What licensing (in Australia) do you need to race?
What licensing (in Australia) do you need to race?
CAMS superkart licence. Join the Queensland Superkart Club Inc and apply for a CAMS Provisional Superkart licence. There is three levels of Superkart licence.
- • PSK - Provisional Superkart, Provisional Superkart Junior (PSKJ) - Up to State Championship events
- • NSK - Up to National Championships
- • NSK + International Competition Visa - International events (conditions apply)
Please look at the CAMS website for more information CAMS licensing requirements.
AASA Superkart licence
- • Become a member of a Superkart Club. Licencing can be done in advance or the morning of the event.
Please look at the Queensland Raceways website for more information.
What process do you have to go through to get the licence?
You need to do the following for a CAMS Licence:
- 1. Attend a motor sport lecture - learn about driving etiquette, flags, roles of officials, etc.
- 2. Get a driver medical - ensure you are not dead or about to be.
- 3. Present yourself at three full race meetings, starting form the back of the grid on "P" plates. Drive carefully and have the clerk of course sign your licence each time.
You need to do the following for an AASA Licence:
- 1. Join the Club.
- 2. Fill in the licence form and pay the fees applicable.
How long do the tyres last?
This largely depends on three major factors.
- 1. How abrasive is the surface you are running on and track temprature.
- 2. How hard you are cornering,
- 3. Kart geometry & tyre construction.
As a guide, A 250 International will go through a set of tyres at a meeting that cost $320.00 to $435.00 per set. A 125 Superkart will get 2 or 3 good meetings out of a set of tyres that cost $200.00 to $250.00..
How much does a set of tyres cost?
On the 125cc karts we run Bridgestone YGB or YGA compound at $330 AUD per set. $75 front, $90 rear.
How much fuel do superkarts use?
Superkarts have been developed for horsepower not fuel economy. As a guide, a 125cc Superkart will use about 10 to 15 litres of fuel for a meeting compared to about 30 to 40 litres for a 250 Superkarts. Can use Avgas or Unleaded (Pump or 102 race fuel).
Is Superkarting safe?
A classic quote from sir Jack Brabham to his son David (during interview for Australian F1). "In my day motor racing was dangerous and sex was safe, how things have changed! " Yes, motor racing can be dangerous, but it is all relative. The average age of the superkart driver is late 30's. Gone are the desires to risk all to win. These vehicles command respect. Spending even one lap in one will quickly indicate you have to be careful. Rubbing paint like in sprint karting will get you in serious trouble. Serious accidents happen when you hit something, so track design and runoff areas are the important issue here. Circuits are getting better, many of the tracks that hold bike racing are extremely good. Like sprint karting the majority of incidents start and end with a spin. With body work protecting the wheels, the risk of rollovers from wheel touches is greatly reduced.
What safety equipment do I need?
Get the best helmet you can afford. A carbon and or Kevlar helmet is light and strong. Some people invest in a neck collar, it is amazing what you head can do when you body stops suddenly. A neck collar also saves your neck after the G forces keep pulling at your head. Depending on the class that you decide to run in, you will need either a Cordura or leather race suit. In the 125cc class Cordura or Level 2 CIK approved suit is acceptable, yet in all 250 Superkarts leather is Mandatory. Don't forget the abrasion resistant gloves and kart racing boots that cover your ankles.
Why do this sport as a team?
There are several benefits for running a team. The following points are considered to be the major ones.
- • Safety. Naturally having people there to help you should you come off the track is extremely important.
- • Common transport. By forming a team the issues around transport become easier.
- • Common spare parts.
- • Pit help/crew.
- • Sponsor presentation. Sponsor are more likely to be attracted in signage on more than one kart.
- • Presentation for sport. More people are attracted to the sport when teams as well as individuals are represented.
- • Karts weight 90kg. They are difficult to lift, get a team member to help.
- • Many jobs require two people. Loading karts, starting.
- • Common infrastructure will help reduce costs.
