For all of the talk in our sport about LO206 and “Grassroots Karting”, one thing is obvious: the Briggs,Yamaha, and other classes that use to make up the fundamental base of karting have been replaced. Indoor and Rental karts are the new Grassroots Karting.
On a side note, in the article, one of the co-owners of the CT track is Marty Tyrell. Another co-owner is Chris Tyrell, who has raced shifter karts extensively around the the northeast in the past few years.
Well yes, indoor karting is definitely not a new thing here. What I meant is the frequent articles, press releases, discussions in karting about the “grassroots level” of karting, usually associating the LO206 with it these days. Some won’t even consider indoor/rentals as a legitimate form of karting and I’ll admit, indoor karting is a little different from the competitive type of karting people do here.
But when I think “grassroots”, I think it means something that is accessible to most people, for the “masses” as they say. And when you consider how much it takes to even get an entry-level kart on track, the masses aren’t willing to invest the time and money it takes to buy and race one, not even an LO206.
Back in the mid-90s and before that, if you wanted to go karting there was no choice, you had to race your own kart, there were no indoor karting facilities, or rental kart programs, at least not in this country. That’s not the case anymore.
Agree here. There’s a degree of separation between rental/indoor and owner driver etc (and beyond) that just doesn’t need to be there. Driving a gokart in and of itself is pretty weird to the general public…
Those divisions was one of the reasons KP was started. We wanted a place that was just about “karts” and that’s it. Whether it’s a 6HP rental, S1 in the protour, dirt oval, backyard oval, UAS, superkarts, vintage… doesnt matter. Find your fun in karting, no matter the surface, kart type or level of competition.
Just have a freakin blast with your buddies. Hence the hashtag @DavinRS coined of #KeepKartingFun.
I think a good step would be to have rental karts at actual sprint tracks that would compare to real karts. Whether that means getting a bunch of Margay Ignite frames or something else, I have yet to see a rental kart that compares in any way to a competition setup
I got started in karting through rental karts. Most recently at K1 Speed. I was able to get my daughters on the track at the ages of 6 and 8. They enjoyed it and decided to go outdoors to sprint karts. One of the main reasons we moved was the maintenance of the karts, there was a big disparity between the karts they drove and lost some races due to the kart and not their ability. My oldest decided she didn’t want to race sprint karts since it was outdoors, and it would be hot here in Texas.
I think the indoor rental karts are a good way to get people involved in karting, but the cost difference is still great between the two styles. It would be a great idea if some tracks did have “rental” karts that are closer to actual sprint karts for people to try, even if they have to make their own class for those rental karts.
IMO, even if indoor tracks with rental karts (typically electric) are the track gaining popularity, it can only help to grow the sport. Local sprint tracks should try to team up or use the indoor rental tracks to gain exposure for the outdoor track.
The new OTK track looks really cool. They are planning on hosting some big events there - 12hr and 24hr races, KWC (https://www.facebook.com/kartworldchampionship/). The other OTK facilities are really well managed, so they should do well with this one too.
I remember reading that back in the summer. And agreed with a lot of what was written. Such as the part about the complexity of karting today, with the multitude of ways, and things to buy, to set-up a kart, the ridiculous tire treatments, etc. Like the article said, there is so much involved, and so much expense, just to get a racing kart on track, it’s no wonder why so many stick to indoor and rental karts instead of this.
And of course there’s the part about how karting’s players, instead of working together for the sport’s cause , seem to sabotage each other for their own personal gain. Something everyone here is already aware about and worth a discussion on its own.