METRO PLUS

For go-karting buffs

ZIPPING ON a meandering tarmac under the open sky, at a speed of 120-140 kmph, go-karting buffs would concur that there is no better high than driving the zip carts. Once in the driving seat, you find yourself one with the F-I king, Schumacher, himself.

Go-karting as a sport has found commendable acceptance with the city folk. The addiction is so high, that people go back to the track lap after lap.

"There has been a new enthusiasm in the air after the recent Formula I races got over," says Prasad Reddy of Treasure Island, during the recent go-karting championship held at its new tarmac track here, which saw pros like Zubin Viccajee setting the track on fire and a visible participation from the girls as well.

Incidentally, Treasure Island boasts of having the first go-karting track in town, dating back to the1990s.

One can still find the old carts sitting in the garage here alongside the new 5, 8 and 10 bhp zip carts. Talking about the new 600-metres tarmac circuit, Prasad Reddy says: "This is the first professional tar track in the country, designed as per international standards with the required bends, pit lanes and gallery."

And if you believe in rugged terrain, the resort also offers the dirt track. The carts for this track are robust with larger wheels.

"We have provided enough tyres on the bends for extra security since the carts are zipping at high speeds.

And we have made it mandatory for the participants to wear a protective fire-resistant jacket and helmet," says Prasad. The girls need to secure their hair in the helmet. Saris, dupattas and other flowing garments and synthetics are a no-no on the track, for safety reasons. One, the zip carts virtually fly on the tracks, and also the motor next to the driver gets heated up. The popular sport also has its risks, so. The place is equipped with fire fighting and first aid equipment and personnel, however.

The new tarmac track is ideal for people who want to practise for the go-karting championships, at Rs. 100 for four laps. "We would be organising races every month, in the inter-collegiate, inter-school and club categories," says Prasad Reddy.

For now, Treasure Island will be hosting a go karting championship for the ad-clubs, rotary clubs, hotels, resorts and pubs in the twin cities on November 22.

The event will be marked by an act by the original Coyote Ugly performers who will be flown in for the occasion. Interested? For details contact Treasure Island (Tel: 23323330, 23327899).

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