How to start karting



 

Karting, you’re going to love it!

 

Karting is one of the most fun, exhilarating, cost effective and professionally run forms of motorsport in Australia.

It is the perfect sport for families to come together at weekends and participate in an exciting, social, healthy and rewarding activity, and gives them the opportunity to become apart of and make friends with a large friendly community of like minded people who share a similar passion for motor sport and who are more than happy to assist new people into the sport.

Karting provides the opportunity for people of all backgrounds and age groups to participate in a sport that provides a thrilling and enjoyable sense of speed being so close to the ground and racing wheel to wheel with other drivers. The sport of karting is an adrenaline rush quite like no other sport can provide.

In Victoria there are over 18 VKA/Karting Australia affiliated kart clubs, with a racing meeting happening almost every weekend at a kart club around the state.

Types of karting events that are held include Club Day racing which is held on the last Sunday of every month at most VKA kart clubs, Open Meetings, Series Meetings, State Championship and National Championship series event. See below to find out more details about these types of karting events.

Karting a great educational sport for drivers

 

From karting participants learn the fundamentals of sport and motor racing. Whether it be from from developing their driving skills, gaining quick reflex reactions, developing a higher level of awareness and better car control, to learning about mechanical engineering and how engines and mechanical components work together. Kart racing also teaches the human side of sport in general including the value of being fit, healthy and being at your best. It teaches concentration and being able to focus for periods of time and the values of working together as a family or team to achieve a specific outcome, while learning about sportsmanship and fair play.

Karting is a great educational tool for young people and it provides them with the experiences to become more confident, competent, skilful and responsible road drivers in all weather conditions for when they are old enough to be driving on public roads. Skills that will prove invaluable for the rest of their lives of driving on the road.

What better grounding for a young male or female than a sport where they can develop their confidence and driving skills.  It means that these drivers may have years of driving experience well before they are old enough to qualify for a road licence.

Karting is known as the purest form of motorsport as there are only a small number of things effecting overall performance. This keeps everyone on an equal level, generates close racing and places emphasis on the skill of the driver. Most engines are 2-stroke 100cc and power ranges from Yamaha J (10 hp & top speed of 90pkh) to Rotax/Leopard 125 (28 hp & top speed of 120Kph). Most classes use a strict brand and type of tyre. Karting uses slick tyres in dry and grooved tyres for wet weather conditions.

Safety focused motorsport

As with any form of motorsport safety is of paramount importance in karting. There are strict rules and regulations in place to ensure the sport can be as safe as it can be. When a person applies for a karting licence they must successfully complete the “Safety Training Assessment”. Competitors must use Australian Standard fire proof driving overalls, gloves, boots and helmets at all times. In recent years the HANS device (head and neck support device) has become the standard for Cadet drivers. On race day qualified stewards, officials and scrutineers oversee the race weekend to ensure the driving standards of competitors are to a fair standard and their karting machinery is in compliance with the rules and regulations of the sport. Qualified paramedic personnel are on hand at the track to attend to personal in the event of an accident. In the event of competitors breaking the rules penalties and suspensions may be handed down to competitors depending on the rule violation and may even require a tribunal hearing to decide outcomes in certain cases.

Where the driving champions of tomorrow begin racing

Over the years karting has built a reputation for being the main sport where the champion drivers of tomorrow gain experience, learn their race craft and develop their driving skills, with a majority of all Australian professional racing car drivers in V8 Supercar and Formula One starting their racing careers at a local Kart track. Drivers like Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes, Steven Richards, Jason Bright, Will and Alex Davison, Todd and Rick Kelly, Paul Dumbrell, Steve Owen, Tony D’Alberto, James Moffat and Jack Perkins all started their racing careers as Kart racers at Victorian kart clubs along with the likes of Australian Formula One drivers Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo, Nascar driver Marcus Ambros and Indycar driver Ryan Briscoe also starting their racing careers karting in other states. Click here to see a list of V8 Supercar drivers and the kart clubs they started racing at.

Karting is a sport for everyone

 

Karting is also not just limited to the drivers, karting involves a whole community of people working together in a variety of roles to make the sport possible.
At every kart race you will find people in positions such as officiating, stewarding, scrutineering, results keeping, commentating, flag marshalling, grounds keeping and canteen operation. If you are interested in being apart of the sport not just as a driver and to become apart of a great community of people, your local kart club or VKA will be able to help you get involved.

