Superkarts

Become a superkarter.

Photographs by John Rettie

SCENES FROM A RECENT RACE AT LAGUNA SECA:
Superkarts are miniature marvels of performance engineering, featuring metal-matrix-compound brake rotors and carbon-fiber rear wings.
Photographs by John Rettie

Admit it, after reading about Preston Lerner's tooth-jarring experience in a superkart, you're ready to strap yourself into one and go caroming around a track at 150mph with your butt mere inches from the ground. But you're not quite sure where to start. Fortunately, there are plenty of organizations, body shops, race tracks and superkarting driving schools out there to ramp you into superkart nirvana.

Not sure if you're going to like it?

Go to superkarting driving school and give an 80cc or 125cc superkart a whirl around the track for a day. Outfits like Jim Hall Kart Racing School in Oxnard, California or Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, Arizona will, for a couple of Benjamins, outfit you with everything you'll need, from the kart to the safety gear, then teach you how to handle the pint-size fireballs.

Already taken the classes, gotten the itch, but aren't prepared to slap down the Gs to buy a kart yourself (or, like we urban folk, don't have a garage to store it in)?

Gather up a couple of similarly kart-addicted friends and head down to an arrive-and-drive endurance race. It's more expensive (upwards of $700 for a team of 3 to 6 drivers, plus $300 to rent a kart for the day; safety equipment extra), but still not up to the level of commitment of actually owning and maintaining your own kart.

Hearn Competition Karting (southern California only)

Endurance Karting (nationwide)

Ready for the big-time?

Classes? Check. Your own color-coordinated helmet and racing suit set-up? Check. Ten thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Check. Now's the time to pony up the cash and get your own superkart. The overseeing regional or national organizations for superkarting have plenty of tips and links to get you into your own superkart. One thing Superkarts! USA (a national organization) advises: If possible, buy local. A local kart-maker can get to the track when you test-drive the kart, and help work out any technical kinks on the fly.

Southern California Karters (southern California only)

Need more info?