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Go-karting flags and what they mean

Total Karting Motorsport

Before you get out on track for the first time, you’ll have a safety briefing which covers each of the go-karting flags and what they mean. As a karter, it’s important that you understand the purpose and how to react to each flag before you take to the track, as they will keep you and your fellow drivers safe, ultimately helping us all have a more enjoyable race.

If you’d like to brush up on your karting flag knowledge, our rundown highlights the flags you need to know about, whether you’re a karter or an intrigued spectator.

Our guide to go-karting flag meanings

Green flag

When you see this flag waving, go go go! A green flag is used to signal the start of a race. You’ll likely hear lots of cheers as the green flag is waved and drivers will get in the zone as they begin their big race.

go-karting flags and what they mean

Yellow flag

If you’re racing and you see a marshall holding a stationary yellow flag, this means that there is danger ahead and you should retain careful control of the kart. When a yellow flag is waving, it means that there is great danger ahead and you should slow down considerably, whilst preparing to deviate from the racing line. You are also not allowed to overtake during a yellow flag and must watch carefully for further direction from the marshalls, who will indicate when racing can resume.

Red flag

This is one of the most important go-karting flags you’ll see. If a red flag is waved during a race, you must proceed to the pit lane and be prepared to stop, according to marshall instruction. During a red flag, drivers must remain in their karts, unless instructed differently by a marshall. Once the hazard is removed, officials will instruct you on the next steps.

Blue flag

This flag exists to assist with safe lapping. If another kart is following closely behind and may be about to lap you, a blue flag will be held stationary. If another kart is going to lap you imminently, marshalls will wave the blue flag and you must stay on the racing line. It’s important that you look out for this flag, to ensure both you and the approaching driver can pass each other safely.

Black flag

As we all know from the world of F1, sometimes drivers don’t always drive according to the rules! When this happens and it causes a safety infraction, a black flag will be waived, directed at the driver who caused the issue. It may be a case of reckless driving or

something that the driver is doing which doesn’t comply with that particular track’s rules. Whatever the reason, when a black flag is waved at a driver, they must stop the behaviour which has caused the infraction, or risk being disqualified from the race.

Chequered flag

The most famous flag of all! The chequered flag is waved to mark the end of a race, when the winner has crossed the finish line and to let other drivers, who may be far behind, know that this is their last lap. 

Keeping karting safe

Go-Karting flags are essential for helping drivers compete at all levels and it’s essential that karters have a good understanding before they get in their karts. If you like what you’ve read and you’d like to learn more about how you, or a loved one, can get into karting, our Sparks events are the perfect introduction to the karting world. If you’ve already got some experience under your belt, sign up to one of our practice sessions or race weekends.

For the full rundown on karting flags and how they’re used, take a look at the official karting regulations.

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