be able to race it.

Circleville is putting together a 6 race series next year but the classes are pretty loosely defined at this point and I"m not sure they’ll have TAG there either.

I jumped in this year with an older chassis and KT100 that I have about $2300 in total. There are generally good used setups for sale on the OVKA Karting Classifieds facebook page where you can probably get a whole race ready Yamaha setup in that 2500-3k range. I’ve now decided to upgrade chassis for next year but I’m continuing on with the KT100 setup as I’m content with the Yamaha and fields I’m up against at both OVKA and at KRA. I have no desire to race at the national level though…and I’m a masters driver who did this to support my 6 year old nephew so our aspirations are not quite the same, but I think you’ll find this advice relent to our region and getting started

(Don Westlie) #25

There are a lot of things going on in this post and I will try to answer as many as I can…

Take this from a Dad that’s been turning wrenches for his Son for the last 8 years in karting. Started out in 206 sportsman as a back marker and now as a Sr competes near the top of the 206 races in the Midwest. My Son won the Cup Karts North Region this season.

The initial question of "Can you get in for $3k? – Yes, it will be on lower level equipment in the 2s fields. Though I did see a 2 year old Comp Kart with a KA sell for $2800 just recently. Those prices are hard to find though. Most likely you are 4500 plus on the KA and 3k plus on the KT for anything a 2ish years old. That seems to be the bottom dollar I am seeing currently. Again, you may be able to find a fire sale. In the realm of 206, you can get really nice equipment for that 3k. You’ll see 1 year old set ups for $2500ish

Can you compete at the regional level with $3k equipment. – Probably not. When you go to a 66 race be prepared to go against racers that have new(er) equipment. Most up front are on new for the season chassis and/or only 2 years old. Fresh engines for the weekend or even putting new on for Saturday and Sunday. Trailers are stacked full of engines ready to go. We stepped into the KT100 class a little this year and had success with my Son winning a club race at Road America and finishing I believe a best of 4th at Badger. Thinking we could go run a 66 race after our “stellar” success in a handful of races, we proceeded to get waxed! We did get within .3 of the fastest lap but that only gets you within 6-10 seconds by the end of the race… 206 for sure! most are running less money than $3k

Your goal is F4 – Ultimately its about $ and you’re going to need it to climb into a car. Many, many people have ran at the top levels of karting and are “deserving” of a good ride in a car and never get the chance because of money. Cars are pay to play deals.

206 isn’t a step up from rental – You would be surprised how much of a step up it is. Rentals do teach you smooth lines but you are also at the mercy of the good kart bad kart. Everyone at the front in 206 regional has a good kart that can be tuned to be a great kart. It’s not easy to just jump in and be fast. With the 206 you are going to save a ton of money over a few year span. Again, if you are looking for F4, you’ll need all the $ you can get. If you want to prove yourself against the top level 206 racers there is Cup Karts North America. Run many of the same tracks as 66 and the entries are less. Engine program is less. Roughly $1k out the door ready to bolt on and race. No rebuilds mid season. Race it 2-3 years you’re thousands ahead.

Feel free to reach out privately any time. I’ll give you as much info as you’d like. I can tell you my Son does want a KA… :slight_smile:

(Nik Goodfellow) #26

Oh the inaccuracy hurts. Lewis Hamilton’s karting career.

Age - Class
8-11 - Cadets (comer engines back then)
12 - Yamaha KT100
13-14 - JICA (and a bit of ICA at the end of the year)
15 - Formula A
16 - Formula Super A

And he was signed by Mclaren at about 12 and contrary to popular belief he wasn’t poor before that.

Then he did two seasons of Formula Renault, two seasons for F3 and one season of GP2.

(Dom Callan) #27

Even if I won the lottery I don’t think I’d step up to cars. Karting is just so much fun and fast enough.

(Aaron Hachmeister) #28

WKA has eliminated Yamaha for the 2019 season. The only series keeping Yamaha right now is Route 66 and they said they’ll keep it until Yamaha stops drawing entries. When that is I don’t know, but there’s at least another year for Yamaha at this time.

(Andy Kutscher) #29

Noah, also not sure if you know or have talked to Braden Eves about this, but he’s local and going through this path currently. Funding to go to the next level is Extremely difficult if you don’t have the connections to bring funding with you. Braden’s got a TON of natural talent, he’s a multiple time karting champion, he ran a half season of F4 this year and has dabbled in F1600 and F2000 as well. He recently won the Team USA scholarship program but is unable to attend the finals in Europe because of a recent surgery.

Despite all of that it’s a constant grind for him to find backing to race at the next level.

(Aaron Hachmeister) #30

Just to give a perspective on budgets for an F4 team, I ran a full regional season and one USPKS race with about 13 club races as well.

One F4 race costs about twice as much as what I spent this year in karting. A full season is almost 6 figures assuming nothing goes catastrophic.

Just keep that in mind when thinking about what you want to race in karting and how much you want to spend now vs. in cars.

(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #31

I will say that there is a ton of karting that one can do, without even having to look into car racing.
Karting and car racing are two different disciplines, not one being a stepping stone to another, depending on how you look at it.

My advice? Find a popular class and get yourself involved in the community. Understand the sport, and work on developing your driving. Have fun and progress from there.

Talking about F4 is just a shiny object that just takes a ton of money, when you could be having fun karting, in the near term. :wink:

(Aaron Hachmeister) #32

That’s kinda where I wanted to go with the numbers but I wanted to just leave the facts out there without my opinion at first.

Part of what I think about with karts vs. cars is that they are two completely different disciplines, like you say, with two completely different scales of budget. I could do a lot of karting for the money I’d be spending on 7 weekends in a car. I could afford to race every weekend of the year with that budget if I wanted to. At the end of the day, I realized I could spend a bunch of money to be a nobody in a low-level formula car because lets be honest, I started at 15, and that’s way too late to have much of a shot at making it big as a driver, or I could end up spending the same money to get more time in a kart and become an ideally reasonably successful karting driver.

Then I realized I could go to college, work on a racing team or manufacturer, and race karts in my spare time, and have both aspects of racing. There’s a lot I’m skipping over but in general I just decided I’d rather spend my time karting and seeing what happens as opposed to trying to race up into a car that likely won’t last. If something happens it happens but I’m just enjoying the time I have right now.

(Nicholas Bushnell) #33

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!

(Bryan Hall) #34

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…

(James McMahon) #35

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.

(Bryan Hall) #36

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.

(Noah Fischer) #37

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.

(Ryan Odi) #38

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.

(Dom Callan) #39

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.

(Aaron Hachmeister) #40

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?