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“The Duck Pond”

Chris GangaiSan Jose, CA

February 2004

 Karting in the bay here in Northern California

Now when I say Karting, I'm not talking about Malibu Grand Prix.  Granted Malibu provides and “outdoor racing” experience, I'm talking about the racing facilities that are indoors with Karts that absolutely haul butt!  We have a few facilities that have been open for sometime that provide a great racing environment for us speed demons.  Such places like RPM in Sacramento, Lemans in Fremont, and Speed Ring in Santa Clara have paved the way for an exciting way to get together with friends, co-workers, and family.  I have gotten the privilege to race on all these tracks and found that Karting is a great racing experience.

 But my experience was enhanced the instant I got the chance to ride at Go Kart Racer.

 Go Kart Racer?  Where is that?

 Well, if you're in the Bay Area, you will see it off the 101.  It is very close to the San Francisco Airport in the city of Burlingame.  Go Kart Racer has opened up around the holidays which made it very difficult for them to get situated and organized.  Most of the mayhem was caused due to the fact they are located right off the freeway and are highly visible to everyone driving by.

 With a new driving facility opening up there, of course people are going to stop by.  It got so insane that there was a 2-hour wait and also sold out sessions throughout the holidays.  That obviously tells you something.  The place is awesome!  Some of you may not know, but the Bay Area is filled with racecar enthusiasts ranging from NASCAR, Indy, Formula One, Grand Turismo, and what I like to call, “A-la-Fast & Furious machines.”  Although, this is “dot com” central, so you do get a lot of office geeks in there tearing it up!  Don't count them out for a second; most of those guys can fly!  But I do know for a fact that there is a huge following of motocross racers, wakeboarders, snowboarders, downhill mountain bikers, and other sport fanatics in the Bay Area that were looking for an alternative when they are not out riding.  Well all you “Need for Speed” or “Need for Competition” types, I have a place for you.  Go Kart Racer!

 Let's take a quick tour of the facility.  Well, besides the two indoor race tracks, there is an arcade, pool tables, a delicious track side café, a paddock lounge, conference rooms for the big dogs to take care of business, and a display of one of the top of the line race shifter karts.  Go Kart Racer also offers driving schools, leagues, and private parties.  It's such a great way to get together and have loads of fun!  When you reserve a private party, the feature I like the most about it, is that you get to race against everyone whom is there with you rather than race against strangers.  It just makes the atmosphere and the experience more enjoyable.  Don't get me wrong, even if you go by yourself, you are guaranteed a great time!  You can also thank the really friendly staff for the great service they provide.  I got the chance to go head to head with Chris, one of the employees and one of their fastest racers, and was only trailing him by 2 seconds.  After we were done he complimented me on my driving style and we also shared a few good laughs.  That can make the whole difference with your racing experience and I have to say that Go Kart Racer definitely has got the smiles to make it a pleasant one!

 Now we move onto the track.  This is by far, “The Best,” indoor track I have raced in Northern California.  I have raced at all the tracks I listed above in the beginning paragraph and I just found that Go Kart Racer is my favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I had a great time at the others and it is good to switch up tracks every once and a while.  But there was just something about this track that blew me away.  See, the lay out of the track is set up for a fast ride.  Dave, the owner of Go Kart Racer, used to race out door karts for 5 years so he understands how the tracks are supposed to respond and how to develop a great layout for a track.  The surface is very “grippy” and the karts have no problem “hook up,” and the Karts are brand new!  Typically in Indoor Karting, the tracks are very slippery which does save the life of the tires and cuts down cost, but the safety on that is very dangerous.  Go Kart Racer took away from that danger by making the track with a high-grip surface.  The safety issue has become a high priority on Go Kart Racer's list.  You are strapped into your kart by a harness, which is great for control.  Also, they would rather spend more on their tires and have their customers stay safe then to have accidents happening. That alone is highly respectable and from a racing standpoint, I like the fact that it sticks more.  Sticking to the track is very important for the next piece I want to get into.  Located on the track is an elevation change.  What's that, you ask?  Well, picture this, a camel hump.  Good enough?  It is my favorite part of the track due to the fact that if you get enough speed, your front wheels come off the ground!  That is insane!  There is also a turn after the straight away where you can just hold the gas wide open around the turn and hit the upcoming turn with enough speed to slow down and take the inside with ease.  NOTE:  Here is a great recommendation, go on Mondays!  That is when they combine both tracks.  This turns it into a 3/8th of a mile track!  The largest indoor track in Northern California!  Also, they run a 15-minute moto!  Averaging anywhere from :55 to 1:15 lap times, this can cause for some serious physical activity.  I ride dirtbikes and play ice hockey so I know about using the forearms and folks let me tell you, be ready!  It is a work out, in a good way of course.  I have to say that after I pulled into the pits, it took me a few minutes to get out of my kart.  A.) I was pooped cause I put 100% into it and was pulling :57 lap times, which is pretty fast, according to the staff and B.) Cause I had that much fun!  I needed to sit back and say, “Wow!”

 Ok, I've painted a small picture for you; you have got to check it out for yourself.

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