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HOME > NORTH TAIWAN > TAIPEI > ARTS & LEISURE >


TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, April 2003. VOL.3 ISSUE 4

Karting Mania in Taipei County

46, AnHo Rd. Sec. 3, Hsintien, Taipei County
Hours: Midday-Midnight
www.gokarting.com.tw

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      The clogged streets of Taipei may seem a far cry from the racetracks of Indianapolis or Le Mans, but the thrill of the race can be found just outside the city.

      Eighteen months ago, Kart Formula Motorsport moved from Neihu to Hsintien, where they now have a fiendishly twisting, 1km-long track partially covered by what looks like an aircraft hangar.

      There is very little instruction, and once you get in the car you can drive pretty much how you like, so long as you don't deliberately smash into other cars. The go-karts are powered by 270cc, four-horsepower Honda engines, which can take you above 60kph. There are no gears, just an accelerator and a brake, which may or may not slow your car down.

     Chasing down, or being chased down by, another car is where the real excitement lies. While the cars are very low-slung, it is still possible to spin out on the corners, and there are enough passing points to make any small mistake costly.

      Races last 10 minutes, but are judged on the fastest lap times rather than the first car across the finish line. A printout after each race allows you to compare your times with those of your friends. Up to 20 cars can take part.

      The owners provide a full-face helmet and most--but not all cars--have a seatbelt. Deliberate bumping is not allowed, but accidental crashes are frequent.

     A single, 10-minute race costs NT$250 for an adult. But to really get into the racing spirit, NT$1400 (NT$1600 at the weekends) will buy you a full day's racing from midday to midnight, with a races starting every 10 minutes. If you need a break, there's a snack bar, shooting range and gym.

 

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