Who go-karts? If you’re five years old or older and in good health you can become a go-karter. There is no upper limit, as each year we seem to see older and older drivers compete. So far 70 years old is our oldest feature winner! Drivers range from 40 to over 200 pounds. Drivers range from under 4′ to 6’6″ tall. Some drivers have had other racing experience, but most have no prior racing experience. Some go-karters are back for their second career. They ran as kids and have returned with their kids. Sugar River Raceway (SRR) is all about families having a good time together. In the beginner ranks of go karting families rule! We have fathers and sons and fathers and daughters and mothers and sons as the crew chief and driver. Regardless of the team make up the rest of the family is at the track on race day cheering on their favorite team. There are a lot of jobs that family members must fill on the race team; crew chief, driving instructor, head race strategist, race car hauler driver, sandwich maker, team photographer, etc. Go-karting will build or strengthen family bonds and build friendships that last a lifetime. If you have an interest in motor sports and want to find common ground to spend that quality time, this sport is for you. We have several families participating at our track who have told us that until they found the sport of go-karting they didn’t have a family activity that involved everyone. Go-karting offers good behavior incentives also. In a perfect world, parents wouldn’t need any leverage to get their kids to do everything they are supposed to. Only certain special activities attract kids with such power that they make certain they don’t miss a single opportunity to participate. We at SRR aren’t suggesting that a ‘behave or you don’t go-kart’ standard should be adopted, but we have heard that it works very well! If you’re at the stage of independence, (defined as 18 years old or older) you may not be looking for a ‘family sport’, but you may feel the need for speed. Racing at 1/2″ off of the ground at the national speed limit will definitely take care of that yearning. Yes, racing a car would do the same, but the costs are much higher, and it is the speed and G force that most are after, right? Many professional drivers (stock cars, midgets, sprint cars, sports cars, legend cars, etc.) participate in the SRR ‘Rent to Race program and they suggest to us that the eye hand coordination required, G loading in the corner and the kick of wheel to wheel competition are as good as it is in the race car! The only thing missing is the acceleration from the race car. More than one driver has told us that his time on the ‘Rent to Race’ go kart has made them a better race car driver. Yes, go-karting is a thrilling hobby, but there is another whole subset of people in go-karting who are looking for the training ground to get to the professional ranks of racing. You could analogize that go-karting is like getting your undergraduate degree. Go-karting is the training ground for your life’s path, if you would like to make racing your career. You had better be solid in the basics or your learning curve will be steep and very expensive in the big leagues. Some of today’s best professional race drivers cut their teeth in go-karting. Let’s see, Darrell Waltrip, Alan Kulwicki, Scott Pruett, Lake Speed, Emerson Fittapaldi, Al Unser Jr., Scott Goodyear, Ken Schrader, Jeff Gordon, and all of Formula 1 to name a few (racing in Europe is much more structured than in the States, as drivers must start in karting and progress through the formula cars there). If you can afford to learn to be a professional race driver in a Winston Cup car you can do so, but the odds are stacked against you without the right experience and training (you could shorten your life expectancy). Go-karting has the correct speed and expense ratio for beginners.
Now you know who go-karts.