Bengaluru has emerged as one of the most vibrant cities for karting in the past few years.With a lot of options available in the southern city for karting enthusiasts, we shine a light on some of the best and most popular.
1. Meco KartopiaIt is the only professional, Grade 3 track in Bangalore and is a regular venue for National Karting Championships. While Meco Kartopia has the city’s longest professional karting track at 1.2kms, it also has smaller tracks – 750m and 450m – for recreational karters, and a 700m dirt karting track.National Karting champion Yash Aradhya holds the lap record at Meco Kartopia at 54.117 seconds.The 17-year-old, who now drives in Formula-4, takes us through the track and how to negotiate it: “The track has a really long main straight. Then you have a really fast corner; that is turn 1. You need a lot of courage to stay on the gas on that corner. Turn 2 is a hairpin; you got to really slow the kart down, rotate it as smoothly as possible and then get back on the power as quickly as you can. Turn 4 is a hairpin again. Another straight, and then Turn 5 is another hairpin. It’s challenging; it’s fast and slow. A balanced circuit overall. Turn 6 is a blind left. Turn 7 is a right; you got to lift off just before entry. Kerbs are really small there, so you could run the kerbs on two wheels. Turn 9 is again a hairpin. On the exit, you stay on the middle of the track because Turn 10 is a long hairpin. Turn 11 is flat and turn 12, which is the last, is a hard-braking right.”According to Bangalore-boy Aradhya,“The key at Meco is staying as smooth as possible and getting your braking right, making it to the apex points.”A ride out at Meco Kartopia can cost between Rs 440 (baby karts for 10 minutes) to Rs 1,300 (pro Rotax for 10 minutes). Apart from this, they also offer a two-day training course called the Meco Rotax Karting Training Program.
2. Aruani GridLaunched by Anitha Kholay, the first Indian women’s rally driver to compete internationally, and her husband Rupesh Kholay in 2018, the Aruani grid has quickly become one of the hotspots on Bangalore’s karting scene. Just over a kilometre in length, it has the only twin track in town – just outside the track is a layout where you can drive your rally car.Ali Yawar Hayat, who races for Kartkrew Motorsports professionally, is the karting coach at the Anitha Kholay Motorsports Academy.“Meco is better in terms of standard. In terms of layout, Aruani is more challenging,” says the Bangalore-based Hayat, who is a regular on both the tracks.“Aruani has certain corners, which aren’t at Meco,” adds Hayat. “First corner is a 90 degree left-hander leading into a left-hander U-turn. Then there is a right-hander double apex leading into a back straight which leads into double apex decreasing radius. Then it’s a downhill chicane leading into again a flat-out double apex leading into a right-hander U-turn. This section is actually fast on that track. The chances of going off the track are high at Aruani. You need better control.”They also run a training program for karting enthusiasts.“We run basic and intermediate training programs, which happen on the 7 and 11 bhp karts,” Hayat says. “It’s a two-day program. We drive close to 200 laps in two days. It’s to teach you the fundamentals of track, racing line, understanding how the karts work. Then we have the advanced programs, which are on the Rotax 24 and 28 bhp.”Karting prices range from Rs 450 to Rs 1,100.
3. Torq03 KartingEzone’s Torq03 is possibly the most popular recreational karting track in Bangalore. According to Hayat they can conduct training on four-stroke karts at Torq03 because “the longer tracks are not suitable for four-stroke academies.” The track is about 500 metres long and also features a floodlit night track.“They have a fleet of about 60 cars, which is the largest in Bangalore. Karts are maintained very well and the marshals are good here,” adds Hayat.According to their website, one of the standout features is their state-of-the-art tracking system: “The X2 Link makes live results available to racers on our displays, whereas timers and race control are able to track live accurate positions of the vehicles to bring more safety and fair play to the track.”The cadet karts cost Rs 300 for five minutes, while the highest end 10.5 bhp karts cost Rs 600 for the same time.
4. Grips Go-Karting and BowlingLocated on Mysore Road, Grips Go-Karting claims to be the only ‘multi-level’ karting track in the city.“The track has an undulating 470 metres lap, with a very good combination of slow speed turns and high speed straights flowing seamlessly into one another,” says the website.They have a fleet of about 40 karts, with the prices ranging from Rs 190 for six laps in a kid kart to Rs 350 for six laps in a 12 bhp kart, which is their best amateur vehicle. They also have pro karts with twin engines, which cost Rs 540 for six laps.
5. Patel’s Inn Club and ResortOne of the more popular recreational clubs in the city, the Patel’s Inn offers a go-karting experience as well. Having played host to the 6th leg of JK Tyres National Karting Championships, Patel’s Inn supposedly has the only asphalted karting track in the city. Prices start at Rs 140 for six laps.