By Frans Kunst, translated by Ann Lee
In the fifties there was an American guy called Art Ingels who worked for a factory that build racing cars. In those days, motor sports (mainly sprints with "hot rods") was only for the happy few who could afford it.
Lngels was a big fan of motor sports and spent most of his free time on it. He came up with the idea to build a vehicle which combined safe racing with low cost and would be within the reach of most budgets. He started with a lightweight tube chassis, mounted a small, second-hand engine from a lawnmower and added a plastic seat.
Testing it on a parking lot, he was impressed by its speed and driving fun. He was asked frequently where this vehicle was for sale, which gave him the idea to commercialize it and start building "do-it-yourself" packages for about 150 U.S. dollars. At first there was no name for his creation but later it was given the name "go kart" by a magazine.
In December, 1957, races started to appear with rules regarding safety, the chassis and engines. This was the beginning of National and International Championships in Karting. Karting is now worldwide, indoors as well as outdoors. Some go karts feature super-fast, 400 c.c. engines that can reach speeds of 130 km/h, but most karting tracks here in Taiwan feature slower karts which are easy and safe to drive for all ages. There are even karts with double steering so you can teach your kid the basics. In Taiwan you will mostly find outdoor places only, but some indoor tracks exist. For those who find all this a bit too wild, there are also many online karting games.
Where to go karting?
1. Rosso Kartingsport
(04) 2358-1056; www.rosso.com.tw
2. Rocke Karting Speedway
3. K1 Karting
5. Longtan Racing Track
6. JUNGLE GO-KART
Located next to Shilin night market, on the B2 level of Jungle shopping centre.