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GoRacing Magazine caught up with Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe who pilots the #27 United Fiber & Data Honda in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series. We talked about all things racing, from his career in karting to IndyCar and if the Mayor of Hinchtown had any aspirations to jump over into Formula 1.

(GoRacingMagazine) Hi James, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to GoRacing Magazine. You started your racing career in karting, how old were you when you got started and how did you get involved in the sport?
(James Hinchcliffe) I started racing karts at nine. My dad had taken up vintage racing the year before and we had met a guy whose son raced karts. He invited us out to a go kart race one weekend, and that was it. I was hooked.

14541984594 0a2528c02d h Interview with IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe

(GRM) You join an impressive list of drivers from Canada; The Villeneuve Family, Greg Moore, Paul Tracy among others, who did you look up to as a kid?
(JH) In different ways I looked up to all of them. Jacques was really the first driver I ever cheered for. PT was winning races and the championship when I was really starting to take my career seriously, so I followed him closely, too. But there’s no doubt that Greg was my guy. On track and off I had such a respect for him.

(GRM) I always wonder about car numbers and if they hold any significance to the driver. Does #27 have a significance to you?
(JH) It does, even though I didn’t pick it! I was given the number by the team who owned it in Indycar racing. But to me, the 27 is Gilles Villeneuve in his Ferrari, it’s Jacques winning the 500, it’s Dario taking his first title and 500 in the same year. That number has a great history and I’m honoured to wear it.

(GRM) Among numerous podium finishes, you have also won the Greg Moore Legacy Award and the Tony Renna Rising Star Award, how do those accomplishments differ than race wins?
(JH) They differ because a trophy in a race is an acknowledgement of what you can do, but these awards are a reflection of who you are. There is a big difference between being a great driver and a great man. Very few are both. Greg and Tony were both. So to be recognized in that light is hugely rewarding and very humbling.

14540112641 319b605268 c Interview with IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe

(GRM) You are partnered with Speed Group (, offering drivers and teams a wide range of services from Coaching to Social Media and Marketing. Can you tell us a bit more about Speed Group and your involvement?
(JH) Speed Group is the culmination of an idea that Toni Calderon, David Martinez and myself came up with 6 years ago. We basically wanted to create a one stop shop for drivers who want to make a career in racing. This is something I wish was around when I was coming up to help me, advise me, point me in the right direction. Toni, David and I all have different skill sets and different experiences through years in racing that when combined can really help a driver with every aspect of their career.

(GRM) We see a lot of driver’s crossing over to other series (ie. Kurt Busch ran the Indy 500 this year). Do you have any aspirations to move to Formula 1?
(JH) Honestly, no. I would love to drive the cars, have a proper test day, but I love racing Indycars. My career is here. It would be too difficult and too late to attempt a move now. I’ll never say never, but it’s definitely not something I am chasing.

(GRM) Getting back to karting, what was your biggest kart race win?
(JH) Tough question! This is going to sound weird, but I didn’t win a lot of big karting races. I won a bunch of races, but none of the crown jewel events. Part of the problem was I didn’t do as much karting as a lot of the kids I was racing against at the time. My parents put a lot of emphasis on school and I couldn’t take that kind of time off.

14593404231 631f39de4e b Interview with IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe

(GRM) During your karting career, did you have most of your racing sponsorship come to you, or did you have to go out and seek sponsorship?
(JH) We had to go out and find every penny. Sponsorship doesn’t come to you. Ever. You have to work hard and be better at finding it than other guys. It’s as much a race off the track as it is on it.

(GRM) Can you share with our GoRacing Magazine readers and those making their way thru the karting ranks any words of wisdom or advice?
(JH) It’s simple; work harder and don’t give up! It sounds cheesy and cliché but it’s true. This is a tough sport and a tough business but those that keep pounding and putting in the effort, on track and off, are the ones that will eventually get the breaks.

Thank you again, and best of luck this season!

Check out James Hinchcliffe’s website and all that is going on in HinchTown at

Featured,News - K1 Speed View Comments

 Go kart racing spot in Medley pumps up the adrenaline
Isabella Garcia spent her 12th birthday racing her brother, Jorge Garcia Jr., 10, and her cousin, Leila Rodriguez, 9, down the tracks at the new K-1 Speed in Miami. She chose to spend her birthday racing after her brother told her about a birthday party he went to at the K-1 Speed in Hollywood.

“It was really fun,” said Isabella. “This place is awesome.”

The Miami K-1 Speed, which opened last month, is the 22nd facility nationwide for the indoor go-kart racing company. The first one opened in Carlsbad, California, in 2003. The company wants to grow to 40 locations nationwide.

“The idea of opening a location in Miami was thought of by the owners in 2011,” said Ken Allday, general manager of K-1 Speed Miami. “It took time to find the right location.”

After three years of searching, K-1 Speed Miami has a home at 8600 NW South River Dr. in Medley.

Allday hopes the 41,000-square-foot warehouse will soon steal the title as K-1’s No. 1 location in the nation.

“The one in [Hollywood] is the No. 1 location in the nation for K-1 Speed,” he said. “About 70 percent of the customers that go to that location are from Miami.”

First-time racers must register, sign a safety waiver and pay a $6 annual license fee, along with paying the racing costs.

Each race around the tracks is 14 laps for adults and 12 laps for junior racers. One 14-lap race costs $19.99. There are different deals for the number of races you buy. Racers drive 20-horsepower electric carts that can reach speeds approaching 45 mph.

Before racers step into a go-kart, they are briefed on the rules of the track. Since safety is the main concern, every racer needs to know how to operate the vehicle and what each flag means when it is waved, said Allday.

One flag indicates when the race is done, another that a racer is bumping the gutters too much, and another for when a racer isn’t following the rules and must stop.

When racers don’t follow the rules after a warning, they will not be allowed to continue racing.

Christopher Carricaburu, 23, and Alexander Tarin, 24, heard about the Miami location through word of mouth from friends almost two months ago. They knew about the Hollywood location, on Stirling Road just west of Interstate 95, but never visited because they didn’t want to drive that far.

Their trip to K-1 Speed Miami was the first time either had raced go-karts.

“I can’t say anything else but the adrenaline,” said Tarin. “It is relaxing after.”


News - K1 Speed View Comments

14364716688 e5114e1d39 c Happy Fourth of July!
Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

All K1 Speed locations will be open – 11am – 7pm on Friday, July 4th.

arrow Happy Fourth of July! Contact K1 Speed for Reservations and Locations Nationwide.

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2014 location 5c Happy Fourth of July!
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2014 location 8 Happy Fourth of July!

Featured,News - K1 Speed View Comments

14521305016 0ed72a1eec Indoor Karting Comes to the Mile High City
K1 Speed, the largest go-kart racing company in the United States, set to open newest location in Denver, Colorado.

Irvine, CA July 1, 2014 – K1 Speed is the largest karting company in the country, with dozens of locations throughout the United States, from South Florida to the Pacific Northwest. Since its founding in 2003, K1 Speed has hosted hundreds of thousands of racers at its karting centers. This success has helped drive unprecedented growth in the last two years, and the company shows no signs of slowing down. The latest K1 Speed facility will be opened in the Mile-High City, situated in Highlands Ranch and Littleton – Denver, Colorado.

Karting Uniquely Suited for Denver’s Climate
K1 Speed and Denver make such a great pair that it’s a wonder Denver wasn’t host to the first K1 Speed location! Why? Well, it comes down to a couple of factors:

Weather – Denver is known for weather that runs the gamut of conditions, from searing heat to blistering cold. There’s a saying in Colorado; “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” And yet, for individuals eager to race at K1 Speed, the weather will be the last of their concerns, as each and every K1 Speed facility in entirely enclosed.
Altitude – Anyone who has ever been to the Mile High City knows that the altitude can play tricks on your body. Even walking up a flight of stairs can leave you out of breath.

This same lack of oxygen that affects people also affects engines, especially small engines like those used in go-karts. At K1 Speed, however, this altitude won’t play a role, as the company exclusively uses all-electric go-karts for superior performance.