Whether your an up and coming young driver who wants to be the next V8 star, a parent who wants to get their son or daughter involved in an active, healthy and professionally run sport to help them grow and develop confidence in their car handling skills, a person who wants to take up an exciting hobby and race their mates on their weekends, or someone who wants to help out their local kart club at race weekends as an official or flag marshall or other related jobs around the club, karting has an opportunity to get involved for everyone.

 

Follow the general steps below for an idea of how to get into the sport and get down to your local kart club at the next race meeting you are going to love it!

Or else contact the VKA via the details on the Contact page if you need any help in getting into karting in Victoria.


Below are the general steps involved in getting into the sport of karting.

1. Experience karting live
2. Join a kart club
3. Apply for a Karting Australia licence
4. Connect online with your club, VKA and KA to stay up to date
5. Choose your class
6. Buy your kart, equipment and safety gear
7. Practice at your local kart club
8. Your first kart race
9. Upgrading your licence, getting off your “P” plates


1. Attend a kart race and experience it live

Get down to your local kart clubs next race meeting (Club Days are usually the last Sunday of the month, please note some clubs do race on Saturday, check your clubs calendar on their VKA club page) or attend a race meeting on the VKA Calendar to experience a karting race meeting as a spectator.

Karters at the track will be happy to share their knowledge of the sport and will be able to point you into the direction of club personnel such as a club president, club secretary, local kart dealer or engine builders that can better help you out with any questions that you may have and help you to get into the sport.


 

2. Join a kart club

To find your nearest kart club click the VKA Clubs page to give you an idea of where the nearest kart clubs are in your area. Then visit their VKA club page (clubs menu at the top of the page), or the clubs own website or facebook page to get in contact and find out more information.

Once you join up to a kart club and pay the club membership fee, generally the club will then supply you with a key to the track and advise you on the clubs terms, conditions and club policies (like what days and times you can use the track and what you can and can’t do around the club, when to lock the gates etc).


3. Apply for a Karting Australia licence

Licences are divided into 4 different age group categories.

Category Description
Cadet 9 From age 6 to end of Year of 9th birthday
Cadet 12 9 years of age to 12 years of age
Junior Licence 12 years of age to 15 years of age
Senior Licence Minimum 15 years of age

See the Karting Australia Manual section “Competition Licences” for full rules on licences.

Safety Training Assessment
Once you have chosen the licence you wish to apply for and have submitted your application a Driver is required required to successfully complete a Safety Training Assessment. The Safety Training Assessment encompasses the key safety elements to participate in KA sanctioned karting activities. The Safety Training Assessment may be arranged through a Club or the State Association.

Observed Licence Test
Prior to being able to Compete at a Meeting, a person must successfully undertake an Observed Licence Test. A person must have successfully completed the Safety Training Assessment prior to undertaking an Observed Licence Test. An Observed Licence Test can be arranged through a Club or the State Association.

 

“P” Plate Use
When a licence is first issued, the Driver must display a “P” plate in a location adjacent to their competition number at all times whilst they are on a Track. The “P” plate must resemble a “P” plate as used by the State or Territory civil roads authority. A “P” plate must continue to be used until such time as a Driver has qualified to be upgraded to the next level of licence.

 

Applying for a licence
You can apply for a Kart Australia licence via your clubs secretary or online at http://www.karting.net.au/how-to-get-started-in-karting/apply-for-licence

Once you have submitted an application and successfully passed the Safety Training Assessment and have been issued with your official kart licence (which you need to present at any race day), you will also be supplied with a booklet called the Australian Karting Manual (one is produced each year).

Australian Karting Manual
The Australian Karting Manual is the official rule book for karting in Australia. It is recommended that before starting the sport you spend some time on reading it to familiarising yourself with the official rules and regulations, and classes of the sport. In 2015 Karting Australia has released updated versions of the manual throughout the year so be sure you are reading the latest version.

Addendums
This manual is also amended with changes throughout the year called “addendums”. Addendums overwrite what was printed in the original Karting Manual and are made available to karters on the VKA and Karting Australia websites.

Your First kart Licence
When starting out in karting a Driver will start on the lowest licence grade of “E” for that particular category of licence.
When a licence is first issued, the Driver must display a “P” plate in a location adjacent to their competition number at all times whilst they are on a Track. The “P” plate must resemble a “P” plate as used by the State or Territory civil roads authority. A “P” plate must continue to be used until such time as a Driver has qualified to be upgraded to the next level of licence.

