Kart racing is still the only type of (legal) racing I've done in real life. Karting is not especially cheap, although when compared to just about any other type of motorized road racing, it's quite economical.
I wasn't the fastest guy on the track, mostly because I would go an entire season on one set of tires, but it was always exciting. It's brutally physical, the response of the kart to driver inputs is instant, the challenge of setting up good handling with a live rear axle and only a single brake is engrossing, and the tightness of the common Kart track makes for close, intense racing, even if it is in the middle of the pack.
Now I can experience the same thrills, minus the sore muscles and the bruises gained from driving way too fast on rough pavement and with no suspension, with Kart Racing Pro. Well, as soon as my monthly allowance recovers from the Steam Summer Sale, anyway.
From the Steam store page:
Kart Racing Pro is a realistic karting simulator.
The aim is to create a software useful as a training tool for real drivers, based on a scratch built physics engine that accurately simulates kart dynamics and setup options.
As such a steering wheel is strongly recommended, although keyboard, joysticks and gamepads are fully supported.
Kart Racing Pro also allows to host and join online races, with an integrated matchmaking server. During events data is collected, to provide statistics for drivers' comparison.
Kart Racing Pro is currently available on Steam for $39.99.