Junior Karting

Junior Karting



Original Poster:

250 posts

77 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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After getting my children into Karting slightly naively, I have now realised (probably quiet obvious for most) that the money you need to even run near the front in an amateur series is mind blowing.

We run in the GX200 class as it’s ‘cheaper’ than the 160, MSA don’t recognise the GX200 class so British Championships is all GX160’s - a Honda engine that completely standard will set you back a few hundred quid. Winning engines now change hands for £10k!

Anyway..... my question for anyone that is in the know. Are all the teams taking the kids on from talent or are mum and dad paying for them to be in the Kart teams? Iv heard rumours of people paying £50k a year to be the in the teams. We went to watch the British Champs up at Warden Law this weekend and I don’t think there was more than 5 privateers in the race.

I’m more than aware that we will never run at the front but after speaking to one of the Dads at the weekend I’m quiet glad. His son is running at the front in one of the big teams and said all the ‘father and son’ aspect has gone out the window.


12,431 posts

181 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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Stick to club racing and father and son can still be done without crazy crazy money.

Best time of my life with my dad away almost every weekend to differerent tracks.
We did end up doing the British championships for a few years but realised at that level I had started too late (12) to really be at the front front


186 posts

33 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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Oh, karts. I always get told of by 'er indoor for them, at least in the bedroom.


13,025 posts

257 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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I can't help you on your question but for reference, a few years back a client had his son racing in Karting. He was quite good and they pumped a great deal of money into it. When he was 16, they bought a second hand Formula Renault with spare engine, parts, trailer and bits and bobs, and ran a season in that which worked out cheaper than the Kart series he would have naturally ended up in.


597 posts

186 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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As others have said - to be competitive you need to be putting some serious money into karts. I used to race TKM / Rotax and I moved into Historic racing as that ended up being cheaper (including buying the car!).

There's a chequebook component to everything but in the kart world everyone harbours dreams of F1 = perceived higher stakes = more money / tactics. This leads to people thinking nothing of blowing engines up each weekend, having multiple different chassis prepared for weather conditions etc. Despite being awarded things like top novice, best newcomer and so on, a dad and lad in the back of an open trailer and the boot of a 20-year old 5 series frankly couldn't compete with the front runners and as a teenager in school I couldn't really contribute anything financially.

That being said, I have some fantastic memories of those times. Road trips to different places I'd never have reason to go to, meeting people in the paddock, having a bbq the night before and so on - all things which I wouldn't change for the world but which can just as easily be had in other series.

In summary, if you're set on it then go for it but do it with eyes very wide open on the potential cost(s). As per other responses, getting hold of a Formula Ford or cheap tin-top might be a much more sound approach - especially in terms of keeping costs down longer term (although you obviously need things like a trailer etc).

Andy OH

1,913 posts

252 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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I raced Karts when I was a teenager and into my very early twenties, in 1989, at 21 I became the RACMSA British Champion in 100 Supers, that was the top 100cc class back then. That year cost my father around £30K in 1989 in order to get to that level. I raced more or less every weekend, tested at least once a week and had a mechanic who really knew his stuff back then. I believe that £30K in 1989 now would be around £60K ish.

I know Ricky Flynn of Ricky Flynn Motorsport and I know what they charge on an annual basis for the services and it is eye wateringly expensive.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do but motorsport is a wallet draining sport.

Edited by Andy OH on Tuesday 21st September 09:37


5,062 posts

201 months

Tuesday 21st September 2021
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Ex-karter here too. The expense was mad 30 years ago, it will have expanded astronomically since then for sure.

Some places like Daytona run highly competitive series in their own hire karts for a fraction of the cost. I think they had some new rotax 2-strokes a few years ago...

Or other series. My uncle was once president of the BRSCC and people would compete in old FF's, F3 cars etc. on shoestring budgets.

Plenty of tin top series too. MR2roc, honda legends that are (were) designed for "cheap" racing and there is even a hire touring car series, forget the name,Ford focuses hired at about £1500 per race iirc

Edited by mattikake on Tuesday 21st September 11:25


1,165 posts

284 months

Friday 24th September 2021
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It was the potential for future run away costs beyond our current financial means that led me to encourage my son to have a go at trials motorbike riding rather than karting. Benefits being it pits skill among competitors rather than speed, and we’ve built stuff to ride in the garden whenever suits us rather than having to go to a dedicated site, although it’s great to have a change of scenery and new challenges. We can even compete against each other!

