Getting started in Karting can be a daunting experience. Have no fear! We’ll guide you over the next few links with all the basic info you need to join the world of kart racing. If you have an questions, just reach out and don’t hesitate to ask any question on how to start karting.
Over the next few sections, I’ll outline everything there is to know about getting started in karting here in Jacksonville, FL, or just about anywhere with a local club. The details and opinions shared here are personal and owned. Let’s get started on our karting journey with a little background.
My name is Emmanuel and I started JaxKarting.com to share my karting experience and the journeys of my friends with the world. My passion for motorsports started at a young age, watching F1 and BTCC races with my dad on TV. I’m from Ghana, West Africa where we have only 2 public kart rental places in the entire country.
I was fortunate to have satellite TV early, but never got in a competition car until I came to America for college. A Skip Barber 2-day racing school taught me the basics of basics of club racing and competition driving. I got the opportunity to work for a sim-racing company called SimCraft all through college and still consult for them today (working with some of the best IMSA, and Indycar drivers and teams as our partners). While in college, I volunteered with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) amateur club racing and eventually found myself serving as Chief of Race Control and a Race Director since 2011.
In that time I progressed through the High Performance Driving Education program, had a year of Time Trial competition, and did a number of open track days for testing alongside and rental kart events until 2013 when I fully committed to auto racing. I started on track with my daily driver 2001 VW Jetta VR6, then to a 1991 Mazda Miata followed by a 2013 Scion FR-S which I raced competitively for 3 years before joining the Spec E30 gang with a 1987 BMW 325. That group, by far, has the most unparalleled amount of fun during a club racing weekend in the Southeastern US. Some of the stories will be shared along the way as I’m still a Race Director with NASA and attend numerous events (but what happens in Spec E30 tends to stay in Spec E30).
In 2014, I moved to the Jacksonville, Florida area and found the kart track. After attending a couple of local club races, I bought a used kart roller with a brand new LO206 engine in 2015. Later that year, I began practicing at the track roughly once a month, but the birth of my 2nd kid slowed that down. So in 2016, I started my first official competition kart race in the LO206 class, and have been hooked since then. Along the way, some old friends have joined along and new friends have been made. Jax Karting is now the Jax Karting group/team/posse a.k.a. “Straight Outta 206 Gang”. This collection of characters and individual prioritizes fun. Our goal is to have out and have a blast, and then have a kart race or practice break out.
In recent times, I am completely committed karting over car racing, and not looking back. What a refreshing find and hopefully, getting started in karting brings you as much joy as it did me.