How Go-kart Racing Works

Karting Tracks
Drivers of (nearly) all ages can enjoy kart racing.
Drivers of (nearly) all ages can enjoy kart racing.
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Just as there are three different categories of karts, there are several different types of tracks for kart racing and different rules for each type of race. The most common type of race involves sprint karts on a paved track. The tracks are typically 1/4-mile to 1/2-mile 04- to 0.8-kilometer) in length, with both left and right turns, in which the drivers compete in heat races for 10 to 15 laps.

The oval tracks are typically 1/10 of a mile (0.2 of a kilometer) to 1/4 of a mile (0.4 of a kilometer) and can be made of soft dirt, packed clay, sand or asphalt. The most common type of oval track is a soft dirt style. Oval karts have chassis that are specifically designed to run on these tracks, but sprint karts can also compete on oval tracks.

The last type of track is for the enduro races, which are held on race tracks like the Daytona International Speedway. These races go on for 30 minutes or up to a full hour and the karts are built so that the driver is laying down in the kart for the entire race.

Although track locations vary, there are kart tracks located throughout the entire United States. Oval and sprint tracks can be found in any state and many states have numerous tracks. Drivers may switch between different types of racing, if they have the karts for it, in order to get the opportunity to compete in more races. Because of the variety of kart types, tracks, and variations in age classes, karting offers a wide range of competition.

For more information about kart racing and go-karting, follow the links below.

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More Great Links


  • Championship Enduro. "Frequently Asked Questions." (Feb. 17, 2011)
  • Comet Karts. "Definition of an Oval Kart." (Feb. 17, 2011)
  • Hot Road Magazine. "Danica Patrick Interview". February 2009. (Feb. 16, 2011)
  • International Kart Federation. "About IKF." (Feb. 15, 2011)
  • National Karting News. "Getting Started." (Feb. 16, 2011)
  • Popular Mechanics. "Rotax RM1/F1 Outdoors 100-mph Go-Karting." Dec. 7, 2004. (Feb. 18, 2011)
  • Rear Engine American Racers. "The First Kart." (Feb. 18, 2011)
  • World Karting Association. "About WKA." (Feb. 15, 2011)

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