Try Kart Racing without all the upfront expense!
Our Arrive and Drive program allows you to drive one of our prepared karts. Instead of investing in a kart, tools, spare parts, not to mention the time spent on maintenance, you can simply drive. We start all drivers on a 4-cycle kart, and have options for moving up to faster classes as your skills improve. A&D does not provide coaching or pit repair services, however we do have coaching available for an additional fee, and we will help you as much as possible.
Lets get this out of the way first. A&D starts at $275 for a 4-cycle Cadet kart. We provide basic safety gear (helmet, gloves, neck protector, chest protector for under 13) kart, all the consumables (fuel, tires, oil), we help get you setup for weigh in and basically try and have everything set for you to go on race day. You provide either driving suit, or long legged pants (must touch shoes), closed toe shoes, and a denim or leather jacket. If you wish to use your own helmet, it is REQUIRED that it be a full face, non-modular helmet, it will be inspected to ensure it complies with current rules at the track, and is safe to use for Karting. NO OPEN FACE HELMETS! You also pay all club fees (depends on class and age, $25 or $55 as of 2022), and for any repairs needed due to accident. MKA is a membership based club, therefore you should check if you need to become a member of the club, this is outside of our control, and if you’re going to race regularly, you will want a full or family membership! Faster karts cost more, and require more skill, currently we have limited availability on these.
We use a simple system for reserving karts. The first person that pays, gets the kart. We require a deposit for all new karters, however once we have a good working relationship, we will let you pay at the track. HOWEVER, the first person that pays for the kart gets it. It’s always best to pay in advance. Also, if you like a particular kart, you may request it, however once a kart is assigned it is difficult to re-assign. So again, the quicker it’s paid for, the more likely you will get what you want.
Pricing by kart:
- Cadet Kart 4-cycle (under 12 years old) – $275 *
- 4-cycle, Stage 4 / Ghost – $350 *
- 2-cycle 125cc (TAG – not currently available) – $400
- 2-cycle Shifter (15 years old or above!, Not currently available) – $500
Items marked with * are the ONLY choices if you can not show previous karting experience. All of the others require you showing us you know what your doing before we can even take a deposit on them.
You MAY use an action camera (karts have mounts), however you will be required to sign a waiver that you accept all responsibility for and damages to your camera. You must also follow MKA/NKA camera rules and put your name on the camera somehow. If you give us the right to use the footage and a copy thereof, we will give you a $5 refund on your fee for the day! Also we will provide you with photographs (at least shot of you driving your assigned kart, and generally some action photographs.
First time drivers with us are required to pay the full amount before we lock in their schedule. Once you establish a rapport with us, we will allow you to pay on race day. Deposit may be made via debit/credit via square invoice, or you may make deposit at the track for future races. If you need to cancel with more then 1 week notice, we will refund 90% of your deposit. Less then one week we will only refund if we can fill your slot with someone else. If race day is rained out, you may schedule for a later date and your entire deposit is applied, or you may request a refund, and 90% of the fee will be refunded. Rain is act of god and there is nothing we can do about it. Running in the wet is not available at this time due to insurance reasons.
All slots are first paid, first served. While we can pencil in people, until the slot is paid for, it is still up for grabs. Best advice is to put a deposit on your slot as soon as possible.
Are the 4 cycle karts as “fast” as the 2 cycle?
Well, to be frank no. The 2 cycles tend to be faster, hence the higher cost. 2 cycle are faster, cost more, need more maintenance, require better driving skills, and obviously with more speed are a little more dangerous (Karting is fantastically safe, however, like walking down the street, you can get hurt.)
4 cycles are lower RPM, and tend to rely more on momentum, so they end up being more of a pack type racing. Generally you will see more passing in the 4 cycle classes than the 2 cycle.
How a normal race day goes:
Important: While this is a typical day, we understand because of travel and other circumstances, you may not be able to get to the track as early. While it may take a little longer to process, rest assured that as long as you can arrive BY 8:30am, we can get you setup. After 8:30am we consider it a no-show and if someone is wanting to take over the rental, we will let them. If you will be after 8:30am but will be making it CALL!!!
