The Daytona International Speedway hosted kart racing’s biggest event ever — the 1979 WKA (World Karting Association) Winter Enduro Nationals. At Daytona, 946 karters from around the world competed in 19 different classes. The WKA Winter Enduro Nationals are held every December at Daytona Beach, Florida. This race is one of the four major events of the kart-racing year. The others are the WKA Winter Olympics in Barnesville, Georgia, every March, and the IKF (International Kart Federation) Road-Racing Grand Nationals and the IKF Sprint Grand Nationals, which are both run annually at different tracks during the summer. The winners of these amateur races receive handsome trophies and valuable prizes, as well as the prestige that comes with being a karting champion.
While the grand national championship races highlight the kart-racing season, national championship events are nearly as prestigious. Among them are the Central Sprint Winternationals and the Eastern Sprint Winternationals, both of which are sanctioned by the International Kart Federation. Just below the national level of competition is the divisional level. Regional races are run in each of the nine World Karting Association divisions in the United States, and championship races in each of the ten IKF divisions across the United States and Canada. In addition to the grand national, national, and divisional races, there are hundreds of local races held throughout the year. At these races, drivers new to karting, or those who cannot afford to travel to the big races, compete against each other. The International Kart Federation and World Karting Association sanction local races and award points to the top finishers. At the end of the kart-racing season, both karting organizations name the year’s hi-point champion in each class.
Major kart races are also held outside the United States and Canada. Karters from all over the world travel every year to the Hong Kong International Karting Prix. In Europe, the World Championships of karting take place every summer. Drivers from South America, Japan, Canada, and the United States compete against the finest European drivers. Because a country may send only five drivers to the World Championships, this international event has the strongest competition of them all.