Karting began during the late 1950s in the parking lots of southern California and quickly spread across the country and throughout the world. Tracks were built, and karters matched driving and mechanical skills against each other in competition, with champions driving faster than 140 miles per hour.
This site describes the development of the sport of karting, its equipment and surety rules, and its major races and champion drivers. Readers will see why karting is so popular today among so many people.
Tinkering with a lawn mower engine and some metal tubing, Art Ingles was trying to fashion a new toy. As Ingles was a race car builder by trade, it was not surprising that his toy should be something like a car. But Ingles’ toy would be smaller than a car, so he called it a “little car.” Soon he had fitted four wheels to the metal frame, attached a steering wheel, installed a seat, and adapted a chain to connect the engine and rear wheels.
Ingles, excited by his creation, took the little car to the Rose Bowl, the famous stadium in Pasadena, California. There, in the spacious parking lot, he zipped around on his new toy. The spectators at the Rose Bowl couldn’t help but notice Ingles in his tiny car, and they watched in amazement.
Duffy Livingstone, a friend of Ingles, was also excited by the little car. He was so captivated that he quickly built one ‘ is own. Requests for the little cars from friends and Rose Bowl spectators flooded Livingstone, Ingles, and fellow race car maker Lou Borelli. The little-car builders worked fast, and almost overnight a dozen of their products were buzzing around the Rose Bowl. Racing the little machines was instantly popular.
Speaking of the first little cars, Livingstone said, “We built them for fun, and they just took off from there. We didn’t have the foggiest idea of what would happen,”
Today Ingles’ little car has been developed into a highly sophisticated machine that is raced by all kinds of people. It is easy to see why the popularity of these little cars continues to grow. They offer the same thrills and challenges as big race cars do — and at a factice of the cost. Because they are inexpensive and easy to maintain, the little cars appeal to people of all ages. Aspiring race car drivers, or those too young to drive cars, can practice their driving skills with the little cars. Fast drivers can race them at dizzying speeds far more safely than they can drive their cars and motorcycles. With their low center of gravity and sturdy construction, the little cars are easy to handle and control even at speeds as high as 140 miles per hour(mph).
People everywhere now know of the pleasures of the little cars. The tiny machines that began as toys in southern California’s parking lots did not remain there long. They spread to all parts of the world, and with them their owners created an entirely new sport, that of kart racing, or karting.
To those who participate in karting and who know how exciting and challenging it is, the sport’s tremendous growth is not surprising. And with the ever-growing popularity of karting, the future can hold nothing but more races and greater competition for the sport’s new and old drivers — all of whom will continue having fun and thrills with racing’s fast little cars.