Taking Racing to a Whole New Level

I remember when I was 12 watching my stepbrother, Mark work on his prized go-kart, a contraption he and his brother put together but one he finished.

It started out as a calamity of boards and wheels until he attached a small motor and jazzed it up with his own colors and signature.

I was enthralled.

He was 16 and a hot-rod, skateboarding, bicycling, riding a mini-bike and sometimes his dad’s Kawasaki.

Now it was the spring of 1978 and on our steep asphalt driveway Mark was preparing to go for a motorized go-kart ride – his own built from his hands.

He finally gave me a ride in the back of it and we spun up and down the street, hair flying racing with the wind.

I was hooked.

Now go-kart racing has graduated to endurance kart racing, a sport and there are even go-kart camps.

In endurance go-karting beginners can arrive and race. They can also participate in a one-day racing workshop.

Endurance Karting emphasizes enjoyment of the race with carts on a competitive level.

In Angel Fire, NM you can take part in go-karting on a course in the summer at The Barn Conoco.

Even race car driver Jeff Gordon held his fifth Go-Kart Challenge recently.

Max Papis is a CART/ChampCar driver, an Italian with a long-time interested in go-karting. He said his most memorable experience was driving in the Australian Grand Prix in Sydney. He started karting at 11 and said he didn’t know then that he wanted to do it as a career.

“I just do it for fun sometimes, a few times a year,” he said. “It was a special circumstance that got me into go-karting.”

Engineer Paul Nortrom noticed when he was eight that his teacher’s husband had a go-kart in the garage. The child befriended the husband and the negotiating began.
“The deal was that I would try to improve my violin playing if they would sell me the go-kart,” he said. “I think my mom had aspirations that I would become a concert violinist.”

He earned the cash with a paper route and made satisfactory musical progress. He said many things have changed since then, but some haven’t.

Gary Kannegiesser, 58, is a nationally ranked go-kart driver who was chosen by Laps For Kids to be part of the team that drove 1,574 miles over a 24-hour period at a track in Chandler, AZ Dec. 10th and 11th.

“Racing enables us to educate people about go-kart racing and bring an awareness to the sport,” he said. “It is something I can do at the age of 58.”

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