as a budget racer that has done both for a limited time, my vote is for karting. I did SCCA club racing for a few years, and my costs were similar to your plan, about $1000/weekend. Due to costs and logistics, I only actually raced I think 6 weekends in 2 years. And this was running mostly at the back of the pack in one of the low budget classes.
This is my second year in sprint karting and the cost of everything to get in to the TAG class- used chassis, new prd motor package, paying someone to set it up for me, parts, was a little over $3000.
Of course everyone’s budgets different, but I can say for me I’m spending $150-200 per club race day. that breaks down to roughly $40-50 gas and tolls to the track (95 miles away unfortunately), $50 entry fee, $30/day tire wear, $30/day on engine wear and other parts wear/breaking and occasional crash damage. 1 gallon of gas or less (w/oil) – $10-12. For tires, I did 6.5 days (probably around 30 heat cycles) on my last set of YLB tires and only noticed a slight drop off after 20 or so heat cycles. Maybe as I get better I’ll notice more. I haven’t done an engine rebuild yet but I’m planning on a top end after 10 hours which I think will be $300-400.
Other factors – I generally find in karting the racing is a little bit closer, the environment a little more friendly, and it’s actually a little more – exciting – 110mph in a 25 year old beater was not that exciting, 60mph in a high performance kart more so.
I think this is a pretty fair comparison, budget club car racing vs budget club karting. Sure you could spend more in karting traveling and running national events, but then you’d have to compare to running grand am or something.