Karting 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

“I am an artist. The track is my canvas, and the car is my brush.”

– Triple Crown of Motorsport Winner, Graham Hill

The moment you step into your kart is when you begin to feel what so many of the world’s greatest drivers have felt before you. Michael Schumacher, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Danica Patrick, and so many other legendary names got their start on local karting circuits. Whether this is your first time behind the wheel or whether you’ve lost count, there’s an unmistakable thrill to open-wheel, electric kart racing.

A Brief History of Karting

Karting began in the garage of racecar builder, Art Ingels, who built the first go-kart out of spare parts and an old lawnmower engine for his son in 1956. It’s our guess that kart racing began as soon as the second kart was completed. It’s just the way the competitive spirit works, and karts proved to be too fun to leave to the kids.  After word spread of Art’s two-stroke genius creation, engineers, mechanics, and hobbyists began constructing their own karts, bending and welding steel-tube chassis to craft an array of karts that improved upon Art’s simple original design.

As early as 1957, the first organized races began being held in the parking lot of the historic Rose Bowl stadium. Those expanded shortly thereafter, and the audience for karting grew rapidly. Kart circuits started popping up across the United States, and in 1961, the American Society of Planning Officials singled out go-karting as an up-and-coming trend. Its popularity continued to increase throughout the 1970s and spread across the Atlantic where Italian, French, and German engineers would try their hand at perfecting the gas kart. It was also in European workshops that the first electric go-karts originated in the 1990s. And for the first time in karting history, indoor racing emerged.

Electric Go-Karts

Electric go-karts have caught on in recent years because they are quicker and much easier to maintain than gas karts. The motors are more efficient and have fewer moving parts than their gas-powered cousins, and they deliver immediate torque to the drivetrain, resulting in blistering-fast acceleration. For acceleration and handling, nothing can match the performance of an electric go-kart. In addition, they are zero-emission vehicles, so they are eco-friendly and can run indoors without releasing any fumes. In a town like Frisco, this makes all the difference in the Summer months when the temperatures creep above 100!

Kartland runs a state-of-the-art fleet of electric-powered karts, year-round, in our 50,000-square-foot, fully air-conditioned facility. Needing less maintenance and with a full-time kart mechanic on staff, our karts spend more time out on the track chasing after personal bests and less time in the shop.

Electric Go-Karts

Kartland Electric Go Kart Specs

Our adult go-karts represent the future of karting. Millions of dollars were spent to develop their technology to peak performance standards. Each high-torque motor rates at 18 horsepower. Compare that to gas-powered karts, which average around six horsepower. This improved power-to-weight ratio results in much faster and more responsive acceleration. Every system on the kart is electronically adjustable, and we continuously monitor performance to ensure that every kart operates at an equally high standard.

  • 45 mph top speed
  • 18 hp high-performance electric motor
  • High-torque output for rapid acceleration
  • Forward and Reverse switch for full maneuverability
  • Radio controlled speed and pit speed reduction
  • Dual rear hydraulic disc brakes
  • Self-ventilated brakes with CNC anodized aluminum construction
  • Powered by four 12-volt batteries
  • Rapid Recharge capability (6–12 minutes)
  • Ultra-Sticky, F1 inspired, performance radial tire

Expert Go-Kart Driving Tips

Want to drive like a go-kart master? Just looking for the best way to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’? Here are some useful driving tips from our in-house experts to help you get the most out of your karting experience.

  • To drive fast and safe, you must drive smooth. Transitioning out of one turn and into another, lifting your foot off the brake and onto the throttle, the smoother you approach each movement throughout your race, the more time you will shave off of your best lap.
  • When riding go-karts, your aim should be to carry as much momentum as possible through each turn and down the straightaways. Be sure to use wide lines around the race track that allow you to hit the apex of each corner and carry more speed as you exit each turn.
  • What’s the best way to limit sliding in the turns? As drivers, we are always pushing the edge where our tires begin to lose grip. Controlling the front end of our kart is critical, as we always want to keep our vehicle pointed in the direction in which we want to go.
  • One of the best ways to reduce lap times is to follow faster drivers. When following faster drivers, try to duplicate their race lines as close as possible but make sure you stay within your safety limits.
  • To achieve maximum speed through the turns, you should do your braking in a straight line. When the wheel is turning, and we apply the brakes, it causes the tires to lose traction. Brake before entering a turn and accelerate as you exit.
  • When racing, your aim should be to race against the clock, try to give yourself plenty of distance between you and the driver in front of you at the beginning of the race. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to lap a slower driver and open the track up to setting your new personal best.
  • Avoid contact with the barriers or other karts during the race as it will interfere with your kart’s handling. Contact will instantly slow you down.

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