There was a quasi-reality show that did a really weird job of trying to do just that. It was made for a broader audience I think, but I did not like it, personally.
Good morning. Trying to track down a Birel 125cc Easy Kart Chassis Model No:R30C-Y.
We had that here in the UK too. Always leave a bad taste in the mouth and doesn’t really fit the concept putting forward here.
Not my engine, class, area, age.
I don’t have much interest in watching Jr shifters in Italy. Lack of coverage even if I wanted to follow it. No personality no stories. Difficult to keep track of. Etc nothing to get me invested in really.
Fore is in his 40s. Average age of top 3 in KZ1 is over 30 Far from being junior racing.
I will say, it would be a minor miracle, if an adult were to highlight the sport, not as a stepping stone, but as an experience to attract other people.
IMO - Karting has let itself be pigeon holed in this “bottom-level of motorsport” category, which then makes it difficult for your average person to understand why people over the age of 16 are doing it.
Good point, until last year I used to think the same thing (I was completely wrong, but I was ignorant back then). The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to karting for many people is the stuff you see in amusement parks and are mainly for little kids. I remember one time I told someone about shifter karts and their look was priceless when I showed them a video
To be fair, Karting Content is out there…If you go looking for it. I think for the masses, they just don’t know it’s there.
I grew up around Auto Racing. Road Course and Drag, that’s what my family did. At the time, I was only aware of Kart Racing as a Past-Tense sport from my father and uncles that did it as kids. As a kid the only Karting I had ever experienced was the Novelty Stuff like at Amusement Parks.
Later as a teenager, a Malibu Grand Prix opened up near our house. Still very much an Amusement with the wheel to wheel racing in a dumbed down flat kart with bumpers. The fastest thing they had was covered in fiberglass made to look like a mini formula car and it was Time Trial only. They would only let two on track at a time, spaced a half a lap apart. Really very sad and relished back into that Novelty Category.
Fast forward a few years into my early 20’s (late 90’s) and my brother takes me out to a warehouse in the middle of nowhere. This would be the first time driving a close approximation to a modern Race Kart. The frames were of a modern design with 4 cycle engines burning Propane. I guess is was the best way to keep the breathable in such an enclosed space. The course was pretty decent size with a myriad of corners and straights. All of the racers were on track at the same time and with the relatively narrow corners, you had to pick your passing zones carefully or get slowed down by brushing a barrier. We spent half the day there along with several other of his friends from World Challenge Crew he worked for. All of us were fans of Racing, so of course everyone was super competitive and took every opportunity to make a pass when they could. Sadly a few months later I asked my Brother if he wanted to go back and I was told they closed down from lack of business. Truly sad, as that was some of the most fun I had had in long time. I was still not aware of any owner run kart racing.
Fast forward another Decade and I started seeing more similar places. First with Andretti Speed Lab (running petrol karts indoors) and later with places like K1 (running electric karts indoors). By this point Malibu Grand Prix was as Ghost-town and closed its doors. It was at K1 I think I first saw an actual owner run Racing Kart. It was something they had on display, but still no information on where you could acquire one or even run it for that matter. So at this point I was starting realize Karting was still a thing and not just stories from a bygone era.
A few more years go by and I had relocated from Georgia out to Texas. I had run a few K1 type places in the area, but nothing regular. Eventually I stumbled upon Dallas Karting Complex. I was eager to check it out. What gave it the most appeal was that it was an actual outdoor track spread out over decent size property, not just a confined warehouse with barriers all around you. They used 4 stroke Honda motors with a belt driven torque converter, so if you kept your revs up, you could hit some pretty decent speeds. If you messed up, you were either just slow or sent off into the grass. The true beauty of this place was that it was an actual Kart Shop and Pro Race Team. They had multiple karts and engine packages on display. You could get a taste of what these machines were like in there Rotax 125 rental. It was still heavy and full wrap bumpers, but was still a hell of lot faster than the Honda 4 strokes were.
