About Karts and Karting
How fast do karts go?
It varies depending on the class, but most of the karts are going about 65 mph at the end of the straight.
What kind of engine do they use?
Most classes at LAKC use a 100cc or 125cc, single-cylinder, two-stroke, air and water cooled engines developed especially for kart racing. The Kid karts and Cadets use the Comer 50 and 80cc engines. Shifter karts use a 125cc engine and and a six-speed gearbox.
What kind of clutch do they use?
The 100cc and 125cc classes usually use a multi-disk centrifical clutch and a single gear.
How much does getting into karting cost?
A brand new, race-ready, 100c or 125cc kart will cost between $4000 and $7000. A good used kart will usually run between $2000 and $3000 and you may be able to pick up some extra parts as well.
Safety equipment will run between about $450 and $800 depending on how extravagent you get. Special tools, a starter, and a kart stand will be around $400. A set of SL tires (the most commonly required compound) cost about $200 and will last you between two and five racedays.
Race entrance fees for 1st class, 2nd class, non-members, crew, and spectators are listed on our entry forms.
Can I build my own kart?
Yes, but it's not worth it. Race karts have become well engineered equipment. Competition between manufacturers is fierce, and if you wanted to build a competitive chassis, you would have to spend far more money in research than it would cost you to buy one off the shelf. But don't worry, in karting there are enough adjustments you can make and little gadgets you can build to keep the engineer in you content.
Is kart racing safe? What kind of safety equipment is required?
Every form of drivng has some risks. All kart racers are required to wear a full-faced Snell rated helmet, skid-resistant race suit or jacket, racing gloves, padded neck brace, and high-top race shoes or tennis shoes. Many racers also wear a rib-protector, as broken ribs are one of the most common racing injuries. An EMT or paramedic is required to be present at all races.
What old do I have to be? Is there a maximum age?
You must be at least 8 years old to race with most kart clubs. However, LAKC offers a "Kid Kart" class for 5 to 8 year olds. There is no maximum age in kart racing. A number of competitve drivers are well into their 50s or 60s!
What is the best way to get started?
First, visit us on raceday. See the karts in action. Does it look like fun to you?
Then, attend a kart school. You'll get a chance to drive a kart and decide whether or not you really want to make an investment in the sport. A school is the most cost effective test drive.
Next, come back and attend another kart race, perhaps even several. Ask questions and start looking more closely at the different classes. Introduce yourself to some of the karters. You may find it helpful to know a few by name on your first raceday.
Once you've narrowed down which class or classes you are interested in, it's time to find your first kart. New or used? It's up to you and your budget. Many racers start with used equipment while they learn about the engine, the kart, and driving.
After that, practice, practice, practice. Become comfortable driving the kart fast. It's best to get your seat time at an actual kart track. Large, empty parking lots are tempting, but the curbs, parking standards, and other immovable objects are dangerous. It may also be illegal in your area.
When you feel comfortable in the kart and you've mastered basic kart maintenance, you should be ready to enter your first race!
Do I need a license?
No, you do not need to be licensed, but it is a good idea to attend a school. You should develop basic kart control skills before attempting to race. There are several kart racing schools in Southern California. One of our sponsors is Jim Hall Kart Racing School in Oxnard,CA, and they have an excellent curriculum.
Where can I practice? Can I drive a kart even if I do not want to race?
There a several kart tracks in Southern California which have open practice days. The Auoclub Speedway is available to us on raceday, and we have an official practice sessions before we begin the races.
You do not have to race (compete) to enjoy driving a kart. Many kart owners attend open practice at the various local tracks and never enter a race.
Where can I buy a kart?
There are several kart shops in the Los Angeles area. Check out our links page for a list of places you can check out.