- ◦ Air compressor.
- ◦ Tyre gauges.
- ◦ Mechanical Tools.
- ◦ Electrical tools and spares.
How is superkart driving different?
If you have driven karts before, even hire karts, the concept is very much the same. Brake on left foot, accelerator on the right. There is a clutch on the steering column for Gearbox classes but is only used at from a standstill, not during gear change. In terms of performance this is where the similarity stops. Superkarts are a quantum leap in performance for all other forms of karting. With big HP, fantastic brakes, low centre of gravity and extremely good handling many full size circuit cars have trouble keeping pace. The main things to notice when first driving a superkarts is the different seating position. In many of the classes the seat is reclined and envelops your body. You sit within the kart as opposed to sit on the kart feel of sprint karts. Some karts have a fully reclined seating position. Other items to note is the power. Stand on the accelerator and at first nothing much happens, then the power band comes in and the kart rockets forward at a speed that is hard to comprehend (like a big boost turbo vehicle). Next stand on the brakes and the kart will de-accelerate so quickly you will have to drive up to the first corner!
Should I buy a 125cc or 250cc?
- • Go to some races and watch how fast each class is. Take clean underwear!
- • Visit your local club and find out all the information you need to know.
- • Check out what are the popular classes in your local club. If there is a weakness is one of the categories then keep this in mind. Ultimately you will be racing, make sure there is sufficient regular member in you category.
- • Driver experience. Do not overestimate your driving ability. Superkarts are very fast.
- • 250cc International superkarts.
- ◦ The acceleration, cornering ability, braking and physical demands of these machines are best suited to people with a good motor racing background.
- ◦ Although some courageous people start in 250cc Superkarts, if you have not had any previous racing experience it is best not to start with these categories.
- • Reliability of engine categories.
- ◦ 125cc Rotax Max Superkarts should last 20 hours without too many problems and little maintainance.
- ◦ 125cc Stock Honda Superkart should last a couple of years without too many problems and little maintainance.
- ◦ 125cc Gearbox run Honda RS125 or TZ125 or Rotax 129/ 130 engines that are design to run at high rpm for extended periods of time.
- ◦ 250cc National are motocross engines. There is also some vibration issues with some of these units.
- ◦ 250cc International are bespoke Superkart engines and GP motorcycle racing engines.
- • Cost
- ◦ The motocross-motor based classes have motors that are more readily available (because they are used in common motocross motorcycles) and hence are far cheaper than the GP motors. In contrast, the GP motors are more difficult to obtain and more expensive and have higher running costs.
- ◦ Obtaining a GP motor will take some time. Sourcing the right motor with good history will generally take longer than a motocross engine.
Should I buy new or second-hand?
- • How much do they cost?
- ◦ 125cc Rotax Max new $8000.00 AUD Second hand $2000.00 to $5000.00
- ◦ 125cc Stock Honda new $12000.00 AUD Second hand from $7500.00
- ◦ 125cc Gearbox new $19000.00 AUD Second hand $5000.00 - $14000.00
- ◦ 250cc National new $22000.00 AUD Second hand $8000.00 - $15000.00
- ◦ 250cc new $38000.00 AUD Second hand $8000.00 - $17000.00
- • Buy new if you can afford it?
- ◦ It's new! You won't have many problems for the 1st year.
- ◦ Buying new means you know the history of the kart and motor.
- ◦ You will know the supplier, hence the supplier can help you become established and fix your kart if you break it.
- • Buy a late model motor so that it keeps it resale value.
- ◦ If you buy the current model you are able to obtain spare parts readily and your kart will maintain a cost resale price for at least 3 years.
- • Who should I buy from a 2nd hand kart?
- ◦ Someone who is winning races regularly. These people usually will want to upgrade.
- ◦ Someone who has had success in the last 2 years and may be moving out of the sport.
- ◦ Check to the CAMS logbook. Major damage and repairs will be inspected and recorded by race officials.
