Karting can be a lot of fun for youngsters and families over an evening where drivers can let loose their racing aspirations in a safe and controlled environment. The time is not far when serious competition at tightly organized events will promote the sport and offers the talented driver an opportunity to test himself and find out whether he has the potential to progress into the proper single seater classes like Formula Ford abroad.
Karting in India
Motor sport in India has remained cocooned to mainly national participation till recent times and karting was probably regarded as the games for the richie rich kids to kill their time with when they are bored by something else their parents gave them to keep out of harms way. The tracks were laid out in the sprawling farmhouse grounds and it was strictly a private activity.
Nevertheless, karting in the country is witnessing a sea change. The impetus seems to have poured in from the entrepreneurs who spotted the vast potential of public karting tracks as an extremely lucrative proposition.
Karting specific tracks offer a medley of levels of participation. Kids can have a fun outing on holidays with a basic kart equipped with a governed speed limit to enable them to get used to steering, throttle and brake controls. From there on, being on the wheels becomes addictive and as skills get bettered, the urge to compare and competition develops. Even adults who are experienced drivers can stumble upon unexpected surprises. And to appreciate why this can happen, a somewhat detailed examination of how a kart is built and what it is capable of and what not, is an absolute necessity.
The kart employs a frame or chassis constructed of round or square or rectangular tubing or it can even be a combination of these tube configurations. The front wheels are narrower than the rear wheels in the fashion of typical open-wheel race cars. No suspension systems, front or rear are employed but the chassis tubes are cleverly designed and welded in a way which permits enough flex to absorb some bumps but remains rigid enough to even lift an inside wheel at appropriate times.
To an uninitiated eye, a kart, even the very explosively powerful state-of-the-art ‘shifter kart’ looks pretty simple. No suspension, no differential, no steering rack and just a direct linkage seem very basic. Well, to an extent, it is, and it isn’t also. For instance, there are many an opportunities to tune the frames under steer and over steer tendency. This is achieved by adjustable or replaceable frame members that effect front and rear roll stiffness. Front and rear track dimensions are also usually adjustable.