karting race back in the early years

An Overview Of Karting History Worldwide

Karting is a type of racing sport which makes use of a small four-wheeled vehicle, otherwise known as a go-kart. Art Ingels came up with the first kart back in 1956 in Los Angeles. The year afterward, people held a race where several home-made go-karts featured. The competition took place in Pasadena in California, and it attracted quite some participants and spectators.

Duffy Livingstone and Roy Desbrow took up the manufacture of go-karts in 1958, borrowing from Art’s creations. They came up with designs and sought ways to make the karts cheap. They took up the idea of incorporating engines from lawn mowers which significantly reduced their costs.

A survey conducted in 2017 showed that over one point six billion people in the world had driven a go-kart at some point in their lives. This number stems from the few dozen who competed in the 1950s, showing that this sport has gained popularity over the years. Karting is a sport which continues to grow over the years, with new types coming up now and then.

  • Go-karts – Various karts are available for racing. They range from professional race karts to recreational karts, and they serve different ages.
  • Indoor karting – Racing in the outdoors comes with challenges such as unexpected weather. Indoor tracks are great because you get to race in a controlled environment and as such, the weather cannot impede your enjoyment.


Currently, karting is one of the favorite pastimes for people with even corporates holding their meetings at such places. People get to kart and bond in the process. There are various circuits available, and people can race as teams or alone. With variations in circuit races, there are lots of competitions in which you can take part. You can also hold events at most of the kart tracks.

  • Championships – Racing in the karting industry started off slow in 1957 where people showed up with home-made vehicles whose speeds were not high. Over the years, karts became more sophisticated, and the competition became stiff. These changes led to the holding of championships.
  • Super 1 national kart championships – This race takes place in the United Kingdom. It began in 1983, and many people look at it as the premier karting contest in the United Kingdom. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button are some of the great racers who have taken part in this competition over the years.
    The first meeting occurred in 1983 in Snetterton. Four classes featured at the time. The contest did not get seen as a British Championship, and the winners got their awards during the event which got held over the weekend. The recognition of the competition as a national event came to be in 1990 when the organizers got the right to host a championship for Britain.
    Formula 1 drivers who participated in the event include Anthony Davidson and Will Stevens. Other drivers went on to compete in motor racing at the professional level, and they include Oliver Jarvis and Mike Conway.


At first, the race featured four courses per event. Over time, the number of levels grew, and in 2017, there were eleven classes held over a span of eleven weekends.

  • Bambino – This class is for children aged six to eight, and it takes place in one round.
  • Cadet – Children aged eight to thirteen can take part in these races. There are two forms; the IAME and the Honda. They both make seven rounds.
  • Junior classes – These competitions are for kids aged twelve to seventeen. They consist of both six and seven rounds.
  • Senior classes – Once a child attains the age of sixteen, they are eligible for this race which has three, two, six and seven rounds.
  • The motorsports association recognizes the OK and TKM classes as British Championships. The others are National Championships.

Regulatory bodies

Each sport must have a governing body to ensure that standards get maintained and that all players compete on a fair level. As such, with the growth of karting, people joined hands and formed bodies which ensure that the karting industry is free of invalidating practices such as cheating. They also make sure that people do not break the rules of the competition.

  • CIK-FIA – This body deals with international championships, and as such, their jurisdiction extends across borders. Some of the contests which it regulates include the OKJ, KZ1, and Superkart. These games are also available on the international level.
    When it comes to the world championships, this body takes charge of the events.
  • Hall of fame – Some kart drivers rose to prominence, thanks to their abilities on the circuit. Great kart drivers of all time include Gilbert Horstman who made his way to the list in 1982, Charles West of 1984 and Paul Martin of 2006.

Karting is a sport set to develop further in the future to come, both for professional advancements and recreational purposes.