Am I too big to be competitive?

SquidBonez

Member
Hey guys, I'm new to these forums and karting in general (19 years old and up until now I've only run rentals). I've been doing some research about getting into kart racing recently when I thought of something troubling. Am I too big to race karts? I'm about 6'1", 200 pounds. Weight wise I can make most senior classes and run well below weight in heavy classes (plus I'm losing weight with a diet anyway), so I'm less concerned about my weight than I am about my height. I can always lose weight but I can't lose height (short of cutting a section of my legs off). As a taller driver I'm afraid I'll be slower, even if I do lose weight.

If it helps, I'm planning to run more road course style (asphalt) classes rather than dirt which seems popular on these forums, but I imagine this applies to both disciplines.
 

JR. A

Member
WITH YOUR AGE, WEIGHT, & HEIGHT, AND THE RACING YOU WOULD PERFER, I WOULD SUGGEST YOU GO FOR A 125 OR 175 CC SHIFTER KART. BUT, YOUR EXPERIANCE, SAYS " NO WAY".
 

SquidBonez

Member
WITH YOUR AGE, WEIGHT, & HEIGHT, AND THE RACING YOU WOULD PERFER, I WOULD SUGGEST YOU GO FOR A 125 OR 175 CC SHIFTER KART. BUT, YOUR EXPERIANCE, SAYS " NO WAY".
Yeah I was thinking more LO206 to start lol
I used to race quarter midgets when I was a kid, but that was a long time ago. That, combined with the occasional rental race, is the extent of my experience.
 
I think you should give 206 a try. I am 6'1" and raced for 40 years and never felt I was at a disadvantage because of my height. The weight for senior lo206 is 365lbs, you should be able to make that you may even have to add weight. Lo206 is a great class to start in. Good luck and enjoy yourself.
 

sundog

Member
You'll never beat a short man with his game together. Sorry, karting is revenge of Napoleon. Any track where you get up to 50 mph your body will be like a parachute and any hard high speed braking zone your rear tires will do a dance. If you're on a 1/4 mile track that has a balance of straights and turns the odds will be most even but your chassis will still be tight causing front tires to scrub speed and have too much vertical CG causing snap oversteer. If your driving skill is fantastic and your kart is perfect you can win races on short technical tracks but on longer aero/horse power tracks you could be 5 seconds a lap off the pace of the midget people.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
At 19 years old , you should definitely try it . 6 foot one is not going too be an advantage . Not a deal killer though .
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
You'll never beat a short man with his game together. Sorry, karting is revenge of Napoleon. Any track where you get up to 50 mph your body will be like a parachute and any hard high speed braking zone your rear tires will do a dance. If you're on a 1/4 mile track that has a balance of straights and turns the odds will be most even but your chassis will still be tight causing front tires to scrub speed and have too much vertical CG causing snap oversteer. If your driving skill is fantastic and your kart is perfect you can win races on short technical tracks but on longer aero/horse power tracks you could be 5 seconds a lap off the pace of the midget people.
sorry, everything isnt for everyone, try being a fighter pilot oops gotta be under 6 ft, so anyone shorter than you is a midget?
might be time to add one to the ignore list
 

SquidBonez

Member
You'll never beat a short man with his game together. Sorry, karting is revenge of Napoleon. Any track where you get up to 50 mph your body will be like a parachute and any hard high speed braking zone your rear tires will do a dance. If you're on a 1/4 mile track that has a balance of straights and turns the odds will be most even but your chassis will still be tight causing front tires to scrub speed and have too much vertical CG causing snap oversteer. If your driving skill is fantastic and your kart is perfect you can win races on short technical tracks but on longer aero/horse power tracks you could be 5 seconds a lap off the pace of the midget people.
Isn't there seats for taller drivers that make you lean back more to fix this issue? I think Tillett sells them.

sorry, everything isnt for everyone, try being a fighter pilot oops gotta be under 6 ft, so anyone shorter than you is a midget?
might be time to add one to the ignore list
Off topic, but to be a fighter pilot you have to be taller than 5'3" and no taller than 6'4". Fighter pilots aside, I heard from a different forum that there is a 6'4" national level kart driver who does well. So I'm leaning more optimistic than pessimistic.
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
Isn't there seats for taller drivers that make you lean back more to fix this issue? I think Tillett sells them.


Off topic, but to be a fighter pilot you have to be taller than 5'3" and no taller than 6'4". Fighter pilots aside, I heard from a different forum that there is a 6'4" national level kart driver who does well. So I'm leaning more optimistic than pessimistic.
6'4 for a pilot, under 6 for a fighter pilot
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
Sundog and flattop1 way to be a buzz killer, you don't have to be a jockey to have fun and enjoy kart racing.
No buzz kill here , 5' 7" is more areodynamic and fits better . #1 son is 6'3 or 4 .
His kness were taller then somes head, face it that don't fit perfect in a kart .
We were competitive, won some had a great time met good pepole made new freinds . At 19 years old yes you should do it cost is actually minimal in the scheme of life. (Heres a buzz kill , you only gotta work for another 50 years )
Might as well Enjoy it while your young!
Just do it then no Regrets .
 

cmac

Member
SquidBonez:
You can overcome size issues, and the very fact you are aware of this being a relevant factor in your success tells me you are equipped to deal with it. There are many folks on this site who will be able to assist you with tips and strategies on how to deal with size related challenges. I don't know what form of LO206 racing you plan on doing, but I will tell you, if memory serves me, Michael Kelly (IKF Speedway Hall of Fame Expert) was taller than you are--I think one year back in the early to middle 90's he won all the adult Briggs classes at one national. A very close friend of mine, Joel Negus was one of the top street racers in the Midwest in the 1980's and 90's, and he is your height or taller. Currently, in our KART road race series (CIK L206) the top driver over the past two years is around 5 ft. tall and well under 150 lbs, yet during this same period several of the top finishes, fast times and wins have been achieved by drivers nearly 100lbs heavier and a foot taller.

So, as they say......."There is more than one way to skin a cat". Sure, if a prototype driver was created on a computer he/she likely would not be 6'1 like you, and they probably would be under 160 lbs. However, races are not won on a computer-- they are won with strategy, proper equipment setup, knowledge and a fair amount of good fortune. If you have a decent amount of these characteristics regardless of height, you can have success. Good luck!
 

Mac_49

Premium User
If all you want is to win then you're going to have to find a really good setup to get you there...if all you're wanting is to have fun and improve your driving while doing so, then absolutely go for it. I wouldn't pay much attention to the height factor. Karting is a great sport and a lot of fun whether you come in first or last. I've been at the back of the pack coming off the track and still grinning ear to ear eagerly waiting to go back out even if I finished last or not. Mentality plays a big roll. If you can't be happy with not being first then you're in the wrong sport altogether.
 

premier8

Member
Where are you planning on racing? I think there may be an advantage to being a little taller if you’re trying to race low bite bullrings
 

schaplin

Member
Where are you planning on racing? I think there may be an advantage to being a little taller if you’re trying to race low bite bullrings
I second this. I am about 5'7" 150 lbs, and I cannot keep up with some of my much heavier much taller friends on low bite small tracks. They just hook up too good in the corners.
 
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