First, I want to apologize to those die-hard racers in my first race for not paying attention to what the blue and red flag meant. I was videoing around the area during instruction time and didn’t quite catch the part about moving to the side to let faster karts pass. Oops! Haha! Second, drifting the kart at full speed can seriously become addicting but sacrifices a bit of speed. And third, it’s OK because I beat Bernard and didn’t come in last place!Ready, set, GO! An indoor rally that’s flat out fun.
My friends and I put some pedal to the metal at the Podium Raceway in Kapolei the other day. It’s Hawaii’s first and only indoor electric go-kart racing track that boosts you from zero to 45 in three seconds. Like, freeway fast. That’s if you make it around those riveting turns and daunting twists on the quarter-mile course before flying at full force down the smooth straightaways.
And who knew I had a race car driver as a boyfriend? Apparently all those hours he put into video game racing as a kid (and well into his early adulthood years) paid off. Despite being his first time racing, he ended up in first place both races, with a best lap time that was about a tenth of a second short of qualifying for “Best of The Week” times. I think he might have even quoted a professional NASCAR driver to whom he owed his boast-worthy victories. Freak!VIDEO: See what it takes to be number one at Podium Raceway.
If you’re thinking the go-karts are as cute as the rinky-dink ones on The Little Rascals, then think again. I’d say more Jeff Gordon than Alfalfa and Buckwheat, for sure. Podium Raceway is super legit, with 45 Italian-made electric karts in its quiver to make even the pros drool at the sight of these beauties. The $15,000 price tag for each zooming buggy instantly ups the bar in quality racing, not to mention the emission-free features that’s also safe for the environment.
People come here to satiate their need for speed. Race against up to 10 other drivers – family, friends or randoms (like Bernard), and don’t worry if you suck at it. They give you a quick briefing on the kart and which flags mean what – pay attention! – and a course with plastic barricades to cushion the impact. Some people (Not me! But almost…) required special signage that spelled out, “Let kart pass,” as opposed to just the first warning with the blue and red flag. A guy on the track waves the different flags during the race, and if he starts pointing and stomping his feet at you, then you might be getting in the way of someone. Oops!A double date that puts speed dating to shame.
You can see how you fared after each race by picking up a personalized printout of your rankings and race times as compared to the others. Times get logged electronically and can be sent directly to your Facebook or e-mail, if you choose.
Get your race face on and head to this hot-wheel hot spot, just a quick drive from the Disney Aulani and Ko Olina Resort. You may get psyched on it, you may not, but a race against Bernard would definitely be an ego booster. Who knows, you may get so pumped on it that you’ll find yourself wondering the same thing my boyfriend did on the drive home from the track, “Wonder if I’ll ever drive a real race car?” Ummm…
PODIUM RACEWAY HAWAII • 911085 Lexington St., Kapolei, HI 96707 • Opens Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sun 10am-midnight, Sun 11am-9pm; $25 for adult race (14 laps), $20 for junior race (9 laps) • 808-682-7223