Many professional racers got their start behind the go-kart wheel and the sport doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Think you can handle one of these small speed-demons? Take the ultimate go-kart quiz to find out!
The World Karting Association, or WKA, says it's best to drop the "go" prefix and just call the sport karting. We all know they move fast, the "go" is just a given.
The first kart was built in 1956, but it wasn't the only thing that became a hit that year. Elvis Presley got on the U.S. music charts with "Heartbreak Hotel" the same year.
Art Ingels built the first kart and kick-started a whole new motorsport genre. The World Karting Association now boasts more than 10,000 members.
Karting is one of the best ways to start a professional racing career. Both Danica Patrick and Jeff Gordon first started their racing careers in karting.
Sprint karts are the most versatile of all the karts and by far the most widely used in races. If you're looking to pick one up for yourself, start saving your pennies. Sprint karts cost around $2,000 to $5,000.
The average range of speed for karts is 45 and 80 miles per hour (72.4 and 128.7 kilometers per hour), but some karts can go faster than 100 miles per hour (160.9 kilometers per hour).
Racing karts don't have a suspension. Just strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride!
Depending on the type of engine, kart engines average 5 to 30 horsepower. This may not sound like much until you start reaching speeds near 80 miles per hour (128.7 kilometers per hour). Not to mention you're just inches off of the ground.
The first kart engines were repurposed lawnmower engines. It was good news for the first karts, bad news for the yard-of-the-month homes. Nowadays, kart engines are built specifically for karts from a number of manufacturers.
Laying down on the job pays off for enduro kart racers. The increased aerodynamics allows the karts to reach speeds averaging well over 90 miles per hour (144.8 kilometers per hour).
Most sprint kart tracks are 1/4-mile and 1/2-mile (.4 and .8-kilometers) in length. Tracks designed for sprint karts will always have left and right hand turns as well.
If you're thinking about getting involved in karting, you're in luck! Kart tracks can be found throughout the entire United States.
If you haven't found a track to race your kart at, you're just not looking! There are over 100 World Karting Association tracks throughout the United States.
There's a reason why they call them sprint karts, and it's not just for their speed. These karts might not compete in the longest races, but they have to do about 10 to 15 heat laps.
Not only are enduro karts the fastest, they also get to ride on professional racing tracks like the Daytona International Speedway. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
Oval karts don't have a broken steering wheel, but these karts are designed to turn in only one direction. The chassis is built to withstand tight and almost constant force from one direction.
Competitive races for kids start at age 8. So while some kids are staying at home studying their multiplication tables, others are out learning how to race high-performance machines. After-school program anyone?
Time flies when you're having fun! But it only took one year for official kart racing rules to be published by the International Kart Federation once the first kart was introduced.
Karting can run on a number of different types of tracks, but ice and gravel roads don't make the cut. Kart races are typically held on soft dirt, asphalt or packed clay depending on the race and type of kart.
Always remember that less weight equals more speed! The average kart weighs about 150 pounds (68 kilograms) without the driver.