What else will I need to buy before I can go racing?
- • Personal equipment do I need
- • Race suit or leathers
- ◦ Leather is mandatory for all 250cc classes in Australia, it is not for 125cc Superkarts. You only need to look at GP and Superbike racing to realise leather is going to provide the best protection. It has very good abrasive qualities and most suits are provide with significant padding in all the right areas. Leather does have some drawbacks though. It is very hot in summer and humidity. Leather is not as easy to apply sponsor advertising.
- ◦ Cordura or Cordulon for 125cc classes. These suits have been derived from sprint karting. The cut of the suit often matches that latest F1 styles. Both types of nylon (Cordura or Cordulon) provide good abrasion resistance. These suits are cheaper than leather and provide a good base for embroidery of sponsor advertising.
- • Helmet
- ◦ Fibreglass vs Carbon/ Kevlar. Both helmets are built to meet international standards so are more than capable. The Carbon and/ or Kevlar helmet will generally be lighter and exceed the standard in strength more than the fibreglass unit.
- ◦ Motorcycle vs Motor Racing helmet. The debate could go on for many pages... There are many features on the motor racing helmets that make them safer in a racing environment. These features would make the day to day use on a bike helmet difficult (eg large neck roll, locking visors, narrow eye ports, duck bills). The racing helmets made specifically for open wheeler vehicles have also had significant R&D spent on them for aerodynamics as related to open wheelers nor bikes. On the other hand bike helmets are cheaper, are often available in many colours, visors are cheap, they have very good ventilation and anti-fog devices. Go try a range of helmets on get an appreciation for the benefit of each. Don't forget of all the safety equipment you will use this one will contribute more to saving you life than any other, spend good money on it!
- • Visor - Get two visors if you can. Tinted and clear. Remember they should be easy to change at the track. Keep them in a clean soft/padded container to protect them from scratches.
- • Gloves, any abrasion resistant Kart racing variants will do. Be mindful they are there to
- a) protect you fingers
- b) give good grip.
They must have very good abrasion resistance.
- • Neck brace, this is not only a safety issue, but also reduces fatigue. Remember you head weighs 5kg + helmet. If your karts stops suddenly then your head will keep moving. Whiplash! Ouch! These machines generate incredible G forces the neck brace is going to help support your head and helmet.
- • Change of underwear, any clean pair will do. Usually only needed in first season.
- • Balaclava, well it's a personal thing, the main reason people use these in superkarting is to absorb sweat or fight cold, and make a firm fit for their helmet.
- • Boots, like your gloves they are there to do two things,
- a) protect your feet and ankles
- b) give you grip and feel of the pedals.
Most Kart racing boots are good, just remember try them on when you are in the kart. Often the foot well is very cramped. You may need to adjust the pedals or heel rests to enable you to clear the body work. Splaying you feet may work , but you feet will bounce around quite a bit with the larger bumps, make sure you are comfortable.
What tools do I need?
Tools - This is simply a factor of the way in which you kart is built. The chassis we use has 5mm,6mm hex keyed bolts, and 10mm,13mm Nyloc bolts. So overall the number of tools required can be minimised.
- • Side-cutter pliers for cutting cable ties
- • 1/4in drive socket set A/F & Metric
- • Screw drivers
- • Hex drivers (forged) 3mm-10mm
- • Spark plug tube
- • Feeler gauge to measure spark plug gap
- • Wire brush
- • Metric tap and die set (both left and right hand thread)
- • Hack Saw
- • Chain breaker
- • Cordless drill
- • Air Compressor
- • Tyre gauge.
- • Fuel cans - 2 x 20 litres
- • Fuel mix cans - 4 litres
- • Oil measuring tube
- • Siphon hose to move fuel from one container to the next
- • Funnel
- • Radiator inhibitor (without glycol as it is banned)
- • Water container (4 litres)
- • Rags or paper towels to cleanup
- • Shifting spanner
- • Pliers (normal and long nose)
- • Soldering iron
- • Heat gun (for heat srink)
- • Battery Charger to suit your batteries.
