Thrills aside, leisure karting is a legit workout.
Out of ideas for a fun time with family and friends? Try The Karting Arena @ Bukit Timah (200 Turf Club Road, #01-01B, The Grandstand). The fun karting facility has been welcoming hordes of visitors since it opened in end September 2015.
Whether you have a driver’s license, tried karting before, or even sneakily gone to The Karting Arena first without the gang, it will be a thrilling experience. Here’s why.
1. The course is designed for fun
The 500m track at The Karting Arena has nine turns, consisting of sweeping corners, a hairpin and a chicane (bends intended to slow drivers down). At 8m wide, it allows multiple points for overtaking.
“The Karting Arena is designed as a leisure track, making it easily manoeuvrable for first time drivers, without sacrificing the fun and excitement for the seasoned drivers,” says founder Yuey Tan, who also represents Singapore in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
2. No driver’s license is needed to race
In line with Singapore’s regulations, licensed drivers can go up to 50 km/h while non-drivers are capped at 30 km/h. At The Karting Arena, there is an electronic shut down control at the pit’s control centre to manage the speeds, slow down or even completely stop each kart.
While licenses aren’t required, you need to be at least 9 years old and above 1.4m tall to drive at The Karting Arena.
3. Electric karts mean less noise, fumes and mess
The electric karts here are the fastest accelerating ones in the market. Unlike traditional gasoline karts which are deafening and reek of petrol, electric ones offer a more pleasant ride for drivers.
The lean, mean driving machines at The Karting Arena also boast superior handling on the chassis (structure), similar to those used in international races. Expect quick acceleration on high-powered electric motors, even when exiting corners.
4. F1 standards mean everyone plays safe
The Tecpro safety barriers around the course are of the same technology and from the same company that makes the F1 barriers. These barriers maximise and magnify the absorption of impact when there is a crash, minimising the effect on drivers.
Other safety features at The Karting Arena: full-face helmets, roll bars, safety belts, instructional video before flag-off with rules and regulations, and staff with competitive motorsport and mechanical backgrounds.
5. Race simulators are available for more practise
Be like competitive drivers and chalk up more seat time in race simulators. Simulators feed back data about your driving and improve your skill set. The Karting Arena simulators have several racing courses – including their own circuit map – so you can master the bends without worrying about crashing.
6. Karting is a workout
Karting is more than just sitting in a seat. “When you step out a kart, you will find yourself sweating, your heart rate is raised and numerous muscles from the entire body is used. Being fit helps the drivers to use their concentration 100% on driving and not on how hot or tired they are,” explains Claire Jedrek, marketing & PR director of The Karting Arena.
Training for competitive karting involves loads of seat time and gaining experience in different track situations. Over time, it conditions certain muscles and improves cardiovascular health plus hand-eye-coordination, says Claire, who is also Singapore’s only female race car driver to win second at 2015 Malaysian F1 support race.
7. Everyone will have a great time
The friendly competition, shrieks of excitement and need for speed – everyone is almost guaranteed to have a ball of fun. Our entire team was already planning the next visit after our 8-minute tryout!
Being a karting noob, I didn’t think it would be much different from driving. I was wrong. Without power steering, I had to use so much more effort to manoeuvre the kart! Plus, I felt really vulnerable being so close to the ground and without the protective body of the car.
Still, it was exhilarating to power down the course while flooring the accelerator. No one could hear me screaming my guts out, anyway. With the numerous bends and turns, the seemingly short 8-minute duration left me perspiring and a tad short on breath (it might have been the screaming). And to my chagrin, the guys overtook me a few times and I ended up last. Next time, I’m leaving the brakes.
Rates at The Karting Area
For individuals, karting sessions around the track start from $25 for 8 minutes (between eight to 12 laps, depending on each driver’s speed), while racing simulator trials start from $10 for 10 minutes.