The classes listed above are a quick look at what is available in Australian Karting. The standard (also know as SL) classes are where you are probably best of concentrating your efforts to start with. I have put the Performance and FMK classes in so as you can get an overall view of the scope of classes run in this country. As you will find their is just about a class for everyone from poor to rich, thin to fat, short to tall. As a beginner though I would suggest that you concentrate on the standard classes as the other classes usually have some sort of license requirements before you can compete in them. Plus the cost can be a little more than you expected. It would be advisable to note that as a beginner you will also have to compete in three races as a P plater. This means you start at the back of the grid. This is to give you a feel for how it all is before your number is drawn out of the hat and you have to start at the front of the grid!
These Classes run the Yamaha KT100J motor (you will often here this class refereed to as J’s). This class was designed for juniors and seniors who are starting out in Karting. It is designed as an introductory class. Although juniors have to compete in this class, Seniors can skip it and go straight into the more powerful Clubman class if they wish. Some of the benefits of this class are.
- It is economical to run as engines have a fairly long life span between rebuilds
- Tyers used are a standard tyre that have a hard compound therefore giving them a longer life
- Engine modifications are strictly governed to keep costs down
- This class offers a great starting point for people who have no experience
The classes that use this engine are
Midgets - Driver and Kart must weigh no less than 90 Kg – For drivers aged between 7 and 11
Rookies - Driver and Kart must weigh no less than 100Kg – For drivers aged between 10 and 12
Junior National Light – Driver and Kart must weigh no less than 110 Kg – For drivers aged between 12 and 16
Junior National Heavy – Driver and Kart must weigh no less than 135 Kg – For drivers aged between 12 and 16
Senior National Light – Driver and Kart must weigh no less than 130 Kg – For drivers aged over 16
Senior National Heavy – Drivers and Kart must weigh no less than 150 Kg – For drivers over 16
Note: to help you out a kart and engine in this class can weigh anywhere between 58 to 65 kilos. add your body weight to this and you can see where you should fit in. For example if you weigh 78Kg and your kart weighs 60kg that would equal 138Kg. This would be to heavy for Senior National Light so you would add 12 Kg to your kart to take you up to a comfortable weight in Senior National Heavy.
In closing on this class I would say that it would be suitable for anyone who has no experience. Body weight can start to be a problem if you weigh over 88Kg. The fact is you are going to be to heavy and weight is one of the most important factors in Kart racing. Therefore you would probably be better of looking at the next class which is the Clubman class. Remember as a junior you have no choice and have to start of in these classes, as a senior you can either try your luck with this class or start of in the Clubman class.
These classes run the Yamaha KT100s motor (this class is usually refereed to as Clubman). This motor it is a more powerful motor than the KT100J but still maintains the low running costs due to tight engine regulations and controlled Tyers.
This engine is more suited to those who have had some experience or are confident enough to start with something with a little bit more power. Their would be about one and a half to two seconds difference in the lap times for theses motors. Whilst juniors have to start of in the KT100J classes, seniors can start with this class. The price difference between the two styles of engine is about $150.
These are the classes that use this engine.
Junior Clubman – Kart and driver must weigh no less than 130Kg – Junior drivers must drive in J’s before they can compete in this class
Clubman Light – Kart and Driver must weigh no less than 130Kg – For drivers over the age of 16
Clubman Heavy – Kart and driver must weigh no less than 150Kg – For drivers over the age of 16
Clubman Super Heavy – Kart and driver must weigh no less than 170Kg – For drivers over the age of 16
Clubman Over 40’s – Kart and driver must weigh no less than 150Kg – For drivers that are over 40 years of age.
Note: to help you out a kart and engine in this class can weigh anywhere between 60 to 68 kilos. add your body weight to this and you can see where you should fit in. For example if you weigh 78Kg and your kart weighs 60kg that would equal 138Kg. This would be to heavy for Clubman Light so you would add 12 Kg to your kart to take you up to a the minimum weight in Clubman Heavy.
These classes run a variety of different engines and are usually more suited to those with a bit of experience. Once again they are all 100cc direct drive engines. This time though the configuration of the engines can be Piston Port, Reed or Rotary Valve. In general they are much more expensive to run due to the higher performance they put out. The fastest engines will put out between 18500 and 21000 revs. This puts incredible strain on engines and you need to be an experienced in tuning your kart to prevent it blowing up. These classes also run on softer Tyres , which in turn means a greater tyre wear rate. The speed of these classes is much quicker than the standard classes with them being anywhere up to 3 seconds a lap quicker. The cost of engines also triples that of say Clubman or National classes.
The reason for explaining the performance classes is so you can gauge where you can go in Karting rather than providing you with a starting point. As I said very few people actually start of in these classes, they are more likely to work their way into them after a grounding in the standard classes.