Racing at Zonal Championship like the Golden Power Series or Austrans Country Series requires a Driver to upgrade their licence to a grade “D” licence, State Championship level for Junior and Senior requires a “C” grade licence and to race at a National Championship meeting requires you to have a licence level of at least “B” grade.

See the Karting Australia Manual section “Competition Licences” for full rules on licences.

Cadet 9 and Cadet 12 licences start at “E” grade level licence and can upgrade to higher licence grades if they wish to compete in other classes and in higher levels or racing like at the Zonal Championships or National Championships, with “B” grade level licence being the highest for the Cadet 9 and Cadet 12 Licence.

Junior and Senior start at “E” grade level licence and can upgrade to higher licence grades if they wish to compete in other classes and in higher levels or racing like at the Zonal Championships or National Championships, with “A” grade level licence being the highest licence grade for the Junior and Senior Licence.

Further Licence Details (Licence Criteria)
Click on one of the links below to see the full Criteria for that licence category, and make sure you read the Karting Australia Manual section “Competition Licences” for the full rules on licences. Licence Criteria’s below are from the Karting Australia Manual.

Cadet 9 Licence Criteria (click to expand)

Cadet 12 Licence Criteria (click to expand)

Junior Licence Licence Criteria (click to expand)

Senior Licence Licence Criteria (click to expand)

Other Licence types

Other Licences Description
Vintage Karting Licence For persons fifteen (15) years old and over.
Single Event Licence A person may be issued with a single event licence which may only be used at one (1) Meeting
A Single Event Licence will be valid for a period of eight (8) days, which period will conclude the last day of a Meeting.
A person applying for a Single Event licence must apply to their relevant State Secretary via the CMS

The applicant must have within the previous three (3) years held a KA Competition licence. Their previous grading will be granted for their Single Event licence.

KA Mechanic & Pit Crew Licence For persons including mechanics, pit crew, parents and guardians who require access to the Race Track Area, the in grid, the out grid, scrutineering and Parc Fermé areas. These licences are only required for National Championship and National Series Meetings.
International Junior Must hold the highest grade National licence; and
In accordance with the criteria listed in the CIK-FIA Rules
International Senior Must hold the highest grade National licence; and
In accordance with the criteria listed in the CIK-FIA Rules

 

 

4. Connect online with your club, VKA and KA to stay up to date

 

Once you have a kart licence and Karting Australia rule book it is a good idea to stay up to date with your kart club, VKA and Karting Australia by getting used to visiting each bodies website or connecting with them via social media on channels like Facebook and Twitter. Any news, event supp regs, event promotions or manual updates will be posted to these websites.

The VKA provides to the following digital channels you can connect with

VKA Website (updated with supp regs, addendums, meeting information, and any VKA related news)
VKA Facebook (to help distribute the updates on the VKA website and provide any unique social media updates)
VKA Twitter (to help distribute the updates on the VKA website and provide any unique social media updates)
VKA Instagram (photos from anything VKA related)

VKA Email Mailing List (incase the Association has any urgent or important announcements and general news updates, sign up to it at the top of the website above)
Karting Australia Website (Australian body for karting)

 


5. Choose your class

 

Before buying a kart, engine and related equipment it is a good idea to understand what class or classes you aim to be competing in and think where you see yourself racing in future.

Club Day Classes
If you plan on only doing Club Day racing, some clubs may only run certain classes at their Club Day or combine classes together, so you may be in the position where you need to attend club day at another club if you want to race in that specific class or change to a different class to race at your local club on Club Days. (some clubs may merge classes on Club Day etc)

Open Meetings Classes
In Victoria Open meetings are typically made up of (but not restricted to) similar classes that are run in the Zonal Series and State Championship (see table below).

Zonal Series and State Championship Classes
See the table below to see which classes are currently being run in Victoria for 2015 in the Zonal Series (Golden Power Series and Austrans Country Series) and Victorian State Championship. *Note to be allowed to compete in Zonal Series or State Championship your licence grade must be a minimum of grade “D” for Zonal Series and grade of “C” for State Championship.

See the Karting Australia Manual section “Class Rules” for full rules on classes.

