The Road to Becoming a Professional (and safe) Driver With Go Karts
Most people view indoor go kart racing as a way to enjoy a fun night out; whether it’s racing against friends or going for a day of leisure with family and/or co-workers. For many professional motor racers or those looking to become professional drivers, indoor go karting is a low-cost and safe way to develop their driving skills.
Most people associate go karting with younger drivers or those below the legal driving limit. For the youngster’s aspiring to become the next Michael Schumacher; indoor go karting is the perfect place to start grooming their driving abilities. Junior go kart driving students can be introduced to the basic dynamics of a kart as well as the skills it takes to operate motor vehicles around circuits and race tracks.
Junior go kart driving students can also develop the type of driving skills required for safe general driving. Go kart students can start as young as six or seven years old - learning how to safely operate a motorized kart, improve their awareness while driving, and develop the various skills that are necessary when driving a street car on the open roads today.
Junior racing students benefit tremendously from the affordability and easily accessible training environment that indoor go kart tracks provide. There are no start-up costs, no race days cut short due to mechanical failures or weather; not to mention the fact that there are no dirty hands and no commitments if your going to the track to rent out some time and racing equipment.
The type of go karts that are used in and throughout amusement parks are scaled down when it comes to their engine, chassis and transmission. These types of go karts stick to speeds that are closer to 15 miles per hour and are mostly for entertainment purposes.
Because karting is considered the first step in many professional racing careers; it’s not just the junior racers that you’ll find at the go kart tracks. There are many adults who are also active in karting. Adults benefit from go karting because it can prepare them as a driver when it comes to high-speed, wheel-to-wheel racing.
It might not be that apparent to the general public, but some go karts, or “superkarts” can reach speeds of up to 160 miles per hour! This helps racers learn more about or practice quick reflexes, precision car control and fast decision-making skills. Driving go karts can also help to improve the racer’s overall awareness of the various parameters that can be manipulated or adjusted to improve the performance of the kart. These types of parameters include the car’s tire pressure, gearing, seat position, chassis stiffness, etc. It’s important for professional motorsport drivers to be able to understand how to fine-tune their ability to perform such skills during competitions.
While go kart racing tends to be more popular in and throughout Europe, the United States hosts a number of leagues and competitions for Americans looking to race go karts competitively. Currently, U.S. competitive racers are regulated by organizations such as the IKF (International Kart Federation), WKA (World Karting Association), KART (Karters of America Racing Triad), and the indoor karting World championship (IKWC).
Many current and former Formula One drivers began their careers racing karts at events hosted by the organizations listed above. Among some of these F1 drivers are World Champions such as Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Various NASCAR drivers also got their start in racing karts, from Darrell Waltrip and Lake Speed to Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon.
Whether your looking to become the next Michael Schumacher, or just practice better driving skills; taking a few laps around the indoor go kart track can help you on the road to becoming a better driver.