Starting by doing an arrive and drive day in a kart before going all in is smart. Once you start racing, it is nicer to have your own package. Unless you have an ultra competitive arrive and drive option that doesn’t explode your wallet.
I see no harm in trying something out before you go all in; in fact it’s probably wise. I guess you should ask yourself a qualifying question:
Are you doing this for fun, as a serious hobby, or are you wanting to become a career race car driver?
Regardless of your answer, Arrive and Drive is a good way to get an introduction to driving karts. Depending on your answer, how long you continue to do Arrive and Drive is a more appropriate way of approaching this.
Chances are, you will do an Arrive and Drive session, and become hooked very quickly. It’s the nature of the beast. If this is the case, and you confirm that karting is something you have passion and motivation for, I would then consider the following:
*Did you do well compared to other drivers lap times?
*Did you improve your lap times after multiple sessions?
*Do you feel motivated to dedicate a majority of your spare time to kart racing?
*Do you have a relatively nearby kart club/track in which to run your own kart?
*Do you have the sort of budget required to purchase, fuel and maintain a kart, and pay club membership and race fees?
*Do you have a vehicle in which to transport a kart.
Assuming the answer to the above questions are “yes”, then I think it is fair to say you have the necessary basics to buy a kart and start getting seat time, until you feel confident to race at the club level. It could be that you just want a kart to run on the weekends. If you feel like you can justify spending the money, then go for it. Only you will know whether or not you have the passion required. That is entirely up to you.
The problem you will eventually face is the same problem I faced last year:
You have been doing lots of arrive and drive, you are setting fast lap times, you are progressing your skills, and you are addicted. When you start spending $100/ weekend just to drive go-karts, its time to buy your own. At some point you may have to kill the arrive and drive, take a half year hiatus, save that money, get your own gear and a club membership, and go for it.
Just be honest with yourself. If you feel like you are addicted, you have a knack for it, and you are just going to keep spending money on arrive and drive… it’s time to get a kart.
But honestly: study the sport, go to the local kart club and observe/ask questions, do some arrive and drive races, and be honest with yourself. When you feel like you would be better off buying a kart then throwing money at concession karts, then it is time to buy a kart. Your motivation, and your pocketbook are the only ones fit to truly decide for you.
2010 Spirit [Birel] SP32 // SRS CR125 - Stock Honda [#08]
Hill Country Kart Club - New Braunfels, Texas - http://daledaugherty.wordpress.com/