Go Karting

Go Karting

Go Karting is a fantastic activity that can be done outdoors or indoors where you race around a track in a squat four wheeled kart with tiny wheels and a petrol engine on the back. High speed fun.

Skills – Strength: 4, Balance: 1, Flexibility: 3, Agility: 1, Coordination: 4
Time needed: travelling time + 1 hour, Cost to try: £34

Basically, you put on some protective gear, sit on a go kart a few centimetres above the ground and then tear around a go kart race track at speeds of up to 160 miles per hour!

go karting
Go Karting is an exciting motor sport to test your driving skills

Go Karts

Go Karts are small four wheeled vehicles used go racing around go kart circuits. Go Karting is often thought of as a steeping stone towards competitive motor sports such as Formula One. Both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton raced Go Karts at go kart race tracks such as Buckmore Park go kart circuit in Kent.

The go kart chassis is made of steel tube. There is no suspension on the go kart, which means that the go kart chassis has to be flexible enough to work as suspension and stiff enough not to break or give way on a turn.

Open go karts are quite literally open. Some go karts have a roll cage. Go karts with roll cages tend to be used for off road go kart racing. Go karts do not have a differential to distribute power to the wheels when cornering. The lack of a differential means that one rear tire on the go kart must slide while cornering. This is achieved by designing the go kart chassis so that the inside rear tire lifts up slightly when the go kart turns the corner. This allows the tire to lose some of its grip and slide or lift off the ground completely.

Go Kart Racing

Go kart racing is the most economic form of motorsport available. As a recreational activity, go karting can be done by almost anybody, and as a motorsport in itself, go karting is one of the sports regulated by FIA permitting licensed go kart racing for anyone from the age of 8 onward.

There are three main types of go kart circuits or go kart tracks. The go kart sprint circuit has various bends, curves and straights. The idea is to race around the go kart track as quickly as possible for a limited number of laps. Endurance go kart racing is a much longer race that involves changes of driver, pit stops, and fuel strategies. The third type of go kart race is a speedway track. This is an oval go kart track and up to twenty laps are completed.

Where to go Go Karting in the UK

There are plenty of places to go go karting in the UK and around the world. When you are choosing a go kart track to race on, consider some of the following things. Is it an indoor or outdoor go kart track? What is the track layout? What is the track surface like? What sort of go karts are provided? What sort of speeds do the go kart reach? What protective gear such as helmets are provided? How do we get there? How big a group of mates can they accomodate? How much does the go karting cost and how many laps does that cover?

Here are a few go karting venues in the UK you might like to try:

  • The Surbiton Raceway Go Kart Track

    The surbiton raceway on the outskirts of London has an outdoor tarmac go karting race track. It has pro go karts that can reach up to 70mph. When you are only a few inches off the deck, this will appear very fast!

  • Go Karting at Buckmore Park

    Buckmore Park has allegedly the busiest go karting track in the UK. Based in Kent, this go kart track was where both Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button learned their early Formula One driving skills.

  • Lakeside Go Karting Raceway

    At the Lakeside Go Karting raceway in Thurrock Essex, you can book in advance or just turn up and drive.

  • Go karting Cardiff

    Team Sport has several go kart tracks throughout South England and Wales. They have a great indoor go karting track in Cardiff. They also have go karting tracks in London.

  • Go Karting in the North East

    If you live in the North East and want to go karting, try Pole Position Indoor Karting.

  • Go Karting Midlands

    The Raceway go karting track in Birmingham is a ground breaking, new style of venue. It has the largest elevated go karting track section in the country, bigger than most “normal” tracks, with a lap time of in excess of 1 minute!!! The circuit is by far the largest, longest, fastest and most impressive venue in the Midlands if not the whole of the UK!

The British Schools Karting Championship

The British Schools Karting Championship is an arrive-and-drive national karting championship for students aged 13 – 18. There is no need to own a kart to compete, all karts, suits and helmets are provided. You simply turn up and drive.
The championship is a team based knock out competition for teams of 3 students.

The British schools karting championship website has lots of details about go karting, and if you go to their Circuits webpage, it shows all of the go karting circuits used in the UK, and even has onboard video of what it is like to race around the track in a go kart.

Great Places to go Karting in the US

Located just across the street from the beach in Venture, California, Jim Hall Track Time is an outdoor track that has high and low-speed sections. You can often find celebrities racing around in go karts here.

Fastimes in Indianapolis, Indiana, is indoor and two-tiered with karts reaching speeds of up to 45 mph for people 52″ and taller.

Kart Kountry (Sheperdsvile, Kentucky): Home to the largest go-kart track in the country, five sizes of karts whiz around five different outdoor racing courses. Kids ages 5 and up are allowed to drive on age-appropriate tracks. There’s also miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and more at this attraction just south of Louisville.

6. Kart2Kart (Sterling Heights, Michigan): Drive the fastest karts in Michigan to speeds of up to 35 mph. Pro Karts are for those with valid drivers licenses while junior karts are for kids 4’6″ and taller. This Detroit area attraction has a 1/5 mile long indoor track with a 200 ft. straightaway and 6 turns. Young kids can ride with parents in the two-seater karts.

7. Speed Zone (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee): A popular attraction in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area, these karts go up to 40 mph. Boasting two of the best twister tracks anywhere, there are eight tracks with one especially for the kids.

8. Orlando Cart Center (Orlando, Florida): Just 15 minutes away from the Orlando airport are karts that go up to 45 mph around an outdoor track with bumps and curbs. If you’re 5′ tall, you can drive regardless of age.

9. The Track (Branson, Missouri): With 14 different go-kart tracks, there is a racing course fit for every level of driver, even kids 4 years old and up. Navigate a 4-story track, wooden tracks and spiral tracks at one of the most popular Branson attractions.

10. Andretti Indoor Karting and Games (Atlanta, Georgia): Recognize the name? With fancy superkarts and a professional-looking indoor track, this location will satisfy your need for speed. There’s even a fully-stocked Sky Bar with views of the track for after your race, of course. Junior racers need to be 8 years old and 4’2″ tall. There’s video games, a ropes course and even a comedy club inside. This attraction made our list of 10 best family activities in Atlanta.

So, get yourself together with your mates and Go Karting

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