Let’s go-karting!

kartracing

Next up we have go-kart racing (a.k.a. kart racing)! And let me just clarify, this ain’t bumper cars. Ready! Set! Go!

Background: Grade school for motor sports. Many professional racing drivers honed their skills go-karting, from Michael Schumacher to Jeff Gordon. If you’ve ever wanted the thrill of racing without the expense, then this is for you. In this sport, you drive a small racing vehicle around a race course (indoor or outdoor). It emulates the larger motor sports in nearly every way, with track marshalls, timed runs, pit crews, and safety equipment. Go-karting is biggest in Europe, though it’s rapidly growing in other continents.

Most public tracks are recreational, meaning their karts aren’t as powerful, and their courses aren’t as complicated. Depending on the quality of the track, safety equipment may range from simple helmets to full-body suits and even engine cut-off switches for dangerous drivers. There’s nothing much to fear, though. You have to really go out of your way to hurt yourself. Anybody expecting climactic crashes like on TV will be sorely disappointed.

Why it’s fun: Let me see. The thrill of zipping down a race track in a motorized vehicle? Check. The satisfaction of acing an S-curve and the hairpin turn after it? Check. Triumph as you take the lead after an intense 2-lap battle with your rival? Check. Hell, I dare you to not scope yourself out in a mirror, decked out in a full-body racing suit and helmet.

What you need: Access to a go-karting course, to start. And good shoes; sandals will get caught in the gas/brake pedals. The rest of the equipment can be rented at the track. Oh, you’ll want to buy one of these eventually. Tracks wash them, but still… ew.

Suggested for: Motorheads and speed freaks who don’t want to risk another speeding ticket. Racing enthusiasts. Those with pent-up aggression from too much traffic. Kids can ride too (don’t need a license)!

Not for: Terrified drivers (though you gotta try it at least once)! People with heart conditions.

Link: http://www.indoorkarttracks.com/Track_Listing.html

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