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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I am going to be a F1 Racer!

Many great Formula One drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton et al all began their racing careers with Go Kart racing. It is almost as easy to say that in order to be a Formula One racer, you first need to be a great Go Kart Racer.

Having aspirations of a professional racer since the days of Daytona in Circus Circus and Funland, our group of friends decided to take plunge and head off to Kartright Speedway (KS) to realize our professional racing dreams.

KS is one of the two karting tracks in Singapore. Located at 511 Upper Jurong Road, KS has a state of art facility offering the best karting experience in Singapore with its 750 metre long and 7 metre wide racing track. Going there isn’t too much of a problem as it is located within Arena Country Club, which is directly opposite SAFTI and 5 mins walk away from Joo Koon MRT. We have booked two rounds of 10 mins thanks to the extremely attractive promotion by Groupon. After going through our registration (Photo ID is strictly necessary) and an eye and colour blindness test, we headed off to the track and began our briefing.

All racers are expected to wear a race helmet and proper shoes. KS does provide race helmets as well as hair nets to the racers. Of course being a hygiene freak, I decided against using their helmets, choosing to bring my own helmet instead as I cannot stand the bawu (“slang for bad smell”). Just imagine KS opens 7 days a week since 2010 and assuming they have 100 customers a day using the helmets!!!! 

You need to mount the kart from the left as you risk getting yourself burned by the motor if you mount from the right. Controlling the kart seems pretty easy, using the right paddle to accelerate and left paddle to brake. The average speed of the kart is about 50-60 km/h. There is no clutch or changing of gears to contend with. While we all decided to “take” out Colin before the race, we were told “bumping” into other karts are strictly not allowed. There goes our planning.

There were 7 of us in this race. The sounds of the engine really got our adrenaline pumping. With the “race flag” being flag, the accelerator was floored without the thought of the price of V-power / litre. While the race track does offer a couple of curves, it is generally an easier track compare to Suzuka and Le Mans. Having said that, the race did provide some heart pounding moments: Jeff’s kart doing a 360 skid and another young kid race skidded so many times till the safety car has to be brought out. After an exhilarating 2 races of 10 mins, we decided to retire into the comfort of the air-con room. We felt the soreness in our old wrinkled arms which were still vibrating after the race. Our illustrious modelling career had to be ended due to the tyre crumps that hit and mutilated our faces.

KS is definitely a great place to build some camaraderie with your friends and let off some steam. Two thumbs up for the friendly staff there too. Word of caution though: The racing experience will have an impact on you (especially if you are driving) even after you leave the place and it certainly caused me to drive and corner fast. At the end of the day, do remember to drive safely as big brother is always watching you!

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