Whether racing or just enjoying a zip around the track, karting is an extremely fun and surprisingly cathartic activity no matter how you you are. Children can learn responsibility and decision-making while working on their coordination and reaction times.
Adults can build skills of their own that can translate well on the road and even in the office, as a lot of techniques you practice connect tangentially to concepts in the professional world. People of all ages get to sate their natural hunger for competition and speed. Best of all, you have access to a great outdoor kart track near Atlanta to practice on at AMP!
Getting started can also be easy as long as you know the right equipment to get and the right organizations to talk to. To help you or your child dip your toes in the world of karting, you can read on for a brief guide to launching your new hobby
Karting Advice for Any Age
The karting experience is quite different depending on what age group you fall into, but a few tenets hold true no matter what year you were born.
Firstly, never start out with more kart than you can handle. You actually build the skills you need the fastest when riding in a slower kart. Without horsepower to make up for your mistakes, you focus more on learning to take the most efficient lines, keeping momentum in turns, and identifying critical opportunities for passing.
Secondly, make sure you have all the right gear. Each professional karting league and/or track will have different requirements for harnesses, suits, gloves, helmets and kart specifications. Generally speaking, shoes must be closed toe, riders must wear a helmet and full sleeves and pants are recommended.
Thirdly, wait until you warm up to karting before investing in a brand-new kit or engine. You can try your first few sessions on rental karts and buy used models in order to learn as much as you can about the sport, including what types of competitions you may be interested and your own tendencies as a driver.
Karting as a Young Child (5–7 Years Old)
Karting starts at a surprisingly young age for some kids. Children as young as five years old can drive “Kid Karts,” which are frequently powered by tiny 50cc two-stroke engines with limited top speeds.
Kid Kart leagues are participation-only, meaning no one officially records results or placing. Since few tracks allow children this young to practice during normal days, kids have to get practice at home, during private track times or during scheduled track times with Kid Karting leagues.
Karting as an Adolescent (8–12 Years Old)
Once children reach a certain level of maturity, they can start competing in earnest and enjoying faster karts. Briggs 4-cycle engines are common at this stage, especially the LO206. Rotax karting leagues use the Micro Swift configuration for children 8–10 and Mini Swift for children 9–12.
Parent participation is crucial at this stage to encourage good sportsmanship and smart decision-making. Kids can get track time through private karting sessions and scheduled practices.
Karting as a Teen (12–15 Years Old)
Children who hit their teen years can move up to full-size TaG and Rotax karts with 125cc 2-stroke engines or more affordable 4-cycle LO206 and Jr II Briggs setups. Competition in this Junior class is fierce, requiring a great attitude, dedication and lots of practice. Participants in this class can often move on to Spec Miata racing and other classes of car racing once they turn 16, if they wish.
Teens 16 and older can move up to the Senior class, where exhausts are not restricted and speeds can reach 70 mph or more. Safety oversights get a bit stricter, meaning minimum weight requirements go up.
Karting as an Adult
Adult karting leagues are common and run the gamut in kart speeds, expense and competitiveness. Adults can race in the Masters class in some leagues and race shifter karts just like the pros enjoy.
Join an Atlanta Kart Racing League at Our Outdoor Kart Track Near Atlanta
You can review the karting class structure and all of the Atlanta kart racing leagues we run here at AMP to get specific details on how to join and immerse yourself in the world of competitive karting. You can also just drop by our public karting sessions at an outdoor kart track near Atlanta if you are over 16 years of age and have a license.