|Definition of an oval kart
Oval Karts are purpose build racing chassis designed to turn left hand corners on oval tracks. The karts are designed to sacrifice right hand corner speed to improve left hand corner speed. Increasing the ability to raise the vehicles left side weight percentage and offsetting the driver to the left of the chassis, as well as offsetting the left rear frame rail to the right of the left front frame rail accomplish this. Besides the frame being offset the kart is ran with “stagger” in the front and rear tires. The right side tires are larger than the left side tires. This helps increase the karts ability to turn left; you can produce this same effect by putting a Styrofoam cup on a table and rolling it. The cup will “steer” towards the side with the smaller radius.
Asphalt or Dirt
Oval karts are run on a variety of tracks and surfaces. Dirt tracks are extremely popular; they range from tracks that are flat to steeply banked and from 1/10 mile in length to ¼ mile or bigger tracks. The surface can also be loose soft dirt to hard packed clay to even sandy surfaces.
Asphalt tracks are also very popular but are not as numerous as dirt tracks. Asphalt tracks can range from little indoor bullrings to wide-open ¼ mile or larger stockcar tracks with steep banking and drafting playing an important key. Most asphalt tracks are in between these two extremes.
Oval Kart Classes
Classes are broken down by drivers age, weight, and engine package. By far the most popular engine in oval racing is the Briggs 5hp Raptor engine. These engines range from true “box-stock” classes to the extremely popular stock blueprinted classes with around 9hp to unlimited and open classes producing over 20 hp.
Just like sprint karting the Kid Kart classes are purpose built karting chassis that use a spec 50cc Comer C-51 Engine. The Kid Kart competitors are aged 5 years to 7 years. The spirit and intent of this class is to allow kids to become accustomed to driving a kart and driving with other competitors on a track. Most clubs just offer this class as an exhibition class with all competitors receiving the same trophy.
The Junior classes are broken down by age. Almost every class runs the blueprinted Raptor Engine with a carburetor restrictor plate of different hole sizes depending on the childs age. Kids aged 8-12 generally runs the “Turquoise” or “Purple” restrictor plate classes. Kids aged 12-15 run in the “Gold” restrictor classes. Some clubs have optional classes but these are the most popular in just about every region.
Senior Classes are broken down by weight and engine package. The most popular senior classes at most tracks are the blueprinted Stock Briggs Classes. They are classified by weight such as Briggs Stock Light and Briggs Stock Heavy. This allows drivers that weight more too not have a disadvantage against drivers who weight less. There are also classes available that use the new Briggs Animal Engine as well as Briggs Unlimited and Open classes. Another popular class at some tracks is the Yamaha 2 Cycle Classes or 2 Cycle Unlimited classes. Different classes are popular at different tracks so be sure to find out what is popular in your area.