When it comes to Karting, choosing the Circuit is an extremely important decision. It’s imperative to know what you’re looking at getting out of your session. So here are some Pro’s and Con’s to help you choose.
Pro’s of Outdoor Karting.
The biggest pull for Outdoor tracks is the fact that we’re outdoors. I know it sounds obvious but this factor is obviously a huge influence on why people come here. When you drive outdoors, you feel the speed of which you’re travelling, you feel the wind in your face and the gravity pulling you back in your seat. It’s an exhilarating sensation and one that you can’t get at an Indoor track as you cannot replicate the natural feel. With that, the weather. The weather will ALWAYS play a factor in racing! When the weather is great, it’s great! You get the racing sensation, the sunlight beaming on the track and making the circuit pop and look amazing. No artificial lighting. No nonsense.
Another advantage with being an Outdoor track is space. There is a lot more space on Outdoor tracks than there are with Indoor ones. With having so much more space, it makes it safer to be outside (Contrary to popular opinion). Space allows us to have Run-Off Room, so if you crash into a barrier, you’re just going to go straight onto grass which is gonna help you reduce speed. It also allows us to have a much wider track. This is excellent for overtaking other racers and makes it a lot safer, rather than trying to overtake on narrow tracks. Due to all of these pros of Outdoor tracks, it means that they’re also perfect locations for Professionals to train and for events to be held, as well as Championships. Most professional events and Championships are held at Outdoor tracks because of the safety, space and the atmosphere.
Cons of Outdoor Circuits
However, nothing is perfect and everything has its flaws. Just like our first Pro, our first Con is also the weather. Now, while it may be amazing when it’s sunny when it’s raining, it’s a whole different story. Getting soaked isn’t many people’s idea of fun, and so sitting in a kart and driving round in it isn’t going to be pleasant. While some tracks, much like us here at Lakeside and Brentwood, offer waterproofs that fit over our jumpsuits, that still isn’t enough sometimes.
While Outdoor circuits are ideal for professionals training and events, if you aren’t a professional, it can make the experience rather tough, especially if you’re racing them. Racing in the same session as Professionals could make the experience very unenjoyable as you may be a novice or a beginner looking to take it on professionally, but racing against them in your first few practice races may not be the best for self-esteem. Also, if you’re there to just race as a laugh and to do it for the pure purpose of fun, then racing against a professional who is trying to train, would really make it very tedious for everyone.
Pro’s of Indoor Karting.
As always, the weather plays a crucial part in racing and here, it’s no exception. However, at Indoor circuits, you don’t need to worry about the weather, it could be torrential rain, high winds or even snowing and your driving will not be affected. The only time the weather will affect your experience is the obvious, “Risk to Safety” type weather, but other than that, you’re all clear and will not have cancellations due to weather.
The Indoor karts are usually more covered than their Outdoor counterparts as well, which means less exposed machinery, an obvious positive.
These types of circuits are, also, just as good for the more novice of drivers. They’re a good place to learn the basics of karting and to get familiar with the rules, just like at Outdoor Circuits. Unlike Outdoor circuits, however, the prices are considerably lower, making it better for the more novice/beginner drivers or if you’re just wanting to do it for a day out.
Cons of Indoor Karting
As mentioned in the “Pro’s of Outdoor Karting” section, their circuits have the boundary of space. There is barely, if ANY, Run-Off room at Indoor Circuits, if you crash into a barrier, you’re bouncing back off and potentially into the paths of other karters. So, ideally, you don’t want this to happen as it’s a very clear safety risk. Also, as mentioned before, these tracks are also more crammed together and so have to be thinner than their outside competitors. This also makes it harder to overtake but also more likely to cause crashes than it would and an Outdoor Circuit. These types of circuits, also, keep costs down by having fewer marshalls on track. This does help them keep it cheap for the customer, but it also does make them more vulnerable as they’re being marshalled by cameras and fewer marshalls. Fewer marshalls mean if there is a crash or accident, you may be further away from help than you would be at an Outdoor track.
The authenticity problem is also prevalent at Indoor Circuits. As mentioned in the “Pro’s of Outdoor Karting”, you get a very real and strong sense of excitement and a rush from driving outdoors, but that is a sensation that cannot be recreated indoors. This is mainly due to the fact there’s barely any air flow, there’s no wind or natural factors, and you just can’t go as quickly around the circuit as you can outside, because of the restrictive tracks.
All types of tracks are different, but all have their pro’s and con’s. The track that is right for you, all depends on what you want to get out of your karting experience, do you want to make the most of your money and do you want to drive safely or on a track that leads to a wall as a barrier?
I know what we’d choose.