ELK Racing – Introduction

a black kart on a track

Karting in UK

Karting, also called kart racing, is a type of open wheel motorsport. The vehicles are small with four wide wheels, and people refer to them as karts, shifter karts or go-karts. The size of the karts is dependent on the design of the vehicle.

The kart racers compete on circuits that are scaled-down. The sport gets regarded as a strong foundation which people can use to elevate their careers to driving challenging motorsports such as FIA Formula 1. There are great racers who started out in karting before moving on to hard races. They include but are not limited to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

Given the strong foundation that these racers had in karting, it is evident that this sport helps people nurture their racing skills. The speeds of karts differ, and some can move at speeds of up to two hundred and sixty kilometers in an hour. The speed of a kart will depend on its purpose. For karts used for recreation, the rates get limited for safety reasons.

First Race

an old karting race

This fantastic race came to be in the year 1956 in America, after the invention of the kart. Art Ingels is the man to whom the credit for this achievement goes. Karting got introduced to the UK in the year 1958 by American servicepeople.

They held races which got classed as either casual and demonstration events and soon, karting was a favorite sport in the UK. Towards the end of 1959, karting got sanctioned by the RAC, and as a result of this action, an official race got held in November at RAF Lakenheath.

This first race took two hours, and Graham Hill walked away as the winner. He rode in a Progress Kart that used a Villiers engine.

There was a lot of praise regarding the Go Kart. As such, a publication came out in a bid to sensitize people on the features of the race. The campaign began in January 1960 through the distribution of leaflets with information on car racing events.

The Karting magazine took off at a fast rate and people begun to subscribe to it within weeks of its release. Bill Kitchen was the first man to take up the subscription. The first issue showed Graham Hill in a Progress Kart, in front of a Keele and a Fastakart.

These vehicles had seven-inch diameter alloy wheels which had 300 by seven tires with treads. These kinds of tires were not efficient regarding durability and grip. The first race had got held in November 1959. The challenge to the race was the changing seasons. During winter, it was not possible for events to take place as drivers were unable to see the tracks.

As such, the events were seasonal.

an old photo of one of the first karts

The Jackaroo Phantom Kart came onto the scene at this period. The car had small mudguards and had one of the best gearboxes at the time, the Fastakart.

Karting had taken off at a surpassing pace, and during this period, the organizers moved the competition to Ohio. For a while, the racing took place in the indoors, and this time, they held it outside where thousands of people could watch drivers compete in the zero points three-mile track.

American championships took place at Daytona Beach, and they had one hundred and fifty-one people eager to participate. Some of the prizes given included sponsorships to the world championships which would take place at Nassau.

There was a seventy-two lap race held in Mexico along the streets of Tecate. This competition attracted a large number of entrants who were hoping to survive the course and emerge the winner. Cub Lyon took the prize home, having driven a Caretta Kart. His modifications included two 115cc West Bend 700 motors, and the other drivers could not keep up with him.

Gordon Fowell decided to drive 1000 miles from West Bromwich all the way to Monte Carlo. He announced that he would use a GF kart with cycle-type mudguards. Gordon also equipped the kart with lights.

He was not alone in conquering long distances as John Stevens, and Don Sinton joined in on the fun, driving 493 miles to Wellington from Auckland. Their average speed was thirty-seven miles per hour.

From this point forward, many developments took place in the karting industry, with new models coming up and competitions getting held often. A kart consists of a chassis, an engine, a transmission mechanism, tires and data acquisition systems.

Racing competitions take three forms. They can either be sprints, endurance races or speedways. They all follow different guidelines, and they test different abilities. For kart drivers, there are tons of both local and international competitions where they can showcase their driving prowess.  Some great names in karting include Chris Hales and Terry Fullerton. We can only expect more advances in this area for the years to come.