Motor Sports Facilities

Gateway 500 Tests Endurance, Strategy and Excitement in One Race

22 May, 2015

This race is not for the faint of heart, “If you think you have what it takes to race competitively for five or six hours at once, then this race is for you,” says Keith Scharf, former national champion and General Manager of the Gateway Motorsports Park Kartplex.

The Gateway 500 is a 500 lap endurance team race that tests the teamwork, strategy and competitive spirit of anyone tough enough get behind the wheel of a professional go-kart (these are not your amusement park toys).  Held on Memorial Day Monday, May 25, 201, this all-day event begins at 9:30am with registration and a driver’s meeting.  The Green Flag drops at 11:00am and the race should wrap up about 4:45pm. 

The competition will include up to 18 teams of up to five people, which will include drivers, pit stop crews, and fans to provide much-needed support and encouragement.  This race is perfect for a group of good friends or a family who want to spend the day riding karts at 60 miles per hour, and competing at incredible levels.  No former karting experience necessary. Spectating will be allowed along the back straight.  Teams, friends and families are encouraged to bring their EZ ups, grills and coolers.  There is no charge for spectators                                        

The entry fee is $750 per team and the   deadline is Wednesday, May 20th at 5:00pm.  Qualifying takes place on Wednesday, May 20th 5:30 pm.

Awards abound with trophies and cash prizes: first place team prize of $1000, second place is $500, and third place is $250.  Every driver receives an event t-shirt, and the winning team gets an invite to the Gateway Kartplex Banquet of Champions, premium trophies for the top three. Permanent wall plaque in the SpeedCenter with team photo for winners.

Gateway Kartplex will make a $500 donation to VFW post 1300 in Granite City and a $1,000 donation if we reach 18 team entries.

Register online at .  For more information, contact Keith Scharf at or call 618-219-8515. 

The Details

Kart Assignment-Karts will be assigned for both qualifying and the race via random draw.

Qualifying-Qualifying will take place Wednesday, May 20th at 5:30 pm.  Qualifying will consist of one open ten minute qualifying session for the designated qualifying driver for each team.  No driver changes will be allowed during the qualifying session. Any team that does change drivers during qualifying will be penalized and start at the back of the grid. Grid will be aligned by best single lap time.

Refueling-There will be two refueling stops, at approximately lap 175 and 350. At the appropriate lap, a full course yellow will be thrown, the field will be frozen and a pace kart will pick up the lead kart and lead the field to the refueling area.  All drivers will exit their karts and refueling will commence. Refueling will take 10-15 minutes.  When refueling is complete, all drivers will re-enter their karts, engines will be re-fired and the karts will re-enter the track behind the pace kart. IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO CHANGE DRIVERS DURING REFUELING.  The field will follow the pace kart to the green flag and the race will resume.

Drivers and driver changes-Teams may consist of a maximum of five drivers. Each team member must complete a minimum of 30 minutes on track.  It is permissible to attempt to solo the event.  Driver changes may be made at any time at the discretion of the team.  Driver changes will be made in the designated area in the hot grid.  A signaling area will be designated for team to driver signaling. Minimum Driver age is 16.

Radios-No radios will be allowed. Team/Driver communication will be via hand signals or sign boards only in the designated signaling area.

Mechanical problems-The Sodi GT5 karts have proven to be very durable and rarely experience any mechanical issues.  The karts will be prepared accordingly for the 500 lap event. In the event of a mechanical issue, race control may swap that kart out for another.  We will have karts prepared and held in reserve if needed.  Any team who acts to manipulate the kart in an effort to move to another kart will be penalized accordingly.  Any laps lost due to mechanical issues will be added back to your lap count.

Tires-Prior to the event, all karts will be fitted with new tires. Each kart will be driven two five lap stints to heat cycle the new tires. All karts will be starting the race with 10 laps on their tires.

Rough driving- Rough driving will not be tolerated.  If race control witnesses driving that is deemed unacceptable, that driver will receive a rolled and pointed black flag with their number displayed at S/F.  EACH TEAM IS ALLOWED ONE ROLLED BLACK FLAG WARNING. If that team, regardless of driver, is involved in another instance of rough or overly aggressive driving, the kart will be black flagged at the S/F line with their number displayed.  The kart/team will then have three laps to report to the penalty area on the hot grid. IF THE KART DOES NOT HEED THE BLACK FLAG WITHIN THREE LAPS, THE KART AND TEAM WILL BE DISQUALIFIED AND NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN.  Penalties may range from a drive through to 5 minutes. NO DRIVER CHANGES MAY BE MADE WHEN SERVING A PENALTY.  RACE CONTROL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY AN INDIVIDUAL COMPETITOR OR COMPLETE TEAM AT THEIR DISCRETION WITH NO REFUNDS GIVEN.

All decisions by race control are final and not appealable.


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