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 will help you as much as possible.
Lets get this out of the way first. A&D starts at $275 for a 4-cycle 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 2021), and for any repairs needed due to accident. Faster karts cost more, and require more skill, currently we have limited availability on these.
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 in “your” 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. 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. 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.
How a normal race day goes:
- 8:00 am – Show up at Rocky Mountain Emergency Services. Find the Neo Gothic/Big Sky Raceway trailer and check in. This is where you will first see the kart assigned to you.
- 8:30 am – Help setup (All drivers help with setup and tear down)
- 9:30 am – Sign your waiver, pay your entry fee, and attend 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.
- 10:00 am – Get your team drivers briefing. 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.
- 11:00 am – Generally heat racing starts between 11:00 am and 11:30. 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!
- 3:00pm to 5:00pm, 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 S1 4-cycle karts are faster, generally in the 40-45 mph range. Our S4 4-cycle karts lap at 55-60, 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 8 and 95 (health withstanding!) Drivers need to be at least 4’6″ tall and MUST let us know their height 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.
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 $14/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 you have younger kids, make sure you can handle keeping a close eye on them, or bring help. 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. People may be running that you don’t notice. If in doubt, stay off the track. 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!
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!