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3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2012
Having been heavily critical of this book's tag line (on which more later), I thought it only fair to actually purchase and read it.

It cannot be easy for anyone who has been involved in karting for a long time to look at the sport from the perspective of a potential newcomer. As someone who is reasonably familiar with the sport - though much less so than the author - I can only imagine that this book succeeds in doing what it sets out to do: explaining karting.

The book has an attractive look and layout, making it easy to refer back to particular topics that might be of interest. It is informative without being verbose. It is explicitly written for (potential) newcomers, and I recommend it as a resource for that market. People with some experience in karting may well find some useful information as well, especially given the clear way in which everything is presented.

There are idiosyncrasies: karting with gearbox engines on `short' circuits has declined so sharply in the UK that race entry numbers, if any, are mostly vanishingly small (see exception below), yet this form of karting is given significantly more coverage than the far more popular `prokarts', to which a mere four, wholly inadequate sentences are devoted.

The list of UK kart tracks in the back is oddly incomplete. The list includes Lydd, so it cannot be claimed to be limited only to tracks where there is MSA-governed racing. Yet it ignores, for example, Woodthorpe Kart Club at Strubby Airfield in Lincolnshire. Ironically, Strubby is the one track in the UK where gearbox karts are still very well represented.

Similarly the list of "Useful Websites" is most peculiar. It includes several sites that, I suggest, most active karters will rarely, if ever, visit. Yet it excludes the most popular, especially for newcomers; i.e. Karting1. It similarly misses the granddaddy, UK Karting.

As for what I consider to be real shortcomings:

Given its usefulness in so many respects, I think it is a great shame, and indeed rather poisonous, for the book to be marketed thus: "Kart racing is a useful first step on the ladder to becoming a professional racing driver..." I suspect even the author himself might agree with what is so widely said within the karting community; namely that karting should be regarded as a form of motorsport in its own right and not normally as a 'stepping stone' to anything else. The common complaint about the latter view is that it fuels spend-to-win and win-at-all-cost attitudes. It encourages in youngsters the virtually impossible dream of becoming a `professional racing driver' - i.e. actually earning a living by so doing - and it therefore potentially draws parents into a spiral of enormous spending. This is definitely not how most karters see karting.

This takes me to the glaring omission. Though unsurprising given the author's position, this book is MSA-centric. Apart from the briefest of mention ("Finally there are commercial circuits that offer non-MSA racing..."), this book completely ignores a popular and relative growth area in karting; namely kart racing independently organised outside the MSA's governance. It is surely not unreasonable to argue that one of the reasons for this relative success is that this form of racing effectively avoids the type of attitude described above, which leads to `chequebook racing'. It would have been more balanced and helpful to have provided rather more detail on this real alternative.

NB: Any prospective purchaser from outside the UK should be aware that a significant proportion of this book is UK-specific.
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on 26 September 2012
I am a circuit owner and an ARKS examiner and have been saying for years that there needs to be a book that explains the basics in karting.

Well it has arrived!

Karting explained does exactly as it says on the tin and gives a clear, concise, unbiased view on all aspects of karting. With it's clear layout and explanatory images this book is perfect as both an introduction to karting, and also as a reference book when thinking about set up changes and maintenance. It even has a great list of the tools you need to make up a karting tool box!

When I first read it I found it extremely interesting, and although I have been involved in karting for 16 years I still learnt some new things! I have also placed an order for 10 copies for my own shop for new drivers here in Northern Ireland.

Karting explained is a must have for anyone starting in karting, and I only wish that it was out back when I started karting!
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on 14 October 2012
If your're looking for a good insight into the world of Karting, then this is the book for you !
It contains a good basic guide about everything with some great photos and at this price is well worth the money.
A very enjoyable read. It certainly got me wanted to learn more !
Mike.
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on 29 November 2012
The writing is dry, boring and uninspiring. There is too much irrelevant technical detail and not enough "this is done because...." or "the effect of this is......" or "this is the effect because.......". The driving tips appear to be aimed at someone who has never driven any kart before ***DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT DRIVING TIPS***.

It's so tedious it can't be aimed at kids.
And it's not in-depth enough to be aimed at adults.

There are some good photos though.
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on 1 August 2013
Very informative, will recommend for anyone thinking about getting into karting. Explains from the very start all the way through.
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on 20 January 2015
Nephew loved this book. Has given him insight into technical aspects of karting.
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on 24 January 2015
Great
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