JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — North Florida Kart Club is ready to open the doors to 103rd Street Sports Complex this Saturday, Jan. 20 for round 1 of their 12-race local series that officials are optimistic will kick off a big year for the long-running Jacksonville-based club.
NFKC has gained momentum the last several seasons, drawing around an 80-kart average for local races and establishing itself as one of the most competitive club series in the Southeast.
Most of those karts are Briggs 206-powered machines, as 103rd Street continues as a hotbed for 4-cycle sprint racing. The club utilizes several different layouts of the high-speed 0.7-mile circuit to mix things up throughout the year, including clockwise, counterclockwise, with or without the chicane, and a shorter course in either direction that uses the north-end oval instead of the two corners closest to 103rd Street.
This Saturday’s season opener — run in the clockwise direction with the chicane — will serve as a warmup for the Round 2 of the Cup Karts North America South Division, which is set for Feb. 2-4 at 103rd Street.
Nearly 150 pre-entrants have already signed up for the Cup Karts South show, while the NFKC opener is pushing 50 pre-entrants.
NFKC president Kenner Brown says he expects plenty more racers to be in attendance this Saturday.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that 2024 is going to be our best year yet,” Brown said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re continuing to build on the things we’ve done the last couple years, and we continue to try to reinvest with new barriers and updates to the track, and hold special races and things like that.”
While numbers have grown, so has the competition.
“The competition level is really stout, especially in the senior 206 classes,” Brown continued. “It seems like this is a place where some of the best want to come and race. We want a reputation similar to tracks like New Castle and GoPro, where if you can win here, you can win anywhere. We have some really talented racers that run with us, and that helps attract more, which is what we’re expecting this year.”
Special events and promotions have done a good job to maintain interest throughout each season, Brown added.
In 2024, the club is offering a $500-To-Win 206 Masters Florida State Championship on May 11, a $500-To-Win 206 Senior Heavy race July 27, a $1,000-To-Win 206 Senior Fall Brawl Nov. 9, and a four-race Summer Shootout Series between May and August. The three money race events are all night races.
WKA will return to NFKC with the Gold Cup Grand Nationals Nov. 22-24, traditionally a popular date for a touring series event at the track the weekend before Thanksgiving.
NFKC utilizes a Vega tire rule to maintain consistency with CKNA and WKA.
“We need to work on the juniors and cadets,” Brown admits. “And I think that’s really a matter of getting new people involved. We’ve run some Facebook ads around Jacksonville and things like that. We want to attract new people to the sport.”
Click here to view the 2024 NFKC schedule.
For more information on the club, visit northflkarting.com.