Outdoor Go Kart Racing Near Me – Find an Outside Track
Outdoor go kart tracks are an absolute thrill. The tracks tend to be a little wider, have longer straights, and the karts a bit more top speed. The safety regulations and restrictions vary from state to state, but all maintain a similar minimum requirements baseline. So before you go book an outdoor racing event, you may need to get the age, height, and weight restrictions if for example you were booking a youth birthday party. Below I will discuss where to find your local outdoor tracks, how the outdoor go kart racing near me works, and other details to get the most out of your track day.
Outdoor Go Kart Racing Near Me – Track Locator
Use the map to find “Outdoor Go Kart Racing Near Me” and “Outdoor Go Kart Tracks Near Me”. This will show all the specific outdoor racing go kart tracks.
If you have a limited result set above, zoom out the map. You can also try looking at “go kart tracks near me“, which will display, both the indoor and outdoor tracks in your local area. Some places above may not be labeled as Go Kart Tracks, but as Family Fun Entertainment places. These include businesses like mini golf, laser tag, hobby shops, axe throwing, and batting cages. These locations may feature an outdoor tracks as an addition to their core business.
What to Expect When Going Outdoor Go Karting
Karting is an openwheel motorsport where small electric motor or gas powered vehicles are driven around a track in competition. Your local outdoor track will be a recreational karting experience where you are pitted against other amateur drivers, for a few laps of racing fun. Anyone within the age, height, and weight restrictions is eligible to race providing that they follow the required safety regulations.
Outdoor Operation Changes Due to COVID
While outdoor karting places are easier to social distance then indoor tracks, many are taking precautions. This includes sanitizing the karts and helmets after each race. They are also requiring their staff to wear masks and gloves. This is important because they need to get close to you to make sure you are seat belted in correctly.
Booking races at many locations has changed as well. Some are more lenient on reserving the track for a race with your friends. This is to limit the exposure of germs with people who are not in your group. To find out what your local outdoor karting track is doing during COVID , you should call ahead. At the outdoor go kart racing near me near you can only come show up with an advanced reservation and they have stopped walk-ins.
Outdoor Go Karts Can be Gas or Electric
Outdoor karts tend to be a little more geared for speed then the indoor karts. Depending on the place they may be gas or electric powered. Gas karts are much faster then electric karts. Each kart will feature a steering wheel, throttle, and brake as well as a safety harness to strap you in. Some may also have a clutch.
Any recreational kart open to the public, will have side bumpers for safety and have some limited speed restrictions for insurance reasons. From place to place they will vary in speed and possibly mechanics. For example some places you will have a clutch, while others are automatic.
Speed of Outdoor Karts
Speed wise you will find are range of Karts that go from 40 to 60 mph. 60 mph is super fast and I have only come across a few outdoor go kart racing tracks near me that can achieve that level of speed. Even if the kart can potentially do 60, sometimes the tracks length of straightaway prevent you from ever getting the kart that fast anyway. If you find a racing event at an actual super speedway like Dominion Speedway in Virginia, you may reach those speeds, because you are racing on a track for cars.
There are some tracks, often at a family fun center, were the karts aren’t fast and so sometimes helmets are not required. There may even be some kart designs were it can have two people, so a parent can drive with a child as a passenger.
Seating Adjustments for Height
Most karts can comfortably fit a person between 5 and 6 feet tall. Since I’m 6’1 I often have to crank the seat back and let my knees poke out from the sides of the steering wheel. As long as your limbs are within the kart you will be safe to race. For shorter folks, you need to be able to reach the pedals with the seat adjusted all the way forward.
The Outdoor Go Kart Track
Outdoor tracks are characterized as being wider, having longer straights, larger layouts, and less turns when compared to indoor tracks. The borders of the track in the turns will often feature bumpers or old used car tires to protect drivers and the karts from going off the track. On the straights there is often no border and just grass areas that you can drive off into. The borders and bumpers are all dependent on where the track is located. If for example its next to a major road, then there will be bumpers. If the track is in the middle of a huge grass field, there may be no border bumpers at all.
Since outside tracks have longer straights and are sometimes just ovals, karts can achieve higher speeds on them. A properly braked turn, hitting the late apex, will help achieve maximum kart speed on the longest straight. Another exciting element of outdoor tracks is racing at night under lights. Some race courses will feature stadium style lighting that allows them to keep racing going until late hours of the night.
The downside of racing outdoors is that its always weather pending. Even the slightest hint of rain can cause the oils in the track to come out. This makes conditions very slick leading to reduced traction and increased danger to the karters. Outdoor tracks unfortunately have to cancel events if the weather is bad, so that they don’t put people at risk. The other thing about outdoor kart racing is it’s seasonal. Depending on what state your located in, your track is likely closed in the winter.
