Winter Karting on Ice and Snow

Here’s what all this is leading to, rental karts on a frozen lake: What do you do in the offseason

Some of you probably know I’m a little obsessed with karting on ice… Wayyy back in the 90’s I took my Formula A kart out on an icy track and it was epic and I’ve been wanting to do it since I moved to the US…

This year I’ve been able to put some time into it…I’m based in MN so there’s an abundance of frozen lakes up this way. Would be a shame to not utilize them. I’m going to start off with a track carved in the garden around the house. Honestly, I think it’s going to be too tight to be worthwhile, but it was fun to carve out with the snowblower anyway. Also it’s sketchy AF with fences, mailboxes and trees :laughing:

Tire Talk

Naturally one of the first things I have to figure out is traction…

The most obvious (and economical) option would be to try regular racing kart wets… But there’s two challenges with that off the cuff…

One: typically wets are so soft the studs will pull out which at best is annoying… and at worst, well I’d rather not remove them from my clothes or body after being embedded.

Two: Wets are not likely not going to be good at clearing snow/slush as the track wears in during the day…

A compromise might be to try “duro” rental kart wets which use a harder compound.
To start off, I’m going to try something designed for ice…

It turns out Heidenau in Germany (Parent company of Mojo) make a racing kart specific ice tire that comes ready to be studded…

Cost: $370 including DHL shipping from SRA Karting in Canada. There is only one size of tire: 11x4.5-5 which more-or less fits on a hub mounted front rim. 12mm of tread so plenty of meat for studs by design.

You might notice that this also gives an extra half inch ground clearance on the front as they are typically 10" diameter.

Here they are mounted on a set of 4x hub mounted front rims I got from Point Karting. $153 including shipping for 4 hub mounted front wheels. I think they were 130mm

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These tires seem to be a good choice. I assume rains would be too soft.

Track tour. Accepting track and turn name submissions.

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Well, trampoline turn is a must. Let’s not forget the infamous fence post turn that has dashed the dreams of many (eventually).
Name the track after your daughter, maybe. Add “folly”.

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I cant wait to see this

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Picked up the kart from
The track (Stockholm Karting Center) today. Decided to bring a selection of tools instead of the entire toolbox. Bad decision… Didn’t have a deepwell socket to remove the wheels so had to bring it home like this…

Got the ice tires mounted up. The clutch is toast though…

For names…

I’m thinking “Send it” for the turn by the USPS mailbox.

Poop schute for the second fence gap because it’s tight.

“Dirty tramp turn” for the long one (I might move the trampoline towards the house and go behind it to make the track a bit longer.

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Why not “clean lamp turn” to gain some honey-do points for building a FREAKING KART TRACK around your house :joy:

Just kidding, initial testing has shown the track to be very safe and paperwork is already submitted for FIA approval I’ve heard…

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And now we wait for the snows to come.

I don’t know what the deal is with resurrecting old posts. Couldn’t resist this one. I am Ice Karter for a reason. For my 7th birthday my dad got me a mid 90’s speedco chassis with a GX140 Honda. I’m going to start karting for realsies here when Covid decides to let me (with a newer kart) Anyway we used front lawn tractor tires we found at the surplus store.

Took studs out of motorcycle tires and had at it. It takes 493 studs to do a set of ice tires. We built an oval on a nearby lake and absolutely had a ball. We also had a gravel driveway and it would ice up during a good winter perfect. Fast forward, I’m 28, I live in north central rural Ontario Canada. We have legit ice racing on a kidney bean shaped track parking lot 10 minutes from my house ASN/FIA (used to be) sanctioned and the whole nine yards. It gets better, while I haven’t sought permission to run yet we have a winter kart racing series, out doors, in Ontario Canada.

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As long as it adds value to the topic, it’s encouraged.

I saw that track over the winter. There’s a place in Montreal that has rentals too.

I tried to get ice rental Karting going in MN but in the end I wasn’t able to make it happen in time. Which sounds hilarious given how many frozen lakes are in these parts. Bought a fleet of 13 Sodi rental karts, set them up for ice…

Getting a permit to run on a lake, or finding someone willing to have a kart track on their property was a challenge to say the least.

By the time we had a location (months of searching) it just took too long to figure out how to make an actual drivable track that could stand up to the beating the rental karts gave. we limited the tires to abut 50 studs a piece.

Learned a lot though. the awareness marketing campaign was a massive success, even if delivcery failed. We got a lot of attention from local media and were even talking about some content with some automotive heavy hitters like Hoonigan, Shredder Fielding (Hyperdrive) and others.

So, will try again this winter. Insurance was a big chellenge too, nobody in the racing or rental karting insurance space wanted to touch this at all… After a few months finally arrnaged something with a company that insures motocross tracks.

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You would probably have a better chance at finding insurance for Jackie Chan

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I hope to see this work out. I had a mad Irish ancestor who bankrupted himself trying to connect Maynooth to Dublin via electric train. I hope your endeavor is ultimately a success, however.

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3 words. Frozen Parking Lot. Tanker truck with a spray bar. Start cutting it out in Dec/January to build your walls then flood the heck out of it. Our track is a little different in that it’s not a parking lot, it also has a big crew to maintain it.
Problem with a lake is, well, it’s a lake. You can also get longevity out of it beyond a lake and in order to be successful you need all the longevity you can get. Up here they flood Sunday after the races (at night) Tuesday Wednesday Thursday race Saturday, Sunday, sometimes their season is 2 weekends, sometimes their season is 8 weekends. Either way your going to have to flood it. You would be able to get insurance easier if it wasn’t a lake I’m sure.

I’m optimistic I can bring my kart to one of their races and just say, hey, got a toy, I’ll sign whatever, pay insurance/registration let me take some laps, maybe start a class. Something like that. Innisfil probably wouldn’t be thrilled however in foresight. Whatever you do, don’t try to market it to the public. Don’t make this a money venture. One bad season and your out everything.
As a “Motorsport enthusiast” I love it, there’s nothing like it. It’s not wet pavement, dirt, drift or any other medium, it’s ice. It’s TOUGH to master, but so so so much fun.
brakes? Don’t exist, cornering? Plan ahead! Clean laps take WORK but man there’s nothing like it period. I have no doubt you’ll gain interest, ultimately have success and a lot of fun. Just nail the management side of things. People come from hundreds of miles across borders to play in Minden. We get a bump in tourist economy. I’m not even kidding.

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