What spare parts do I need?
Here is a good reason to form that team. Sharing the costs of the spares will enable you to keep a full inventory of parts. There is nothing worse and making you way to the track, paying the track fees/entry fees and breaking down only to find you don't the part to replace. We carry all but major components that are not really suited to track-side replacement.
- • Chain
- • Tyres, slicks and wets
- • Fuel Pump or fuel pump kit
- • Clutch cable
- • Throttle cable
- • Throttle return spring
- • Exhaust pipe springs
- • R clips for holding on bodywork
- • Fuel line
- • Brake line
- • Assorted metric bolts
- • Assorted metric nyloc nuts
- • Washers
- • Pop rivets - Aluminium
- • Loctite thread lock
- • Fuel filters
- • Air filters
- • Batteries
- • Cable ties - A must
- • Motor bike clutch/brake cable length adjustors
- • Brake pads
- • Gearbox oil overflow pipe
- • Carburettor fuel overflow pipe
- • Overflow catchment bottle (small plastic orange juice bottle)
- • Stainless steel tie wire
- • Spake plugs
- • Electrical wire and connectors
What instrumentation is required?
The minimum needed is a tacho and temperature gauge. Other items are debateable. Some drivers are using detonation measuring devices to help prevent detonation. Choosing a tacho. Well there is two choices analogue or digital. The thing to remember here is it must be easy to read. You will not have much time to glance at it. Often the analogue tacho is easy to glance at, as you can rotate the body of the instrument so the correct RPM limit is vertical (12 o'clock), so there is no need to read just check the needle position. Digital tacho's have their benefits, small, and no moving parts. The drawbacks are; often battery powered and harder to read. You may have to spend more than $500AUD to get a useable digital tacho with temprature inputs. The ultimate solution may be the shift light with a programmable shift point. The light or multiple shift lights, light up when a certain RPM is achieved. The advantage is put it in the line of sight and shift when it glows. As per tacho's temperature gauges come either digital or analogue. Most drivers will opt for the digital gauge.
I'm at the track, what should I check?
Well here is the check list.
- • Clean your kart
- • Type pressures
- • Water level in radiator
- • Chain lube every time you come into the pits
- • Battery voltage under load - use a multimeter to check for voltage when fuel pump and other accessories are on.
- • Brake fluid level
- • Spark plug appearance - it's the easiest way to check what you engine is up to.
- • Brake disk clearance (rubbing pads)
- • Loose body work
- • Enough fuel - don't run out out the back of the track.
- • Wheel nuts
How should I mix fuel?
- • Only in small quantities, about 4-5 litres
- • Mix as required don't pre mix and store. This will help prevent you from forgetting to add oil, so that the fuel mix is accurate, and so that the fuel doesn't go off
- • Don't mix oils (types and brands)
- • Try to source your fuel from the same place each time. Remembering which outlet distributes bad fuel when it occurs will be easier
What should I do after every race day?
Clean your kart, keep the presentation as good as you can get it. This helps keep sponsors happy and attracts new people to the sport. It will also help you retain as much value as possible. You may sell your kart to another member of your club. They will recall your attention to details. Check for any damaged fibreglass, even small rocks can do damage due to the ride height. If you have come off the track or had a minor shunt, check the wheel alignment and chassis measurements. Record your race or practice information in a log book. Number of laps, laptimes, tire pressures, wheel alignment measurements, engine hours (important for rebuilds).
Should you use an air filter?
This is another classic personal preference issue. Some people run no filter and claim a performance boost. Hard to really tell without hitting the dyno sheets. The basic rule of thumb should be use a filter if you find the track dusty, particularly if off track is very dry and dusty. You may come of the track and the motor will ingest a large amount of dirt if there is no filter. Grit and 2 stroke motors are not compatible.