Getting Started

Over the past 60 years kartsport has evolved from a simple weekend pastime to a Nationally and Internationally organised competitive form of motorsport. Even so the original appeal remains the same.  Karts are still the most inexpensive way to enjoy the thrills and excitement of motor racing in a safe and controlled environment.

Superkarting is for those 15 years and upwards, male or female, looking for family fun or downright serious competition, the versatility of Kartsport provides it all.  From its inception in the late 1950's, kartsport has always been a part of motor racing.

There was an explosion of interest as the world discovered the fun of kartsport.  The number of weekend participants grew rapidly and soon a need developed to organise the sport and set rules for competition and the New Zealand Kart Federation Inc. was formed in the early 1960's.  In 2002 the New Zealand Kart Federation Inc. changed its name to KartSport New Zealand and is recognised as the organisation controlling all kart racing in New Zealand.  It consists of a number of Clubs and people who are affiliated or registered with KartSport New Zealand. KartSport New Zealand has a signed agreement of mutual recognition of the organisation by the national body controlling four wheeled motor sport in New Zealand, Motor Sport New Zealand (MSNZ).  Through MSNZ affiliation to the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA), KartSport New Zealand are delegated the authority for control of kartsport in New Zealand by the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK).

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In just over 40 years, kartsport has spread to most countries in the world and become a truly international sport.  The popularity of kartsport stems from the fact that it offers so much, to so many different types of people.  Kartsport can be an inexpensive hobby in which the whole family participates.  Kartsport can be a sport in which the young learn the use of motor vehicles and rewards of competition.  Kartsport can be for the mechanically minded who like the challenge of extracting every ounce of performance from a racing machine.  Kartsport is exciting, safe, fun and affordable motorsport for everyone.

The first look at a kart is usually deceptive.  It's hard to take anything so small seriously, yet closer scrutiny reveals that whilst a kart is simple in construction, it is quite sophisticated in design and theory. 

The chassis of a kart is also its suspension as it is designed to flex and maintain its tyre contact with the road.  A modern kart chassis incorporates a multitude of adjustable parts that can be used to enhance its grip or roadholding.   The use of lightweight materials developed for other forms of motorsport reduces the weight to make exciting performance possible from the small motors.

Kart racing takes three forms.   Sprint racing, Dirt racing and Superkart racing. This website is dedicated to Superkart racing.

SuperKart racing takes place on full size motor racing circuits such as Manfeild, Taupo and Hampton Downs raceways and sprint karts compete at these events with a compulsory clutch and aerodynamic body work is optional.  Superkarts, which are 250cc gearbox karts designed solely for SuperKart racing also compete at these meetings.    


Tyres play an important part in the performance of karts and the relatively small tyres used are a direct development from Grand Prix Racing. The successful karters are the ones who learn to set up their karts to obtain the best performance from their tyres and it is for this reason that so many of todays top drivers and Grand Prix stars learn the basics in kartsport.  A very large percentage of Indy and Formula One stars developed their skills in the world of kartsport.  Drivers such as the late Ayrton Senna, Prost, Hakkinen and Schumacher all started their careers in karts. Here in New Zealand some excellent examples of experience gained in Kartsport can be seen from the achievements of Wade Cunningham who won the Karting World Championship in 2003 as well as Scott Dixon, Greg Murphy, Craig Baird, and Jonny Reid who all spent many successful years racing karts.

intro2.gifThe sport enjoys an enviable safety record.  Drivers are required to wear purpose made and approved driving suits or leathers, approved safety helmets, gloves and lace up shoes that cover the ankles.

Karts have inherently safe design with a low centre of gravity making them very difficult to turn over.  Being so close to the ground the impression of speed and excitement is high.  With minimal weight and a very large tyre contact area they slow or stop very quickly under brakes or when a driver gets off line.

Superkart race meetings are run by the SKDC in conjunction with NZ Racing Drivers league, Play Day, Manawatu Car Club and Taupo Car Club. We share their personell and facilities, but provide our own Kartsport officials

Whilst today's kart bristles with modern technology, its construction is simple in terms of both motor and chassis.  Parts are easy to fit and there are many specialised kart shops and engine builders throughout the country who can assist with all aspects of maintenance from selling the smallest part to complete engine rebuilding services. 

PitsPic.gifKartsport does not have a high powered approach. Friendly expert guidance and advice are in abundance so maintenance of a kart chassis and engine becomes a matter of common sense with a little expert guidance as required.  With little need for a string of mechanics, panelbeaters, spray painters, welders and the like to act as pit crew, the most common assistance competitors have is their families.  Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends make perfect pit crews and create the atmosphere of a true family sport which is very strong throughout all levels of competition.  Superkarts cater for age groups from 15 years upwards and it is not uncommon for a number of people from the same family to compete, Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters.

Perhaps the greatest benefit the entire community derives from kartsport is the involvement of the young in a healthy, competitive sport which invariably produces better drivers.  What better grounding for a girl or boy than a sport where they can develop their confidence and driving skills.

intro3.gifKartsport develops a sense of responsibility and competitiveness while providing safe and exciting motorsport for families and individuals both young and old.  Kartsport is not a free sport and damage to equipment is frowned upon by officials, parents and competitors alike.  Karters learn the basic mechanical understanding of their karts and develop a sympathetic approach to its use.

It can be a sport that will give you a good grounding for future development within a motorsport or simply be a fun way to spend your weekends.  Young karters will soon be tomorrows road drivers and kartsport teaches car control, defensive driving techniques and an appreciation of other vehicles in close proximity to each other and most importantly the dangers of overdriving.  All this and more in a controlled, friendly family atmosphere where the focus is just as much on fun and enjoyment as it is on the competition itself.

Road Racing-"The Truth"

Now let’s put to bed some of the false beliefs which some people hold about road racing.

Road racing is no harder on equipment than sprint racing, in fact it’s the opposite. There is no contact on a road circuit so karts remain in good condition compared to sprint racing where you will regularly be replacing damaged parts due to contact.

Engines do not wear out any faster. Rotax karts only rev to 12500rpm on a road circuit due to the increased resistance caused by the higher speeds.

You do not require any more equipment to road race your kart apart from a large front sprocket. Front fairings are available but not mandatory. Plenty of competitors race with sprint bodywork and achieve excellent results by staying in the draft.

Yes speeds are higher, but all tracks have excellent run off areas, and the thrill of racing your kart at high speed is a lot of fun. You will find yourself smiling as you race, and using the draft from others further enhances the road racing experience.

Road racers are friendly and willing to help each other out to ensure people are on track as much as possible. The club provides welding gear and a compressor to ensure most breakages can be repaired so that you can keep racing.

Road Racing is an experience so different to sprint racing, that it can not be described, it needs to be experienced.

      Hot Start
 
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