Kart Racing: Entry Into Professional Racing

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

Move over Mario Andretti, these young athletes are training to take on the world of professional race car driving. Among them is Florida native Nick Rickert.

"It's fun. It's something to do, get to spend time with my dad, all my friends," says kart racer Nick Rickert.

"We do soccer and racing full time. We do a local series, a regional series and a national series," adds his father Karl Rickert.

As Nick Rickert competes around the country, the new karting track in Monticello, Florida sponsors him. This is common for serious kart racers who want to become professional race car drivers.

"This is how most race car drivers get started. They get started in cart racing and the beauty of this is that we have a package that's completely spec so everybody races exactly the same go-cart," says Salomon Bendayan, an Easykart company investor.

And they can start competing as young as five years old. Races are divided into age divisions.

After each race, the drivers must weigh in with their karts. For each division there's a minimum amount of weight that they must reach, and if they go below that they're disqualified.

But racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour three inches above ground can be dangerous. Fortunately, this competitor was not hurt.

Karting racers and their parents say they're required to wear lots of protective gear in order to participate in the sport.


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