While we all wait to be swept over by F1 fever again, racing at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit is guaranteed fun for your Hamiltons in the making says Ana Corradini Boreland Discuss this article
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If your kids have a need for speed, testing their best laps at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC) could just be the outlet you’ve been looking for. With specially modified karts for youngsters, and all the noise and excitement of the adult track, it could well become a favourite hobby.
Kids can race starting at seven years old as long as their height is above 130cm. This is for obvious reasons like safety (and difficulties to reach the pedals). Young petrolheads get to drive SODI Fun Kids Karts, built specially for them, and which reach an average speed of 20km/h. With so many turns and curves in the circuit, they won’t be able to speed up more than that, say the circuit’s officials. And there is no reason to worry about equipment either: suit and helmet are provided, and the kids are only required to wear closed-toed footwear – slippers and sandals will have to park outside the track to avoid injuries.
And don’t worry about the possibility of a tumble either, as there are trained staff on call at the circuit’s medical centre, and an ambulance for emergencies – all in accordance with the highest standards specified by the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Kids on the Arrive and Drive package (that’s right, there is no need to make reservations) can race for 15 minutes on the track and, as in a real racing car competition, each lap time is recorded, and there is even a podium for the winners.
For kids looking forward to enhance their racing skills, there is also a driving training programme with professionally trained staff. The BIKC even offers a birthday package, to be celebrated on the track with 10 to 25 of the little pilot’s best friends – boys and girls. Don’t let the fierceness of the sport make you want to keep your Penelope Pitstop at home. ‘There are more boys racing, but there are quite a number of girls who are regular clients at BIKC, and many of them are highly talented,’ says one circuit official, who adds that, ‘Karting also teaches discipline, sportsmanship and leadership as well. Most importantly, if children take it seriously, racing can teach them how to become winners – and that hard work and determination really pay off at the end.’
Karting is also the first step for children who dream about going professional some day. ‘It is a long process from childhood, although many children at BIKC have shown great potential,’ he explains. ‘A few Bahraini drivers have already made it to Formula 3, while one has competed in GP2. And they started racing in karts.’
Time Out Bahrain,
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