Karting Dad

karting dad

We stumbled into owner/ driver karting almost by accident. Having progressed at the local arrive/drive tracks, I searched
for the opportunity for Junior
to try something quicker and discovered Clay Pigeon Kart Club’s owner/driver open days
in the club TKM karts. I had no intention of buying anything; this was just a free go in a fast kart. Three months later I was clearing space in the garage…

During those months I had a lot to ponder: Could we afford it? Could I spanner a kart? With a Clio as our only transport option, could I even tow the thing?Budget was the biggest hurdle. I created a spreadsheet detailing ‘all’ (ha!) of the costs and came up with a figure of £120 per day. The pitch to my wife had gone along the lines of “We’ll only be spending another £50 for as much as an hour’s more track time”.

The start-up cost wasn’t of course that easy to set aside. My £1,000 budget had to cover a towbar, a camping trailer and everything else that was needed to get us started. I was offered a retirement package for £2,200. I should have made a £2k offer and lived happily ever after but I was determined to stick to budget and so built a package around the main components with the practice engine. It was a great deal but I’ve bought most of the things that I opted not buy at the time and spent much more in the process. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Our budget allowed for one day’s karting per month but we were practising as well as participating in the race weekends and our costs had grown threefold. Birthdays and Christmas (both yours and his) are excellent opportunities to buy more gear. £4,594 at the end of year one seemed like a lot at the time but I was certain we’d improve things in year two – we now had everything we’d need. The trouble is that there is always something else you ‘need’. We did a lot more racing in 2014 than I had planned and our running costs totalled £2,853 and the maintenance/repair costs added another £699. Non-essentials weighed in at over £1,131 but that included an engine trade-in that saved a rebuild.. I didn’t really need those full mag rims though… £9,277 spent to date. What did we get for our money? 2,700 laps of Clay Pigeon, 686 laps of Llandow and 103 laps of Dunkeswell! Not to mention a lot less sleep, the onset of greyness, a nasty exhaust burn, some monumental highs, some crushing lows, dozens of new friends, an awful lot of fun and some experiences with my lad that we’ll never forget. See you in year three…