This page deals with some of the more frequently asked questions about the British Universities Karting Championship. If your question is not answered on this page, it may be answered on the official BUKC website’s or on our general FAQ page.

  1. How does the championship work?

  2. Who can compete?

  3. How do I get involved?

  4. What are the karts like?

  5. How much does it cost to take part?

  1. How does the championship work?

The Championship itself consists of 9 rounds, with 2 rounds at each track per day for the mains championship, and one round at each track per day for the intermediate championship. Over the last few years, we have entered 4 teams, putting the strongest 8 drivers in the A and B-team and rotating drivers through the C and D-team to give everyone as much experience as we can. Impressive performance in the C and D-team will result in promotion to the B (or even A) team.

During the mains championship days racing, there are 6 x 25-minute sprint races, of which each driver in each team does 1 race, and 3 x 1-hour endurance races, which are done in driver pairs. Random grids are produced, to give every team a spread of starting positions from the very front to the very back.

During the intermediate championship days racing, there are 6 x 20-minute practice/qualifying sessions and 6 x 25-minute sprint races of which each driver in each team does 1 practice/qualifying and 1 race. Grids for the race are determined by the qualifying session.

In addition to the Championships, you can enter the Drivers Championship towards the end of the season. The Drivers Championship is held at the final BUKC event of the season, just after round 9 of the Championship. It is open to everyone and should encourage that inter-team rivalry we all love. It consists of a number of short sprint races, progressing through to a final where the winner is crowned BUKC Drivers Champion.

If that's not enough, there is also a one-off 24 hour race held at Teesside Autodrome on the longest weekend in June. This is open to everyone regardless of whether you have raced in either of the BUKC championships and is the perfect way to cap off an academic year of hard work.

  1. Who can compete?

Anyone who can tick all the following points can represent the University of Birmingham in the BUKC. Some of these points are specified by us and some by the BUKC itself.

Be a current student at the University of Birmingham

Be a member of the UBMRC (i.e. have paid the £19 membership fee)

Be at least 18 years old

Be at least 5ft tall

Note that there are no experience requirements for test sessions – you can take part in a test session having never driven a kart in your life.

In order to take part in a BUKC race, you need to have obtained a BUKC race license during a test session or taken part in a Club100 event at any point since 2006.

In the mains championship, there is a minimum weight of 75kg for lightweight sprint races and 82kg for heavyweight sprint races. The intermediate championship does not have this distinction and is 75kg for all sprint races but if you’re under you don’t need to worry – lead weight can be added to the kart.

  1. How do I get involved?

Firstly, you need to be a member of the club, and it would also help to get yourself along to one of our events.

Following that, each driver interested will be taken to one of the 2 test days (subject to availability). These are essential as, if you’ve never driven a 2-stroke kart before, you need time to get used to them. BUKC rules also state that a driver must have either attended a test day or competed in Club100 karts in the past to take part in a race.

After the 2 test days, the committee will get together and put together a team to enter the season proper.

We will try to give everyone at least 1 shot at a race during the season, but due to numbers, and the fact that the A-team is likely to be the same for most races, this may prove difficult.

  1. What are the karts like?

If you’ve ever driven 4-stroke karts before – like the Biz Karts you can get at many tracks around Britain – you’ll know that you can be pretty cruel to the pedals and still keep control of the kart. You can stomp on the break pedal fully to slow down for the corner, then you can fully press down on the throttle to accelerate out of the corner.

The Club100 karts used in the BUKC are a different matter entirely. They have 2-stroke engines, a lightweight Birel chassis and produce 20hp. For comparison, Biz Karts typically produce only 6hp so it's a big step up. All of this means if the engine revs drop too low, the engine will bog down and you'll lose time. If you stomp on the throttle pedal, the kart will struggle to accelerate. This provides a unique driving challenge, where you have to get the balance right between driving aggressively enough to be competitive but also being smooth enough to maintain control. This is why the rule about taking part in a test session before being allowed to race exists, so that drivers can get used to the Club100 karts.

In summary, the Club 100 karts are amazing to drive, but will take some getting used to.

  1. How much does it cost to take part?

As with our own social races, you do not require any racing equipment to compete in the BUKC, though if you own any, you are more than welcome to use it. How much you do or don’t spend on race gear is therefore entirely up to you.

As for the cost to take part, here are the prices for the 2023 BUKC season, to give you a rough idea.

Test session – £70

Qualifiers Championship Round – £136.25

Main Championship Round – £146.25

Inters Championship Round – £122.50