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Sector: LPG

LPG karting - same fun, lower costs

LPG karting - same fun, lower costs © Novatek Poland

Karting is an exciting motor sport, enabling many future driving champions to discover their talents and master their abilities. Now, apart from helping young racers develop their skills, carting can also teach them how to be eco-friendly, as demonstrated by an example set by a company from Cracow, Poland.
GoKarting Center kart circuit© Novatek PolandThe GoKarting Center track in all its glory

The newly launched GoKarting Center is the first karting circuit in Poland to feature autogas-powered karts. For one, it keeps the costs down, but also it goes to show young drivers how to efficiently cut exhaust emissions without necessarily adopting complex and costly technology, using readily available LPG instead. According to Novatek, GoKarting Center's autogas supplier, the circuit is the most modern facility of its kind in Poland, partially due to the fact that the karts run on autogas.

Thanks to replacing petrol with LPG, emissions are reduced to minimum, which is particularly important when it comes to indoor racing. Even more so considering the fact that children are frequent visitors here.

The GoKarting Center circuit has been designed by German rally driver Klaus Fritzinger. The track is 360 m long and 7 m wide, making it possible to overtake without the need to stop the slowest driver. When push comes to shove, the track's tarmac paving and Flexi Track cushioning provide for driver safety whatever the circumstances. Also, the circuit features an AMB MyLaps time measurement system, allowing recording lap times very precisely.

A SODI GT5 GPL kart© Novatek PolandA SODI GT5 GPL kart, with the autogas tank visible

As for the karts themselves, ten Italian-built SODI GT5 GPL's are used. Each has a 270 ccm, 9 PS autogas-powered Honda's GX 270 engine. The motor has been modified by SODI engineers to run exclusively on LPG (in part due to weight restrictions), which is fed through a specially developed autogas carburetter. Compared to the original carburetter, this one provides better performance when the engine's running on LPG. And the engine itself handles the new fuel very well, especially once it warms up to its proper working temperature. The karts use custom LPG tanks by WVM (Witte Van Moort), equipped with Dutch-style separated fittings (as opposed to Italian-type multivalves).

Tank fitting, like the entire conversion, is fully safe – there is virtually no risk of damage, even in the event of collision. All couplings in the system are flexible, so should the components move against each other, leakages are unlikely. The tank has been equipped with an easily and quickly detachable coupling, making it easy to remove the tank from the kart should such need arise. Refueling can be performed with the tank on the kart or outside of it. The tank's added value is better side-to-side weight distribution of the kart, since the space in which the LPG bottle is mounted would otherwise be hollow.

A Rimo Mini LPG kart© Novatek PolandA Rimo Mini LPG kart

GoKarting Center also has something more tame in stock for underage racers – five Rimo Mini LPG karts featuring 200 ccm, 5,5 PS Honda engines. They offer individual driving position adjustment and remote power curbing should young drivers overestimate their budding skills. With these Rimo Mini karts, LPG tanks are fixed permanently and equipped with multivalves.

The facility uses LPG not only to fuel its karts, but also to heat its 3600 square metre premises. Bulk tanks are installed outside the building and that's where the karts are refueled, too. Due to indoor use of LPG, the facility has been equipped with efficient ventilation system.


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Piotr Złoty
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