Tent Programs - Racing with a team

  1. Yes I have, from factory teams, to large national teams, to local kart teams, to one mechanic and driver in a pop awning.

  2. Almost always budget, occasionally BS level. After a few years in karting you develop a fine nose for BS so these days I tend to spot it before I hand over any money.

  3. I invariable go arrive and drive, so I’m looking for value for money, data sharing and a safely fully prepared kart. I’ve seen teams that provide arrive and drive and the kart is breaking down all day because it wasn’t prepared or wasn’t prepared well.

  4. Ohh interesting question. So I’ve found through years of karting that teams give different prices to different drivers. Its more apparent at nationally competing teams and some are open about it (for example I don’t think anyone thinks Norberg is paying for his drive). I think it will entirely depend on the product you are receiving, I happen to be fairly knowledgeable about karting so i don’t really want to pay someone for info, I’d rather just pay for the kart and engine rental (and tuning bits) under a tent, so about $500 for a 3 day weekend at a regional event in a smallish no BS team. That would probably go up to $1500 for a big team at a regional event. Then a smallish team at a national event might be $2k and big team might be $4k, then something like Supernats I’ve seen prices ranging from $2k to $20k.

Additionally I’m pretty sure the $20k was someone being ripped off through a middle man and I think I may get better prices then most because I come with an expectation that I’ll be fast (perception is everything lol). Certainly when I was younger I was riding on the cash from other drivers.


To add: since I’m new to the sport what im really paying for is the knowledge of what to do when things go wrong. It seems pretty much every race weekend I break something and I don’t have the knowledge to know wether the part has failed is a one off or part of another problem. There are multiple races this year where I would’ve been DNF. If it wasn’t for Jerry getting the kart working again between sessions.

In an ideal world I’d have karts stored at the track but as we race at multiple locations that doesn’t really work for me. But if it did, I could pay as I go sort of thing when I need help.


I have not yet been under a tent. It’s been father/daughter time during the races. There have only been really 3 reasons that we have not been under a tent. The first is budget, as we have been doing what we can without spending that much extra. Second, she hasn’t shown a willing to want to listen to someone else (let alone me) until recently. And the final reason is that we just started regional races last year and only ran 4 last year, and 2 so far this year.

I can see some great advantages from working with a team, assuming your driver is willing to listen and try. I’d like the team to know that each person is different and adapt to them, rather than try to make the driver change completely. For them to have patience and try to get to know the person they are working with, so it is easier to connect and get results.

As for cost, I can’t speak to that since I don’t really know what going rates are for different teams.

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For the time being, I’d keep doing what you’re doing. Focus what she thinks is happening behind the wheel. Discuss with her the option of one weekend under a tent or with a tuner to see if there is interest. Feedback from an experienced racer can’t hurt. The important thing is to enjoy the time with you child.

First thing I’d say is to clear with @NikG, about the top 10-15 ranked X30 drivers in the SKUSA Pro Tour and the top few shifter drivers are getting help, whether it be from a partial discount to a fully paid for ride.

But nothing in life is free.

Their value usually stems from both having the ability to run up front and make the team, engine builder, chassis, or whatever product they’re receiving look good. If the tent fees are covered along with tuning services, then the idea is for them to be a good data point for the team’s other drivers to judge off of, as well as coaching other drivers. You’ll find most mid-size to major teams in SKUSA have 1-2 “lead” drivers like this.

It’s nothing to get angry about, they just provide value in other ways than monetary. And they work, too. You’ll see them all there from set up day to Sunday night building up and tearing down the tents, karts, and putting away equipment. If you want to find out who is getting help from a team, see if they are helping the team build up / tear down or not and 95% of the time you’ll find your answer.

As for value to TJ’s question, in the first national “season” (3 USPKS races and 1 club race) I ran in 2014, I pitted with a small team and got a substantial amount of coaching and my dad and I got tuning help. A big plus was the fact that the club we were at pretty much disintegrated but there was no regional series to step up too, so pitting with guys who knew what they were doing eased the cushion of the jump. We transported our own kart, but did so in my parents’ minivan and not our small trailer, which saved probably $200 on the long distance races up north, maybe more since we were driving from Georgia.

