Where are you located?
Central PA, about an hour west of Philadelphia
What age bracket are you in? Junior (<16), Senior (16+) or Masters (30+)
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your mechanical ability, or willingness to wrench on things?
2, maybe 3? If I had a kart to wrench on for a few months I could probably be okay at it, but knowing how to work on it and knowing what makes it fast are two very different things. I don’t have much time to dedicate to learning the mechanical side of things.
Talk a little about your racing experience so far.
I work in the motorsports realm, but not as a driver, and not within karting. I’ve always wanted to see how competitive I truly am and compete in single seaters.
But… before I invest $80,000 I don’t have into a Formula 1600 ride that doesn’t exist, I wanted to run a season or two of karting this coming year (2021) out of respect for those who’ve already made it into single seaters, to collect real racing experience, and because karting looks and sounds way more fun (And why waste 80K on a season of single seater racing when you can figure out if you suck for far less money and have more fun doing it).
I’ve rented karts a few times (both electric and gas powered) at NJMP and at an indoor circuit in central PA, though I’m well aware these are held back for the masses.
What’s the main thing you need help with to get you started.
A few things: Understanding the structure, and what championship or races make sense for me, as well as whether to buy my own kart or pay to use someone else’s.
Let’s address the structure aspect first -
As mentioned, I do work in the motorsports realm (marketing). However, most series are easy to understand structurally. For example, SRO GT World Challenge America is broken into 4 distinct classes that run on circuits across North America, and act as somewhat of a feeder into WEC/IMSA in some respects. This makes sense to me.
But Karting, after spending a week or so researching, appears to lack this sort of structure I see in other forms of motorsports, and I’m struggling to understand what/if there’s a hierarchy, or how class structure among karts works, and if championships in some regions mean something else compared to other championships. Put it this way, if SRO GT World Challenge is a division 1 college football team, karting as a whole feels about as organized as a bunch of local high school football leagues. Maybe this doesn’t matter at all, but as a highly visual person, I like to picture where a given path might lead me and how it interacts with the whole system. The tough part for me is figuring out which one to participate in and why. I would like to find something around PA or NJ.
Here’s the one thing I do know though (although feel free to correct me here). Having spoken to a kart racer at Summit Point a while back, he mentioned TaG 125cc is the most popular and easiest to find, and is usually a good first step for someone like me who’s in their twenties but looking to start racing competitively.
The last part I’m trying to figure out is whether I should buy my own kart or take part in an “arrive and drive” program, or if there’s a middle ground between the two. As mentioned, I unfortunately don’t have the time to dedicate to learning how to wrench and tune a kart myself (as much as I’d prefer this route). I’m also not connected at all in the karting world. So is it possible to work with a mechanic at the track who maybe services multiple karts? I’d love to work with someone who can both help me but teach me as well.
The other option is a full on arrive and drive program, but I have no idea what these cost. My “budget” for for my first season is about 10K, but I’m not sure what that really gets me (including or not including the cost of the kart itself).
So yeah, very new to this realm of motorsports and would love some input. Thanks for reading through all of that as well.