Want to go racing?
Kart racing is hands down the most affordable form of auto racing in the world. Getting started takes commitment, but we can help make it happen. We have classes for drivers of all ages, kids and adults, from age 5 through 95.
To get started, you’ll need a few things: a kart, and engine, some parts, a ride, some tools, and a helping hand.
First, get help from an experienced karter.
Why try to figure this out entirely on your own? Contact us at the AKA and we’ll get someone that you can call with questions as you get ready for your first day on the track. There are many great resources on the web, including www.4cycle.com.
Buying a Kart.
The AKA races on an asphalt oval. Therefore, you’ll need a Left Turn Only or “LTO” kart. Also, most racers at AKA race “flat karts”, which have no roll cages, but some are starting to run “cage karts”. Either will work at the AKA. You can buy one new (for example, search for Phantom Chassis, Slack Karts, or Ultramax), but most folks start with a used kart and save a lot of money. You can find used karts many places, including Craigslist, WantAdDigest, 4cycle.com, and the websites of local kart tracks, including our classifieds. When buying a used kart, make sure the frame doesn’t have obvious bends or damage and has adjustable hardware on the front end.
Life is easier if you can buy one totally assembled, ready to race – body, wheels, motor, etc.
Buying an Engine.
There are several different engines used throughout karting, including “Animals” and “Flatheads”. The Animals are newer, overhead valve Briggs and Stratton engines that are similar to motors used on lawn tractors. Racing Animals are modified to run on Methanol and to get maximum performance. To get started, you’ll want to find a good used Animal racing engine. We can help you determine if an engine you are about to buy is a reasonable deal.
You’ll also need to figure out what class you will race in. Our class structure is on our website. The main effect is on the restrictor plate on the engine. You will at least need the proper restrictor plate for your class. It’s also a good idea to get your engine worked over by an engine builder to make sure it is fresh, all the hardware is in good working order, and to make sure it is tuned optimally for your class. But if you are just trying to get started, this is an optional step.
Put the rest of the kart together.
With luck, you’ve bought a kart that is fully assembled, race ready. But you will likely need to do at least some work to get it race ready – and that’s half of the fun! You’ll need to fit your driver to a seat, and install the seat in the kart, adjust the pedal locations, and just make sure that all of the mechanical systems are in good working order. Some folks like to tear down the kart and put it back together just to familiarize themselves with the hardware. An important aspect at this point is safety, especially safety wiring, pinning, and/or double-nutting most mechanical bolts. We can help with that, even at the track if needed.
You’ll also need tires and wheels. Especially for Junior drivers, you can sometimes start out with used tires for the first year. Otherwise, you’ll want to get a set of rims and tires, and the size of these tires is important. You’ll notice in the photos on our website that the tires on the right side of the kart are bigger than the left side. That’s part of what it takes for these karts to get around the turns on our oval in record time. Again, we’ll help you with tire and rim sizes to get a great start.
One final thing is scaling the kart. You’ll need to add weights to the kart to get it to the legal minimum, but you’ll also want to get the weight distribution correct at all 4 corners of the kart. Again, we can help you get this set up.
A few other supplies.
You’ll need a few other things:
- A Snell-approved helmet
- Jacket or racing suit
- Gloves, rib-protector, and neck restraint
- A compressor for inflating tires
- A pressure gauge
- A starter
We can help you find all of these items used. And finally, a way to get the kart to and from the track. Some folks get enclosed trailers, but others race out of the back of a pickup or minivan.
Download a printable list here.
And finally, your first day at the track!
That’s what all of the work is about – getting the kart on the track. When you come to the AKA for your first day, we’ll make sure to help you through that first race. You’ll need to sign in, pay for your registration fee and pit passes, and then park in any pitstall of your choosing. Unload, roll your kart through tech inspection, and then get ready for the fastest day of your life. When the day is done, it’s official…you’re karting!
The bottom line: We’re here to help.
There’s a good amount of work to do before that first day on the track, but you will find it fun and addicting. But as we said at the beginning, there is no reason to do this alone. Email us, and we’ll get you someone that you can rely on to answer any questions you have as you go from buying your kart all the way through your first day at the track. See you on the track!
Karting has been shown to be addicting!