Go-kart racing is a growing recreational sport for people of all ages. The first go-kart was developed by Art Ingels in 1956 using a surplus lawnmower engine. Today’s go-karts are more responsive and faster, with some reaching speeds of 200 miles an hour. Building a go-kart track requires planning and considerable space to attract riders and keep them coming.
Assess your land needs. A go-kart track should be 800 to 1,200 feet long and 24 to 30 feet wide to give riders adequate space. The average track is 1,000 feet long, which is the equivalent of one acre.
Make a plan. Turns and slopes add to the fun when driving a go-kart and should be included when planning a go-kart track. Use graphing paper to draw the plans and keep measurements consistent.
Decide on a rail system. The railings need to be strong and resilient. Lining the track with truck tires or car tires full of sand creates an effective rail system that is inexpensive and absorbs shock. Steel rails and plastic railing systems are other considerations. Depending on the railing system chosen, poles or fencing may need to be installed before you pour concrete.
Stake out the track by putting small wooden or metal stakes in the ground along its path. Tie string between the stakes to get a visual of the borders of the track.
Excavate the track about six inches deep. Smooth the bottom for an even surface and lay an inch of sand.
Pour concrete and allow it to dry for 24-48 hours before painting lane lines or other road marks.
Assemble rail system. Lay tires along both sides of the track or install commercial fencing following manufacturer recommendations.
Add signage. A traffic signal can warn riders it is the final lap. Consider other signage to help drivers stay on course and remind them of the rules.
Install fencing around the track to keep onlookers a safe distance from the racing go-karts.
Tips & Warnings
- Asphalt is another option for paving the track and can be less expensive to install. However, asphalt needs more maintenance and can cause excessive wear on vehicle tires.
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