Class Description Drivetrain Golden
Power
Series
Austrans
Country
Series
Victorian
State
Championship
Australian Kart Championship
Cadet 9 a) From age 6 to end of Year of 9th birthday,
b) a Driver must be 7 Years old to Compete
c) A Driver between the age of 6 and 7 years is permitted to practice at Club level only
Chassis: A Kart must have a Minimum wheelbase of 880mm
Engines: Vortex Mini Rok (with 16mm restrictor), Comer SW80 (State level events 2016 only. Club level events – indefinitely), Yamaha KT100J (State level events 2016 only. Club level events – indefinitely)

Vortex Mini Rok: 97kg
Comer SW80: 90kg
KT100J: 100kg
(D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
Cadet 12 Year of 9th birthday to end of Year of 12th birthday, a Driver must hold a Cadet 12 licence
Chassis: A Kart must have a Minimum wheelbase of 880mm
Engines:Vortex Mini Rok (unrestricted), Yamaha KT100J (State level events 2016 only. Club level events – indefinitely)
Vortex Mini Rok: 112kg
Yamaha KT100J: 105kg
(C grade level licence required) Class is called “KA 12”, Vortex 60cc Mini Rok engine only, Minimum licence C
KA4 Junior Light (previous known as Junior National Light) Year of 12th birthday to end of Year of 16th birthday, a Driver must hold a Junior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100J
Yamaha KT100J: 120kg
IAME KA100: 127kg
(D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required) Class is called “KA Junior”, IAME KA100 Reedjet engine only, Minimum licence B
KA4 Junior Heavy (previously known as Junior National Heavy) Year of 12th birthday to end of Year of 16th birthday, a Driver must hold a Junior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100J
Yamaha KT100J: 140kg
IAME KA100: 147kg
(D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
KA3 (previously Junior Clubman) Year of 13th birthday to end of Year of 16th birthday, a Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Junior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100SEC (Must run with clutch and complete KT100SEC starter system), Yamaha KT100SE, Yamaha KT100SD
Yamaha: 140kg
IAME KA100: 147kg
  (B grade level licence required) (B grade level licence required)
Junior Performance Year of 13th birthday to end of Year of 16th birthday, a Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Junior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100S, Yamaha KT100SEC , ARC Spec 100A, ARC Spec 100W, PRD Fireball 125, Parilla Leopard 125, IAME X30 125, SQ Cheetah 125, Rotax Max 125, Formula JMax, PRD Galaxy
100cc Air cooled: 135kg
100cc Water cooled: 140kg
125cc Water cooled: 145kg
KA3 (previously Clubman Light) Must hold a Senior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100SEC (Must run with clutch and complete KT100SEC starter system), Yamaha KT100SE, Yamaha KT100SD
Yamaha: 140kg
IAME KA100: 147kg 3)
(C grade level licence required) (Class is called “KA1”, IAME KA100 Reedjet engine, B grade level licence required)
KA3 (previously Clubman Heavy) Must hold a Senior licence
Engines: IAME KA100, Yamaha KT100SEC (Must run with clutch and complete KT100SEC starter system), Yamaha KT100SE, Yamaha KT100SD
Yamaha: 160kg
IAME KA100: 167kg
(D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
TAG 125 Light A Driver must hold a Minimum of a B Grade Senior licence
Engines: PRD Fireball 125, Parilla Leopard 125, IAME X30 125 125, SQ Cheetah 125, Rotax Max 125, PRD Galaxy
PRD Fireball 125: 160kg
Parilla Leopard 125: 160kg
IAME X30 125: 160kg
SQ Cheetah 125: 160kg
Rotax Max 125: 165kg
PRD Galaxy: 165kg
(D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required) (Class is called “KA Tag”, IAME KA100 Reedjet engine, B grade level licence required)
TAG 125 Heavy A Driver must hold a Minimum of a B Grade Senior licence
Engines: PRD Fireball 125, Parilla Leopard 125, IAME X30 125 125, SQ Cheetah 125, Rotax Max 125, PRD Galaxy
PRD Fireball 125: 175kg
Parilla Leopard 125: 175kg
IAME X30 125: 175kg
SQ Cheetah 125: 175kg
Rotax Max 125: 180kg
PRD Galaxy: 180kg
(D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
TAG 125 Restricted Light A Driver must hold a Senior licence, a Driver who holds an International, A or B Grade Senior licence may Compete at a Club or Zonal Club Meeting, however they will not be eligible for any points or awards
To Compete at a State Championship Meeting a Driver must hold a Maximum of a C Grade Senior licence.
Engines: PRD Fireball 125, Parilla Leopard 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with black ignition module, Parilla Leopard 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with green ignition module marked AKA20L, Iame X30 125 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with green ignition module marked AKA20L, SQ Cheetah 125, Rotax Max 125, Formula JMax, PRD Galaxy. Each engine listed must be fitted with a KA issued Exhaust Restrictor Plate complying with Rules. See the Karting Australia Manual for full details
160kg (D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
TAG 125 Restricted Heavy A Driver must hold a Senior licence, a Driver who holds an International, A or B Grade Senior licence may Compete at a Club or Zonal Club Meeting, however they will not be eligible for any points or awards
To Compete at a State Championship Meeting a Driver must hold a Maximum of a C Grade Senior licence.
Engines: PRD Fireball 125, Parilla Leopard 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with black ignition module, Parilla Leopard 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with green ignition module marked AKA20L, Iame X30 125 125 / Selettra Digital K Ignition with green ignition module marked AKA20L, SQ Cheetah 125, Rotax Max 125, Formula JMax, PRD Galaxy. Each engine listed must be fitted with a KA issued Exhaust Restrictor Plate complying with Rules. See the Karting Australia Manual for full details
180kg (D grade level licence required) (D grade level licence required) (C grade level licence required)
X30 Light A Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Senior licence
Engine IAME X30
160kg (B grade level licence required) (B grade level licence required)
Sportsman Restricted Super Heavy To be eligible to compete in the Sportsman 125R class, drivers must have a minimum of a restricted D Grade Senior Licence. If Tag 125 and sportsman are offered but Tag does not form then they are able to go down to sportsman class with a restrictor
Current eligible engines are:- 1. PRD Fireball 125cc 2. Rotax Max 125cc 3. Parilla Leopard 125cc 4. Parilla Leopard X30 125cc. 5. SQ Cheetah 125
195kg
 