- 7:30 am – Show up at Rocky Mountain Emergency Services test track. Find the Neo Gothic/Big Sky Raceway trailer and check in. This is where you will first see the kart assigned to you. You will sign the A&D agreement, sign the MKA Waiver and pay your fees. Parents need to do a little paperwork for minors. This is MANDITORY to drive one of our karts.
- 7:45 am – You have your team drivers briefing. If you show up late, you may be waiting up to 30 minutes to get your briefing. You may not drive without it! We’ll spend 5 minutes having you sit on the kart, show you controls, allow you to ask questions and give you any special instructions. We’ll have you start practice by following another driver for a couple of laps. If you’ve driven with us before, we may wave you by on it, but don’t assume so. During practice, we’ll try and bring you in AT LEAST every 10 minutes. Your allowed to take a break any time you like during practice.
- 8:30 am – Attend MKA drivers meeting. This is MANDITORY to drive one of our karts. If you are doing a test drive, special circumstances may apply, feel free to ask.
- 9:00 am – 10:00 am – Generally heat racing starts between 9:00 am and 10:00. We’ll help provide support between races. Be prepared, things will be VERY hectic. Try and be patient, as a lot happens! MKA runs 3-4 qualifier heats. Remember to hydrate, and try to eat fruits and other healthy snacks! Avoid processed sugars (Candy, soda pop, energy drinks) They actually will hinder your performance.
- 2:00pm to 4:00pm, generally this is the range of times that we have our main races.
- End of day – Podiums, tear down track, sign back kart (we’ll go over a check list to ensure everything is good, or if something needs attention, that we know what needs to be fixed/maintained)
Can people come and watch?
Absolutely! Bring a chair or two, it’s a long day and feet get tired. All spectators, crew, and drivers MUST sign a waiver to be on the property. However, there is no charge to watch races, and cheering is encouraged! Parents are asked to keep an eye on the kiddos, so we can make sure everyone has a fun, safe day of racing.
How Fast are the karts?
Unlike rental karts you may have ridden in the past, even our slow 4-cycle karts are faster, generally in the 45-50 mph range. 2 cycles will go 70 mph, and the high end shifters will do 80-90mph on the straightaways. Because of the higher speeds, we have a higher need for safety equipment. Karting is very safe, partially because they are low to the ground and have limited suspensions, and partially because safety equipment and racing regulations help ensure a fun and safe program.
How old/big do drivers need to be?
Drivers for arrive and drive may be any age between 5 and 95 (health withstanding!) Drivers need to be at least 4′ tall (actually, it’s by the length of the leg more then actual height) and MUST let us know their inseam size and weight at least 5 days prior to race (so we can pre-set up the kart). Drivers under 18 MUST have a parent or guardian present to sign paperwork, and children under 15 MUST have a parent or guardian chaperone them at the track, we do not “babysit”.
What if the kart “breaks”?
Karts are actually very tough vehicles. That said, they are mechanical devices and they can/do break. Normal wear and tear does not cost you anything. If you wreck and there is damage, you may be liable for part or all of the repair cost, depending on original condition of the part(s) broken, and how the damage happened. If the kart is broken sufficiently badly that it can not safely continue for the day, your day would be over. If it breaks because of an accident while you are driving, we are under no obligation to give a refund or replace. If it breaks because of our error, you may be entitled to a partial credit towards your next day out with us, or, if we have a spare, we may put you on another kart(first come, first served).
Persons trying to wreck, who intentionally drive on non racing surfaces, or who willfully break track rules will be liable for ALL damages, and may forfeit their payments and have their race day ended early. If you treat our equipment with respect, and are trying to be a safe driver following the rules, we will try to avoid having to charge you full price for repairs. Most consumables have no charge for replacements, Worn tires and 1 broken chain are covered by your Arrive & Drive fee, so those do not count.
