For the past two years that I’ve been living in Northern Virginia, I’ve been hearing about some great indoor go-cart track. If you know me, you know I love cars, and you know I love driving. So finally this past weekend I decided to check it out. The name of the place is called Allsports Grand Prix, and it’s located in Dulles, VA. The place is pretty much all out, you have to wear a race suit, gloves, and helmet to even get on the track. There are two types of carts, the regular one is 6.5hp and the superkart one is 9hp. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but the regular one goes about 38mph on the straight away. In order to even be able to drive the superkart, you have to be able to get 4 25 second or less laps in one race. To put that in perspective, by best time was 26.846:
Now I know you’re going to call me out on excuses, but I was getting bad times because I didn’t really know what the race line was. Plus on one of the hairpin turns, I kept spinning out. One of the officials was sitting at that corner, and when I left, I asked what I was doing wrong to keep spinning out. He said I was using my brakes, go figure! On the entire track, the brakes are not supposed to be used. The technique for the hairpin turn is to go wide, letting off the gas and turning will slow the kart down enough to make the turn. In the middle of the turn as the kart is sideways and pointing straight is when you can give it full gas again. I wish I knew this beforehand, I’m sure my times would have been much better!
The entire experience is really fun, but it’s something you need to do a few times in order to start getting good at it. The problem with that is that it’s really expensive, $24.50 for just 8 minutes of racing for non-members. 8 minutes gets about 16-18 laps depending on how fast you go. Annual membership is $50, and that includes a t-shirt, 8-minute race, and another 8-minute race on your birthday. It also gives you a discounted rate of $17/race whenever you do want to go. So you can tell, this sport can get really expensive, but it’s great fun! Here’s a picture of yours truly getting ready to race: