www.kartelec.com
 

Autoblog UK goes electric karting at London's new short circuit

 

28/01/11

Source:
http://uk.autoblog.com by Tom Webster  
 
 

 
 
 

The problem with adrenaline-fuelled motorsport is that you can't run a run a car on the stuff, and that's likely to become more and more of an issue when petrol is more expensive than lager and has to shoulder some of the blame for heating up the planet.

Fortunately motorsports fans with an ecological bent now have a new playground to enjoy which offers all the thrills of karting with none of the environmental angst that comes with two-stroke exhaust fumes. In South East London, TeamSport has created a brand new, all-electric go-kart experience that claims to be carbon neutral, with the owners promising to offset any pollution they might produce. The firm even has its own team racing driver – a mystery man named 'Bruce' who races in an all green suit and helmet. Despite being named TeamSport Tower Bridge, the track is actually about a mile down the road in a large warehouse, tucked away behind Bermondsey tube station. The premises are as shiny and new as you'd expect and the only teething problem was a safety briefing video which still featured petrol-driven karts. A new, bespoke version is apparently on its way.

 
 

 
 
 

In South East London, TeamSport has created a brand new, all-electric go-kart experience that claims to be carbon neutral, with the owners promising to offset any pollution they might produce. The firm even has its own tame racing driver – a mystery man named 'Bruce' who races in an all green suit and helmet.

Despite being named TeamSport Tower Bridge, the track is actually about a mile down the road in a large warehouse, tucked away behind Bermondsey tube station. The premises are as shiny and new as you'd expect and the only teething problem was a safety briefing video which still featured petrol-driven karts. A new, bespoke version is apparently on its way.

 
 

 
 
 

Other than that we felt fully prepared by the time we were slotted into the shiny new kart. We were due to head out for one short qualifying burst, and then line up on a grid of six.

While waiting something did feel eerily different from the other times we'd been karting, and we couldn't quite work out what. The clean overalls we could cope with – this place was brand new after all. And that accounted for the lack of petrol and oil smell, too.

But then it struck us, when we realised the only thing we could hear was the pumping, and slightly irritating music that acted as an omnipresent soundtrack – the karts themselves whirred around the track remarkably silently, with the squeaking of tyres the only noticeable noise despite having a top speed of 40mph.

Thankfully, the dreary urban tunes were irrelevant as soon as we slid on our bank-robberesque balaclava, and disappeared almost completely once the helmet was fastened and we were on track. Sadly, there was still something missing from the occasion – that's the human gene which lets you drive with speed and without fear. While some our colleagues were lapping at least within ten percent of the fastest time of the day – 50.20 seconds, set by Top Gear's original Stig, Perry McCarthy – we were somewhat slower, and ended up qualifying fifth out of six.

Never mind, we'd just saved it for the race we told ourselves, and go all out at the start. Amazingly, this worked, and we managed to jump from fifth to fourth on the second corner thanks to a ballsy stealing of a line that we kept all the way until the position was assured.

 
 

 
 
 

Probably more luck than judgement, but this good fortune continued about half way around the first lap when the kart in third spun in front of us. A neat evasion followed and we slipped past before the yellow flags came out so the marshalls could get him back facing the right way. Up to third, we used the opportunity to catch up with the leaders.

Unfortunately the driver we overtook on the second turn also caught up with us, and we were too preoccupied with fending off his bumper-car tactics to mount an assault on second. We were shunted out of the way, and off the podium, momentarily on lap two, but another fair pass on the third lap saw bronze reclaimed, and we stayed until the chequered flag.

Pulling into the pits, we felt rather pleased with our efforts and happily merrily with the other drivers until controversy descended. No stewards enquiry followed by disqualifications, just the devastating news that the final positions were calculated not on the order in which you crossed the line, as they should be, but on your fastest lap, so it was back down to fifth.

We may have been robbed of a podium finish, but Teamsport's carbon-neutral venue impressed us enough to put electric karting high on the list of London's automotive attractions.

 
 
 
 
BIZ Karts

Gokarts supplied by:

Biz Karts Limited
Edison Road, Millmarsh Lane
Brimsdown, Enfield Middlesex, EN3 7QA
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8443 3300
Fax: +44 (0)20 8804 6672
Email: sales@bizkarts.com
Web site: http://www.bizkarts.com