If you feel the need … the need for speed (remember that line from the movie Top Gun?), then you’ll want to check out kart racing at K1 Speed in Austin. You can race up to eleven other friends or competitors on an indoor race track with straightaways, hairpin turns and electric karts that will more than satisfy your need for speed.
Children’s birthday parties, adult parties, special events or just drop-in and race — everyone can experience the rush of indoor kart racing.
Your best bet to avoid a long wait time is to get there as soon as they open. First timers will have to purchase a license for $6 (annual fee) and fill out a waiver. You can race one time or get one of the many specials that include multiple races for a discounted price. Because you’ll spend the first race getting a feel for the handling of the kart and curves of the track, I recommend at least two races so you can really see what racing skills you have the second time around.
To keep things fair — and for safety reasons — they rotate between the junior (under 18 years of age and minimum of 4 feet tall) and adult race sessions. Junior karts reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour and the adult karts reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour! The karts don’t look to be going that fast when you’re looking on as a spectator, but it’s a whole different story when you’re behind the wheel.
When it’s your time to race, you’ll have a quick safety session with one of the race officials to go over the rules of indoor kart racing. It’s important to know that this is not a bumper cars course. There is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to contacting other karts — along with several other rules that will get you a black flag and a personal escort off the race track if you choose not to obey.
K1 Speed will have you looking like a pro with a clean head sock and a helmet. After your group of racers are geared up, you’ll take your place in the line of karts and wait for the green flag to enter the course. From there it’s pedal to the metal and into the first turn where you’ll quickly discover the power of these little machines and how much effort it takes to commit to the hairpin turns at a high rate of speed. After you settle in and start finding your line, you’ll start to get the feel for how hard you can push these electric karts.
If you dare take your eyes off the course for a split second near the end of the straightaway, you can glance up at the large display to get your lap time and an idea of how you compare to the rest of the pack.
What may surprise you the most is how exhausting it is to race. You really need to hold on tight to the steering wheel as you try to whip around the hairpin turns as fast as you dare. Don’t be surprised to have sore hands and forearms — and a sore body when you finish the race. But it’s a good-fun-kind of pain and you’ll enjoy the time to get rested up before your next race.
After you finish racing, you can go online and check out your results. There is also posting of the top 100 racers for the month so you can see how you compare to other kart drivers in the Austin area. A few more races and you’ll be ready for F1 — just try not to get a speeding ticket on your way home!
And while you’re on this side of town, grab a post-race ButterBurger and fresh frozen custard at Culver’s on Braker.
Location & Hours
K1 Speed Austin
2500 McHale Ct.
Austin, TX 78758
Monday – Thursday 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday 11:00am to 11:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 11:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 8:00pm