One Lap in a Kart — Setting up and Making the Pass
Tracking a car is a LOT of fun but it comes with risks. The nighmare scenario is causing damage to your car that costs thousands in repairs. Most racers I meet at the track aren’t detered by the thought of crashing or causing damage to their cars but rest-assured, it’s in the back of everyone’s mind. You can never predict when someone’s car is going to drop some oil or coolant onto the track that results in you spinning out of control. Driver experience of those around you can never be assured either. To avoid these potential pitfalls, I tend to only race the clock and keep to myself. I view the track as a place to have fun with your own car and to stretch the limits of your own driving ability and that of your car. It’s the learning grounds for high performance driving.
Enter the “arrive and drive” race program at Goodwood Kartways. As the name suggests, when you sign up to a summer season at Goodwood, you simply need to show up and the rest is taken care of for you. Cars are fueled, tire pressures set, mechanical adjustments are made and these cars are ready for action. There are course marshalls and marshalls in the pits to keep the race event constantly moving. The series is a ten race season with rules that are similar to Formula One. You begin with a practice session that goes for 1.5 hours so you can play around with the karts – trying new lines, entry speeds, driving techniques, etc. Then you get a 5 lap qualifying session. Finally, you get to race for twelve laps! These karts have 15 HP which is good for some decent speed and exciting pass opportunities. The best part of the league is that you can throw caution to the wind. If you spin out or crash into another car (not something you really want to happen regardless) you get to walk away, hop into your own car and drive home; leaving the kart carnage behind. While you can’t get up to speeds like that of your own car at a track, the being on the ground easily gives you the thrill of going twice the speed you are. And the handling… well.. it handles like a go=kart! Sharp twists of the steering wheel sends your ribs crushing into the hard plastic seat. Some newbees choose to wear bullet proof rib protectors but a couple of racese without and you toughen up. The selling point of this league is that you are racing. You are genuinely racing and you don’t need to worry about your car. You just need to worry about getting to the finish line first.
Gentlemen, start your engines!!