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Go-Karting: What a Race Feels Like

By Caesar Chen

First-Year pupil and up-and-coming go-kart racer, Caesar Chen, describes the thrill of his own racing experiences, and gives us an insight into the ups-and-downs of the sport.

The thrill of a go-kart race is nothing but amazing: from trying not to crash to being invulnerable to your past fear. Racing with your friends at the highest level is a feeling that is incomparable.

This season of the Club100 series has been spectacular: 52 drivers split into three groups- top 24, middle 20 and final eight. This is determined by your one lap pace. I’m always in the middle 20, waiting for the day when I know all the tracks and start not worrying about things.

My most recent race occurred on 24 September 2023, at Clay Pigeon Raceway, somewhere I had never been, so I thought I would just try to learn and improve my knowledge of the track. In practice, I got a good feeling on how I was going to do today: top 30. This track was short, yet very high-speed, reaching upwards of 60 miles an hour. I put in a decent 46.318 seconds as my fastest lap on a slightly wet circuit.

I watched all my friends put in a way better lap on a dry circuit, so I now knew all the tricks. It was at qualifying where I started flying – 45.000 seconds. This put me into the middle group, meaning I started 13th for the sprint race.

However, it all went downhill from there, as going into turn one from a rolling start, somebody drove into the back of me, causing me to collide into someone else, which almost ended my race. Despite this, if my engine’s running, I won’t give up.

Being in P17 was difficult but I fought my way back up and eventually ended in P13, which meant that P11 was where I would start.

1, 2, 3, 4, “LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO” the commentators roared as the race had begun. I got a nice start so by turn 1, I was at P9. I then fought hard for two more laps going on the outside, and on the inside down the straights. This had me in at P4, hunting down the top 3. Well, until I was punted off the track at the first corner of the chicane, where most people would brake and wait for marshals to come over.

Nevertheless, this was far from ruining my race. I decided to floor it and go 50 miles an hour, off-roading. I managed to hold on to P7 for a few laps then pushed for P6. He had way more traction around the outside, so it was difficult to overtake, but I took advantage of his battle with people in front to finish in P6. What a race! My best race yet.

From rookie to maestro at a track in one day. Wow. A good race doesn’t come from the mind, it comes from pure effort. With one race to go on 30 September at Rye House Kart Raceway, I’ll see you then as a faster driver.

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