In November 2006 I shot and event or Daron Shade at the Tucson Kart Club (TKC), the cool thing was I would shoot that event that took place earlier in the day then hop right over to the big track Tucson Raceway Park and shoot back to back.
TKC operates as a not for profit organization and their 1/5th mile dirt track is located on Pima County Fairgrounds property just off of Houghton and Dawn Rd., snuggled in between Tucson Raceway Park and Southwestern International Raceway. TKC has been a karting club for 40 years and has been sanctioned by the International Karting Federation (IKF) since. I was really impressed with how well they prepped this little dirt track. It is a smooth dirt surface with a mixture of clay and other goodies added for grip; it was cool to see it rubber in and it looked real grippy.
The track mandates the use of Burris Kart Tires if you want to accumulate points, the tires on these things are cool no matter what brand you run; they have all sort of compounds, stagger and widths to choose from.
This would be the first time I had ever shot go-karts but I knew I would have to either use long glass (bigger lens) or get real close to the track, so I did both. No matter what you are photographing, you should always fill your frame with the subject and that could be tough shooting karts since they are so much smaller than stock cars. A track 1/5th of a mile in size may sound small, it is, but when you consider the from and back straightaways are 225ft long with two 100ft radius turns I didn’t have to move around as much as I normally would at a big track. I didn’t have my 300mm Canon yet so I mainly used my 70-200mm lens and it worked fine and was able to fill in the frame after I cropped a little bit.
Arizona rewards you with the most beautiful golden hour light anywhere I have seen but the midday sun was harsh as usual and I couldn’t pull off any creative shots with natural light as the event was over before 4pm, I was still able to get some decent images that I was happy with.
TKC runs twice a month with the following classes:
Jr Jr Class: ages 5-8 and a 200lb limit
Combined JR Class: ages 8-15 with a 16 option year
Junior Rookies: ages 8-15
Adult Clone: ages 16 and up
Unlimited All Star: U.A.S. guide lines with a local option
Powder Puff: ages 16 and up
Sportsman Pro: ages 16 and up
Sportsman Rookie: ages 16 and up
More classes are possible but there is a 3 Kart minimum before it can be considered a Championship class.
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