Dynion Araf Uchaf

4,512 posts

225 months

Friday 24th September 2021
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I don't really get why people spend so much on karting. It seems very short termist if you want to be a pro driver.
if you are genuinely spending 50k pa on karting, then you'll have run out of money by the time you get to cars, which on a professional level is even more money.

Also in motor sport, you just need the right drive at the right time to make it.

Much better off to race karts for fun, or do the schools championship then spend the money you've saved on car racing professionally. I can see that running at the front might make you a better driver, but in reality it only really teaches you how to handle championship pressure. But these can be learned at any time.

If I have a child who wanted to race professionally, I'd probably tell them not to bother, but if they were insistent I'd focus on developing the driver's skills in a variety of cheap disciplines, maximising seat time on the 10k hours principle, and then move them up through the car ranks.


4,479 posts

48 months

Saturday 25th September 2021
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Regarding the guy who has pushed his kids onto bikes, a great idea, you will have far more chance to shine there, a great rider can do well on literally any bike, talent shines through, in karting it does but only at the highest levels, and to get there costs a fortune it costs literally a tenth to do the same even with new machinery in trials, enduro etc, motocross, not so much as you WILL get injured trying to reach the top!!


13,139 posts

237 months

Saturday 25th September 2021
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I think you might still be a little naive. Money is the basis for karting success. Throw huge money at it, and then you can find out if your kid is naturally talented or not. You should chat to more people involved in motorsport, you’ll learn loads… some of it is a bit depressing though.


479 posts

245 months

Monday 27th September 2021
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Club100 are launching a cadet series next year


Edited by djmotorsport on Monday 27th September 11:04


635 posts

210 months

Monday 27th September 2021
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Does anybody else remember when this stuff used to be fun?


1,717 posts

227 months

Monday 27th September 2021
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djmotorsport said:
Club100 are launching a cadet series next year


Edited by djmotorsport on Monday 27th September 11:04
Thanks for sharing this, i’m at the stage where my lad is giving it a go but dont want to shell out on a load of gear only for him to decide he doesnt want to continue.


10,899 posts

186 months

Friday 29th October 2021
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Just found this thread as I'd been looking into the options around arrive and drive type karting.

There are a few companies out there who can provide services from providing everything needed (kart, fuel, tyres, engineering etc) down to a slot in the tent. Like these guys https://www.attaq-motorsport.co.uk/s/stories/step-... (no association I just found them after a search).

My 11yo has been running Karts provided by Rob Smedley under the Total Karting Zero banner, the hook here being they are all electric. They run their own weekends, hook up with club rounds and even ran at the British Kart championship rounds (Clay Pigeon and PFI this year). Karts are similar in pace to Honda Cadets.

Waiting to go out at PFI.

Cost is not cheap, about £500 for the weekend, the summer series was 6 events so £3k for a season. Testing/training/club/Champ rounds are additional. A step up from corporate karts and indoor stuff. Lots of mixed experience from the kids from total beginners upwards. They usually run bambino, cadet and Junior class is coming.

Club100 is interesting, will be looking into that.


742 posts

79 months

Monday 8th November 2021
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I used to race karts, then I 'progressed' to tin tops, then formula ford and have now gone back to karting, (albeit historics because that's what I am now and I like the equipment more). I did ok, won quite a lot I suppose and got some free stuff/drives but I never had any delusion that I could get to F1 or any type of professional racing, I've always raced because I enjoy it and I eventually went back to karts because there is nothing that compares to it..
Anyway if you want your offspring to race in a competitive, but pretty budget conscious series with a proper 'dad and lad' thing going on then check out 'Tyro' karting..
It's what I'd be doing if my girls were interested (which they're not, thankfully), or maybe historic TKM where junior classes are beginning to establish


245 posts

216 months

Wednesday 24th November 2021
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my boy did the british champs this year in a team.

the short answer is it is very expensive. but it is the british championship. there are cheaper championships to try.

happy to chat through the actual numbers if the OP is interested, but not on the public board.