|Sprint Kart Racing
Definition of a sprint kart
Sprint karts are special built chassis designed to turn both left and right on asphalt tracks up to one mile in length. Most tracks are between one-half mile to one mile in length. Sprint karts are also raced at large “street races”, tracks setup in parking lots of shopping centers or tracks setup on city streets. Some street races are very successful; the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois has over 20,000 spectators every year with a few hundred entries!
How karting classes are broke down
Sprint kart classes are broken down into driver’s age, engine package, and total vehicle/driver weight. The two most popular engines in US karting is the KT100S Yamaha and Briggs Raptor. There are lots of other engine packages available such as 125cc Shifter Engines, 100cc HPV, Briggs Animal, TaG and many more. Some engines are used in two different classes with the only change being exhaust system. The KT100S Yamaha is a perfect example, in Senior classes the KT100 or “Yamaha” is run with either a spec “can” exhaust or a “tuned pipe” exhaust. The difference in performance is around 5 hp! The pipe class is known as Yamaha Light or Heavy (depending on the classes weight) or with the “can” it’s known as Sportsman Can or Senior Super Can. Different regions and clubs call the same class a different name even if the package is identical.
Karting is open to people of all ages
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, some clubs run it as a class with winners awards and a year end point champion.
Junior Sportsman or Cadet classes are offered for kids ages 8-12. In these classes the engines range from stock 5hp Briggs to 60cc Shifters to KT100 Yamaha Junior Sportsman Can Engines. Local rules and classes offered should be checked into before deciding on a package.
The Junior classes are open to kids 12-15 years old. Junior classes are faster than the cadet and rookie classes and some classes are as fast as the senior classes. Once again classes can range from Yamaha Junior Can to 80cc Shifters to Briggs Junior Restricted, check local rules and classes offered in your area.
Senior classes are for drivers 15 and up. Senior classes are offered in a wide range of classes including a “Masters” class at some tracks for drivers aged 35 and up. There are usually a lot of senior classes offered in every region. From Yamaha Pipe classes that put out 18-20 hp, to Yamaha Can that have 14hp to 45 hp Shifter Kart and ICC Shifter Engines with front wheel brakes.
One class that has taken off in the last couple years are the TaG classes which stands for Touch and Go because of the onboard starter. TaG is a 125cc water cooled 2 cycle with an onboard starter and a signle speed clutch, it is not a shifter engine. The TaG class has been very popular with recreational karters and at the club and national level. Karting classes can be regional (popular at one club and non-existent at another club) so check your local clubs and tracks to see what classes are offered and popular in your region.