National Championships Classes
In 2016 the following classes are being run in the National Championship. See the Karting Australia Manual section “Class Rules” for full rules on classes

Class Description National Championship
Cadet 9 60cc Air cooled

Restricted engine

Low grip tyres

(7.6 hp)

Cadet 12 9 – 12 years (Year of 9th birthday to end of Year of 12th birthday)
This is the class for the youngest drivers in the Australian Kart Championship where they use an unrestricted Vortex 60cc Mini Rok.
Approx. Power – 8hp
KA4 Junior 12 – 16 years old (Year of 12th birthday to end of Year of 16th birthday)
This class allows close competitive racing in karts with fitted with the IAME KA100 Reedjet (restricted) engine. Approx. Power – 11hp
KA2
KA3 Senior
TAG 125 (Karting Australia based class) 15+ years of age
The KA TAG class cater for push button or key start engines such as the Rotax MAX, IAME X30 and PRD Galaxy engines. The engines used in this class are water-cooled and are fitted with a clutch.
Approx. Power – 24 – 28hp
X30 (Karting Australia based class) 15+ years of age
The IAME X30 class is a single-make 125cc class where drivers us the IAME X30 engine.
Approx. Power – 24 – 28hp
KA1 (CIK based class) 15+ years of age
These class is Australia’s version of the international classes that are sanctioned by the world governing body, the CIK-FIA, for championships on an international level. The technical requirements for engines are the same as the international CIK classes that are raced throughout the world. *Licencing restrictions apply to this class.
KZ2 (CIK based class) 15+ years of age
These class is Australia’s version of the international classes that are sanctioned by the world governing body, the CIK-FIA, for championships on an international level. The technical requirements for engines are the same as the international CIK classes that are raced throughout the world. *Licencing restrictions apply to this class.

Rotax Pro Tour National Series Classes
In 2015 the following classes are being run in the Rotax Pro Tour National Series. See the Karting Australia Manual section “Class Rules” for full rules on classes.
See the Rotax Pro Tour National Series website for more details.

Class Description Rotax Pro Tour
National Series
MicroMax 7 – 9 years of age
National Series only
A Driver must hold a Minimum C Grade Cadet 9 licence
BRP Rotax Micro Max engine as Homologated – including all ancillary components
MiniMax 9 – 12 Years
National Series only
A Driver must hold a Minimum C Grade Cadet 12 licence
BRP Rotax Mini Max engine as Homologated – including all ancillary components
Junior Max Trophy 13 – 16 Years
A Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Junior licence
BRP-Rotax Junior Max engine
The Junior Max Trophy division is only permitted at a National Series Meeting
Junior Max 13 – 16 Years
A Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Junior licence
BRP-Rotax Junior Max engine
Rotax 125 Light 15+ years of age
A Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Senior Licence
BRP-Rotax FR125 engine
Rotax 125 Heavy A Driver must hold a Minimum B Grade Senior Licence
BRP-Rotax FR125 engine
DD2 A Driver must hold a Minimum of a B Grade Senior Licence
125cc Max DD2 engine
DD2 Masters A Driver must hold a Minimum of a B Grade Senior Licence
Masters division: Minimum of 32 years old to Compete
125cc Max DD2 engine

 

6. Buy your kart, equipment and safety gear

Kart chassis’s are made to suit different classes of karting, so it is important that you buy a kart that will suit the class and level of racing that you intend to be participating in.

