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Sophie Says: Want to become the next racing super star?

In the next installment of Sophie Says, she gives us a first-hand, “behind the scenes” glimpse into the world of karting. Do you want to be the next racing superstar? Read on for all her tips!

So… they’ve seen the whizzing F1 cars flying around an incredible race track on TV and now they want a go. It can be a tricky business getting your kids into motorsport. Where do you start?…
Well, why not follow in the footsteps of F1 greats such as Ayrton Senna, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton and try karting. I was eight years old when I first went karting at my local indoor circuit. Karting is the perfect route for youngsters wanting to have fun and get into motorsport (and for parents; most kart circuits offer an affordable arrive and drive or let’s go-karting session, where they can get to grips with the kart and have a fab fuel filled thirty minutes with all the gear provided for them).

Image Credit: Sophie Gill Motorsport

Find your local indoor track (many companies such as Teamsport have epic tracks located around the country) and get practicing! Indoor circuits are perfect for beginner drivers to learn race craft but outdoor karting is where the fun really starts! Of course, you don’t need to purchase a kart to have a good time; hire kart championships are a brilliant way to have affordable fun and simply practicing is also fun!
If your child really has caught the racing bug and you want to take them to the next level of karting by getting them a kart beware; there are lots to chose from! There are many different karting classes for all different ages, ranging from the Bambino class for young kids aged 5-8, where the races are time trials, to the unbelievably fast adult gearbox karts. For kids age 4-12 the classes are Bambinos and cadets.
The cadet class consists of two different karts; Honda and Iame. Iame cadets have two-stroke engines which are faster but generally less reliable than Honda’s four-stroke engines. And for slightly older kids (age 12-16), there are many different junior classes. It’s also a case of going to your local track and seeing which classes are the most popular and get big grids. Talking to parents of the racers is a great way to get some useful advice; they are usually a friendly bunch (unless you start beating them!).

Image credit: Sophie Gill

Once your child has their own kart (and all the necessary gear; helmet, gloves, rib protector, overalls, boots etc) and has had a lot of practice, they are ready to race. Kart racing is extremely fun and rewarding!
Karting can lead to many different careers and motorsport series including GP3, touring cars and even F1! So, if your kid has the need for speed, take them to their local track and give them a go! Soon, they could be whizzing around a race track…
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