F1’s Grassroots: Karting – Michael Schumacher

Our first post here on StartingGrid on the purest form of racing: karting. In the good ole days, there were no plastic pods or electronic controls for the karts, just the driver, the chassis, the engine, and a passion. Today’s karts are quite an offshoot from those times, now with electric push button starts, gearboxes, radiators, rev-limits, protective everything…

But that’s not to say that they aren’t still the best way to get into motorsport, especially as child. Schuey himself started when he was 4.


What did you do when you were 4?

He says he uses karting in the off-season to help train and stay sharp. And we can see why.

Here he is 38 years later, in a Tony Kart with an Intercontinental C (ICC) or KZ engine. The engine produces nearly 50hp and weighs in at about 200lbs, without driver, giving it a power to weight ratio of roughly 500hp per ton! Which, if you didn’t know, is more than a Bugatti Veyron (446hp/ton). This is a race in his homeland of Germany, in a town called Kerpen, where they apparently know about karting. Don’t mind him falling back; he had an engine issue and ended up DNF’ing but came back a few months after and won, alongside his brother Ralph, in a later race.

Fast forward to 5:00 minutes to get to the good stuff…

And here’s an onboard video of the same race with fellow KZ racer Arjan Kievitsbosch.