When starting out in karting racing at local club day level, many karters first start out in the sport by purchasing a good condition second hand kart chassis and engine, or if your budget allows a brand new kart chassis and engine. Other engine components that are included in a full running kart include, carby, airbox, exhaust muffler and exhaust pipe (a kart dealer or engine builder can advise on what you will need).

Racing helmet, suite, gloves, and driving boots with ankle protection are all also compolsary for kart racing, so it is important that you try on these items to get the correct size before you buy.

Other tools and items that are generally required for kart racing can include, RPM tacho, electric starter, kart trolley, fuel container and funnel, tire gauges, alignment tools, general mechanics tools like spanners, wrenches, tapes, screw drivers, hammers etc and the all important stop watch.

Once you have the basics you will need to be able to transport your kart to the track, many people start out by transporting there kart via the back of a ute or in a van, until they purchase or even build and register their own kart trailer for road use.

Your local karting club personnel or local kart dealer will be able to advise you on what equipment will be best for you.


7. Practice at your local kart club

 

“P” Plates
When a licence is first issued, the Driver must display a “P” plate in a location adjacent to their competition number at all times whilst they are on a Track. The “P” plate must resemble a “P” plate as used by the State or Territory civil roads authority. A “P” plate must continue to be used until such time as a Driver has qualified to be upgraded to the next level of licence.

See the “Licence Grading Process” and “Licence Criteria’s” for what you need to do to upgrade your licence in the Karting Australia Manual section “Competition Licences” .

First time on the track
When pulling up the track and unloading your kart for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask other drivers at the track any questions you may have. One of the great things about our sport is by it’s nature it is a very social sport and people generally are willing to help each other out at the track and lend each other a hand, sharing tools, tips and tricks, and helping each other out with karting setups and driving lines etc.

Friendly advice
When arriving at the club make sure you have a good look at the circuit. Try and pickup the layout of the track and see what driving lines the other drivers are using and make sure you know where the “pitlane entry” is (where you exit the race track to come into the pits) and what part of the track the “out grid” leads to (the area where you form up before you head out).

The best time for a new driver to get into a kart and drive for the first time on a track is when there is not many karts driving on the circuit. If there is a lot of drivers on the track be patient and wait for a few drivers to come in and for the track to be clear.

It is recommended that you take it easy and drive carefully when first stepping into a kart and driving on the track for the first time. Once your out on track, get a good feel for the kart, make sure you get used to the brakes, accelerator and steering and just get used to the feeling of what the kart is doing. Get used to the position of the carby incase you need to tune the engine, and be aware of other drivers on the track and get used to the feeling of having other karts around you on the track.

When practicing in most motorsports generally if a driver with a quicker kart is coming up to over take you and if you know they are a lot quicker than you let them pass by indicating to them with one hand which side they should pass or pull off the racing line early to let them by, otherwise if they catch you quickly just hold your line and they will workout a safe way to go by you. The worst thing you can do when another faster kart is coming by you is to be unpredictable and out of control, the key is to just be smooth and predictable which will help out everyone driving out on the track.

 

 

If there is a lot of people at the track some clubs may even conduct practice in timed sessions for Cadets, Juniors and Seniors to help better share the track and keep everyone in their age groups and or classes.

Karting is just like anything else in life the more practice you do the more confident and faster you will become! Once you get used to the kart and start doing some laps around the track you will be having that much fun you won’t want to come back into the pits!

See the Karting Australia Manual section “Code of Driving Conduct on Karting Circuits” for further information on the expected driving behaviours at kart tracks.

Getting ready for your first kart meeting
Prior to being able to Compete at a Meeting, a Driver must successfully undertake an Observed Licence Test. A Driver must have successfully completed the Safety Training Assessment prior to undertaking an Observed Licence Test. An Observed Licence Test can be arranged through your Club or the State Association.

Race Meetings

 

There are race meeting to cater for all levels of karters, beginners through to experienced.

