donderdag 2 oktober 2014

Go Kart in Hua hin

Go Kart Hua Hin pronounces itself as one of the best Go Kart tracks in Thailand. Upon visiting the site and safely doing almost 40 thrilling laps at 80 kilometers an hour, we have to hand it to their statement of confidence. Go-Karting on this sole world-class track of Hua Hin would highly deserve an official status as the town’s must-do if there were one.

At the first sight, what lies ahead on Go Kart Hua Hin’s 700-meter circuit may be different in the eyes of non-mileage drivers and experienced Karters. Getting the sight of the track’s above-standard scale, true Go-Kart fans can’t wait to get their hands on the steering wheels. Meanwhile, it is comprehensible for newcomers to perceive what awaits them as an arduous escapade. Yet, no matter how the first impressions split, what they share in the end is the incomparable Go-Karting experience.

Opening hours
10am-7pm daily.
The closing hour is flexible, but late arrivals must be informed to the track in prior.
Carts used
6.5hp and 13hp
Pricelist: Price can vary in time
Horse powerKart typePrice
6.5 HPJunior Kart400 Baht/12 Min.
Go Kart 900Junior Kart900 Baht/30 Min.
6.5 HPRed 2 Seater460 Baht/12 Min.
Go Kart 950Red 2 Seater950 Baht/30 Min.
9 HPYellow 2 Seater500 Baht/12 Min.
Go Kart 1000Yellow 2 Seater1,000 Baht/30 Min.
13 HPSenior Race Kart500 Baht/12 Min.
Go Kart 1000Senior Race Kart1,000 Baht/30 Min.
*  Go Kart  30Senior Race Kart750 Baht/Person
* ( 13 HP Groups of 5 or more :10 Laps to Qualify and 20 laps of racing )
Neil Heron
GoKart Hua Hin
166 Hua Hin Soi 2, Phetchkasem Rd, Hua Hin
77110 Prachuab Khirikhan

Lurching to the top

We brought the senior karts, with 13HP, 390cc, because they are faster. Go-Kart companies around Bangkok have 6HP or 9HP Karts. So, we went 13HP.” Neil Heron, Go Kart Hua Hin Director, speaks of the star of the Kart lineups. The 13HP karts make a major element in their spectrum of highlights. The track sees visits from Bangkokian regulars on weekends and constantly attracts new faces, both foreign and local ones.

Aside from the signature 13HP Karts, Go Kart Hua Hin's endeavor to achieve the superiority also manifests to several distinctive features. The slogan “Professional, Safe and Exciting” perfectly communicates their attitude of settling for nothing but the top notch.

With the length of 700 meters, the circuit overtakes Go-Kart tracks in general by twice the size or even thrice. Each racer is monitored with ROC Professional Lap Timing System. The system is used in F1 and has a roster of world-class clients which includes Silverstone Circuit, Brands Hatch race circuit, and Michael Schumacher’s Kart Center in Germany. When the session ends, each racer is given a printout detailing the total time, laps, best lap, top speed and so on.

We’ve tried racing at other tracks before but it’s more difficult and more professional here. It’s like a real racing in F1 style.” says Hrannar Einarsson, a 25-year-old vacationer from Iceland.

Over the past two weeks, Einarsson and his other three friends have hit the track multiple times for the exhilarating 20-minute races among themselves. It is the outstanding sessions of adrenaline rush that keeps them coming back for more and more. The craving for excitement these young men and other Karters at Go Kart Hua Hin experience seem to be insatiable.

At Go Kart Hua Hin, there is no demand that is undoable. No matter which level of thrill you would like to feel, they can bring it, regardless of the darkness of the night.

“Here we have the Floodlight System. It is created with 72 spotlights around the tracks. So, at 7 o’clock in the evening when it goes dark, and you want to race in the night. We can turn on 72 1500-Watt spotlights. We light the track up like a football stadium. So you can race in the night, in light, for as long as you want.
“At many tracks, when it goes dark, there is no more racing. A lot of people come down from Bangkok on Fridays or Saturdays. They like to come racing at 7-8 o’clock because it’s cooler.” Neil speaks of a safety element, the Floodlight System, and the reception it enjoys.

Meanwhile, folks who crave an ultimate adrenaline rush may choose to arrive at the track some hours after the sun goes down. Getting themselves seated on the passenger side in a dual-seater Kart, they are ready to experience the thrill of a wild ride steered into the complete darkness by a stunt.

“He can drive with his eyes closed.” says Neil, pointing into the track at Duk, who has just made a sudden exhilarating, powerful swerve away from a large tire wall and niftily overtaken one of the young Icelandic racers who invited him to join them in a race. Duk is a marshal and a stunt with almost two years of experience on the track. He shines in the blazing afternoon while our jaws drop.

