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How to Get Into Go Kart Racing for Adults?

Go kart racing isn’t just for kids—it’s a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping sport that adults can enjoy too. Whether you’re looking to rekindle a childhood passion or dive into a new hobby, go kart racing offers a perfect blend of competition, speed, and fun.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about getting into go kart racing as an adult, from understanding the basics to hitting the track with confidence.

Why Go Kart Racing?

Go kart racing is an accessible entry point into the world of motorsports.

It’s relatively affordable compared to other forms of racing, offers a great way to develop driving skills, and provides an exciting community of like-minded enthusiasts.

Many professional racers, including F1 stars, started their careers in go karts.

How to Get Into Go Kart Racing?

Three go-kart racers navigating a track at high speed, each wearing a helmet and racing suit, surrounded by green grass and clear skies.

Step 1: Find Your Local Track

The first step in getting into go kart racing is finding a local track. Many people are surprised to discover that there are karting tracks closer to home than they thought.

Use search terms like “go-kart tracks near me” or “karting tracks near me” to locate a nearby facility. Visiting different tracks can help you get a feel for the sport and the local karting community.

Step 2: Try Before You Buy

Before investing in your own equipment, it’s wise to rent a kart and get some track time. Many tracks offer rental karts that are faster and more capable than the typical amusement park karts.

This step allows you to experience the thrill of go kart racing without a significant financial commitment. Look for options like TAG (Touch and Go) karts, which are common at many tracks and provide a good balance of performance and ease of use.

Step 3: Joining a Karting Club

Joining a local karting club can provide valuable insights and connections. Clubs often offer resources for beginners, including advice on gear, maintenance tips, and access to practice sessions.

Being part of a club also helps you stay informed about local races and events, providing opportunities to improve your skills and meet other enthusiasts.

Step 4: Buying Your Own Kart

Once you’re hooked, it’s time to consider buying your own go kart. For beginners, it’s recommended to avoid brand new karts, which can be costly. Instead, look for a used kart that’s 1-2 years old.

A decent used kart will typically cost between $2,000 and $3,500. When purchasing, inquire about local racing series and ensure your kart is eligible for the classes available at your local track.

Choosing the Right Engine

Selecting the right engine is crucial for ensuring you can participate in races. Popular options for beginners include Rok VLR and IAME KA100 engines.

These engines are widely used and offer a good balance of power and reliability.

Step 5: Essential Gear

Safety is paramount in go kart racing, so investing in the right gear is essential. Here’s a list of must-have items:

  • Helmet: A high-quality, well-fitting helmet is crucial.
  • Racing Suit: Provides protection and comfort while driving.
  • Rib Protector: Helps prevent rib injuries, which are common in karting.
  • Gloves: Offer better grip and protect your hands.
  • Racing Shoes: Designed for pedal feel and control.

Ensure your gear meets the safety standards set by the karting organization you’re racing with.

Step 6: Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any sport, practice is key to improving your skills in go kart racing. Spend time on the track familiarizing yourself with the kart, the racing lines, and how to handle different track conditions.

Many racers spend months practicing before entering their first competitive race. Focus on smooth driving, consistent lap times, and understanding the dynamics of kart control.

Step 7: Entering Your First Race

Once you feel comfortable on the track, it’s time to enter your first race. Local karting clubs and tracks frequently host races for various skill levels.

Start with novice or beginner classes to ease into competitive racing. Don’t be discouraged by initial setbacks; racing is as much about learning and improving as it is about winning.

Managing Costs

While go kart racing can be expensive, there are ways to manage costs:

  • Buy Used: Purchase used karts and gear.
  • Maintenance: Learn basic maintenance to reduce repair costs.
  • Local Races: Participate in local races to minimize travel and accommodation expenses.

Building a Network

Networking with other racers can provide invaluable support and advice. Attend events, join online forums, and participate in karting communities to build relationships and learn from experienced racers.


Do I need prior racing experience to start go kart racing?

No, you don’t need any prior racing experience. Many tracks offer beginner classes and rental sessions that are perfect for newcomers. Starting with rental karts allows you to learn the basics before investing in your own equipment.

What type of go kart should I buy as a beginner?

For beginners, it’s recommended to buy a used kart that’s 1-2 years old. Popular engines like Rok VLR and IAME KA100 are good choices due to their balance of performance and reliability. Avoid buying a brand new kart until you’re more experienced.

How do I find a local go kart track?

You can find local tracks by searching online with terms like “go-kart tracks near me” or “karting tracks near me.” Visiting different tracks can help you choose one that suits your preferences and is conveniently located.

What should I expect in my first race?

Your first race will likely be a mix of excitement and learning. Start in a novice or beginner class, and don’t worry about winning right away. Focus on getting comfortable with race conditions, following the rules, and learning from more experienced racers.


Getting into go kart racing as an adult is an exciting journey that combines skill, competition, and community. By following these steps—finding a local track, renting before buying, joining a karting club, investing in the right gear, and practicing diligently—you can smoothly transition from a novice to a competitive racer. Remember, the key to enjoying go kart racing is persistence, passion, and the willingness to learn. So, get out there, hit the track, and start your racing adventure today!