Getting started

Getting Started in Sprint Karting with the NWKC

The first requirement is to become a club member.
People interested in joining the club as a non-driving, social member are also most welcome. Complete the Club Membership Application Form (link on this page) and forward with payment to the club secretary. Preferred payment is by direct deposit BSB 633700 BENDIGO BANK - BURNIE ACCOUNT 113071443 NORTH WESTERN KART CLUB (EFT receipt to show surname). The club Secretary will contact you when your membership is processed.

Secondly if you wish to drive a kart on any track you MUST have a kart driver licence.
Apply at Karting Australia Website (New Licence Application). An ‘E’ grade Practice Licence ($50) allows you to practice at any track and allows you to participate at Club Days at the NWKC. A ‘D’ grade Competition Licence ($200) allows you to race at any open or closed race meeting and is the first step towards C, B or A grade status. Note: choose the pay by Direct Deposit option (the credit card option is invalid). When paying use the application number given to you at the end of your application process as reference. The application requires a passport-sized photo which you can upload. If you wish to mail the photo, do not send to the club (as requested) but mail to Colleen Hinds (State Licencing Officer, 68 King Street SMITHTON 7330). The application needs to be printed, signed and sent to Colleen (not to the club as requested). You will need to complete a Safety Training Assessment (STA) (safety induction). Contact the club secretary to arrange. When this is completed Colleen will be notified. Only when Colleen receives all documentation and payment (if paid by direct deposit this deposit will show up on the bank statement) will she commence your application. At this point you will be given your race number. Colleen will send completed documentation to you by mail.

Final steps
Before you can race you must complete an Observed Licence Test (OLT) (written and practical test at the track). Contact the club secretary to arrange.
To obtain a key to the track to practice you need to have included payment for the key through your membership and obtained a licence

Please contact the club secretary if you require further clarification.

Meetings

Committee meetings are held at 7:30 pm on the first Thursday of each month at the Red Cross Hall, King Edward Street, Ulverstone. All members and interested public are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Come-and-Try Days

The Club occasionally runs a Come-and-Try day. These are special days where the public can come along and try driving a real race kart on the track under controlled conditions. We provide the kart, safety equipment and instruction to allow you to experience the thrill of driving a kart. There is no racing or competition of any kind, you are out on the track to see if you might like to take up the sport. As the club provides all the equipment, it is difficult for us to cater for all ages and sizes, especially with younger drivers. If we don't have equipment suitable for you on the day, you may not be able to have a go, but we will endeavour to make some arrangements for you to have a try at a later time. For adults this is rarely a problem. If you plan to attend a Come-and-Try day, please make sure you have enclosed footwear, long trousers and a long sleeved top. If you have a full-faced helmet and / or gloves (car or motorcycle), bring them with you.

Race Meetings

There are two basic types of race meetings. Closed Club and Open Meetings. Closed Club meetings are restricted to local club members. We use these race meeting as a fun and light-hearted day of racing. Newly licensed drivers are encouraged and help is offered by the experienced drivers and crews. We run these with a combination of one scratch race and two handicap races. This gives everyone a race with someone, no matter what your grade and also gives everyone a chance of winning. Any form of pushy or rough driving is strongly discouraged. The emphasis is totally on a safe fun day of racing. Any club activities or club days conducted by our club will be included in e-mails and discussed at meetings. Open Meetings are open to all drivers. These are the formal race meetings. The format depends on the focus of the meeting. Open meetings usually have a theme that focuses on a class or type of racing. Generally most of the classes are run in support of this feature class. For information on open race meetings click on the RACE MEETINGS icon.

Key to the Track

Club members who are licenced drivers have the benefit of obtaining a key to enable use of the track complex. There is an annual charge of $50 . The lock is changed on the first day of July each year. To enable access to the track from this time, your key needs to be sent to the club so it can be changed to suit the new lock. The key is always the property of the club and under no circumstances is it to be discarded in any way or lent to anyone else. The key holder is responsible for it's use at ALL TIMES. A fee applies to lost or non-return of keys. IMPORTANT: The lock must pass through the other locks on the chain when locking. It is suggested that you lock the gate behind you during private practise.

