Karting is considered the first step in any serious racer's career. It can prepare the driver for high-speed wheel-to-wheel racing by developing quick reflexes, precision, car control, set-up, mechanical and decision-making skills.
People of all ages can enjoy the sport with children as young as seven competing behind the wheel. Karting teaches these children, both boys and girls, basic driving skills well before they are able to obtain their road licence.
Karting is competitive, but it is also fun and family orientated, with involvement in the sport both on and off the track giving it a strong feeling of community. It teaches driving skills and offers people an opportunity to gain a career in motorsport, all in a safe and organised environment.
Kart meetings take place at circuits across Australia every weekend and are either a club, regional, state or national level meeting.
Getting into karting is relatively simple. First you need to become a member of the Albury Wodonga Kart Club and start out on a provisional licence. Buying a kart has also been made a lot simpler thanks to a professional trade industry that serves the karters of Australia.
Joining the Ballarat Kart Club will give you access to the track for practice, as well as allowing you to participate in any club championship, social events, working bees and other club activities.
Contact Kevin O'Donahue regarding membership and license inquiries : 03-5342-4590(H) / 03-5335-7317(W)
Once you are a member of the BKC you will need an AKA licence. The licence comes with an AKA Karting Manual, which outlines all the rules, regulations and operations of the AKA. An AKA Licence also deals with insurance while racing.
Apply for an AKA license online at http://www.karting.net.au/apply-for-a-licence/
The karting industry in Australia is always keen to assist newcomers in entering and enjoying the sport.
Local karting suppliers include:
- Ballarat Kart Club - For Sale Section (Karters often upgrade/outgrow their karts - and good second hand equipment is available)
- Kevin O'Donohue - Southern Karts 03-5335-7317
- Ballarat Indoor Go Kart Centre (Parts and supplies) (03)5332 8022
Most kart shops will also offer a range of safety gear - that is, full face helmets, race suits, racing boots, gloves and other optional safety gear such as padded rib vests and neck braces.
As well as kart shops, motorsport racegear shops carry ranges of karting gear and even motorcycle shops can be good for things like helmets and wet weather driving gear.
Karting is a friendly, family-orientated sport and karters young and old are always happy to help out newcomers.
Make sure you ask lots of questions of local members, state association and local kart shop. It is often a good idea to plan your first trip to the kart track with your kart with someone you know so that they can help you with any questions you may have. Also, while at the circuit feel free to ask other competitors any questions. So often friends you make in karting will be friends for life.
Midgets (7 - 11 years)
The purpose of this class is to teach young people to drive karts of restricted performance at a limited cost. Competitors use a Comer S80 engine with a clutch or a Yamaha KT100J fitted with a restrictor plate.
Approx. Power - 6hp
Rookies (10 - 12 years)
Using the same principal of the Midgets class the Rookies use a Yamaha KT100J engine fitted with a restrictor plate.
Approx. Power - 8hp
Junior National (12 - 16 years)
With two weight divisions this class allows close competitive racing in karts with reliable engines (Yamaha KT100J) still fast enough to teach the basics of racecraft at a low cost.
Approx. Power - 11hp
Junior Clubman (12 - 16 years)
This class is for juniors making the step up from the National class, for more experienced drivers using faster engines (Yamaha KT100S and ARC Spec 100).
Approx. Power - 16hp
Formula JMA (13 - 16 years)
This is the newest class for the more experienced junior karters in Australia with all drivers using a 125cc watercooled motor with clutch and electric starter.
Senior National (16+ years)
This class is very popular throughout Australia as a competitive club level class. The engine used is the reliable Yamaha KT100J which is the same as used in the Junior National class.
Approx. Power - 11hp
Senior Clubman (16+ years)
Senior Clubman is the most popular class in Australia. Utilising the Yamaha KT100S, this class offers relatively low cost, yet fast and competitive racing. The Clubman class, as with all 'controlled' classes, uses a single brand and compound tyre, with wet weather tyres also an option for inclement conditions.
Approx. Power - 16hp
125cc TAG (Touch And Go - Formula Rotax, Leopard, Fireball etc) (16+ years)
A number of senior classes with an engine capacity of 125cc have recently been introduced to the Australian karting scene. The TAG classes cater for push button or key start engines such as the Rotax MAX, Leopard and Fireball engines. The engines used in these classes are watercooled and are fitted with a clutch. These classes represent the step between Clubman racing and international competition.
Approx. Power - 24 - 28hp
Formula 100 (16+ years)
This class is Australia's version of the 100cc international classes that are sanctioned by the world governing body, the CIK-FIA, for championships on an international level. The technical requirements for engines are the same as the international CIK classes that are raced throughout the world.
Approx. Power - 32hp