Safety equals priority

“Try driving on your own. Drive at the speed you feel safe.” Neil says to me several times, learning I crashed while riding a sort of non-motor Kart in New Zealand before. I see a great deal of concern in his eyes. “

Safety is our priority. Everyone learns to drive at their own speed limit where they feel safe, know when to go and when to stop. Go-Karting is a non-contact sport. There should be no bumping.” Neil carries on to briefly explain the core of the Go-Karting etiquette.

Before stepping into the track, every driver is given a brief safety and etiquette tuition. Several marshals are stationed around the track to assist racers when experience any problem, or can’t drive back onto the track by themselves. The racers will just need to stay in the Kart, raise their hands, and they will be helped back onto the track safely.

The wide wheelbase gives high stability to the Karts. If you make a driving error, they could easily spin, but never turn over. The raised sides assure drivers a firm grip to their seats, without the aid of seatbelts. Tire walls, sand banks and catch nets offer further protection.

Go Kart Hua Hin performs the reengineering of used Karts regularly. The Karts are stripped into pieces, go through thorough checks, and reassembled. So, you can be assured that each and every vehicle is in perfect condition.

From my first lap in a 9HP Kart to the 38th lap in a 13HP one, I find myself in some startling situations. And, though a few of them somewhat reminds me of when I crashed in New Zealand’s non-motor Lube Kart many years ago, driving lap after lap, I come to develop the secure sensation and the trust in my Go-Kart here.

Me and my 13HP Kart run onto the tallest tire walls, forming a scary-looking angle with the ground, but the collision doesn’t give me a scratch. I even jet hard into a few tire walls nearby on some later lap, my Kart spins, yet I stay safe and sound. On the farewell lap, I come to count on every element of Go-Karting here so much that I even have guts to travel at the max speed… where I still feel safe (Aren’t you proud of me, Khun Neil?). The vehicle sees me getting up from it, walking taller and more like a daredevil.

The fun for the whole family

Go Kart Hua Hin sees regular visits by families from Bangkok as well as from overseas. Of course, it is the highly reliable safety policies that win the trust from the parents. Moreover, the track has an extensive fleet of high-quality Karts for drivers of different ages—ranging from 13HP Senior Karts (10 units), 6.5HP Junior Karts (4 units), and 6.5HP and 9HP Twin Seater Karts (4 units). How little could a child be to make a mini-Go-Karter? “Three years of age. If his/her feet can touch the pedals, he/she can drive.

“This one eight-year-old boy even made 400 laps. He just kept going and going and never got exhausted!” Neil recounts amusedly.

The full-range services

Go Kart Hua Hin is more than a circuit. Through the range of services it offers and activities it holds, this place forms a “team” and a “club” of the adrenaline addicts. Privately owned Karts may be housed and maintained here with complete care. The fee covers all maintenance expenses. The only thing owners pay for is the fuel they use in driving. New and secondhand sales are also offered.

When you feel like a dash of adrenaline rush, simply give them a call one hour prior to your arrival. Go Kart Hua Hin provides proper changing rooms. After getting yourself freshened up, just head to your Kart and travel in the full form.

The track is also available for organizing Go-Karting-themed corporate events and parties.

The passion of the game and the competition

On Go Kart Hua Hin’s official website, there is a section fully dedicated to overtaking. Why is it such a big deal? Let’s hear it from Neil himself once again.

“When you drive on the normal road, you have many different drivers. You all drive at different speeds so, it’s quite easy to overtake. When it comes down to Go-Karting, because every Go-Kart is the same—same engine, same tires—it’s all about the driver, how experienced and how good he/she is. On the 700-meter track, when you drive at 75km/hr, it’s very hard to beat ten people around you and get yourself in the lead.”

The Full Moon Tournaments take place monthly. Come racing in the moonlight to qualify for a Formula One style grid line-up. The current track record of 35.939 seconds was set in February 2007 by Bung, the track’s most seasoned marshal and chief mechanic with seven years of experience. Racers who break Bung’s record are awarded with discounts of 500 baht maximum.

However, before the arrival of the grand event, racers get the weekly chances to sharpen their skills in the real-competition atmosphere. You are invited to form a team of three people and compete in the Endurance Race at 4pm every Sunday.

“What I’m trying to do at the moment is to build up enough team members, gather sponsors to enter the national level, and build up a genuine racing team.” Neil is determined to take Go-Kart Hua Hin to another level.

By Koonrath Love

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