Circuit Karting: The Options

Circuit karting is a brilliant form of entry level motor racing. All the thrills and excitement of F1, but at an accessible level. Of course, some people take their karting very seriously and spend years honing their skills. It's even become a popular proving ground for future stars of F1; Ayerton Senna and Louis Hamilton both began their careers in circuit karting. But it's not just as simple as jumping in your kart and racing off. There are karting circuits all around the UK and each offers a selection of different racing options.

Track Drive Experience

Perhaps you're new to the world of karting and just want to try it out for fun. Track drive experience does what it says on the tin; it allows up to 10 karts to go out on the track for no other reason than to drive. No racing, no trophies, no competition. If you do have a bit more experience behind the wheel, then track drive experience sessions are a great opportunity to get some practice in without having to worry about your position or form.

Track Race Experience

The next step up. Track race experience makes for a short, sharp race with a limited number of competitors (generally around 10 karts). They're the perfect place for novice drivers to begin, whilst more experienced karting enthusiasts will enjoy the more intense driving experience they offer. Don't worry if you lack confidence, each race only lasts for around 15 minutes - that's 40 laps plus a 10 lap qualifying session. Trophies go the three top placed drivers and every competitor gets a precise printout of their lap times.

Endurance Circuit Karting

The Le Mans of the karting world - in fact, an annual 24 hour endurance race is held at Le Mans every year. For those of us booking a place at our local karting circuit, however, the average endurance race is unlikely to last quite that long.

Endurance circuit karting races are available in both solo and team configurations. Solo races will generally last somewhere between 40 and 100 laps with an additional 10 lap practice session to get your grid positions. The scoring is simple; the first three finishers get the trophies. Team endurance circuit karting sessions will be longer, around 60-120 laps (or 1-2 hours). Here, team mates will hot seat in relay fashion, driving the same car in an effort to secure the best times. In team circuit karting, the aim isn't necessarily to finish first, but to complete the most circuits in the time allowed. Just like Le Mans. Most karting circuits will offer a range of race lengths and will likely have a minimum age requirement.

So, whether you're a novice or an expert, you'll find the circuit karting experience to suit you. Find your nearest local karting circuit and book your first (or seventy-ninth) race today.

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