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Indoor Karting

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Rob Rothwell
Stay Warm and Dry - Race Inside
Rather than travelling to California, Nevada or Arizona to stay warm and dry on a track, give indoor karting a try. Most major cities have indoor kart tracks that can be challenging to drive, with more thrills and spills than naked Twister.

The track I occasionally attend with my teenage son and his friends features Sodi GT5 karts that can hit 75 km/h. And believe me, that feels like 150 km/h when flying down the backstretch inside a large warehouse.

Indoor karting
Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com

The karts are amazingly resilient, easily absorbing bumps and grinds with competitors. They’re also a blast to drive given their squealing tires and drifting tales. While all this racing bravado may sound intimidating, indoor karting is a great family activity that doesn’t require cat-like racing reflexes or nerves of steel.

Novice drivers have just as much fun as seasoned vets, and there’s no reason to feel intimidated. Many youngsters without any driving experience whatsoever perform remarkably well after just a couple of laps. More alarming though is the transformation that beholds normally timid adults.

The “quiet types” become predators moments after the green flag is waved. It’s a fascinating metamorphosis that could bewilder social scientists for decades. Family and friends are often heard to lament : “she was such a nice person until that day at the indoor track.”

All kidding aside, indoor karting is far safer than one might think. The track I attend provides full-face helmets and racing suits. The karts are equipped with racing restraints to hold the driver tightly in the bucket seat. The entire perimeter of the kart is skirted by a flexible bumper that prevents wheel-to-wheel contact while absorbing impacts.

The track is lined with rubber tires to cushion a missed turn or direct blow, and drivers are given strict orders to adhere to the yellow flag when it appears.

If indoor karting isn’t on your winter list – or worse yet – bucket list, it should be. There’s no reason to let a rainy day wash away fun. Indoor karting’s a blast; unfortunately it tends to wash away money faster than rain.

Indoor Karting
Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com

Rob Rothwell
Rob Rothwell
Automotive expert
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