To be a race car driver is every man’s dream, but to make the dream come is not easy. Karting, go-kart racing, is a low-cost, relatively safe way to introduce racers to car racing. Therefore, Karting is considered the first step in any serious racer’s career. To get closer to my personal dream of being a race car driver, I tried karting recently. I visited, Rosso, one of the well known karting tracks in Taichung. It was not until I was sitting in the driving seat did I realize that racing is more than what we can see from the audience seating.
Rosso is in the suburbs of Taichung. It is not easy to notice along the road because it is located behind a tire company and the entrance is not easy to see. If I had not seen the advertisement on the utility pole, I probably would have missed it.
Although the entrance is hard to find, the venue of the Rosso karting is spacious when you get inside. It occupies around 12,000 m2, and the track is 610m long. The Rosso track is known for the being designed by Bowman company, one of the world’s leading kart manufacturers. The track has 14 curves, which means you need to be in total control as you go around the course. You can use the track for 12-minutes at a cost of only NT$300, and your friends (there is audience seating for about 100) can watch for free.
The karts at Rosso are all the same in quality, appearance, safety equipment. The highest speed they can reach is around 60~70mph (100-110km/h), so the management at Rosso lets only people above 14 years of age to race. Because the cars do go so fast, Rosso also provides driver’s helmets and balaclavas, just like the F1 racers use.
Although I have a driver’s license, driving a kart is much different from driving your mother’s car. Unlike normal cars we see on the road, racing karts don’t have power-assisted brakes, so controlling your speed takes a bit of practice. Racing karts have no suspension or shock absorbers, either, so after a few laps you will find your back aches and your whole body is tired. In addition, driving so fast through all those curves will make you dizzy. My karting experience made me wonder how those F1 racers survive at such deadly speeds.
This was my first visit to Rosso, and I am looking forward to going there a second time. Karting is a fascinating introduction to car racing for every man who has a need for speed. After experiencing it for yourself, you might realize that there is a big difference between being a “dream racer” and actually getting out there on the track. However, you won’t know until you try! Give it a shot, and don’t leave your dreams behind!
Rosso Karting Track
No.1201, Dadu Dist., Taichung City 432
Hours: Sunday to Friday 10:00~21:00
Phone: (04) 23581056