Outdoor Tracks Feature Two Kinds of Racing
Most outdoor racing venues feature two styles of races: first to finish and/or fastest lap.
First to Finish: This is your typical competitive race where you have 10 to 16 karts lined up on the grid and all start at the same time. This is the closest to a pro style kart race. This style of race is a lot of fun and you can talk junk to your competitors, because you are so close to them. The downside is there is banging and bumping, its hard to pass, and the person starting last is at a disadvantage. There is often a cluster at turn one, which can be frustrating to new drivers.
Fastest Lap: This is where they have multiple karts on the track, but they start them in staggered times (15 to 20 seconds apart). Here you are still competing with others, but your goal is to simply get the fastest lap around the track possible. This is much more easily achieved because there is less congestion, you may not need to worry about passing, and you won’t get bumped around. The downside is while it’s still adrenaline pumping, you don’t get the satisfaction of passing others or talking trash while racing.
What Can I do to Win a Race
If you are new to go kart racing, there are always a few challenges to executing a winning strategy. Here at Go Kart Source, we have several articles with pro tips on finding the fast line, passing like a pro, and advanced turning techniques. While i definitely recommending at least skimming through those articles here are a few very simple basics you can follow:
- Know the rules and what the flags mean – you can’t win if you get disqualified.
- Find the fastest line around the track, which means the line that requires the fewest steering inputs.
- Don’t drift the kart. Drifting is slower and the tires are made for high grip.
- Most people break to early into the corners, break late, turn smoothly, and jump on the accelerator as quickly as you can.
- The most important corner is the one before the longest straightaway on the track – nail that corner to achieve top speed on the straight.
- Minimize your steering movements, the longer you speed with your tires pointed straight, the faster your lap time will be.
- Focus on the mid apex if you are new to racing, most people turn to early and have terrible turn exits.
- Try and go wide on your turn exits, it will help you get to maximum speed.
- Turn exit is more important than turn entry, if you are slow to turn entry, try and recover for a good turn exit.
- The less time you spend on the break the faster you will be.
- Focus only on your individual performance, don’t get caught up in the competitive emotions.
- When you are ready to pass, pass on the inside.
Post Race Data Summary
The outdoor go kart tracks near me offer you a print out of your racing data. It includes metrics on your lap times as well as others you raced against. You can even see the trend on your your lap times changed over the course of the race. Looking at your post race data will help you improve the next time you race outside on the same track.
Can I Wear a Go Pro Camera?
Not all places will let you mount a go pro camera on your helmet. There are however some places that will or simply just don’t care. There is sometimes a safety concern around this as well as an insurance liability concern especially in this day and age of social media. If something was to go wrong with you or someone else and you capture that footage, some places worry about the lawsuit or the reputation damage of it getting out. Especially if the place is negligent in following some safety rules!
Is Outdoor Go Kart Racing Near Me Safe?
Local Outdoor go kart racing is safe as long as your wear helmet, buckle in, and follow the rules. I would advise taking your time to properly fit your helmet. Additionally don’t wear hooded sweat shirts, loose fitting clothes, or open toed shoes or flip flops. There are some tracks were the karts aren’t very fast and helmets are not required.
There will be a race referee present who will regulate the race with flags and a whistle to warn you of accidents on the track. Keep your eye out for this person, because they are the one who can see the whole track and keep you aware of safety situations.
Different states have different regulations. There may be restrictions on age, height and weight. Its best to call ahead before you go and rent karts.
How Much Does It Cost Race?
Price varies by location. I have seen track prices vary from $10 to $50. Some places charge by lap, some by amount of time. You may also need to ask about other fees like helmet rentals or gas. These days some tracks offer a card that you can purchase sets of races and hold on the card. You can get 3 races for $50 and use those races whenever you want, just swipe the card.
At the outdoor go kart tracks near me, renting out for birthday parties and corporate events will require an advanced reservation and at least $100 deposit. The total cost will vary depending on the amount of time and amount of people attending.
Outdoor Go Kart Racing Near Me – Conclusion
Some businesses are straight up outdoor go kart tracks and that’s all they do. Other businesses use go karting to compliment their main business. This is where you might see an outside karting track at a mini golf, batting cage, laser tag, hobby shop, or other family entertainment style place. If you are an interesting vacation spot with great karting, you can check out the 10 best tracks in America…which feature a few outdoor tracks.
Go kart racing on an outdoor track is a lot of fun. The wind in your face, the higher kart speeds, and the longer tracks make this experience unique and adrenaline pumping. No matter what style of race you have, the competition will bring out the best and worst in some people. On the whole kart racing is safe as long as you follow the safety instructions and wear the right clothing. If you are planning something more than a casual show up and race, you will need to book in advance and leave a deposit. This is what I have learned from the outdoor go kart racing near me.