FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Hawes
Joliet, IL – July 30, 2019 – Kart Circuit Autobahn (KCA) is the Chicago area’s largest and fastest track for the sport of outdoor karting. The state-of-the-art facility, which opened to the public in 2019, offers motorsports enthusiasts of all ages an unparalleled driver and spectator experience in a country club setting.
The dedicated kart circuit represents the latest expansion to the Autobahn Country Club (ACC), a members-only club dedicated to motorsports and car enthusiasts. While karting has been available to ACC club members for years, KCA operates as a public concession for individual/family recreation, corporate events, and competition kart racing leagues.
Unlike conventional go-karting with short runs and low speeds, KCA features gas-powered CRG Centurion karts on a professionally designed circuit. The Centurion karts, which exemplify the renowned tradition of Italian racing design, utilize cutting edge technology to offer both a fast and safe racing experience.
The .52-mile professional grade kart track at KCA allows drivers to burn up the road at speeds up to 55 mph. Drivers can test their skills on a course designed for both safety and fun with numerous twists and turns, fourteen feet of elevation change, and a 650-foot straightaway. The driving experience is further enhanced by amenities not found at any other karting venue in the area, including:
- Pavement/ pit road
- Scale pad/scale house
- Timing, scoring and registration building
- Kart workshop
- Climate-controlled kart storage building
- Stadium-quality LED lighting for night racing and open practice
- New top-quality helmets
During the karting season which runs from April to November, individual and group rental packages are available for youth age 14+ and adults. Corporate event packages offer access to ACC’s award-winning catering.
History and Business
The sport of go-karting or kart racing got its start in Southern California during the height of the post-war car culture of the 1950’s. After the first official race between a handful of home-built karts in 1957, the sport took off and by the end of the decade karts were being produced commercially. The terms go-kart or shifter kart refer to all open-wheel, four-wheeled vehicles, but today’s karts vary widely in speed, performance, design, and technology. Superkarts can reach speeds of up to 160 mph while recreational karts intended for the general public are calibrated for lower speeds. Innovations in chassis construction, engines (electric and gas-powered), transmissions (early carts were push-start), tires, as well as on-board data collection, have elevated the driving experience.
It is estimated today that more than 1.6 billion people worldwide have raced go-karts. As the most economic form of motorsports on four wheels, karting is accessible through rental concessions at both indoor and outdoor tracks across the U.S. and the world. As a recreational activity, karting can be performed by almost anyone including youth as young as 5 operating special “Kid Karts”.
Motorsport enthusiasts regard kart racing as a stepping stone to the higher ranks of motorsports, with former Formula One and Nascar champions such as Sebastian Vettel, Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Darrell Walltrip, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, and racing megastar Danica Patrick having begun their careers in karting.
In the U.S., several organizations regulate kart racing such as the IKF (International Kart Federation), WKA (World Karting Association), KART (Karters of America Racing Triad), USPKS (United States Pro Karting Series), and AKRA (American Kart Racing Association). These governing bodies support the sport and issue the required licenses supplied by kart racing clubs or associations.
Generally, there are three types of sanctioned kart racing formats: sprint, which consists of a series of short duration races; endurance (referred to as enduro in the U.S.), which last for an extended period and can include multiple drivers; and speedway, which take place on shorter asphalt or clay oval tracks. With its state-of-the-art facility, KCA expects to host sanctioned Kart racing events during its operating season.
Facilities and Management
KCA is a privately owned sports and recreation facility located 45 miles from downtown Chicago. It is an affiliate of Autobahn Country Club, a 350-acre motosports and entertainment complex founded in 2004 by Tim O’Donnell and Mark Basso who serve as the organizations’ CEO and President, respectively. KCA General Manager is Alan Bertagnoli, a technology specialist and long-time motorsports enthusiast. The track is located at 1801 CenterPoint Way in Joliet, Illinois. For more information, go to www.kartcircuitautobahn.com or call toll free 833-KART-ACC (527-8222).