So you want to be a kart racer?

Scott Benjamin

Great Britain's McLaren Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton drives a go-kart during a presentation in Budapest, Hungary, on Aug. 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Peter Kohalmi)

If you listen to the High Speed Stuff podcast on a regular basis, then you may have heard me mention that I own a go-kart. At this point, I've had it for more than 20 years and it still makes me smile every time I take it out for a spin around the neighborhood -- which isn't nearly often enough, by the way.

I suppose mine would probably fall under the fun-kart category. It's a design from several decades ago, and it was old when I bought it in 1989. Anyway, it's a tremendous amount of fun to drive, and a lot faster than the karts that you can rent at the tire-lined outdoor racetrack at your local fun center and arcade. But there's no comparison between the speed of my kart and one that's purpose-built for racing. You may have seen these super-fast professional racing karts on television or maybe you're familiar with the enduro-karts you can rent at one of the more expensive indoor kart racing facilities. At the upper levels in the professional karting world, these little machines can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph quicker than all but the very fastest of the supercars and they can corner much (much) harder, too. They're a pure rush of adrenaline just to watch, let alone experience from behind the wheel.

And if that's what you'd like to do -- I mean, to experience karting from behind the wheel -- then I want to give you a quick heads-up on the first installment of what's promised to be a multi-part series on karting from Engadget.com blogger Tim Stevens on the Autoblog site. The series starts with this entry: Introduction to Karting: Part 1, and since it was posted just yesterday afternoon, be sure to keep your eyes on the Autoblog site for more updates. I know I'll be watching!

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