When you’re a kid you want to be one of three things when you grow up. Either a firefighter, an astronaut, or a race car driver. As you grow up you realize, you can’t make much money if any being a fire fighter, it takes an immense amount of schooling and intellect to actually become an astronaut, and it takes a lot of money, skill, and experience to be a race car driver. But what if I told you it didn’t take a lot of money, skill, or experience to be a race car driver and that almost anyone can be one…kind of.
You’ll notice I put the kind of there…and that’s because I’m not really talking about racing cars, but rather racing go karts, which is pretty close. That’s right go kart racing. While there is a certain level of financials needed to race go karts and be competitive, you can do it fairly cheap and you don’t need any experience. There are a range of classes from 80cc for young kids to 100cc for kids and adults and 125cc shifter karts for adults. 100cc is the best for the casual racer and cheaper but 125cc shifted karts get the most thrill and closest experience being a “real” racer. 100cc karts can get up to about 70mph depending on how they’re geared and shifted karts can hit about 120 mph, both of which are just an inch off the ground! I used to race karts and I can’t tell you how much fun it was. We never won because we didn’t spend a ton of money but it was a load of fun going out there every Sunday in the summer with my dad. Racing karts, watching other karts race and then waking over to the drag strip to watch some races and eat some greasy fries and a hot dog between heats. If you have the racing itch get out there and race some karts. It’s so easy! And now with more and more indoor electric kart tracks popping up everywhere, it’s even easier and there’s no excuse to get out there and try it out. If you’re interested in racing karts but have no idea where to start. Message me or comment and I’ll do my best to help you out and get you pointed in the right direction.
If you like driving moderately aggressively on some windy back roads, watching road racing, or talking s@!$ behind a keyboard about how awesome of a driver you are, you need to attend a track day. Track days are for learning about your car and yourself. Seeing what it can do and what you can actually do behind the wheel, cementing that bond between man and machine. I used to race go karts when I was younger and absolutely love racing, so for me track days are a no brainer. Unfortunately I don’t have a car that can be tracked so when I found out I could rent a C7 corvette and track it, i couldn’t resist.
The track day I attended was the New York safety track, which is literally in the middle of nowhere. But the track is very technical with a lot of elevation change, blind corners, and even a section you can get airborne with enough speed. My first lap out I was beyond frustrated trying to man handle this vette around the track without knowing the proper line. If you don’t know the line for this track it chews you up and spits you out. Literally spits you out of the corner and robs you of any speed or chance at a good lap. My next round of laps I went with an instructor and got to know the track a little better and the difference in my driving was night and day. Having the instructor right there coaching me through each corner, the turn in points, braking points, line, everything made me a better driver in just a few minutes it was amazing.
I’m a huge corvette fan and I’ve driven a C4 and C6 Corvette so i was super pumped to drive the C7 and it lived up to every expectation and more. Once I got my driving line dialed in and I was hitting my apexes and turn in points properly this thing really shined. I was amazed at how well the C7 vette stuck in corners. It was almost un natural how well it handled, like I was expecting it try to spin out or oversteer and it never did. A little undeesteer coming too hot into a corner, but letting off the brakes a little to let the car settle fixed that and over all it was very predictable. In stock form there is plenty of power, especially if you’re not used to it. It’s amazing how the corvette has go kart type qualities in that it feels very balanced and nimble through corners. The steering inputs are direct and you get very nice feedback through the wheel to let you know what’s going on.
Overall what’s my take away from this event? One thing is that having a driving instructor help you out and coach you is way better than trying to figure it out on your own. If you’re open and listen you will learn much faster and have much more fun. The second thing I learned was that the C7 Corvette is a phenomenal car. I mean I had no doubts in that, but it just confirmed my feeling. The third thing? Well that would be that i need to get back into racing asap and get a track car. Any suggestions?