We try the go-kart trak at the Bahrain International Circuit
Time Out Bahrain staff
How fast can the karts go and how are they equipped? To estimate the speed of each kart would be slightly difficult, but we provide several karts each running on an average speed. For instance, the average speed of a rental kart around the track would be over 65kmph, whereas the speed of the race kart is above 100kmph.
What safety precautions are there for those racing?
The surface of the racing track is designed keeping the highest safety measures in mind. We are a CIK-approved (karting commission of the FIA) to the category ‘A’, which today is the highest standard of safety. The run- off areas are designed to keep people safe even if they accidently leave the track. Besides this, the other facilities include a medical room with a fully equipped first aid kit to cater to any injuries during or after the racing sessions.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t been karting before?
I suggest everyone to keep aside their rental karts and register for the ‘arrive and drive’ for a complete new experience. All karting requires is a bit of practice, as it is not as difficult as people claim.
Apart from the light, how does the night racing you offer differ to day-time? We are the first circuit designed to hold races at night aiming to meet international standards. In our opinion, racing at night would be a favorable option in summer, as racers could drive for long hours as well. Chasing their shadow whilst driving and enjoying the breezy evenings could be a different experience all together.
You are also introducing national racing. Tell us more about it, and when does it begin? We are still finalising the dates for the race and will announce it soon. The national racing will include the leisure racing again, where individuals can use rental karts and opt for the ‘arrive and race’ package. This can be taken up by individuals in the age group of 15 and above (racing license not needed), after which all that is required from them is to just pay the amount, and they will be provided with everything from the kart to the racing suit and the helmet. This is meant to introduce people to racing who do not want to invest in their own kart. The other racing would be endurance, which is held for long hours and could go on for anything up to an entire day.
What kind of response have you received since its launch? We have received a phenomenal response post the launch of the circuit. The feedback is so good that people want to keep coming back, and this has encouraged us to make the track bigger and better.
What’s next? Anything to look out for? We are looking to upgrade certain areas in order to make it the best racing circuit in the world. Besides that we all are excited as the BIC is also listed on the calendar for the under 18 racing world championship which is to take place in November this year.
There are eight different configurations – how are all of these different? The Bahrain International Karting Circuit is the only existing venue in the world homologated to host international events at night. The different track configurations allow two tracks to be run simultaneously, amongst which one is dedicated for kids from seven-12 years of age, while the second will be hosting teenagers and adults from 15 years of age. There is also the west and east circuit, which allows us to split the track into two different configurations.
What is the lap record so far? The lap record so far is one minute and one second. We are hoping and looking forward to breaking the one-minute barrier.
For more info, call BIC (17 450 000; www.bahraingp.com). Open Tue-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun-Mon 2pm-10pm. Prices from BD10 for adults and children for 15 minutes