By Craig Mullins
I don’t know about you, but I love motor sport but when it comes to taking part I am truly rubbish. However there is a way of enjoying the speed of the race track in a safe way and in one where it doesn’t really matter where you finish. I am talking about pleasure go karting, I say pleasure because I do know there are some that take this sport very seriously, in fact this is where Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton started their trade before getting into F1. Because you are low to the ground and these machines respond very quickly to the controls, you really do get a fantastic driving experience, and speed around the track.
A place that I go to regularly on holiday is the Go Karts Orihuela Costa, which is not far from our second home. It is situated on the N332 just south of Torrevieja in Spain. Apart from the fact it is far cheaper than back home in the UK, the weather tends to be better also. There are 3 sizes of Go Karts from the very small for your children then the adult or teenage size, which is what I would go, then the fastest bigger engine go Karts for that ultimate driving experience. As a safety precaution they do not allow, the smaller karts go out with the big powerful machines, so the kids can race with dad and mam, without the risk of colliding with the thrill seekers.
Back in the UK, there is a mixture of outdoor and indoor karting centers, where you can just turn up and race, or book a tournament, for a group, especially popular with corporate events. But you can also book at some centers a Go Kart Driving Experience that takes you beyond this level, by training you to drive faster more powerful karts, with instruction from a qualified driver. These do tend to be more expensive and really only for those who want to be serious drivers.
For me though, I love the sun and the ability to just relax and not worry about the competition around me. It is true that when travelling at 30 mph, just inches off the ground, even on these pleasure go karts, your heart does get pumping and a little bit of competitive spirit comes out. But I gave up trying to win, when I found 13 year old fearless lads racing around the outside of me in just about every turn. In fact my target is, not to be last and not to spin out.
It is surprising how much effort is needed to race these karts say for even 5 minutes. The go karts Orihuela Costa give you between 5 and 7 minutes per race, depending on how busy it is and for most people this is just about the right amount of time to have a good happy experience, rather than a long tiring one. So for you, the next F1 champion, I can understand the real Go Kart driving experience, but for me, I will stick to the Go Karts Orihuela Costa for some fun.