Think of Karting as scaled down circuit racing, for as well as the vehicles being smaller the circuits are too; most karting is ‘short circuit’, although more powerful Superkarts (or Long Circuit Karts) do run on full-size race tracks.
The principle is the same as for circuit racing; karts go wheel-to-wheel and the winner is the first to reach the chequered flag, which falls after the designated number of laps is completed. Most Kart events comprise practice sessions, qualifying, heats and one or two ‘finals’.
The Championships are split into seven main categories:
The first step is to head to your nearest kart track, then once you are competitive and you feel ready for the next step, register for the South African Kart Championships by booking your race number, the most accessible and cost-effective way of competing for a national title there has ever been. The series is open to children and adults alike.
If you want to compete in karting, go to some meetings and chat with the competitors. Most of them will be happy to talk but choose your moment; the waiting (holding) area pre-qualifying or pre-race is not the best timing to ask questions.
Click Here to reserve your 2023 race number or contact your nearest kart club below:
||Rand Kart Club
||KZN Kart Club
||Algoa Kart Club
||Border Kart Club
Karts are small, purpose-built racing machines with rigid frames and no suspension. There are different Karts for different classes, so you need to choose your class first. Most karts are broadly similar, with the main differences being the size, engine, tyres and whether or not it has a gearbox.
When buying your first kart, consider looking at used equipment through private sales on Facebook Marketplace or from an authorised kart shop. If you choose to go new from the outset you will find offers on brand new karts from the below authorised chassis dealers.
If you’re buying a new kart you can’t really go wrong, however you need a slightly larger budget. To give you an idea, a new Bambino Kart will cost you around R 41 580 and a new MAX kart will cost around R161 000, complete and ready to race. A new DD2 should cost around the R 173 000 mark. Used karts start at about half the new price for something decent. If you are not sure at this stage consider hire kart racing.
You will need a basic tool box:
- Set spanners (an extra 10mm and 13mm are handy)
- Screw drivers
- Set allen keys
- Set T-bars (not necessary but handy)
- A spring puller
- Spark Plug Socket (21mm)
- Tape measure
- Straight edge (metal ruler)
….and some accessories:
You’ll need CIK compliant safety items such as helmet, race suit, gloves and boots. You would also be wise to buy a rib protector, which isn’t mandatory but will save you from some post-race aches and pains.
Equipment Pricing Guideline:
- A good quality crash helmet with visor (R 5095+) see example
- A karting race suit/overall (R 2600+) see example
- Boots which cover your ankles – Driving boots can be obtained from kart shops for around (R 1 100+), but boxing boots and basketball-style sneakers also work well. Look for something with a thin sole. see example
- Gloves which cover your wrists (R 500+) see example
- A 1.5kg dry powder fire extinguisher (You need this for scrutineering, attach it to your kart trolley)
- Neck brace – Optional (R 1100+)
- Rib-Protector – Optional – Compensates for badly fitting seats and bumpy tracks. (R 3195+) see example
You can probably get away with R 10 000 – R11 000 excluding helmet if you go for the budget options. Otherwise the sky is the limit.
Competitive racing can start as early as the 5th birthday in the Bambino class. Details of individual classes and age groups can be found below:
Regulations for most classes can be found on the 2023 Regulations section of this website while region specific regulations can be found under the respective Club sections.
Standard Karting Regulations, Sporting Regulations and Technical Regulations for each region can be found here.
Specific event or Championship regulations are found in Supplementary Regulations (SRs) made available on the event page by the organiser for each event.
Almost! …. you probably want to get in some practise first though. Before going out on a new circuit you should walk the circuit at least once when it is quiet (this goes for experienced drivers as well). Take someone who knows the track with you if possible. Look for places where the track is “forgiving” when you go off. More importantly, look for places that will break your kart if you make a mistake (high kerbs & drop offs eat sprockets, chains & brake discs!). Look for bumps & rough spots that may affect the handling or your braking distance. Mostly just get a feel for the lines and the track in general.
When you start off, don’t try to be fast …. it won’t work and you’ll most likely break something trying (If you’re lucky it’ll just be your kart!) – Rather try to be smooth. Visualise the track before you start and try to stick to the lines you “saw”. (You’ll modify these as you get a feel for the kart). If possible, follow someone who knows the track. This can be invaluable as 10 laps behind an experienced driver can be worth 100 on your own. Remember that you only have limited time (and money) to practise. Do whatever you can to make the most of your time.