What’s the best place to be recognized in karting? SKUSA? WKA? ROTAX MAX CHALLENGE? I looked up the Florida Winter Tour and I think it’s like 3 grand to enter? You rent the engine, but for a grand more you own the thing. Tires and oil aren’t much. Maybe it’s the entry cost, but I wouldn’t know.
Winning in any of those series will get you “recognized”, though I suppose it depends on what your definition of “recognized” is.
The national series are all fairly expensive to enter. That’s why they’re meant for the most serious competitors who feel they have the best chance to win.
WKA is next to dead. If you want top-level competition and to be “the man”, you gotta win at USPKS, SKUSA Pro Tour, Rotax national events, or Florida Winter Tour Rotax.
You shouldn’t start in these events though. These are where the best are racing. You need to work your way up by running local races first, then once you’ve bested everyone there, you move to regional racing, then national racing. Jumping into the deep end will only make the people lapping you really upset.
Unfortunately there isn’t a true licensing system in karting, preventing you from competing above your skill level, though some classes require you to have a minimum amount of experience before allowing you to enter.
We are doing exactly what TJ said to do. Would I want my son to run in national events? Yes. But I also want him to live as well so we have been running only in our local club level for the last two years and he has learned the basics of driving so this year we are going to do a regional event and see how that goes. The key to being successful in karting is patience and a lot and I mean a lot of seat time. There is a huge difference between club racing and a national event so learn how to drive so when you go to a national event you can at least be competitive and not get lapped like TJ said.
Basically it is like playing varsity football in high school at the club level and then playing NFL at the national level. The difference between the two are huge. Which is why we did exactly what TJ advised to do but everyone is different and only you know how much time you have had in a kart and if you think you are ready for national races. my advice is to ask some people at your local track to watch you and have them give you their honest feedback on if you are ready
To give the original poster a sense of how competitive the top levels of karting are: Will Power–yes the current Indy Racing League champion–showed up at the Supernationals race in Vegas last month. He entered the SLOWEST adult class available.
And finished third.
Showing up at a national level event with little or no experience is a bit like picking up a basketball for the first time and going to the McDonalds All-American game. Who knows, you might be the next Kobe Bryant, but even he needed some experience before he could play at that level. Same with karting.