Know Before You Go: Indoor Kart Racing
If you’re planning a trip to K1 Speed, or it’s been awhile since you’ve last raced with us, then we’re here to tell you everything you need to know before you go indoor kart racing at K1 Speed.
First, check our Closures page.
The very first thing you should know before you go to K1 Speed is whether we’re open for Arrive & Drive racing at the time you want to visit. If we have a private event, we will be closed to the general public during that time. Check our closures page to make sure we don’t have any private events scheduled. The last thing we’d want you to do is make a trip to K1 Speed and not be able to race.
Second, call ahead to see what our current wait times are.
We tend to be pretty busy on the weekends, so call your local K1 Speed to find out what the estimated wait time is. If you absolutely hate waiting, we recommend coming in during the weekdays when our wait times are most often the shortest. To find the phone number of your local K1 Speed, find your nearest location by clicking the red button below.
Third, dress accordingly.
Another thing you’ll want to know before you go is what to wear. We require that all racers wear closed-toe shoes, keep long hair tied back, and to wear nothing too loose fitting. T-shirts, jeans/shorts and sneakers are perfect attire for a day at the track. Keep in mind, indoor kart racing at K1 Speed is a very physical activity so dress accordingly!
Step 1: Register
When you enter the building, head directly to the computers that you’ll see set up by the cashier. If this is your first visit, this is where you will register an account with K1 Speed. If you decide to opt into our emails (you really should), be sure your email address is correct. Our emails inform you about special events and deals throughout the year!
If you’ve already got an account with us, skip this and go to the next step.
Step 2: Visit the Cashier
After you have an account created with us, proceed to the cashier. This is where you’ll purchase your membership and races.
You will need to purchase an annual membership to race with us if you don’t already have one or if it has expired. This costs $7 and includes a ton of perks like a free race during your birthday month (an over $20 value in itself).
- If you purchased a membership, you’ll receive a headsock. Hold on to this – you’ll need it for your race. Wash it at home and bring it back for future races!
- If you have a current membership and races in your account, the cashier can schedule your next race and no payment is necessary (unless you forgot your headsock and need to purchase a new one).
Step 3: Wait for Your Race
We announce the racers for the next race over our loudspeakers. Feel free to take a seat on one of our comfy leather couches, but please keep an ear out for your name to be called.
If you’ve got some time to kill, be sure to explore the other things you can do at K1 Speed when you’re not racing.
Once your name is called, proceed to the pitlane gate entrance. If you’re at a location with two tracks, make sure you pay attention to which track you’re called for.
Step 4: Safety Briefing & Gear Up
If this is your first visit to K1 Speed, you’ll be given a safety briefing prior to getting in to your go kart. If you’re a repeat customer, you’ll proceed to our helmets.
Our safety briefing goes over all the rules of the track, how to operate the go kart, and what the various flags mean. Listen carefully to ensure you and the rest of your group have a trouble-free session without any unexpected speed penalties.
You’ll then pick your helmet. Our helmets vary by size, smaller to larger. You’ll want a helmet that fits snug, but not too tight. Helmets that are too small will be difficult to get on and will feel like its crushing your head. Helmets too large will be too easy to put on and will feel loose around your head. Find that sweet spot that gives a little resistance when putting it on and feels comfortable while wearing.
For additional comfort before indoor kart racing, leave your visor open. If you need help with the chin strap, let one of our staff know and they’ll be happy to assist.
After you’ve got the helmet on, head over to the track worker by the computer in pit lane. He’ll tell you the number of the go kart you’re assigned to. Proceed to the go kart with that number.
Enter the go kart and fasten your seat belts. Once seated, our track staff will turn on each kart, and assist you if you need additional help settling in. When instructed, close your helmet’s visor by sliding it down.
Step 5: GO INDOOR KART RACING!
Karts will enter the track single-file. For the first lap, you’ll find your go kart is not at its peak speed. Use this time to warm up your tires by safely swerving your kart to the left and right – just like the pros (well, minus Kimi Räikkönen). Warming up your tires is crucial if you want your go kart to grip the track surface right away.
When our track marshal waves the green flag, your race has begun, and you’ll be at the appropriate speed level.
NOTES ABOUT SPEED SETTINGS:
Our go karts have several speed settings that are controlled by our staff. All first-time K1 Speed racers will be on the second-to-highest speed setting. This allows our staff to monitor your performance at that current speed without throwing you into the deep end.
This is all in the name of safety, as we’d hate for you to injure yourself or another racer. Once our staff sees that you’re able to handle the current speed setting, your kart will be boosted to the highest speed setting. This may take a race or two of clean racing.
Clean Racing to Reach the Highest Speed:
To reach the highest speed setting in our go kart, DO NOT:
- Crash into the barrier or another kart.
- Disobey flags/warnings
- Step on accelerator/brake pedal at same time
- Bump other drivers
- Drift the kart
As long as you don’t do any of the above for a race or two, your speed should be at the highest setting. That said, there can be exceptions (for example, if it’s a busier track with lots of incidents, we may decrease the speed on everyone’s kart for safety reasons).
IMPORTANT: Our races award the racer with the fastest lap NOT the first one to see the checkered flag. So if you find yourself stuck behind a slower driver and they’re not obeying the blue flag, then slow down and give yourself a gap. Then try to set a fast lap without any traffic in front of you. For more tips about how to win at K1 Speed, read our blog post by clicking the button below.
Every location has a giant screen with a real-time reading of everyone’s lap times in order. It’s important to quickly look at this screen when racing by. It’ll tell you what position you’re currently in, what your fastest lap time is so far, and what lap time you just set on your last lap.
Try different racing lines and braking points to see how it affects your times. This will allow you to discover what’s faster and what’s slower around the track so you can improve.
When the checkered flag waves, return to pit lane and remain seated. Staff will let you know when it is safe for you to leave your kart.
Step 6: Retrieve your Scoresheet and Compare Notes!
After you’ve left your kart and returned your helmet, proceed to the café. A staff member will have a personalized scoresheet available for each racer in your heat.
This scoresheet includes the final results of your race. You’ll see each driver’s best lap time in order from fastest to slowest. You’ll also see everyone’s average lap time. In addition, you’ll see the time you set for each lap. Study this closely. It’ll clue you in on when you set your fastest lap, so you can think back to what you were doing when that occurred.
Unless your group is ultra-competitive, ask the other racers how they were approaching different parts of the track. If that friend was faster than you, or quicker in a particular section, ask what they were doing and apply it during your next race.
If you’re ready for another race, then return to the cashier and either purchase more races or use a race stored in your account. The cashier will schedule you in the next available race.
QUICK TIP: While waiting to go indoor kart racing, see what times are currently being set on the track. If someone is setting a faster time than you, observe them and see what they’re doing differently from you and apply It when you’re back on the track.
Take a Podium Picture!
One of the most signature things to do at K1 Speed is to take your picture on our podium! Countless pro racing drivers and celebrities have taken their picture on our podium, including Beyoncé and IndyCar legend Paul Tracy (see photos above). So be sure to take a picture of your group and share it with your friends!
If you share your podium pic on social media and tag us, there’s a chance we’ll re-share it in front of our many fans and followers!
Have More Questions?
Congrats! You should now know everything you’ll need to know before you go indoor kart racing at K1 Speed.
If you have more questions, visit our FAQs section on our website. Still have a question? Simply call your local K1 Speed!
See you at the track!