There are some consumables you’ll need to budget for. Some of these items are tires, synthetic racing oil, spark plugs, carburetor jets, engine gaskets, and gasoline. A set of tires for our Box Stock class is about $200 per set (sales pitch; buy them in ‘The Pit Stop’ and un-mounting and mounting is included). Depending on how much practice you run, two sets of tires should last most of a season, but the serious guys that are running for the season championship will replace tires about every 3-4 weeks. The kids in the 8 to 12 year old class will likely get in a season on one set of tires. As kart and driver combined weight increases so does tire wear. If a competitor runs in a 2-cycle class, speed becomes a factor in tire wear, and more tires will be used. It should also be noted that speed costs money, and most everyone who runs in the faster classes accepts this and expects to spend more money go-karting. Synthetic engine oil runs $10 to $15/quart. A Honda engine needs the oil changed every time you spend a day at the track and a quart is two oil changes. Spark plugs are $2-$10 each, jets $6, and gaskets at $2 – $10 depending on type.
Some of our competitors travel to race at other tracks. First year go-karters seldom wander away from SRR. The caveat we always issue is “It costs more money to go-kart as soon as you drive out the front gate of Sugar River Raceway.” Why? Other tracks don’t run a Box Stock Honda program. They all start with a faster class like the World Karting Association (WKA) sanctioned blueprinted Briggs & Stratton class. These are great classes, and we have them at SRR for our experienced karters. This type of racing will cost anywhere from 2 to 4 times as much to race as it does in Box Stock Honda (Box Stock engines sell for approx. $500, while we’ve seen ads for blueprinted Briggs engines as high as $1700). Upkeep, complexity, and speed are all greatly increased in this class, making it in our view a poor beginner’s class.
Regional and national race programs exist. These series are filled with go-karters with 2 plus years of experience. The cost, of programs like these go up due to the added travel costs. If a weekend of go-karting in Indiana is what you desire then the cost of lodging, travel, and meals will be a part of your race budget. Your go-kart career may take on a “National” flavor, and this is the training ground for the professional driving ranks we talked about. Professional drivers, Alan Kulwicki and Scott Pruett, both won National Championships at SRR. Other go-karters choose to stay around home to spend their racing career. That’s great also, as we don’t chase you away. We have classes to challenge all skill levels at SRR.