I have been begged, pleaded, cajoled, threatened and finally was tricked into going Karting at the autodrome. I refused, made excuses and finally when I tired of being a stick in the mud, decided to give in to my better half's boyish fantasy for a 'racer chick'- there is something exciting about it, isn’t there? For someone like myself whose never really been into either car or bike racing, every bit of the experience was fresh- read on.
Battling for direction signs, past the back roads of Al- Barsha, after precariously managing the gigantic-normous round about on Emirates road, we found our way to the Dubai Autodrome for the arrive and drive Karting session.
After stumbling into a huge pair of red and black overalls, I clumsily slid into my balaclava and helmet- never mind that I could barely breathe and that I had lost all peripheral vision. Bravely, I climbed into my kart meekly smiling at my better half. With all his expertise, I was given 2 instructions- “Don’t go full throttle till you’re absolutely comfortable, and Don’t be afraid’- Easy for him to say!
The karts are started and the circuit becomes my playground… I start first and feel the wind hit my face, this is the life, I’m the king of the world, racing ahead, everyone far behind... just then, one kart passes me by, then another, then another, pretty soon, all 11 Karts have disappeared into the sunset leaving me, the lone ranger on the track.
At the end of the first lap, my self esteem had to have been shattered. I always thought I was pretty tough- not on the circuit I guess. Playing mind games with myself, I begin to set myself a new target every lap, a new turn to conquer, a new bend to skid past.
By the end of the 8th lap, I had overtaken, skid more than once, almost been sidetracked, crashed into a kart, been yelled at (with shaking fists and all) and consequently had my honor defended when better half over took and side tracked the offender.
At the end of it, when the timings came out, what do you know, I wasn’t the slowest, I clocked a 1:42 and the fastest was 1:15- not only that, there were actually 2 people whose best lap times were worse than mine. Mental pat on the back to myself- I was beaming…I’m easily content like that.
My one embarrassing moment:
The checkered flag was waved to signal the last lap, I ignored it as another trifle nuisance and continued with at least 3 more laps till I realized that I was zooming around the track all on my own… Only then did I realize that the big yellow sign that said “PIT” wasn’t just for show and that you actually had to go in there when the nice man waved the checkered flag.
Where: Dubai Autodrome- Kart Drome
When: Arrive and drive sessions vary every day- call +971 (4) 3678700
How much: AED 100 per 15 minute race