how to start in motorsport in france?

If the paths leading to Sports Car may seem insurmountable to ordinary mortals, does competition In fact it is within everyone’s reach in France. If you are passionate about racing and want to live it to the fullest, the most logical first step is to Karting.

The base of the pyramid: Karting

Invented by Americansimported by Europeans in the early 1960s, bred in art rank of Italians, Karting has established itself for decades as The discipline to get started in motorsport.

Along with Great Britain and Italy, the France now appears as reference country for practicing this sport with almost 350 tracks, internal and outsidespread over the territory, which the majority approved of FFSAthe French Motor Sport Federation.

The first thing to know is there two types of karts : 4 times and 2 times. This difference is based on the displacement and themechanical architecture that gives them life.

In other words, the first category is called “for pleasure”, with karts whose elimination is progressing between 270 and 390 cc for a power ranging from 9 to 14 horsepower. The second, faster, is reserved for competition there are machines specially developed with a cylinder capacity of approximately 125 cc and a minimum of 25 horsepower (these figures vary depending on the category).

How much is that ?

It is better to test the water in the tire of a 4 stroke chassisand in a rental circuit, rather than wanting to skip stages. In this respect, France has almost 300 tracks Karting is open to the general public, most of them offer different types of sessions.

Question pricescount on average between 15 and 25 euros the session, the increase in prices according to period (from 10 to 30 minutes or more), from fashion (trial, race, endurance, etc.) o number of participants.

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At what age can I ride a kart?

As forageit is possible to start from 7 years old. Please note: not all circuits offer this formula.

Because if kart driving does not require, in the context of “recreation”, special license or deteriorating knowledge, he still needs a height and physical ability to control your car in absolute safety.

For the youngest, there are “mini” chassis with motorization, a bucket seat and the pedal length specially designed for them.

Which category to choose?

Did you like leisure karts and want to go further? Possible but under some conditions. Because to engage competition won’t happen overnight and, let’s be honest, the cost is greater than a session on a rental circuit.

Fortunately, our country has more than one trick to enable the young and not-so-young to indulge their favorite sport in a more competitive setting.

Actually there is several stages in the Karting competition in France, from “club” races to national championships through regional series governed by their respective leagues.

On the one hand you will have categories say federal, such as Minime, Cadet, Nationale, OK-Junior, OK or KZ2, as seen in the FFSA French Championships. On the other hand, the “Brand Cup”including KFS (Evokart), IAME X30 (IAME Series France) and Rotax MAX (NSK).

If it seems confusing, each of its series has its own intelligence channels where you can find the information you need (commit costs, schedule, categories, etc.) to establish a effective comparison.

What equipment do I need?

Unlike recreational 4-stroke Karting, engaging in competition requires more investment in your own material. If competitions like KFS offer a “turnkey” service. where you can rent a complete kit for a specific priceyou are usually asked to bring your homologated helmet, gloves and overalls.

The practice of competitive karting physically demandingdon’t skimp on protection by purchasing rib protectors and neck brace (mandatory for the youngest).

It is also better to be properly equipped for “mechanical” your equipment with a transport trolley, toolbox, etc. The list could be long, so budget station !

How can I find my license?

Finally, there is no race without the ultimate sesame: the License. Regardless of your age or Karting experience, the FFSA require a license to line up in competition but also for test sessions.

You should go to federation website where documents can be consulted and ordered, by opening a personal account.

Another requirement: join a ASK (Karting Sports Association), preferably in your area, to support your license application.

Last point: you also have to pay a right of track. It is about a contributionpayable by the day or by the time, allowing you to file a tarmac wherever you are in France.

Do you know Karting schools?

Founded by FFSAthese schools are true springboards for the youngest towards the hard training of Karting. Their ambition is to popularize the sport from the age of 6 driving chassis adapted, all supervised by approved instructors.

In addition to the basics of steering, students also learn the Respecting the rules, of the enemy and of the values ​​that make the salt of discipline. For more information, go here.

There are other categories

To end this little guide, let me make that clear access to motorsport in our country is not limited to only Karting.

Everything depends on your age, your budget or your desires, but it is not so important to discover the race through other competitions such as FunCupThe Legend Cars Cup or other brand series, again under certain conditions (specific license, budget, age, etc.).

The field of possibilities is therefore wide, although the Karting remains almost obligatory passage for any self-respecting apprentice pilotincluding as training between events.

And this is not the F1 drivers who will tell you otherwise, more than one enjoys maintaining their physical condition during the winter at the wheel of a kart.

Sources: Passionkart, Karting Sud, FFSA Karting

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