It was not until this point, that I even started looking for information on Kart Racing. I discovered that there were local clubs, regional, national and international series, along with several classes to choose from. I wanted in! It took some time to save up and source my first kart, but eventually I got there.
To get to the point of all this, I don’t believe Karting needs to operate on the Media Exposure scale of MX or Professional Auto Racing does, but I do believe it could do with a stronger presence in the Mainstream Media than it currently has. Even if its just a Quarterly Highlight on one of the Sports Networks.
As several have mentioned, it was not until they went looking for “Kart Racing” specifically did they find it. For me, the worst about all this is that had I not stumbled upon it, I wouldn’t have known to even look. Why or rather When do I follow Top Level Karting? Usually when I have a personal investment in someone or something about it. For example, Jake French won the SKUSA Super Nationals a few years ago. I know him. He drove for the Sodi Team out of Dallas Karting Complex. I followed the event Rooting for the Hometown Heroes! In the process I began to learn about some of the other drivers out there. Many of their names have already been mentioned. Do I follow their every race? No. Do I try to catch some of the bigger ones or follow up after with some of their onboard footage after the fact? Absolutely. What serious Racer would not want to watch and learn from the Top Level Guys/Gals or just to enjoy the battles they fight.
Too much stepping stone not enough spectacle. If I practiced hard enough and had enough money I could run Florida winter tour or any big race you can name. I ain’t about to jump in a cup car and run the 500 or on a motocross bike and run with the best.
On the topic of stories, personalities and media…
NASCAR has essentially built a sitcom about itself, cast with known TV stars and their drivers…
Effin genius if you ask me, whether “race fans” like it or not is really besides the point.
I saw this scrolling through Netflix this morning… I’m always leery about racing shows. I feel like I’ll find one inaccuracy and it’ll ruin the show for me.
Fair, but it’s proablynot intended for you/us if you get what I mean.
As rarely as I sit down to watch TV\streaming, I’ll check it out though, seems humorous.
I’m 5’ 8"… that’s average height."
“If you stand on your helmet you are.”
Just curious, any clue what the requirements for entry are to the big ones like Indy 500? Could I buy a team and hop into a nascar season if so inclined?
Oh look, “The Crew”. Another show I won’t really be watching.
You don’t even need to buy a team. For NASCAR you’d have to go through some hoops to run to get the licence. But if you just wanted to test say an Xfinity car or truck, it’s just money.
It’s a lot easier to get a low level xfinity or truck ride than most people think. I worked on a small Nationwide team about 10 years ago. We played musical driver each week. Depending on the race it cost $15-25k. We had some real questionable drivers run for us that I am not sure how they could even get approved for short tracks. Could’ve just been nascar trying to generate revenue while coming out of the recession.
To rent a truck is like $75,000 a race weekend. You can rent a Super late for speedweeks for around $100,000 plus damages. (9 nights) I don’t know so much for Cup or Indy open wheel but look up Andy Janowiez (butchered that probably) Dude spent his life savings to run ARCA at Daytona came home 8th. and kept that junk in one piece enough to get some support to run Talladega. It’s only money. Talent questionable. In order for me to watch Karting it would have to be either relatable (stahls) or entirely unattainable. There needs to be a story or a reason to get invested in what I’m watching. I watch and follow a ton of local dirt and asphalt coverage because there’s a story to follow, it’s really great racing and there’s coverage to get invested in. Karting doesn’t have any of that. Where’s the coverage for Daytona Kart week? Right?
EKN does live audio broadcast of every major series and you can follow along with live timing on either Race Hero or Race Monitor to suppliment the broadcast. I generally listen while out in the garage tinkering on something. They also do daily website reports after each race day. Given the lack of commercial reach I think it’s hard to assume we’ll ever get TV coverage. I anxiously await Xander’s (Kart Chaser) follow up coverage generally posed the very next week on Youtube.
In 2009 they had Speedcast TV doing live video coverage with Howden on the mic calling the races. At the time it was a really awesome setup with good camera angles and everything.
I’m uploading the videos I have of two of my classes from that event onto my Korsasport YouTube page.