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Kart racing

A kart (the word is so spelled by enthusiasts), or go-cart, is a variant of open-wheeler motor sport but with miniaturised, simplified vehicles on scaled-down tracks.

Karts are typically no bigger than is needed to mount a seat for the driver and a small engine, typically a two-stroke engine. Lower-end karts for club racing typically carry 100cc engines that produce from 10 to 16 horsepower, while some high-end karts (sometimes raced on conventional tracks) carry high-powered 250cc engines. Karts typically have no suspension other than that provided by the flexibility of the tyre, nor do they have a differential. Most karts also go without gearboxes.

Kart racing is usually used as a low-cost and relatively safe way to introduce children to motor racing, but adults also race the vehicles as it is one of the only relatively affordable ways for individuals to go racing from their own resources.

As well as "serious" competitive kart racing, many commercial enterprises offer casual hire of karts. Such karts are usually powered by small, detuned four-stroke engines and are far slower than the fully-fledged competitive versions.

Many, perhaps most Formula One racers grew up racing karts, most prominent among them Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen.

A popular video game rendition is Mario Kart.

See also:



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