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Karting 101

Welcome to the Snake River Karters club, and congratulations on taking the first steps towards getting into Karting. Knowledge is a very important factor in your enjoyment and success in Kart racing. We have tried to provide you with as much of the essential information as we can.

View a real Kart race in action!

What is Kart Racing?

Kart racing or karting is a variant of open-wheel motor sport with simple, small four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox/shifter karts depending on the design. They are usually raced on scaled-down circuits. Kart racing is a fantastic family activity that the entire family can participate in. Racing in general teaches many great life lessons including team work, focus, and paying attention to detail.

Kart racing is usually used as a low-cost and relatively safe way to introduce drivers to motor racing. Many people associate it with young drivers but adults are also very active in karting. Karting is considered the first step in any serious racer\'s career. It can prepare the driver for high-speed wheel-to-wheel racing by helping develop quick reflexes, precision car control, and decision-making skills. In addition, it brings an awareness of the various parameters that can be altered to try to improve the competitiveness of the kart (examples being tire pressure, gearing, seat position, chassis stiffness) that also exist in other forms of motor racing.

All current as well as many former Formula One racers grew up racing karts, most prominent among them Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton. Many NASCAR drivers also got their start in racing from karts, such as Darrell Waltrip, Lake Speed, Ricky Rudd, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon



To your right is a list of common terms associated with racing!


About Snake River Karters

Karting was first organized in the Treasure Valley in 1962 and was originally named the Boise Go Kart Club. The club is now called Snake River Karters and is a non-profit organization (No one gets paid, all of the money raised is used to enhance the racing facilities and the club itself).

Now lets get started on what you need to do next. Please take the time to carefully read the following information it will save you a lot of time and money.

Getting Started

The First steps to Kart Racing in the Treasure Valley:

1. Contact Us! Our job is to help make getting into Karting fun and easy. We can answer any of your Karting questions.

2. Come visit a race! Visitors are welcome at all our events. You can come see what takes place on race day, see how the karts are prepared, talk with racers and their "crews" (usually Mom and Dad, and or a really good friend!).
3. Join the Snake River Karters Kart Club.... the best way to get involved, learn the sport, and have a lot of fun. The Membership dues are only $115.00 per year for an Individual and $135.00 per year for a Family. You also get a $15.00 discount on your race entry fees.
If you only race a few races the membership pays for itself.

Speedway Karts

Speedway racing takes place on asphalt or clay oval tracks which are normally between 1/6 mile and 1/4 mile long. Tracks primarily consist of two straight and four left-turn corners, few tracks are symmetric and often the shape parallels that of an egg or a tri-oval.

'Offset' kart chassis have been developed for precise handling and adjustability in left-turn-only racing competition taking place on oval and tri-oval tracks.

Speedway kart races range in length from 4 laps for a trophy dash, to 20 laps for a main event.

Sprint Karts

Sprint racing takes place on dedicated kart circuits resembling small road courses, with left and right turns. Tracks go from 1/4 mile (400 m) to over 1 mile (1,600 meters) in length.

The sprint format is a series of short-duration races, normally for a small number of laps, that qualify for a final, with a variety of point scoring calculations to determine the event's overall winner. Typical duration does not normally exceed 15 minutes. Here, speed and successful passing is of the most importance. It normally occurs in the format of three qualifying heats and a final race for trophy positions.

The FIA championships, including the Karting World Championship, take place in this format.