starting karting 
Karting ...
Karting provides the opportunity for anyone, from the age of eight upwards, to enjoy the thrills of motor racing at an affordable price. There are kart classes for all ages, shapes and sizes and levels of racing from Clubman to British Championship and beyond. No matter what skill level you are at, or hope to attain, you will be able to race, wheel to wheel, with others of a similar level. Once you're bitten by the bug you'll never look back!
Be warned. Do not go out and buy the first kart you see advertised in the local press or karting magazines. Too many people have made that mistake and have payed for it later. Take your time and make the right decision on the class and equipment that suits you and your budget. If you have no experience of kart racing then get along to the next club race meeting and talk to the drivers in the paddock. You will get all the help you need in deciding the kart class most appropriate for you.
Once you are armed with the information you need, you can then decide on the equipment you require to go racing. Don't always assume that 'new' is best. There are some decent second-hand bargains on the market which may be more appropriate for your budget. Have a look at our ads section where you'll find lots of gear for sale. Take advice when buying second-hand equipment and don't jump in with two feet! You may regret it later.
You will also require to purchase suitable protective clothing which includes approved crash helmet, racing suit, gloves and boots.
Before you can practice at any of the clubs, you will require to join. Information on joining the clubs can be found in the circuits/clubs section.
ARKS - The Association of Racing Kart Schools
You may consider enrolling for a course with an approved ARKS school. You can find out further information on ARKS by visiting their website at They will teach you about driving techniques and the maintenance/setting up of your kart and engine.
Ready to Race?
Before you can race, you will need to purchase a 'Starting Karting' pack from the MSA (Motor Sports Association) or one of the approved ARKS schools. The MSA can be contacted at the following address: MSA, Motor Sports House, Riverside Park, Colnbrook, Slough, SL3 0GH. Tel: 01753-681736. A licence application form is included in the pack and, if you are over 18, you will require a medical certificate from your doctor. Once you have your licence you will require to undergo an ARKS driving test which can be arranged with one of the ARKS schools or an approved ARKS instructor.
Your First Race
Remember to enter well before the race day. You will require to 'sign on' on the morning of your first race which will usually be from 8:30am onwards. Parents or guardians will also require to sign on if you are under 16. Take your MSA Competition Licence with you for inspection. You will be given a 'Scruitineering Card' which you must complete with details of your equipment serial numbers etc. It is vital that this is completed fully and correctly.
Take your kart, personal protective equipment and 'Scruitineering Card' (completed) to the Scruitineering building for inspection. The scruitineers will check your equipment for safety.
After scruitineering, you must attend Driver's Briefing which usually commences around 9:45am. Listen out for tannoy announcements giving instructions and do not turn up late.
Practice sessions start around 10am. You will have between 3 to 5 laps to complete before the racing starts.
Racing starts at about 11am with 3 heats of between 8 to 12 laps followed by a final. Start times and the number of laps will vary depending on the size of the meeting and the organising club. Your grid position for the final will be determined by your finishing positions in the heats.
Trophies are normally presented in the Club House 30 minutes after the last race.
If you require any help then please speak to other drivers, officials or committe members. They will be only too glad to help.
Novice Plates
You will require to use novice plates and race from the back of the grid, during your heats, for the first six races or until you have received six signatures from an MSA official. Your ARKS driving test will count as one signature.
There are many competitions and championships run throughout the year all over the UK to suit all budgets. Our calendar has a comprehensive list of available racing not only in Scotland but across the UK.
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