High Performance Kart Racing
June 15, 2008 12:44 PM   Subscribe

High performance kart racing is frequently misunderstood to be bumper-car-like "fun park" or "trailer park" karting in the US.

Speeds in excess of 200mph are possible on karts at full road course tracks. Anyone interested in racing data analysis can get a crash course through karting as well.

Karting is huge in Europe, especially Italy, where most chassis are engineered.

Most Formula 1 and NASCAR drivers begin here at a young age.
posted by unpoppy (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The only US world karting champion is former NASCAR driver, Lake Speed.
posted by unpoppy at 12:46 PM on June 15, 2008

200+ that is freaking awesome!
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:31 PM on June 15, 2008

keep in mind, for 200+ you need the right track (Daytona Speedway) and the right kart.
Record speed on that track is 215 for a kart. Record speed on that track is 225 for a NASCAR cup car.
posted by unpoppy at 1:35 PM on June 15, 2008

Needs more bananas.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:40 PM on June 15, 2008 [3 favorites]

I have gone 200 before, but with a car wrapped around me. I can't imagine how intense it must be sitting inches above the ground.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:41 PM on June 15, 2008

check this street race out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYZ4Vs5tSVA&feature=related
posted by unpoppy at 1:51 PM on June 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

posted by danb at 2:37 PM on June 15, 2008 [5 favorites]

check this street race out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYZ4Vs5tSVA&feature=related

That is outrageous!
posted by Mr_Zero at 2:40 PM on June 15, 2008

Damn you danb and spikeleeetc. for beating me to the mandatory Mario Kart jokes.
posted by JHarris at 5:40 PM on June 15, 2008

My spine is aching just watching those videos.
posted by anthill at 5:42 PM on June 15, 2008

When my kids are old enough to do that, and I reveal to them that yes, I'll be happy to buy a couple of novice karts for you to get started in...yeah, that's when I become superdad.

of course, I'll have to get one for myself as well.
posted by davejay at 6:26 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Our neighborhood is filled with 50 cc scooters right now, as people try to avoid rising gas prices. Screw that, I want one of these with a roll cage for my daily work commute.
posted by mecran01 at 6:37 PM on June 15, 2008

The absolute highest performance vehicle I ever drove was a 125cc shifter kart (0-100-0mph in10 seconds and cornering forces of 2.5G's). At the track I tested these there were also some Indy test drivers doing wet track testing on Indy cars all day. They even came over to drive the shifter karts at the end of the day. It's a little disconcerting to drive one though. No seat belts (they want you to separate from the vehicle if you flip, you can't even wear your own driving suit, you need a slick-slidey one in case you flip) and the semi-transparent plastic ~1.5 gallon container between your legs is the gas tank:-0
posted by Rafaelloello at 6:52 PM on June 15, 2008

Needs more bananas.

here's some
posted by jeremias at 7:17 PM on June 15, 2008

I did a shifter kart class at the Bob Bondurant racing school in Phoenix a few years back. Most fun I've ever had with my clothes on.
posted by mullacc at 7:29 PM on June 15, 2008

I saw one of these karts in the back of a truck just this morning; I suggested that that would be a cool hobby for our daughter. My wife thought we should stick with ballet.
posted by TedW at 8:24 PM on June 15, 2008

Just a few weeks ago I had my introduction to dirt oval karting, which was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Though there's still nothing quite like ripping around a road course in a 250cc superkart. Totally different experience than doing the same thing in a car.

dammit. now I want to go karting again.
posted by Project F at 6:21 AM on June 16, 2008

if anyone close to the east coast is interested in getting set up (for you or your kids), contact me, I've got great contacts because I've been working in/with karting companies for a while now.
posted by unpoppy at 6:39 AM on June 16, 2008

A friend of mine races karts and the only word to describe it is 'insane'. Going 70 miles an hour with four inches separating your ass from the very hard pavement? That is just crazy.

It's also kind of an expensive hobby, or I'd probably do it too.

I still want to do some kind of heist movie where shifter karts are used in the escape, but that's a different discussion.
posted by quin at 8:34 AM on June 16, 2008

I dunno, I'd rather be doing 70 just above the surface than 70 on a motorbike...less distance to fall, and no way to fall over.
posted by davejay at 6:21 PM on June 16, 2008

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