Is there such a thing as professional karting?

Are there people who make a living driving karts competitively? Just curious. When I was young, my boss at the time started a kart company and he had a singular pro rider in the team, who I assume, was paid to promote the brand. Other than being paid to promote a brand, are there series with prize money?
I have no such aspirations, just curious to know if such a thing exists.

In the dirt karting world there are tons of big prize money races, but for the most part in American sprint karting, the prize money is never large enough cover your expenses for the weekend. The common model of “professional kart driver” we have here is usually a team giving a driver equipment for free basically, while requiring them to work in the shop or help out as a mechanic at smaller events.

In Europe, where the actual factories are located, they do employ some drivers on the big teams, with a similar scenario where the driver also does work in the factory or helps out some of the junior teams on off-weekends.

Cool thanks. So basically the really hot shoes are kind of forced into cars if they want to make a living racing?

If you want to make money racing, you need to basically get to the top of the “ladder”. The unfortunate thing is, you need millions of dollars to get to the top of that ladder, by buying rides until you’ve proven you’re good enough (or lucky enough) to be picked up by a top team in a top series.


Thank you. 20 chars here we come…

That’s what the heart is for :laughing: