Senior Class Age Discussion

They let Brent Crews run a Pro Shifter at the Winter Tour when he was still 12/almost 13 I believe.

It’s not age, it’s skill.


We came one position short in the last race of winning Florida Winter Tour Rok GP Senior Championship with Luca when he was 13. Some are more than capable provided someone competent is making that decision. Brent was more than capable. Luca as well. Some others have done it too and few that have been given the green light on merit have disappointed.

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If I remember right, Brent put a hurtin’ on 'em that winter and swept all four rounds?

That’s a bit of a stretch, there were 6 drivers in the first weekend and 2 in the second, but it was certainly impressive for his first event in shifter. He was beating the home track kid and 3 tenths up on the third fastest driver, but they didn’t have the big name drivers showing up.

But yeah, if the skill is there I would have no problem putting a kid in the senior classes. It’s a bigger issue moving from cadet to junior than junior to senior in my eyes.

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I think 13 year olds racing for a $20,000 purse is a bit iffy. I think prize racing should be 15+ (16 really). Puts me off right away.

I like some of the words being used here, but when it comes to an entertainment product you need drivers 16+. Children aren’t great if you’re trying to create an entertainment product that people will watch. They undermine credibility quite quickly, no matter how fast they are, it’ll feel like a junior competition.

If you need children to make it work, it doesn’t work

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Then karting is dead, Alan. Children is what makes it work. It’s not us old guys.

I am talking specifically about prize money racing. I think, and this goes for all competition, that children should be somewhat protected. Even more so under 11s but up until 15 should be shielded from this kind of stuff. I think there’s questions to be asked across the sport (FIA Seniors at 14 is very questionable), but 13 year olds racing fully grown adults for money in a sport like this… that raises serious questions.

Children should not be what ‘makes karting work’ in any shape or form by the way. But that’s a debate for another thread.


While I understand your logic, that is not the world we live in. 13 year olds are in high level stock car racing in the US. They are in all forms of open wheel dirt racing. It is the way the racing world has evolved.

Personally, I agree with you. I think everyone in a money race should be an adult so that when I go to throw a punch in the scale line after getting knocked off track, I don’t have to worry about assaulting a minor.


The racing world changed from what it was and it can change back again if it thinks it made an error though.

But seriously, there’s a lot to unpack with the subject of under-16 minors in pro ranks. I feel like it’s possibly even one of the top three most important questions in karting because it affect the culture so deeply and in important ways. (but this maybe isn’t the thread to do that in since it’s about a specific race)

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There are some fun topics here for some healthy debate regarding age limits in karting.

Mods, can we get a spin off topic?

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Sure. What should the title be?
Actually if someone kicks it off I can move the posts over.

Why are kids (13yo) running in the adult classes?

Started one as a location to put these posts and not hi jack this thread

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I personally wish we could have another age tier between Junior and Senior than we currently have. Something like 11-15 Junior and 14-18 Junior Plus (needs a better name). Then Senior would start at 18+ so all seniors are adults. However there just isn’t the pure numbers in karting as of right now, especially at the club and regional level to support this. Not to mention time in the schedule.


I’m fine with 15+ racing senior. Personally I’ve met some 13 year olds that were ‘ready’ for racing seniors and many that weren’t.

Sometimes a kid just ‘gets it’ earlier than others. I’ve seen a handful of cases where a kid came from cadet to junior, immediately dominated, and objectively was ready to race in senior. This is the rare exception rather than the rule. In such cases I’ve seen series “look the other way” when it comes to age around 14-15 If the driver won’t create too many on track problems. The real challenge and risk, serious risk is the liability associated with a Junior driver racing seniors.

What makes an adult an adult is honestly a bit subjective (from a racing standpoint) when you set aside common law metrics. I know 10 year olds that are more mature than a 55 year old. But In general terms I think the current age ranges are about right. You could push the senior age up a bit but I think having a whole new section of 12-15 in between cadet and junior isn’t my solution.

IMO I’d like to see the Junior / senior cutoff be open to discretion and judgement on a case by case basis with a strict appeals process that involves enough steps that not everyone will attempt it. Demonstrated track experience, a competency test, or an objective external maturity test could be criteria, just as ideas.

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year of 16 is as low as I’d go. Young children can have a physical advantage due to their weight and size so it’s as much a fairness thing as anything else. If we do it by capabilities… I am pretty sure there’s 10 year olds who could handle a KZ. Doesn’t make it right they should race them with seniors.

I think we have to draw the line somewhere, and in my view needs to be as high as possible. The only reason it dropped to 14 at FIA Level was because karters were jumping to cars without any senior experience and they needed to bolster the ‘senior’ classes. It’s a complete joke to be honest. I think by the time someone is 15/16 they’ve started to grow and the weight advantages of children are diminished somewhat. They can also (potentially) handle the pressures racing with actual adults.

There’s secondary issues as well about culture, perception of karting etc…


Funny thing is when I first looked at the karting class names I thought… Senior, is that a 55+ class? Cool

Nope. Not even really like a senior in high school.

Yeah I found that funny too but I liked that “masters” sounds more experienced than “senior” even if that’s not true.

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SKUSA had a Super Masters class that was like 50+, but you had to have written 3 books, be a chess grand master, or own a green jacket from Augusta.