Safety – Kart
Wherever you go in the world of motorsport, you will come across the following warning triangle time and again.
As the triangle says, motorsport can be dangerous. It is therefore vital that you accept responsibility for your personal safety and take all reasonable steps to minimise the risks to yourself and others.
Personal Protective Equipment
Picture a karter and you will most likely visualise a helmet, overalls, gloves and boots, all of which are requisite items for karting.
However, not just any helmet or overalls will do; they must bear the correct ‘Standard’ label, indicating that their design has been tested and approved for use in motorsport. They must also be in good condition; for example; a cracked helmet will not be acceptable, whether or not it bears the correct Standard label.
General regulations in the Motorsport UK Yearbook detail the ‘Standards’ required for these various items of PPE.
The general advice is always to buy the best safety equipment you can afford and look after it – why would you scrimp on something that is designed to protect you and possibly save your life? Please also consider additional items that might not be mandatory, but that offer a significantly enhanced level of protection.
Just as your PPE has to meet certain Standards, so does your kart. Again, the Motorsport UK
Yearbook and Karting Yearbook, and the supplementary regulations of the championship or event will detail all minimum requirements for competing karts, covering areas such as, but not limited to, bodywork, bumpers and weight.
Attempting to cut corners with PPE and karts is not only ill-advised from a safety point of view, but it is also likely to land you in varying degrees of hot water with event officials. All events have scrutineers on hand to check that competitors’ PPE and karts comply with all the relevant regulations before they hit the track, and most events also run post-event eligibility scrutineering.
If a scrutineer finds a safety-related problem with your PPE or kart, such as a helmet with the wrong Standard label or a cracked brake disc, he or she may allow you to rectify the issue and present the item again for further scrutineering, as you will not be allowed on the track until it has passed.
If an eligibility issue is uncovered, such as an engine with the wrong carburettor, the scrutineer will submit a report to the Clerk of the Course or Stewards, who will then decide what action to take. In more serious cases, this could be exclusion from the event.
Please remember that scrutineering is not something to ‘get through’ – the process involves a brief inspection of your kart and PPE to ensure compliance with the regulations.
It does not certify that everything is ‘safe’; it is the responsibility of every competitor to take all necessary precautions to keep themselves and their fellow competitors as safe as possible.