Go-Karting in Bangalore

Whenever I visit a new place, I check for karting facilities nearby. A vice that I have been nurturing for long. Many great Formula 1 drivers have started their career on karts, also they are comparatively lesser expensive way of connecting poor people like me to Motorsports.

Like many say they can forget their worries listening to music, I say I forget my worries behind the steering wheel of a kart (wish I could afford more,lol). You take your focus away from the job in hand only to end up in a pile of tires or a cloud of dust. In the last karting place I’d been to, I saw a lady who was trying her hands on go-karting, crash into the dusty tires. Re-affirmation to the importance of focus.

Now to the actual subject…

Google handed me a huge list and it was up to me to select the places. Based on my search here are the 10 places (with useful links)I bookmarked.

Since karting tracks are away from the city and Bangalore being notoriously bad for it’s traffic, I couldn’t visit all of the above mentioned places. Most of them aren’t worth your time and money from the YouTube videos I watched.

Priorities vary depending on people and hence I will put down a quick review of places I have visited. My priorities are simple:

  • Driving experience
  • Condition of go-karts
  • Technicality and condition of the track
  • Customer service
  • Value for money

There are people who kart with their families/friends/cousins/relatives as a weekend getaway or a family outing. My opinion won’t be of much help to them, they probably want to have a good time which is not the primary intention of this post.

Gurukuls Go-Karting: (Rs. 250 for 6 laps)

The place had 4+ stars review in Google. To me this place was a big disappointment. The track was small, karts were below average and nothing great about the staff (two young lads). I went there on a weekday. Also I believe they cheated on the number of laps and I was only allowed 5 laps instead of 6. I couldn’t care less. I’m never going back there.

I would rate this place a 2/5. Make sure you count your laps or have someone counting it for you.

Meco kartopia: (Rs. 750 for 6 mins for Rotax karts and other options…)

My favorite of the lot. They have variety of options in terms of price (differ according to the power of the kart and time); the one I chose was the most powerful Rotax kart, the most expensive option as well. They claim to have 21 horsepower but I doubt that. The track was nice and long, though not very technical. The corners are low to medium to high speed after a long straight which makes it exciting. I visited the place on a weekday and they had one section of this track closed which makes this track very simple. The karts were powerful, would be an understatement. Give it to a person doing this for the first time and see him end up in dirt trail outside the track. I had difficulty fitting in those karts but I take full responsibility of that. My body weight has been on the higher side for the past 1 year due to laziness.

I would rate this place a 3.5/5. Check with the reception and they will give you the lap timings. This place also organizes various autocross events, karting events and I hope someday I can drive in such events.

Karting track, Meco Kartopia
Rotax Kart, Meco kartopia

Red riders sports: (Rs. 650 for 12 laps and other options…)

I have a love-hate relationship with this place. I love the fact that the track had number of corners, but at the same time hate the fact that karts were pathetic. The karts felt absolutely under-powered. Unlike Meco kartopia, there are lack of straight sections where you can go super fast and even if there were, you would been a year older by the time you cleared it.

I would rate this place 2.5/5 for their facility and good staff.

Red riders sports, go kart track

Play Arena: (Rs.240 for 6 laps)

Seriously?

The track is the smallest with lap times less than 20 secs. So you are paying Rs. 240 for 120 secs of fun and the real question… is it really fun? I stood outside the track and wondered, then promptly left the place.

I rate this place 1/5

Go kart track, play arena.
  1. Patels Inn, RT Nagar: (Rs. 140 for 6 laps)

Patels Inn is a resort, so nothing much to expect. The only thing that is positive about the place is price. The track is small and I think I finished 6 laps under 75 secs. Karts are in pathetic condition. Make sure you get the elbow protector (they gave me one without asking) because the rear is not insulated.

I rate this place 1.5/5. The fact that it is cheap made me give it a higher rating other wise it was 1/5 or less.

Patels Inn, Go kart trackThe above mentioned places, I visited personally and these are my thoughts regarding the place. In future, if I happen to visit any of the places that I have missed out or any new place, I shall update them here.

Go-karting in India is mainly a pass time; mostly a weekend fun getaway or a friends meeting spot. Karting deserves much more. Watching the European karting championship is as thrilling as watching a proper race. I hope karting gets bigger and better in India in the coming years.


 

 

A glimpse of Professional Karting… only a glimpse!

Picking up from here and here. Non-enthusiasts may skip this post about Go-karts.


The next day after I made the last post, I picked up my car from the garage. I had a couple of assignments in the form of meeting a friend and a relative before I am off from this country for a few days. Usually once I enter the motorway, I’ll be driving at the highest speed I can within the limits, just keeping the speed below the flashing limits. That day was different. I had plenty of time and I was in no position to go back home as well. This relative of mine was busy with something and I had around 3 hours left.

