What is Karting?

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Kart racing was first introduced to this country by a group of US airmen driving home made karts fitted with lawn mower engines. It has developed significantly since those early days into an international motor sport discipline which has been the breeding ground for many Formula 1 stars including Lewis Hamilton and our own Jenson Button, the West country driver who started his racing career here at Clay Pigeon Raceway. It is also a hugely competitive sport entertaining many thousands of drivers throughout the world every weeekend of the year.

Before any driver can start Kart racing he/she must hold a kart licence issued by the MSA, the Motor Sports Association, the sports governing body. A full 'starter pack' is available from the MSA including all you need to start a career in motor sport or just to have fun at Club level racing. Starter packs are also available through the Clay Pigeon Raceway.

To obtain a licence the driver must pass a test of competence, both in driving skills and knowledge of the safety rules, including the use of flag signals - an effective way for race officials to communicate with drivers during the race. Drivers also need to demonstrate knowledge of the role of officials and the general rules of the sport. All rules are published and updated each year by the MSA. ARKs tests are available here at Clay Pigeon (call 01935 83713 for details).

Drivers may practice on many circuits including Clay Pigeon without a licence, but this will be needed when the decision is made to start racing.

To participate in a Kart race meeting, once the driver has recieved his/her licence, he/she must be a member of an MSA Club - it is usual to join the Club at which the driver will race most often. Club officials will be delighted to talk withyou about membership.

On the day of the race meeting, drivers and teams will typically arrive at about 7.30 am. Drivers will report to the club and sign on which involves signing an indemnity and acceptance of club regulations. Drivers will also collect a copy of the race order and grid positions for the day. He/she will then attend scrutineering where the where the drivers kart is checked for safety.

The Clerk of the course will give a briefing, which all drivers attend as a mandatory requirement. This provides drivers with essential safety items relevant to the circuit and for the days racing.

Each driver competes in three heats and the finishing positions in these heats will determine starting positions for the finals, the main race of the day for which trophies are presented. Points are awarded for finishing positions in the heats and finals. These points determine the overall championship positions for the year in each class of racing.

If you would like to know more about how to obtain Karts, engines or advice please contact either Clay Pigeon Kart Club or Clay Pigeon Raceway (01935 83713). At Clay Pigeon we are always keen to support new drivers and welcome you at the circuit.