You’re never too old for the thrills and spills of karting. DAVID HOOPER, editor of wheelworldreviews.co.uk visits Lincolnshire’s newest indoor karting centre and puts the specially-designed track to the test.
AS a motoring writer I spend much of my time writing about how comfortable a car is, how many cup holders it has and whether or not you can fit a set of golf clubs in the boot.
So when I visited Lincolnshire’s newest and largest indoor kart track, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma — what was I going to do with my coffee?
Fortunately, it was a cold day with ice on the ground, and although we were indoors, my coffee cooled quickly, so I was able to down it while listening to the briefing for our event — the Iron Man challenge.
Karting World, on Grimsby’s Estate Road No 1, just off the A180, is owned and run by brothers and business partners Lee and Dave Kitchen. It’s a new business which has been set up with the help of E-Factor, an organisation which helps new ventures get off the ground, and take their first steps in the world of business.
I was there as part of a dads versus lads birthday treat for a 16-year-old’s birthday party, but anyone from the age of eight, providing they are tall enough, can turn up and have a go. As with all karting, it’s a case of the more the merrier, the closer the racing, and the more “do or die” tales of daring overtaking manoeuvres there are to be recounted after your race — and that goes for any age group, believe me!
We agreed to let the teenagers go first and watched as the after-effects of a late night watching movies and drinking the odd beer or two began to take its toll on the demanding, twisty track.
As the boys’ session, which included the inevitable spins and crashes, drew to a close, the lads had visibly tired and were leaning into the seats of their karts. These would-be “Iron Men” had melted down, but as we dads were soon to find out, it’s a tiring track to drive for a long time, with continuous bends and a top speed of around 30mph, giving you little time to relax.
It’s great fun though, and the racing is guaranteed to be close. Karting World has invested in top quality French SODI RX7 karts which Lee says are considered to be the best racing karts on the market today. Younger participants compete on Biz Karts, which are made in Britain. I was impressed with the quality of the equipment and the clothing, all of which is new and well looked after, something which Lee feels is important for the future.
After the green lights and the first corner comings together, the red mist quickly descends, as you try and chase down the cheating so-and-so that pushed you wide on the first corner, gaining the advantage and allowing two or three of your recently “ex-friends” to follow him through!
The karts are easy to drive, just two pedals, a throttle and a brake. There are no gear change indicators, or electric parking brakes to worry about, no Bluetooth hands-free telephone systems and definitely no air conditioning — something you could really do with as it’s very hot work if you’re trying.
It’s great fun though, and kept us all talking, arguing about where we might have finished had we not gone off there, or spun on that corner — and comparing our lap times, each one of which is digitally recorded.
As well as the Iron Man challenge we took part in, Karting World offers a choice of formats which can be tailored to various age groups. You could, for example just arrive and drive, space permitting, or book a grand prix or team enduro event.
For more information, or to book an event, telephone (01472) 241500, or visit the website www.kartingworldgrimsby.co.uk