You probably already know that karting is where the Formula 1 and V8 Supercar stars learnt their craft. But you might not be aware of how diverse this branch of motor sport really is.
Sprint Karting – A lot of motor racing people are familiar with sprint karts. It’s where nearly all the stars started out because you can race from the age of seven. There’s a huge range of classes to suit budget/experience/body size and ambition. A healthy club-based racing scene leads to state, national and international competition if one desires. Sprint karts race on dedicated circuits littered across the country. Sprint karting is the most popular form of karting in Australia and most of it in this country is governed by the Australian Karting Association. (karting.net.au)
Superkarting - These things are insane. Non-gearbox entry level classes allow sprint-kart like equipment meaning very economical racing. 80, 125 and 250cc gearbox classes cater for varying speeds and budgets. The top level 250cc karts lap many tracks quicker than V8 Supercars. Six-speed sequential shift, disc brakes all round plus full bodywork with wings and slicks stick these machines to the track like glue. Superkarts race on full-size race car circuits. (SuperkartsAustralia, CAMS, AASA)
Speedway & Dirt Karting – If drifting sideways shooting rooster tails of dirt high into the air gets you excited, then dirt speedway karting is for you – and it’s huge in some parts of the country. The class structure is quite similar to sprint karting with a few extra high-performance classes for those that like to tinker with engine mods. There are a number of dirt clubs in the AKA competing on unsealed ‘road’ courses and speedways. An even larger group of karters race under AIDKA (Australian Independent Dirt Karters Association) who have many circuits through South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. (karting.net.au, AIDKA)
Endurance Karting – Fancy a three, six or 12 hour race? What about a double-lap of the clock, just like LeMans? Endurance karting is what you’re looking for. Groups of drivers share the driving, pit and strategy work making this a real team effort. The karts are robust and built for the rigours of long, hard races and usually have two 4-stroke engines. LeMans starts, pit stops and pace cars are all part of the deal. There is now a growing number of long distance races for AKA Sprint karts. (Pro Kart, TEKA)
Historic Karting – Mostly part of the sprint kart world, the historic movement is gaining momentum with an official group and Vintage rules now part of the AKA. It caters for karts from 1959 to the mid 1980s and is broken into groups by era. ‘Demonstrations’ of these restored machines are run at selected venues each year.
Corporate/Rental Karting – If you don't own a kart, the quick and easy way to go head-to-head with your mates is at the local rental track! Kart performance and quality can vary widely from one centre to another, but there are now some superb facilities - both indoor and outdoor - spread around the country. The speed and intensity might not be the same level as officially sanctioned 'pro' racing, but it's still great fun!