Where do I race?
Once you have your licence you need to join a kart club. Look at the members list on www.abkc.org.uk or www.msauk.org and find a club in your area. Once you join you are automatically enrolled in the club championship and it’s best to concentrate on that for a season, perhaps trying out some other race circuits too. When you first start, you are classified as a novice for your first five races after the ARKS test, use black number plates with white numbers and start from the back of the heats. Most clubs have regular practice days, often on the Saturday before the Sunday race meeting. Clubs generally have a regular weekend in the month for their races. Membership of a club often offers a small discount on their practice and race fees, but guests can race at clubs for a small premium. Guests will not count in the club championship.
Once you are confident, and doing well in a club championship, it is time to think of progressing to a national championship. The bigger ones, like the Super One (www.s1series.co.uk) and BRDC Stars of Tomorrow (www.brdcstars.com) are stand-alone, taking usually six weekends per season, whereas the smaller ones rotate round various club meetings. You need to have a National A grade licence for many of them, which means collecting more signatures from attending race meetings, and register for the championships before racing, which for the premier series close in January each year so do plan ahead. The top drivers in each classes’ national series earn the ‘seeded’ numbers 1 to 9, or 1 to 15 (depending on the class) and can use them at any other circuit. The ABkC also organise a one weekend Open Championship, where the winner in each class earns the right to the prestigious zero or ‘O’ Plate for a year.
After that, you can progress to International racing. The CIK – the part of the FIA world governing body for motorsport that deals with karting – organises European and World Karting Championships. International grade licences are needed, which means collecting signatures at certain race meetings to earn the right to move up. More information can be found on www.cikfia.com . There are also International series for some of the ‘commercial’ classes, like the Rotax Max family. More information on them at www.maxchallenge-rotax.com and www.maxchallenge-rotax.com/eurochallenge2007.html
· How do I get my karting licence?
· Which kart class is right for me?
· Where do I race?
· Do I buy a kart and run it myself, or hire?
· What karting equipment do I need?
· How do I get sponsorship for karting?
· How do I improve my karting skills?
· Where can I find out more?