I’d say most of KartPulse has grassroots racers and not necessarily the clientele the big teams feed off of which is “I’ll pay you xxxx dollars because I’d much rather show up to the track stress-free and my time is more valuable than that nominal tent fee (whether it be working and making double that in the time they save or just having money to blow)”. But, for the grassroots guys, it’s a mix of coaching and just a second set of eyes and ears to bounce set up ideas off of and really help “coach” or oversee the tuning side, so no goofs or slip ups happen like forgetting to tighten a lug, motor mount, etc.


Thanks! That’s what we are doing and having fun doing so. Enjoying the time with each other. Regardless of whatever she does, or how much better she gets, I’m happy to spend time and support her with this.

However, a few races back she finally expressed interest in getting some coaching. So this fall we will schedule a day to get coaching with Alan Rudolph at his academy. Also, Alan is doing a search for a Mini Swift driver to race under his tent next year, which she expressed interest in doing so. We put her name in the running, so now it just depends on what Alan is looking for. If he’s looking for someone that he can develop and show off his coaching ability, then we have a good shot. Basically, she’s starting to realize that she needs some professional help, which we will get her.

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I just had my 6 year old out for his first lesson in his kid kart with Alan today. He did an outstanding job teaching and was really good to the boy. Very patient, playful, and good meaningful instruction.


So that was your son that was posted on the Facebook page as a new racer. Very cool.

That probably was my son on FB, just he’s not that new. He’s been my son for a long time. :grinning:

$1K-$2K a race… Ouch. I agree, definitely not grassroots like most of us.

I did pay $500 for an arrive and drive rally car one weekend, but for a kart race, wow.

I was actually referring to Ryan. Alan posted a new kid karter on his page.

Funny! Yes, that is my boy. I am the green spec in the background. Alan was having him run a straight line, brake, circle around and repeat.


I wanted to give an update regarding my daughter and coaching. We spent an 8 hour day with Alan Rudolph at his academy the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She did very well with his coaching, and dropped her time over 1.5 seconds from her first session to her last session on track. She really responded to Alan’s coaching, and the best thing that she got out of the coaching is more confidence in her braking. I am looking forward to seeing her use what she learned in a race and to see her continue to gain confidence.

If anyone is in Texas, or plans to come to Texas, Alan and is racing academy is definitely worth the money and experience.


Thank You for the update, it was useful data to be had. Question, what is an 8 hr day of coaching costs, it seems like it would be very expensive. If not I would love to get my grand children into that training as well. We are in the Greater North West Seattle area and there is a training club at my local track, I would like to put the costs side by side and see or make sure I am getting what is competetive training at a fair price, everyone gets paid, I know this, I just would like to know how much it is in Texas.

Do what you can to get them coaching as early as possible, it keeps them from developing bad habits that need to be broken. The Alan Rudolph Racing Academy has their prices listed on their website (https://speedsportzracingpark.com/racing-academy), as they do offer several different types of courses. The full day that we did cost $799 for the entire day. Since Alan is probably the premier karting coach in the nation, I’d hope others were a little cheaper than that.

Thanks for this reference. I’m getting into karting and I may look into this.

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Starting Out in Karting Seattle WA Area

Reviving this a bit, but what are the normal rates for running with a team in like local/regional races, like in an arrive and drive? I know in the big national races they can easily over 1000 dollars, but was just curious how it would compare to the more local races. Does it depend on the team and level of competition they have?

Definitely varies. National teams typically charge similar rates even at smaller events because they provide the same level of service. And not all local or regional shops offer arrive and drives.

That said, a lot of single day club races I’ve seen 206 arrive and drives for $250-$300 including a floating mechanic (aka a helper if you get in a bind that just roams the tent).

Biggest factors in this are the cost of engine hours (for example, a tag motor that needs to be rebuilt every 5-10 hours averages out to $100-$200/hr in cost, and you put about an hour of run time per raceday), and chassis depreciation. Chassis are just like cars in that their biggest depreciation is in their first few weekends. If you are doing an arrive and drive on a 1-2 year old chassis, the team may be able to charge you less than if you were to rent a 0-3 weekend old chassis.


As Xander said, it really depends on who you are tenting with, what services you are getting, and what level of a race it is. Typically a club race is less since it is only one day, a regional is a little more, and obviously a national is more.