Club Day
Club day racing is the perfect race meeting for new kart drivers inluding “P” plate drivers to gain racing experience against their local club drivers. The days are held in a reflexed and social environment. Club days are held at Victorian kart clubs on the last Sunday of each month.

Open Meetings
Open meetings are single race meetings where kart racers from other kart clubs are allowed to participate.

 

  Series “Zonal Championship” Race Meetings
There are 2 Victorian based karting series being held in 2015 using a series points system with points from each round going towards an overall series champion for each class. The 2015 Golden Power Series being contested over 5 rounds of racing at clubs around Victoria, and the 2015 Austrans Country Series being contested over 6 rounds of racing at clubs around Victoria. (“P” plate drivers can race in a series).
   
 

  Victorian Closed State Titles
The Victorian Closed State Titles is the biggest one weekend single race meeting of the year in Victoria, with only Victorian Karters allowed to enter the race meeting, the winner of each class is awarded a “black” number plate which they can use in their class for the next 12 months.
   
 

  Victorian State Championship
In 2015 Karting Australia started a new “series” format for the Open State Championship for each state. This series is being held over 4 rounds of racing in 2015 with points from each round going towards a overall tally to decide the Victorian State Champion for each class. The winner of the State Championship for each class is awarded with a “blue” number plate that they are allowed to use in that class for the next 12 months. (Members from all kart clubs with at least an upgraded “D” grade level licence can compete in this series).
   
 

  Australian Sprint Kart Championship
Is the pinnacle of karting in Australia and in 2015 this championship like the state championship has been changed to a series format that will be contested over 5 rounds of racing around Australia with the points from each round going to decide the overall Australian Kart Champion for each class.

Competitors can spend many months in preparation for this event as a win can reap great benefits for their racing careers. Being an Australian Champion is the highest accolade any karter can receive and each winner is given the right to use a green and gold number plate and the number #1 on their kart in that class for 12 months.

   
    International level karting
Many Australian Go-Karters have competed in International level competions around the world like the Rotax Max Challenge. International competitions are run by various bodies dependant on their region but they main body in charge of karting on an International level is the CIK-FIA.
     
 

  Australasian Kart Titles
The Australasian Kart Titles is held at the Goulburn Valley Kart Club once per year and the winners of this event are awarded with a “red” number plate which they can use in their class for the next 12 months.
     
  C & D Grade Titles
The C & D Grade Titles are held once a year at the Gippsland Kart Club and is an event only C & D Grade licence holders can enter.
     

 


 

8. Your first kart race

Every race meeting (apart from Club Days) has a document called the “Supplementary Regulations” which is available on the VKA website once they have been prepared for the meeting.

This is the document you want to download and view to find out all of the information provided to competitors for that race meeting. In this document you will find information like the event date, who is running, stewarding and officiating the meeting, the race format and race length, time table for when practice and racing begins etc.

This document will also has the steps for how to submit an entry and payment of your entry to the kart race meeting via the Karting Australia CM:S online entry system and will also have closing dates for entries. Drivers need to enter before the closing date so that the club can have race programs made up if needed and also make arrangements for the meeting. You can also see how many have entered via the Karting Australia entry system.

On a Club Day practice generally starts early in the morning or when the clubs set open track time has passed, and at Open Meetings there maybe be a “controlled practice” where classes take there turn in order to practice at the track, at some race meetings there might be practice on the Saturday and only racing on the Sunday, or even just only a “carby session” on the Sunday which is a session that gives you a lap or 2 to make sure you kart engine is running correctly. You need to view the event Supplementary Regulations to see what is being run at each individual race meeting.

Generally after practice there will be a drivers briefing, where all racing drivers and guardians for the Cadets need to attend, at this briefing the stewards of the day will inform the drivers or any special requirements, and will generally introuce any officials, stewards or special people that drivers may need to see across the weeekend, and give a general run down of what is happening throughout the meeting.


9. Upgrading your licence, getting off “P” plates, competiting at larger race meetings and in higher classes

 

Upgrading your licence
When starting out in karting a new Driver will start on the lowest licence grade of “E” for that particular category of licence. Cadet licence holders can reach the highest licence grade of “B”, while Junior and Seniors licence holders can reach the highest licence grade of “A”.

To upgrade from a licence grade of “E” to a licence of grade “D” a driver must successfully completed an “Observed Licence Test”.

