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In the last thirty years, karting has evolved from a simple weekend pastime, to a nationally organised competitive form of motor sport. Yet a great deal of the original appeal of karting remains today. Karts are still the most inexpensive way to enjoy the thrills and excitement of motor racing. Whether you're looking for family fun or downright serious competition, the versatility of karting provides it all.
What Karting Offers

From its inception in 1956, karting has been a part of motor racing. There was an explosion of interest as the world discovered the fun of karting. The number of weekend participants grew rapidly and soon a need developed to organise the sport and set rules for competition. 
The Australian Karting Association was formed in 1963. In just over thirty years, karting has spread to most countries in the world and become a truly international sport. The popularity of karting stems from the fact that it offers so much, to so many different types of people. Karting can be an inexpensive hobby in which the whole family participates. 
Karting can be a sport in which the young learn the use of motor vehicles and rewards for competition. Karting can be the Walter Mitty in each of us who wants to share the experience of Peter Brock, without the costs or the risks.
Karting can be for the mechanically minded who like the challenge of extracting every ounce of performance from a racing machine. Karting is fun, competitive and challenging. The first look at a kart is usually deceptive. It's hard to take anything so small seriously, yet closer scrutiny reveals that whilst a kart is simple in construction, it is quite sophisticated in design and theory. The chassis of a kart is also its suspension as it is designed to flex and maintain its tyre contact with the road.
Types of Karts
A kart chassis incorporates a multitude of adjustable parts that can be used to enhance its grip or road holding. The use of lightweight materials developed for other forms of motor sport reduces the weight to make exciting performance possible from the small motors. Karting is divided into two forms. Sprint karting where the competitors race on circuits ranging from 400 metres to lkm in length with karts that have no gearboxes. The second form of karting is road racing karts which use larger motors up to 250 cc capacity, race on the same circuits as our Group A or Formula Mondial Cars and utilise gearboxes. The road race karts are also known as "superkarts" whilst sprint karts are simply referred to as karts.
Kart race meetings are usually run under one of two different formats. Each meeting is divided into between 3 and 5 heats with drivers accumulating points from each heat to find the overall placegetters on the day. Alternatively, drivers race in a series of heats with points accumulated to determine grid positions for a final which then determines the placegetter for the event. At major meetings, a time trial system may be used to work out the grid positions for the first race. Where this is not done, the grid positions are picked at random for the first heat and reversed for the next. There are so many kart tracks in Australia now that in many states there are up to three kart meetings on the same weekend and it is possible to race every weekend of the year.
Controlled race meetings
Race meetings are a controlled form of motor sport carried out on both bitumen and dirt tracks. Each track has to be licensed and is subject to annual safety inspections. Whilst bitumen racing has proved the most popular form of karting, dirt track and speedway karting are gaining in popularity. Whilst today's kart bristles with modern technology, its construction is simple in terms of both motor and chassis. Parts are easy to fit and a host of small specialised kart   shops can economically oversee the maintenance of motors in the same way that most people are able to undertake home renovations, so maintenance of a kart chassis is a matter of commonsense and a little expert guidance. As karting does not have a high-powered approach, expert guidance and advice are in abundance.
Perhaps the greatest benefit the entire community derives from karting is the involvement of the young in a healthy, competitive sport, which invariably produces better drivers. What better grounding for a boy or girl than a sport where they can develop their confidence and driving skills. This means that these drivers may have years of supervised motoring experience well before they are old enough to qualify for a road licence. Karting develops their sense of responsibility. Karting is not a free sport and both officials and parents frown upon damage to equipment. They learn some basic mechanical understanding of their karts and develop a sympathetic approach to its use. It  can  be  a  sport  that  will  give  them  a good grounding for future development within a motorsport or simply be a fun way to spend their weekends. They will soon be tomorrow's road drivers and karting teaches them car control, defensive driving techniques and an appreciation of other vehicles in close proximity and the dangers of overdriving.
South West Kart Club
South West Victoria's Premier KARTING Club
© The Gateway BBS Camperdown Author: John Hamilton