It was at an American aviation base in 1951 that the first go-kart appeared. With some tubes, wheels, and lawn-mower engines the teams on the ground tinkered the first go-kart.
The Go-Kart is a tremendous school to make pilots of high level, as Prost, Schumacher, Truli, Verstappen, Fisichella and so many others have proven. The late Ayrton Senna was twice World Champion of go-karting.
So on Sunday, November 18th we arrived at the Adams Go Kart Track in Riverside, CA at 7:45 a.m. for what would be one of the most fun events organized by the Club in a long time. We had rented the track for half a day and all 29 of us were ready to test our skills.
The Adams Kart Track has one of the longest straights in the country measuring an impressive 700 feet, with 14 different turns that challenge even the most veteran drivers. They say that "if you race well here, you race well everywhere." This track hosts the annual California State Championships and has a large pit and control tower overlooking the whole area.
Excitement filled the cold morning air as the crew prepared the Go Karts. This is what Michael Schumacher does when he is not driving his Ferrari F1 car, and we were about to experience it first-hand ourselves!
After a brief drivers meeting, we were directed to the race track where two of the instructors walked us around the track to show us the racing line and explain the basic reference points. We were divided into groups of 10 and provided with gloves, helmets and neck restraints. Each session lasted between 7 and 12 minutes, which seems like a short time, until you are in the Go Kart driving flat out trying to keep the thing on the road pointing forward. The Karts provided consisted of 100C Class (100 cubic centimeter engine displacement) and had a gas pedal on the right and brake pedal on the left with the gas tank in between your legs. Brakes were rear only, activated by one central disc.
The combinations of fast and slow corners, including very exciting banked ones were just right, allowing drivers of all levels to have a great time. Even though it was not supposed to be a race, most drivers went at it with gusto which generated some pretty intense racing. At the end of the main straight we were clocking almost 60 miles per hour, and sitting only 2 inches from the ground....
Lunch was provided in a covered area in the pits, and included filet Mignon and caviar, OK, OK, just kidding! It consisted of great sodas, chips and I think there were also some sandwiches and a lot of cold water.
We wish to thank Kevork Hazarian and Craig Ekberg for organizing the event and handling the registrations.