To upgrade from a licence grade of “D” to a licence grade of “C” a driver must
a) Have held a D Grade Licence and meet upgrade conditions
b) Satisfactorily compete at four (4) Meetings with a D Grade licence
c) Must have Licence endorsed at the end of each Meeting
d) Must apply to State Secretary via Karting Australia CMS

To upgrade from a licence grade of “C” to a licence grade of “B” a driver must
a) Held C Grade Licence and meet upgrade conditions
b) Satisfactorily Compete at six (6) Meetings with a C Grade licence
c) Must have Licence endorsed at the end of each Meeting
d) Must apply to State Secretary via Karting Australia CMS

For Junior and Senior Licence holders only, to upgrade from a licence grade of “B” to a licence grade of “A” a driver must
a) Held B Grade Licence and meet upgrade conditions
b) Top 5 finish in a National Championship or National Series
c) Top 3 finish in a State Championship

6 year olds
Please note that 6 year olds are only allowed to practice at a club and are not allowed to compete in a meeting and cannot upgrade their licence fro grade “E” until they are 7 years of age.

To have a quick look at the Licence criteria scroll to the “Licence section” above, or see the full “Licence Grading Process” and “Licence Criteria’s” for what you need to do to upgrade your licence in the Karting Australia Manual section “Competition Licences” .


Previous Victorian karters

Many karter racers have come through the karting program in Australia and have gone on to become professional racing car drivers.

V8 Supercar Bathurst winners who started their racing careers at a Victorian Kart Club include:

Year Meeting Title Drivers Car
2013 Supercheap Auto 1000 Steven Richards (Oakleigh) with Mark Winterbottom (NSW) Ford FG Falcon
2012 Supercheap Auto 1000 Jamie Whincup (Eastern lions) with Paul Dumbrell (Go-Kart Club of Victoria) Holden VE Commodore
2010 Supercheap Auto 1000 Craig Lowndes (Eastern lions) with Mark Skaife (NSW) Holden VE Commodore
2009 Supercheap Auto 1000 Will Davison (Eastern lions) with Garth Tander (SA) Holden VE Commodore
2008 Supercheap Auto 1000 Craig Lowndes (Eastern lions) with Jamie Whincup (Eastern lions) Ford BF Falcon
2007 Supercheap Auto 1000 Craig Lowndes (Eastern lions) with Jamie Whincup (Eastern lions) Ford BF Falcon
2006 Supercheap Auto 1000 Craig Lowndes (Eastern lions) with Jamie Whincup (Eastern lions) Ford BA Falcon
2005 Supercheap Auto 1000 Mark Skaife (NSW) with Todd Kelly (Mildura)  
2004 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 Rick Kelly (Mildura) with Greg Murphy (NZ) Holden VY Commodore
2003 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 Rick Kelly (Mildura) with Greg Murphy (NZ)  
1999 FAI 1000 Steven Richards (Oakleigh) with Greg Murphy (NZ) Holden VT Commodore
1998 FAI 1000 Jason Bright (Gippsland) Steven Richards (Oakleigh)  
1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes (Eastern Lions) and Greg Murphy (NZ) Holden VR Commodore

 

V8 Supercar drivers who started their racing careers at Victorian Kart Clubs include:

 
Driver Kart Club
David Reynolds Albury-Wodonga Kart Club
Andrew Jones Albury-Wodonga Kart Club
Nathan Pretty Albury-Wodonga Kart Club
   
Jamie Whincup Eastern Lions Kart Club
Craig Lowndes Eastern Lions Kart Club
Will Davison Eastern Lions Kart Club
Alex Davison Eastern Lions Kart Club
Cameron McConville Eastern Lions Kart Club
   
Paul Dumbrell Go-Kart Club of Victoria
Steve Owen Go-Kart Club of Victoria
Tim Blanchard Go-Kart Club of Victoria
James Moffat Go-Kart Club of Victoria
Tony D’Alberto Go-Kart Club of Victoria
Jack Perkins Go-Kart Club of Victoria
   
Jason Bright Gippsland Go-Kart Club
   
Rick Kelly Mildura Kart Racing Club
Todd Kelly Mildura Kart Racing Club
Cameron Waters Mildura Kart Racing Club
   
Greg Ritter Oakleigh Go-Kart Racing Club
Steve Richards Oakleigh Go-Kart Racing Club
Grant Denyer Oakleigh Go-Kart Racing Club
Dale Wood Oakleigh Go-Kart Racing Club
Shane Price Oakleigh Go-Kart Racing Club
 
 

For further information

Please contact the VKA via the details on the Contact page if you need any help in getting into karting in Victoria.

Otherwise Karting Australia has further information on how to get into karting at this page here.