Home is where the track is


Posted by Will Tyson on 03 March 2016

I've got to say, exams really are the worst and as a second year Mechanical Engineering student at Swansea University, I have had the pleasure of having them since GCSEs! So after an intense months' worth of revision, I headed home for seven days of good hearty food (instead of the usual pasta/KFC) and took advantage of having my washing done regularly (thank you, Mum!).

A couple of my friends were also back from their studies, so we decided to go indoor karting. Go-Karting is the purest form of driving. I've done a single seater driving experience and whilst those cars were very responsive and direct, go-karts are so agile and fantastically fun!

To get to the venue I drove all three of us to Basingstoke, which is about half an hour from where I live. The drive is a mixture of free-rolling country hills and shuffling through dismal Newbury traffic. I don't have my own car but both my sister and I are insured on my mum's - I normally get the train if I need to go somewhere.

Threading the needle through Monaco

Once we were there we were suited up and had our safety brief. Although karts are extremely planted and there is virtually no chance of you flipping over, tagging a barrier is very easy to do and any bumping or barging with someone else is strictly prohibited. I've seen the same safety video so many times and I know what the flag meanings are thanks to my love of motorsport, but it was important to be reminded that there can be serious implications should there be any misconduct.

For 30 minutes of intense wheel-to-wheel racing, one of my friends and I traded places constantly before I managed to sneak ahead and pull a gap. My other friend had never been karting before and she happily trundled round - she was all smiles at the end! In the tight confines of the warehouse track we were nipping round, I felt like I was threading the needle through Monaco. Karting provides a rare opportunity to test your driving skills, all within a relatively safe environment and I love it.

I must remember I'm NOT Hammy or Schumi

By the end we were all pretty tired, battered and bruised (we got blisters on our hands from the steering wheel!) so it was time to set aside the fun, hop back in the car and head home. Once back on the road it's very easy to still think you're Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher, but you have to cast that aside until the next time you get back on the track. An average road car is not as responsive as a go-kart, so whatever crazy oversteer moment you caught a few moments ago would be much harder to achieve in your hatchback!

There's always the PlayStation in the meantime though!

About the Author

Will Tyson
Will Tyson

Hi, my name is Will and I have been driving for just over two and a half years. I am a big fan of motorsport, especially the technical side of it - there's just a pure fascination to pursue more speed through the research and development of new technologies in a bid to find just fractions of a second. This is probably why I enjoy karting a lot, but I'm sure it's also down to my competitiveness too!