Get Involved in Karting
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Last Updated: 08/07/12 10:42am
If you fancy yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, then karting could be for you.
Twenty-two of the 24 current Formula One drivers honed their driving skills in the sport, while the late, great three-time world champion Ayrton Senna said his karting days were some of the best of his life.
British drivers Hamilton and Paul di Resta gave the sport a glowing appraisal on this weekend's Get Involved, encouraging the new crop of wannabe racers to give it a try.
"Karting is the most fun thing," 2008 F1 world titlist Hamilton told Sky Sports News. "People go and play football on weekends, but karting is a thousand times more fun."
Force India star Di Resta added: "Karting changed my life and gave me an opportunity to do something I love doing. I hope other people gain that experience.
"You go along, see it and really get into it. You learn race craft, how to deal with the pressure and see how a racing event works. It's very similar to Formula One."
There are more than 100 kart tracks in the UK, from the Channel Islands up into Scotland, with most circuits holding their own competitions each week.
Katie Brown rides at West of Scotland Karts - where an introductory lesson costs just £20 - and she says that the sport is not purely dominated by boy racers.
"There are some boys that would have the odd comment towards me saying I shouldn't be going fast because I'm a girl but most of them take it well," she said.
"All the girls I knows that do this are girly but they all get right in there and are always just as quick as the boys."
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) are focussed on enhancing their young drivers' brain cells as well as their speed, with the organisation's performance director, Robert Reid, saying: "Our championships try to avoid exams and critical times.
"And now the MSA has introduced a policy whereby to do one of the National Championships you need to get your Championship application form countersigned by your school headmaster.
"It encourages the schools to get involved and they now realise they have British champions within their school."