I wrote an article (www.demaras.com/stepping-into-motorsports) a few months ago admitting that I had never driven a motorized vehicle before. The closest I got was riding a bike. That all changed when I drove a dirt bike at the IndyCar race in July, and then my first time in a go-kart at K1 Speed a few weeks later. On Saturday, I went to Goodwood Kartways with my mom, my dog, my brother and my dad. I was going to drive in the red rental karts along with my brother.
Before I got into the kart, I was completely confident in myself. I wasn’t intimidated by the size of the track or the sharp turns. But once I got in, I noticed there were a lot of other racers. The only time I was in a go-kart before, it was just me and my brother. But not this time.
Rob strapped us in and explained all the rules. I got a good laugh at Big Brian’s pink shoes. They are so funny! When it was time to go, they started up all the karts and we got moving. At first, I was driving really slowly. My brother even had to slow down, so I could catch up!
But eventually, I got going, and me and Daniel started ‘battling’. He was probably going easy on me, because there is NO WAY that on my second time I could beat my someone who is entering their 5th year of racing go-karts.
When our race ended, Daniel and I went up on the podium to celebrate! On our way back to the paddock, we ran into Stefanie! She was really nice and we asked when I could go back in the karts today, she said, “Michelle can go in them as much as she wants today!”. My wrists were hurting really badly. I assume it was from the long, sharp turns, so it was time for a break.
We made it back to the paddock, and while I had a drink, Daniel got ready to practice in his #7 club racing kart.
Speaking of his kart, I had a chance to try out his #7 kart! My dad found it hilarious that even with my legs fully extended, I couldn’t reach the pedals. There was some writing on the kart, and my head was tucked down so I could read it…my dad found that funny, because Daniel tucks his head during races to ‘cheat the wind’.
We returned to the pits where the red rental karts were, and while Daniel practiced in his club kart, my dad told me “Why don’t you go jump in that one?” I was lucky enough to be in kart #29! That’s my racing number!
Rob gave us the green flag, but I had to pull off to the side and wait for Daniel to jump out of his club kart and run over to the red rental karts. But once he made it, I got started, it was nothing like the first race. I slammed my foot on the gas! I was speeding forward and had a very fast first lap. On the second lap though, it started getting messy. In the straight after turn one, Daniel and I were right next to each other, trying to get in front. Then some kid just came right in between us! After that we kept battling. Daniel went in front, then I passed him, then he passed me. It went on like that for a while. I found a technique on passing him on turn 7b. It was a very intense race. But at the end, I passed him and went into the pits.
I had lots of fun. It’s still hard to believe that a few months ago I said I would only try go-karts if I was “really crazy” And now look at me!