Drifting a go-kart

Go-Karter Racing On Track

Can you drift in a go-kart?

15 May 2024

If you were born and raised on The Fast and the Furious, the first thing you might want to try when you go racing for the first time is drifting. 

Can you drift a go-kart? The short answer is yes. While drifting is more common in cars that go at speeds of over 40mph, it is possible to drift in a go-kart. However, this is not usually recommended - while drifting can be fun to learn and put into action, it’s more risk than reward. 

This blog will cover how to drift in a go-kart, and also whether you should.

But let’s take a step back:

What is Drifting?

Drifting is technically a method of cornering - it involves the driver purposely oversteering until the rear wheels lose traction and the car “drifts” through the turn. If you do this right, you should save some time on the corner, and look stylish while doing it. 

While drifting, the car essentially goes sideways through the corner - less steering is required, so it’s easier to get back up to speed. The driver can also keep good control of the car, so as long as they perform it at a safe distance from their competitors, it isn’t dangerous to attempt.

Professional racers might use this technique to help manoeuvre around difficult corners (tight hairpins, for example) and there are even entire race formats dedicated to drifting, like Formula Drift!

Can You Drift in an Electric Go-Kart?

Lately a lot of people have been asking us if it’s possible to drift in an electric go-kart, as we’ve been introducing them across many of our venues. The answer is yes, you can! It’s a very similar experience to drifting in a petrol kart and you can use the same basic technique for both. 

Whether it’s an e-kart or petrol kart, we suggest taking a couple of extra practice laps when you’re using a kart you aren’t used to before competing seriously so you can get to know the feel of it.

Should You Drift in a Go-Kart?

While you absolutely can try drifting a go kart, the question remains of whether you should

The best reason to try drifting a go-kart is a simple one - it’s a really fun skill to learn! Practice makes perfect, and with plenty of practice, this is a seriously rewarding technique to master. 

It’s extra fun with indoor go-karting! The tracks are smoother, which means drifting might even be easier to do because there’s less traction between the back wheels and the track. Read our Indoor vs Outdoor Karting blog for more honest comparisons of the benefits of each.

On the other hand, drifting a go-kart is the quickest way to wear down the wheels. This is especially true with outdoor go-karting, where the track surfaces are rougher. If you have your own kart, this is fine - you know the risks, and you can replace the wheels yourself if they are too worn down. If you’re renting a go-kart, however, drifting might be frowned upon because the cost of replacing the wheels will fall on the venue. It’s also important to note that, if you really hone and master your cornering technique, it isn’t any faster to drift around corners. Learning how to drift a go-kart is definitely fun, but it won’t always give you that competitive edge.

How to Drift in a Go-Kart

If you were wondering “Can you drift a go-kart?”, the only thing to do now is learn how! 

The technique for drifting is quite simple. As you approach the corner, brake gently. Then:

  • Lean towards the corner as you start to turn.
  • Steer rapidly - the front wheels shouldn’t move too much, while the rear of the car should fly around the corner.
  • To correct yourself, countersteer out of the corner and straighten your wheels.
  • Accelerate gently as you exit the corner.

To brush up on your go-karting techniques, visit TeamSport. We have 40+ indoor go-karting venues across the UK and racing events suitable for everyone from kids (8+) and adults (13+) to corporate parties and stag or hen dos

Find your nearest track here!