Go karts too good not to race

Go karts too good not to race

Engineering students past and present, start your engines! These are not just any go-karts, but CAD designed, hand built, customised and, in some cases, quite fast machines.

The CPIT Engineering Go Kart Day at a farm in North Christchurch has become something of a right-of-passage says engineering tutor Graeme Harris, reflecting a lot of work and valuable lessons learned.


“I’ve had people in the industry ask me where we buy the go karts,” he says. “I have to explain that, no, our students build them from the ground up, not just the mechanics but the design of the body and everything in-between.”

Teams of final year New Zealand Diploma Engineering and second year Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree students test their karts, built to the South Island Grass Kart specifications, at an annual event organised by Graeme. Staff and past students also turn up with their go karts as well. Some of the graduates are out working in the industry earning good money in their first year, but they still make time for the event.

The race win on average driver time was taken out by the Z Team captained jointly by Frank Slee and Matt Jamieson with a winning margin of only 0.05 of a second.

“The quality of this year’s design and build project task was excellent with many outside visitor commenting that they thought the chassis were commercial products. The students produced some interesting ideas including adjustable front steering and even a 3d printed electronic steering wheel shift light system,” Graeme said.

The Christchurch’s Grass Kart club for supported the event.