Use of the Track

The track is available for private practice on all days other than scheduled and calendared race meetings, working bees and other events. The hours of use are between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. It is preferred that you keep the gate locked while you are using the track. At all times the gate must be locked when you leave. Cadet 9 and 12 (7yr—13 yrs) age groups can practice together, but NOT with Juniors or Seniors. Juniors (13 yr—16 yrs) and Seniors (16 yrs and older) can only practice with their own age group. Under no circumstances can Juniors and Seniors be combined. Karts must only enter the track via the out grid and exit the track through the in grid into the scale shed. No Karts are to be driven any further than the scale shed. Please DO NOT drive onto the scale platform. This can cause serious damage to the load cells. When refueling or oiling chains, this must always be done on the concrete surfaces of the pit shelters. Never perform these tasks on the track, out grid or in grid areas.

Setting up a Kart

This is a huge topic! If your kart came with a manual, it will have some recommended settings to get started with. Alternatively, the person you purchased your kart from should be able to give you some settings that will be a good starting point. One of the best ways to learn to set up a kart is to find a mentor who will help you with some initial settings and advice on how to go about adjusting that to suit your driving. Come along to our club days where you will find many people that are only too happy to help you get started. There are also many good articles in the Kart magazines. Keep in mind that as you get better at it, people will help you less. After all, if you can set up your kart as well as them, you just might beat them on race day!

Starting Karts

At the moment many of the karts require to be push started. This can be a hazardous process at times, where the pusher can fall or otherwise be injured. It is of utmost importance that great care is taken on the out grid. There are some basic rules that will help minimise the risk during starting. There are also several types of push start assistants that can be bought or made. Highclere has a single grid, separated into left and right sides. During an open race meeting with full grids, the karts are arranged on each side of the grid at an angle of about 45 degrees. This allows for the maximum number of karts to be accommodated. The grid marshall will indicate when you can begin to push your kart. Always wait for the grid marshalls instructions. During private practice or smaller club day meetings, we normally line the karts up straight on the grid one behind the other. Always place the kart in the centre of the lane (left or right). When instructed, and the grid in front of you is clear, push the kart to start it. Do NOT start to push as soon as the person in front starts to push, allow them 3-4 metres gap before you start. When it starts the pusher should ALWAYS run to the outside of the grid and the drivers move to the inside of their lane. This is the safest way, especially when there are a number of karts starting together. The driver should always be alert to the possibility of a pusher running across in front of them. Drivers should ensure that their pushers are aware of the need to run to the outside of the grid and not to the centre or across the grid.

What you need to go racing

The basics in brief: Club membership & KA licence. A kart that meets the current KA rules for the class you intend to run. You may require lead to be added to the kart to achieve the minimum weights. A kart trolley to carry & let you work on your kart, Premium Unleaded Fuel and a suitable 2-stroke oil, chain lube, tyre pump and gauge, tool kit, race boots or fully enclosed boots that cover the ankles, a one-piece race suit, gloves, Transponder, Full-Face Helmet with a Visor, a helper to push start you and help work on the kart. The options in brief: rib protector, neck brace, For the kart the list can be as long as your budget, but you'll look for: basic spare parts, wet tyres on rims, a range of sprockets to change gear ratios to suit conditions, lap timer / engine monitor / data logger.

Buying a Kart

Probably one of the most important things when considering purchasing a kart is to talk to some experienced drivers and crews running in the class you are considering. There are many excellent karts, new and used, for sale and figuring out which one should be best for you can take some time. Ensuring that a used kart meets all the KA requirements for the class can also be a tricky area, where an experienced karter can help. Check our site for contact details for local kart suppliers.

Where to get help

Your new friends at the North Western Kart Club are the best place to start! Most of our club members are more than happy to help and if they don't know something, they are bound to know someone who does!

Kart Supplies in Tasmania

There are a number of businesses supplying karts, parts and accessories in Tasmania. Check this site for a list of Tasmanian businesses that have supplied us with their details. These businesses give a lot of support to the Tasmanian kart scene and would welcome your custom. Also check the links page for links to other karts and parts suppliers and this site for a list of the businesses that support the club.

Other Kart Clubs & Tracks in Tasmania

There are three other clubs in Tasmania: The Circular Head Kart Club based at Briant Park, Smithton in the far North West; The Launceston Kart Club based at Archerfield near Launceston in the North; and the Southern Tasmanian Kart Club based at Orielton near Hobart.