Shutdown system essential for go-karts safety

Shutdown systems karting

Shutdown system essential for go-karts safety

A number of basic precautions are taken by go kart centres to comply with safety regulations (e.g.: installation of safety barriers, installation of protections on karts, mandatory use of the helmet, briefing before the race, etc.). This set of precautions can be considered as preventive or passive protections.

But what happens when cornering at high speed or due to external factors (weather or other drivers) the control of the kart is lost? In these cases, the physical integrity of the driver or even other drivers, may be jeopardized. This is when ACTIVE protections enter in scene.

A shutdown system for karting is one of the best active protections that allows full speed control over the go karts.

One of the most commonly used shutdown system for go karts is a remote control system which operates upon combustion engines or electric engines. A basic shutdown system for go karts speed control is composed of two main devices:

  • Shutdown transponder connected to the spark plug.
  • Shutdown remote controller whereby the track manager can control and adjust the speed of the karts when necessary.

The mode of operation of the shutdown transponder in a shutdown system is achieved through reducing or limiting the RPM / engine relay thus controlling the speed of the kart. The dedicated buttons on the remote controller enables a quick remote shutdown by quickly adjusting the speed of the go karts.


There are three ways to control a shutdown system using shutdown transponders: manual, automatic or both.

In a manual shutdown system, the track manager has control of the speed of the karts at all times using the remote control controller. The track manager can easily adjust remotely the speeds of a kart, a group of karts or all karts. Thanks to the shutdown transponders, the track manager has control of the kart engines and can reduce the rpm or turn them off completely. Similarly, it can impose penalties on drivers who perform inappropriate driving and endanger the physical integrity of the driver himself and the rest of the drivers. The limitation of a go kart is for a time, after which the speed limitation is automatically removed.

An automatic shutdown system is denoted by specific track locations and/or track sectors using electromagnetic loops. Specific located loops are usually installed at the pit entry to ensure that all karts entering this area do so at a reduced and safe speed. It should be remembered that pit/box area can be very populated with waiting go karts and drivers. On the other hand, limited sectors are usually located in dangerous track areas or turns to reduce excessive speeds (usually to protect unexperienced drivers). These automatically controlled areas will significantly reduce the track accidents and improve track safety without the intervention of the track manager. Each loop has its own ID and can be configured to be always active or receive on/off instructions from a remote timer or the timing software.

Both shutdown systems (manual and automatic) can co-exist and increase even more the safety of the go kart track.

PixelTiming has also integrated the shutdown transponders operating mode on steering wheel displays. Therefore, these devices, apart from having the remote shutdown options for karts speed control, it also provides additional information to drivers in real time like session progress and others. Additionally, PixelTiming has provided an extra security functionality on these remote devices. This is the HELP button. This button located in a natural and intuitive location for the driver, can be pressed when the pilot ceases to have control of the kart (e.g.: an accident or an indisposition). This signal will automatically warn the track manager that he will easily identify the pilot and take the appropriate security measures using the emergency shutdown system.

PixelTiming’s shutdown system can be used as a standalone system and/or integrated with other timing systems on the market. There is a great advantage in using it with PixelTiming’s timing system, since PixelTiming’s timing transponder can also work as a sector sensor for the automatic shutdown system. Therefore, the total number of devices to install in a go kart is reduced.

In addition, if your start/finish line is located before the pint entry, you can have a single loop that will function as a timing loop during the sessions and shutdown loop when the session ha finished. This will avoid having two loops, two cuts in the track’s asphalt and especially less electronic devices at the track.

Security is a good investment! PixelTiming’s go kart speed control systems offer a great safety increase and lower operational cost for your karting business.

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