AN ARCADIAN IN KING ARTHUR’S KART
Karting at CalSpeed in the Auto Club Speedway
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, May 26, 2016
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
LA Car’s Glenn Oyoung knows a thing or two about the world of automobilia. Every month, he organizes Arcadia’s cars and coffee event, Carcadia. He’s also the driving force behind Arcadia’s Turn3 Creative and Superstrada Design. But even Glenn got a heap full of schooling when he entered the world of karting at the Calspeed course, located on the grounds of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Mr. Oyoung tells the tale.
By Glenn Oyoung
For that rare breed of gear head that loves not only to drive cars but to also write about them, writing for LA Car is like American Express – membership has its privileges. Sometimes you get to see what it’s like to drive a car you’re really curious about. Sometimes you get to know some interesting people. And sometimes you get emails from Roy and Doug asking you if you’d like to go karting at Auto Club Speedway. Uh… YES!?!?!?
Rather than waste away another day tethered to the interwebs, the nice people at Auto Club Speedway were kind enough to invite LA Car to their Media Day. Doug Stokes, Brian Kennedy, and I were treated to a nice lunch with a beautiful view of the front straights at Richter’s, the Speedway’s new luxury club.
Dave Allen, Auto Club Speedway’s president, gave us a quick overview of happenings at the track. The speedway celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It feels like just yesterday I heard the news that Southern California was finally getting a super speedway. In that time the speedway has hosted NASCAR (of course), IndyCar, and one of my favorites, JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Car).
Richter’s is a new addition for 2016, named after Les “Coach” Richter – an iconic figure who helped International Speedway develop Auto Club Speedway (then California Speedway) on an old steel mill. Fittingly the luxury lounge is a class act, as “Coach” was known to be in the motorsports world.
Our brains and stomachs now fed, we were escorted to CalSpeed Karting – a top-notch karting facility that is on the speedway’s grounds just outside of turn four. Billed by Allen as the “super speedway” of karting, the CalSpeed track features multiple configurations (one with as many as 15 turns) over a ¾-mile purpose-built karting track. Our hosts equipped us with their GT2 Sport Karts capable of 50 mph top speed. One thing crossed my mind…this was certainly not Autotopia.
Luckily I had our very own Doug Stokes to coach me. Stokes is not only our fearless editor, but is also the former Executive Director of the International Kart Federation. Armed with some secret tips to inspire my inner Senna, I set out against the other journalists to do battle on CalSpeed’s “Nuevo” configuration.
Despite my impressive karting pedigree (in reverse order: Bondurant Karting School, countless K1 lunch “meetings”, and a certain pixelated karting school taught by a gentleman named Super Mario) I could not get the better of two other journalists, CalSpeed’s resident hot-shoe Travis Wilson, or Auto Club Speedway’s president and secret karting guru Dave Allen. Apparently the only way I was getting first place was by shooting turtle shells and alas the speedway’s otherwise proactive marketing team did not provide those.
That being said, it was a rip-roaring time and while my pursuit of a bronze medal eluded me I walked away promising myself that this would be my new hobby. CalSpeed’s Super Series is an arrive-and-drive program that pits you against 119 other drivers per round and up to 29 other racers per session. I’ve just got to take Stokes out to lunch a few more times for more of his karting tips, then I’ll be back to the Speedway!