So breaking the usual, I drove slow in the slower lanes to the extreme right and saw the cars zoom past me. This was not usual and since it was not usual, I enjoyed the time. I was done with my friend and there were still 2 hours to go. Dubai Autodrome/kartdrome happens to be on the way , so an idea occurred. Why not Kart? What a marvelous idea!

Last time I was there, I couldn’t click pictures and hence this time I decided I would. I enquire about the next session.

‘An hour later’ 

:O How dare you….snub me off like that? I have to leave in an hour else I’ll be late. 

These were not the exact words but the receptionist mentioned about a private professional karting session that was going on. It was about to finish. I just walk to track and

Behold…that glorious noise greeted me with a hug and a sweet kiss. That was pretty heart warming and spine chilling at the same time.

Let me share a video of what I saw…

I know the video is pathetic, but bear with me please. The idea was to record the professional Karts revving to glory.

Some pictures that I ended up clicking…

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The normal karts

 

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After seeing this I went back to the reception and I asked again if there is vacancy for one in the next lot.

‘Only after 1.5 hrs’

I got snubbed big time. Sadly I clicked one more picture and left.

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I resumed my casual drive towards another destination.

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Thanks for reading… Good night!


All the pics and video taken on my mobile.

 

‘Kart’-ing around UAE

After a self imposed ban of few days, I am back. Too bored with life and blogs being my main source of driving boredom away, I would help myself by posting something, something that I have missed out posting and something that deserves a mention in my blog. 

Some 4 or 5 years ago, I was in Goa with a friend of mine. We were there for some 4-5 days and our trip was different. We visited a lot of places, didn’t smoke week, drink our heads off, didn’t womanize but did Kart twice. My first experience with Karts was pathetic cos I was left injured by the end of it. Those tiny little things which sat so low slung on the ground and smelled fuel. I burnt my hand by hitting the motor behind which was left unguarded (happens only in India) and some fat American kid hit my kart from the back when my throttle was not responding. It was quite a burn and the back part of my hands had very little flesh un-burnt.

Years later when I moved in UAE, I found a temporary solution to depression and boredom. These places require a mention in my blog, I felt…

1. Dubai Kartdrome :

I have been to this place twice or thrice and it is probably one of the best places to be in UAE. I feel it is a bit over-priced at 120 AED for a 15 minute session (INR 2000, $31) but this place is professional. They give you a track suit, a helmet, safety briefing and the staff there are very helpful. The karts do feel a bit old these days but not Indian old. The circuit is amazing with around 17 bends and one or two good straight. My lap times were pathetic and there people who were 6-8 secs faster than me. I am not particularly a good driver but it’s all about having fun.

This summer they are running a promotional offer of buy 2 and get 1 free. It sure looks tempting but I don’t think I am allowing them to drill a hole further in my wallet for now. 😛

All about Kartdrome.

2. Emirates Kart Zone:

I heard about this place from a former colleague. He said there was a cheaper option to Kartdrome which was closer to me. They charge you a 100 AED for 15 mins which is slightly less than the above mentioned. I have never been here so I might write about them (maybe) if I ever happen to drive there.

All about Emirates Kart Zone.

3. Emirates Karting Centre, Jebel Ali:

I have been there twice. Once to wait in line then leave and once to drive. I like this place a lot. The karts are very old and they back fire, the track has sand and potholes and it gets a bit risky if emotions are not kept in check. The number of people who have crashed here are not less. I was also thrown in the sand cos I couldn’t take a corner properly (a-noob). At 100 AED for 30 mins it sure is value for money but the track is tiny with 6-7 corners as compared to the Dubai Kartdrome. Once you get the track then it becomes easy. There is not lap timing printouts like above mentioned but a great place to go out with family and friends since the place is far from city and free of crowd.

There is no web page dedicated to Jebel Ali Karting centre. The Google map coordinates are 24.982982, 55.020079.

4. Al-Ain Raceway :

In the emirates of Al-Ain, there is another karting place known as Al-Ain raceway. Again I have never been here but as I can see it looks good. The circuit is 1.6 kms and the karts looks new. At the price of 120 AED per 15 minute I don’t think I am driving 250 kms one way just to drive a go-kart here. Sorry!

All about the Al-Ain Raceway.

5. The RAK track:

The latest go-kart track in the emirates of Ras Al-Khaimah. Yet again I haven’t been here. But heard that the karts are really good. The price is more or less the same at 100AED per 15 minute session.

All about The Raktrack.

Until the next time, see you all… keep revving 🙂