The Performance Classes Are.
Piston Port – This class runs piston port engines, they also use softer Tyres. The weight for this class is 140Kg minimum so if you weigh much over 75 Kg you are going to be at a disadvantage. This is a Senior and Junior class with juniors having to race Nationals first
200cc Supers – This is the fastest class of sprint kart racing although it is not very popular at all with the class only running a few times a year. These karts run dual reed or rotary valve engines and are extremely powerful, expensive and fast. The weight for this class is 180Kg
200cc Clubman – This class runs dual Clubman engines and is a more accessible class as Clubman engines are a lot cheaper. 200cc Clubman uses the softer rubber and is not as quick as the 200 super class. it does provide a cheaper entry into the performance classes though. 170Kg
Formula 100 – This is the top performance class in Australia, with the class running a light and heavy divisions anyone under 105 kg can race making it more accessible. Reed and Rotary valve engines are used in this class with softer compound Tyres. This class is starting to gain a lot more popularity due to the effort of the AKA and the two weight divisions. It is also a compatible class with the FMK classes (listed is below). This also has had a good effect on the popularity of this class. Weights run are Light 140Kg Minimum, Heavy 165Kg Minimum. Beware though this is an expensive class to run.
FMK classes are regarded as the top class in sprint kart racing. The reason for this is that they run along the same guide lines as the rest of the world. In short nearly every country in the world runs these classes and they are the only classes that have a recognized World Championship. The four classes run are Intercontinental A, Junior Intercontinental A, Formula A and Formula C. Their is also a class above this that is not run in Australia and that is Formula Super A, these karts are the Formula 1 karts of Karting.
Here we will just give you a brief description of each class as this form of racing is usually out of reach for the beginner, although not impossible.
Junior Intercontinental A – This class is limited to drivers under 16 years of age, the class runs Piston Port engines that are fitted with a clutch. This is the only class of sprint Karting. currently running a clutch, hence they have a standing start. Karts in this class are also fitted with very soft Tyres which helps to make for an extremely fast package.
Intercontinental A – The karts in this class are fitted with reed valve engines and run on soft Tyres. As with the other FMK classes their is a lot more scope for engine modifications. With this factor costs can skyrocket. The weight for this class is 140Kg minimum, which is a world standard weight.
Formula A – Unless you are extremely talented and small this is about as far as you can go in the Karting. world. The next step up from here is Formula Super A, with this class usually being reserved for factory drivers or very wealthy drivers you would have to be pretty special to get into it. But back to Formula A for mere mortals. Formula A karts run Rotary Valve engines and once again run on very soft Tyers weight limit is again 140Kg so if your fat like me forget it. All jokes aside this is a very serious form of Karting. and is becoming more popular in this country the cross over between AKA and FMK is becoming lass of a burden on Karters which is making the class more accessible. If you are junior aiming for the top – this is it.
Formula C – This class does not currently run in Australia but is being looked at very closely. The rule book says we have an experimental 125cc Gearbox class but it is currently far from a true formula C. This class is meant to run a Water-cooled 125cc Gearbox engine with soft rubber. It would be nice to see this class up and running in its true form but we will have to wait and see. By the way this class would cost a fortune to run. So their you have it a bit of a run down on FMK racing. If you are seriously interested in this class you can look at the technical specifications and find out more detail. Another thing you should also note is that class only runs at about 5 or 6 meetings a year. In closing though I would have to tell you that these meetings are extremely well run with longer races and a very organized schedule this is due to the fact that only 5 or 6 classes run over a 3 day meeting.
or Non Championship Classes
These classes are not recognised by the AKA as championship classes. They are usually newer classes that are being experimented with. Whilst they are all relevant to karters and show promise of one day becoming full blown championship classes, they are probably not a good place to start. It would be advisable to talk to the people at the club you are going to join to see if they even run such classes.
Out of this group the ones gaining the most popularity are the ResA class and the ARC class. Like I have said though check with your local club and talk to people around the traps to make sure you will be able to run.
PRD RK 100 – This class is a little bit quicker than the Clubman class. they run on softer tyres and weights vary from State to State
ARC Spec 100 Class – This class is just about identical to the Clubman class. At some meetings the class is combined with the Clubman’s for a class called Spec 100. Weights are determined on a State by State basis.
ReSa Engine class – This class is a step up from the Clubman Class and is gaining in popularity. The class run on softer tyres and weights again vary from race to race.
125cc Gearbox Class – This is a very vague class at the moment and i haven’t seen it run anywhere. There have been a few experimental Formula C races, but these are a different version of the 125. We would love to see this class take off, but as a beginner I would not recommend it
125K Whisper – A lot like the gearbox class, it has the same problems. The rules are a bit clearer on this class though. Once again i have not seen this class run anywhere. In so saying i t is probably not a good place to start.