It’s unusual for go-karting venues of this capacity to open in city centres, especially a city as sought after as Manchester, but the huge basement below the Manchester Arena has been empty since it was built in 1995 – and it’s a perfect location for Team Sport Karting which opened in early November.
The race track is about 500 metres and includes about 15 shockingly hard turns, rapid ramps and fast straights and a fleet of electric karts. The karts are quieter and more environmentally friendly than petrol motors, with zero emissions, and never overheat. They’re also safer. Every kart can be shut down remotely with the flick of a switch.
The karts go at up to 40 mph so there are plenty of safety measures in place with staff constantly monitoring the track and regular brake checks. If you accidentally spin or crash, there are clear yellow or red lights to alert fellow racers to crawl or emergency stop and green lights to continue.
Once suited up like Jenson Button, every first time racer receives an 8 minute health and safety video before meeting in the bar for greeting and briefing.
Sections of the track have different surfaces such as rough stone and polished concrete. All present a different challenge. You might find it fun drifting around bends like Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift but if you’re concerned about your lap time, it’s better to get more traction. You can tell by the judder in the steering wheel.
The venue also has meeting rooms, private party rooms and a fully licensed bar serving up a range of rustic pizzas to order ready for intervals and alcohol for after races only. Obviously.
The fastest lap time recorded so far is 36 seconds. Think you’re the next Lewis Hamilton? Prove it.