Welcome to the Australian Karting Association of Western Australia. The Karting information found within this site is given as a free service to all Western Australian Karting Clubs and there racing members.
Karting is a vast sport, with many adaptations on the main speed ‘an’ thrills theme. It’s so much more flexible than most other motor sports whilst still combining all the elements of professional racing. Karting has already established itself as the first step on the ladder to motor racing success, and besides – it’s fun!
“Perth Western Australia” is home for the Australian Karting Association of WA, Perth also is the most isolated capital city on the planet and lies closer to Singapore than Sydney.
It is at local kart club meetings where you will start your quest for motor sport fame. It is at these meetings you will excel if the speed thrills, family fun and competition has enough to satisfy you. Sprint Kart Racing at kart club level is no more expensive than keeping a horse or trying to make the grade in any other mainstream sport where you need the latest and best equipment, coaching and lots of training and practice.
It’s also the ideal way to find out if you really do have the talent and determination to make it in the Australian Karting Association.
OK! So you’ve joined a kart club, bought a kart , got your licence and put in a few laps and are ready for your first meeting. Or so you think!
Despite its simple outward appearance, a sprint kart or racing kart is really a complicated, hi-tech mass of metal, engine and tyres. The best drivers won’t win with poorly set up equipment just the same as the worst drivers won’t win with the best set up equipment. Kart racers are generally a helpful lot they’ll help to get you on the pace because they want to race you. At your first meeting you’ll learn more about the intricacies of kart set up than you can in a month of Sundays practicing by yourself. Engine and carby tuning, tyre pressures, chassis tuning, race craft it’s all ahead of you. This is the time some new converts tend to give up if they don’t become overnight heroes, they’re off to find somewhere they can be. Shame, because it’s only a little initial commitment that’s required even to be a good weekend racer and, within four or five race meetings you may begin looking like you have a chance.
So, simply, you have to work at it. To practice driving techniques and, equally importantly, to become an expert at chassis tuning and understanding your engine. Talk with anybody and everybody who will talk to you. Do a day or two at a kart school or with a seasoned karters who’s prepared to show you some ropes. Hang about at your local kart shop. If you are a customer, this is a great place for valuable advice. Every kart shop likes to boast about its winning customers. While blue-printing your engine is not necessary at the start, it will be after four or five meetings. A good way to start is to get a good, proven, printed second hand engine from a reliable and trustworthy source.
You’ll now need to check out who’s winning and who’s not and make up a short list prospective engine builders and chassis that will work for you. Talk to them all. Your engine builder is going to be the most important factor in your karting life and you want one who will talk to you, be patient with your lack of knowledge and give you tuning advice.
The difference between on the pace and off the pace can be as little as a half second a lap. Invariably, after your engine is blue-printed this half second will be in what you are able to do at the track chassis set-up, tuning your carby as your drive, driving technique and race craft.
It is rarely in your motor. Good, blue printed motors are all pretty much on a par. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that someone has a power advantage over you because he is using a different engine builder. He just knows his equipment better than you. He’s also probably a more experienced driver. New karters often chop and change trying to get a better engine tune.
In motor sport, you have to cross the threshold between ordinary and competitive and it usually comes suddenly, through a set of circumstances which are beyond your conscious control. It may be that you become involved in a thrilling dice or whatever. The important thing to realise is that the last half second is within you and it will come if you work at it without trying to force it. Of course, in many cases spending up big on better equipment is all the sub-conscious motivation you need to push yourself to that final goal, but when you get back into your old kart you’ll find you’ve achieved it anyway.
Moving up and on
So, assuming you’ve spent anything up to six months or a year coming to grips with the competitive side of kart racing, you are ready for your next step to plan the remainder of you motor sport career. If you intend to move on, you’ll be attracted to the International Class karts (Intercontinental A Junior, Intercontinental A and Formula A). The karters who survive and do well at these levels have the best access of any to full time motor sport careers.
In these classes, the pinnacle of kart racing, the learning curve steepens a little. Instead of racing against weekend and social karters (many of whom are very serious about their sport) you’ll be pitted against the same competitors every time you venture out. It will be up to you to fit in with the people and the style of racing (which is vastly different from what you’ve been doing at club level). Generally, on track behaviour is exemplary.
To make the plunge here you can start out small, but to be really successful you’ll need two chassis (usually one set up for wet weather and one for the dry but you can get by with one), two or three engines (at around $2,500 each, but much less second hand). You’ll use two sets of tyres per meeting (at around $300 per meeting) and spend considerable time testing, especially during the week or two prior to the meeting. Engine performance is dramatically increased and tuning is more difficult. The use of much softer compound racing tyres means that chassis set up, too, is more of a science.
If this is where you want to be, don’t be deterred. If you learned you lessons effectively in the National classes, the CIK machines will not hold many surprises. From the CIK classes, you will become eligible to compete at international level competitions. The usual route is to make a foray to Japan for the World Cup or to Europe for a major meeting or two…