Back for 2017!
Get your start on the track, with Toyota’s kartStart
Being an avid auto and motorsport enthusiast, I happened to catch an ad on Facebook for Toyota Canada’s kartStart Program. This is an affordable exciting half day go-kart experience for kids and adults who always wanted to get behind the wheel of a real entry level racing machine. Headed up by Automotive journalist and TV personality Russ Bond, he and his staff of professionals provide the public with a real “behind the wheel” experience on some of our country’s best known racetracks. Travelling from coast to coast in the summer, the team is usually somewhere close to where you are. My son, aged 13 said he always wanted to try it. I was keen on this especially since I wanted to get him away from his “screen time” for a while and get him out and do something really exciting, I have to say I wanted to give it a go too! So off we went to Sunset Speedway in Stroud Ontario for our outing with the group. We were greeted by a group of well organized pros who got us signed and settled in. Food and drink was complimentary during the day, a nice touch. Professional looking race suits and helmets were assigned to all the drivers for safety and making you really feel the part. This was followed by a briefing on the operation of the race kart and how to approach your first laps. We were broken down into two groups as far as I could tell, it was by age. We then did lapping by following the leader who was a kartStart professional.
The first laps were easy and as everyone got comfortable the pace picked up. This was not a race however, but an exercise in vehicle control. By the end of the morning with our second session nearing completion, we were really hustling around the temporary road course built into the Sunset Speedway NASCAR oval. After we were done, a short debriefing with Russ about the experience was held and we had a catered lunch. Loads of fun! As well, those who wanted to experience the new safety features of the Toyota brand line up, you could sign up for test drives at the location and get on the track with the Toyota cars and trucks available. The team set up a slip pad area with water and pylons on the race surface to showcase how antilock brakes and stability control works as well as Toyota’s Smart Stop technology.
All said and done, we had tons of fun and I would highly recommend this experience to anyone!
kartStart will be arriving once again this summer of 2017 to a facility near you. Starting July 1st on the west coast they make their trek across the country to the east coast finishing the end of August. Our area is as such: Hamilton Area at Flamboro Speedway – July 26 to 28 located at Millgrove, Ontario, then in the Toronto Area at Sunset Speedway – August 7 to 10 just off the 400 in Innisfil, Ontario. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more details go to: www.kartstart.ca
Written by Perry M. Mason
Photos by Carol Etherton