Put simply, the elements at play that make go-kart racing and Denver strange bedfellows have been accounted for. In fact, K1 Speed Denver will be open seven days a week, 364 days a year, regardless of weather conditions. And racers will never experience a lack of power due to altitude! The karts at K1 Speed Denver – a mile up – are just as quick as they are at K1 Speed Miami!

Race Day or Night, Rain or Shine – No Reservations Required
Racers at K1 Speed have a number of options. One of the most popular is K1 Speed’s Arrive & Drive races. Individuals can join an Arrive & Drive race on a first-come, first-served basis, no reservation required. Up to 12 competitors at a time – friends, family and strangers alike – compete in a 14-lap race against the clock. The winner of the race is not who crosses the finish line first, but rather who manages to set the fastest lap within the allotted number of laps. By crowning a winner based on time rather than position, the Arrive & Drive race eliminates variables which could work in one person’s favor at the cost of another’s, such as starting position or defensive driving from other competitors.
The company also offers a number of race packages which can be reserved, perfect for parties of 8 or more people. These packages, which include reserved race times and exclusive use of the track during heats, are great for birthday and bachelor parties, corporate events, team building exercises, and special occasions. To further tailor these events around each party’s needs, K1 Speed also offers private room rentals and catering options. No matter a group’s needs or wishes, K1 Speed will work tirelessly to help make sure the experience is a pleasant and memorable one.

A New Standard for Karting in the Mile-High City
With electric karts and professionally designed indoor go-kart tracks, K1 Speed Denver will set the new standard for karting in the Mile-High City. Residents who are interested in racing at K1 Speed Denver can visit the Highlands Ranch location between 11AM and 10PM, Monday through Saturday, and until 8PM on Sundays. Adult drivers must be at least 58” tall while junior racers must be at least 48” tall.


K1 Speed
8034 Midway Dr.
Littleton, CO 80125
(720) 726-1264

Challenge GP,Events,News - K1 Speed View Comments

14542715272 88a3c28860 z 2014 Challenge GP   Season 2
Season 2 of the 2014 Challenge GP starts this Sunday, July 6th!

Do you have the skills to compete against the best, most experienced K1 Speed racers? Participate in our Challenge GP go kart race league to find out! The Challenge GP Grand Prix league is a fun, unique, and competitive series that is held at our indoor karting facilities throughout California, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, Washington and Texas. If you are interested in competing in our go kart race league our locations each holds its own season consisting of six races, at the end of which rewards and prizes are given to the Top 3 finishers for their accomplishments!

If you want to experience the thrill and excitement of head-to-head racing, then our Challenge GP go kart race league is for you! Our Grand Prix league is an affordable, accessible, fun and safe way to compete in motorsport and enjoy the thrilling competition of racing; though our Arrive and Drive race package is a great way to enjoy the thrills of indoor karting, our Challenge GP go kart race league brings the experience to the next level by incorporating qualifying sessions, standing-starts from a race grid, podium finishes and trophies for the winners! Rest assured, your adrenaline and competitive juices will be flowing! If you are interested in competing in our Grand Prix league, feel free to check the schedules below or contact your local K1 Speed indoor karting center! Click HERE to view all our locations.

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Junior Qualification for Super Track and Challenge GP Races

Racers between the ages of 14 and 18, who may be too old or too experienced for our Junior Karting League, can now qualify to participate in Challenge GP and Super Track races. In order to have the opportunity to race with the best, individuals need to show us that they can hang with the best! Any racer between the ages of 14 and 18 who has a Racing Score (K1RS) at or above 1,400 points can participate in Super Track and Challenge GP go kart race league events (driver must be approved for top speed in the adult karts). We have created this new rule due to the high demand from teen drivers (and their parents) who have shown that they have the skills to compete. Our Challenge GP and Super Track races are fun and unique events, but are also highly competitive; it takes a certain amount of track experience and maturity to race against the top K1 Speed racers, thus our qualifying system to ensure that the environment is safe for everyone on the track. If you have any questions about our go kart race league, please feel free to contact us at or call your local center.

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