Damage because of improper maintenance during the race day, or due to a repair you made may be charged to you. If you are not sure how to do something, please ask. We’ll either tell you how to do it, show you how to do it, or do it for you. We WANT you to be successful. We do ask that you do NOT add oil or fuel. If you need fuel, only a person from Big Sky Raceway, Neo Gothic Racing Team member, or other SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED PERSON may fuel the kart. It’s very important you do NOT try to add or remove fuel or oil. Our 4-cycle karts have engines mounting in such a way that you can not check the oil, oil must be changed to be checked, and at $12/quart of oil, that is a very expensive process.
What can I bring?
Do not bring pets (except service animals), loud radios, alcohol. Do bring coolers, food (fruits and vegetables are GREAT, avoid processed sugars!), LOTS of water (we bring some too!). If your willing to help, bring a pair of work gloves, some jobs are a little dirty. If you have younger kids, make sure you can handle keeping a close eye on them, or bring help. Having something to keep the kiddo’s occupied is always helpful, funny enough toy cars (for boys and girls) seem to be popular… Safety is ALWAYS everyone’s job!
Bathrooms are quite a ways away from the track area (2-3 blocks), also please park near the trailer without blocking people in, some folks need to be able to get their cars out to get to the bathroom. Please put trash into cans at trailer. We want to leave the facility cleaner then when we got there!
My Son / Daughter / Husband / Wife / Friend is driving, what can I do to be a part of the racing day?
- Consider giving it a try. Take a kart out for a lap or two. You might find that you like it!
- Be a cheerleader. This is a great way for families to bond!
- Be a volunteer. As a small club, MKA can always use helpers, and the more we have, the safer and less work that needs to be done.
- Lend a hand in the pits. Both your driver(s), and others will appreciate those little acts of kindness!
One quick thing, please be careful if you venture out on the track on foot. People may be running that you don’t notice. If in doubt, stay off the track until you speak to an MKA official or a member of the BSR team. You may be asked to help by a member of MKA, they should advise you how to be safe. At all times, you MUST follow MKA instruction. We really can’t stress how much we want everyone to have a safe race day!
While we do give instruction on basic operation of a kart before you start your first drive, we generally do not do full one on one coaching as part of the Arrive and Drive fees. We do give pointers through the day, and many of the other veteran drivers are willing to share their knowledge. We’ll also suggest having new drivers follow more experienced team drivers and let them see where the driving line is.
We do offer coaching with one of our team (Neo Gothic Racing) drivers, but that is a separate function (coaching is available to kart owners as well.) Coaching is generally much more involved, using cameras to help drivers find 1/10ths of a second, helping correct errors, and teaching race craft.
So now I’m part of Neo Gothic Racing, right?
Well, no, NGR is our official race team, and while the team helps with the A&D program, drivers in the A&D program are not necessarily team drivers. Keep practicing, show great sportsmanship and keep pushing yourself, and you may be invited to join. NGR adds probationary drivers through the year, in the second year they may be offered full membership. Also we sometimes add drivers who have not been probationary. It’s done on a case by case basis. Generally NGR and BSR will not do a full sponsorship for a driver, you will need your own gear, kart, and transportation even as a team member. Sometimes Team drivers use the A&D karts because theirs is not available, but for most people it’s better to have your own if your going to commit to racing.
How are Big Sky Raceway and Montana Karting Association connected?
The only affiliation between Big Sky Raceway and Montana Karting Association is that BSR helps support MKA racing and functions, and MKA allows BSR to operate our parts trailer and A&D programs at the track through a non-exclusive agreement. MKA runs the track, and their decisions about the track and racing is final. BSR is very proud to support the amazing work of MKA.
About Montana Karting Association
Montana Karting Association is a tax exempt sports organization dedicated to providing fun and safe kart racing in the greater Montana area. We have drivers from all over Montana, and even some from outside of our great state. MKA is member funded and provides structure and education for those interested in racing. If you would like to learn more about Montana Karting Association, see their website http://montanakarting.com
What is National Karting Alliance (NKA)?
The National Karting Alliance is the sanctioning body for MKA, and they provide the insurance and rules we use every race day. Without NKA we wouldn’t be able to have racing in Montana, and we really appreciate all the work they do to help promote the sport!
Signup / More info
Feel free to contact us by phone (406) 662-8378 or fill out the following form to sign up or get more info.