The Australian Karting Association National participation rates have increased slightly over the first six months of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012. Overall licence numbers (when including competition and practice) have declined slightly (-3.5%) when compared to the reporting period ending December 31, 2012.

While it is not ideal to have a slight decrease in the overall licence numbers, it is encouraging for the Association that there remains an increase of five percent on the period ending December 31, 2011.

The state-based participation rate highlights some of the pressures of the economic situations in Australia, particularly in reference to Tasmania where a 14% decline has been experienced. This decline could be attributed to the fact that Tasmania has recorded its highest unemployment rate in a decade, with 8.9 percent of the population now out of work.

After experiencing a high from hosting the National Championships in 2012, the Northern Territory has experienced a decline in both licences and participation rates. At the same time South Australia has enjoyed a 14 percent increase in participation over the opening six month period of 2013.

The resurgence of the Victorian Karting Series appears to have assisted the participation rate in Victoria. While the licence numbers in the Garden State have remained on par, the participation rate has increased slightly.

Similarly, Queensland has benefited from some strong local racing with the Ipswich Kart Club regularly attracting 200-plus entries to its Club Championship rounds. This has assisted for the Sunshine State to gain an increase of 3.5 percent for the first half of 2013 compared to 2012.

“When looking at the entire picture, the sport remains in a relatively stable position despite the economic pressures that have been placed on the Australian population,” said National President Craig Denton.

“It would obviously be a significant mark to have membership numbers increase at the same rate as participation but the most encouraging aspect of these figures is the fact that the members we do have are taking to the track more often to enjoy our sport.”

To view the Licence Figures until June 30 please click here.

To view the Participation rates for the opening half of 2013 please click here.