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Racing Dreams

Premiere Date: February 23, 2012

'Racing Dreams' in Context

Quick Facts

Karting is a good training ground for car racing, because karting is generally less expensive and uses less powerful engines. Racing karts are also built with no suspension (no springs or shocks), which makes karting a great learning tool for future race car drivers, as drivers must adjust and handle their karts with extreme precision.

  • The speed of racing karts can vary widely, with "super karts" reaching speeds of more than 160 miles per hour. Recreational go-karts for the general public (those found at amusement parks, for example) typically go no faster than 15 miles per hour.

  • A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission documents 155 go-kart-related deaths of children under the age of 15 between 1985 and 1996. Only one of the deaths described in the report occurred at a racetrack. The majority of go-kart related injuries and deaths occur while children are riding homemade karts, riding on public streets or sitting on drivers' laps.

  • Each class of karting must adhere to a weight rule. For the beginner classes, the weight typically ranges from 150 to 350 pounds, which includes the kart and the driver.

  • Racing karts are typically designed with no enclosed cockpit, which means the driver will not be "pinned" in the case of a crash. A car racer, on the other hand, is strapped into the car, which makes fire retardant clothing necessary in case of fire.

  • WKA racers are required to wear full face helmets and gloves. Many racers also wear full-length, abrasion-resistant suits (similar to something worn by a motorcycle racer), neck collars, elbow pads, rib protectors and auto-racing shoes with no-slip soles.

  • "Karting" and "go-karting" are interchangeable terms, though serious racers typically refer to their vehicles as "karts," while "go-karts" are often thought of as recreational vehicles.

  • The WKA technical manual, published every October, contains the rules and regulations for the following year's racing season.

Photo caption: Director Marshall Curry  Credit: Trujillo Paumier

» Aspen Motorsports Park
» Bardi, Joe. "Movie Review: Marshall Curry's Racing Dreams, Starring Annabeth Barnes, Joshua Hobson and Brandon Warren." Creative Loafing Tampa, May 21, 2010.
» Burke, Tom and Tony Kovaleski. “Parents of Girl Killed at Go-Kart Race Talk to 7NEWS.”, May 18, 2011.
» "Go-kart Related Injuries & Deaths to Children, September 2000." U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Library.
» Holden, Stephen. "Too Young for Driver’s Licenses, but With Full-Throttle Ambitions." The New York Times, July 8, 2010.
» Holder, Bill. "Kart Racing - Get on Track!" Stock Car Racing, February 2009.
» Sugar River Raceway
» Wolfkill, Kim. "Superkarts - Super Speeds - Racing." Road & Track, September 29, 2005.
» World Karting Association
» 8W

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