27 Jan 2022

South Canterbury Kart Club a family affair

From Afternoons, 1:40 pm on 27 January 2022

"It's the best feeling in the world when you're sitting 2 inches off the ground and going 70k's an hour through a paddock. You're just full of adrenaline and nothing else matters in those moments" - Leanne Ryan.

South Canterbury Family Kart Club

South Canterbury Family Kart Club Photo: South Canterbury Family Kart Club

Leanne Ryan first saw the sport of grass-karting on Facebook and thought it looked cool. A couple of months later, her partner Greg bought her a kart.

Now Greg, Leanne, their 14-year-old daughter and their 9-year-old son are all into it.

Leanne and Greg run a family grass-karting club in South Canterbury.

There's always some risk with motorsport and you can expect a few spills, but the Ryans haven't seen any major injuries from grass karting, Leanne tells Jesse Mulligan.

Things often go wrong but members of the karting community are known for helping each other out.

"There'll always be someone that's broken something or wheels come off or you need a part. It's just a whole big community event where we all get together - it's great."

Most grass karts are made from steel kart frames fitted with motorbike engines and converted to grass kart standards, Leanne says.

They measure just under 2 metres long and sit about 2 inches off the ground, which could include hills, mud, deep ruts, and long and short grass.

At $3,000 - $4,000 for an adult cart and $1,500 to $2,000 for a midget kart, grass karting is an affordable entry point to motorsport, she says.

And while the South Canterbury Family Karting Club emphasises camaraderie over competition, once a year - on Club Cup Day - all bets are off and the karters race for trophies.

If you're interested in giving grass karting a go, Leanne suggests contacting a local club.

"We've got clubs all across New Zealand, heaps in the South Island."

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