A racer runs on
the track at Veloce Indoor Speedway in the City of Pewaukee
See video of a lap around the track at
Drivers with no
experience and those with past racing experience are both able to
test their ability to maneuver an Italian-made go kart that can
reach speeds up to 50 mph around the track. Like Indy cars, the OTL
go karts with 48-volt motors make noise as they accelerate and
respond quickly to pressure on the gas and brake pedals.
watching Formula One car races and attending the annual Montreal
Grand Prix — the first time in my mother’s womb — I was eager to get
behind the wheel of the go kart that racing enthusiasts have been
driving at Veloce.
Each driver is
given a clean head sock and a loaner helmet before getting tightly
strapped into a kart. The left foot is used to control the brake and
the right foot manipulates the gas pedal, to which it doesn’t take
too much time to become accustomed.
Racers head through the curves on Friday at Veloce Indoor
Speedway in the City of Pewaukee.
The karts are
directed to slowly leave the pit lane and get out onto the
track. A track monitor uses different colored flags to signal
the start of the race, the last lap, a need for caution and if
you need to yield to a faster driver. And then of course there
is the checkered flag.
(I must admit
that when I passed by the checkered flag I wanted to do a fist pump
in the air like I have seen so many racing greats do, but I
restrained myself considering I was lapped several times by the more
experienced drivers.) There is a track bumper system set up that is
new to the United States. It has springs to push the kart back onto
the track, which in my case, was needed a few times when I attempted
to navigate a turn too quickly and started to slide.
The karts are
fully charged between races so they have optimal speed. They also
have more front-end torque than other common karts, and are equipped
with hydraulic brakes and full slick tires.
not your Wisconsin Dells go karts,” said head mechanic Josh Kolbach,
who along with General Manager Rob Sweetman joined me on the track
a benefit to be in good physical condition to race in one of
Veloce’s karts, because even a 10-minute ride is mentally and
physically tiring — at least for those less experienced.
and families are all welcomed at Veloce. There are 40 adult karts
for people 56 inches and taller and junior karts for those 48 inches
and taller. Children cannot partner up with an adult in a kart.
Plenty of customers
Veloce only opened a week ago, Sweetman said he has been pleasantly
surprised by the number of people who have walked through the doors.
The facility is able to host birthday and corporate parties and has
individual race tickets, as well as packages available.
There are two
tracks in use at Veloce, which is located in the former American of
Madison store at W229-N1400 Westwood Drive. Sweetman described one
track as more technical with a higher concentration of hairpins and
turns, while the second track, which is less technical, allows for
faster lap times. The winner of each race is determined by the
person who has the fastest track time.
A combination of
the two tracks, referred to as the super track, will be available
once a month in the future. Veloce’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to
midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Sweetman said he
tries to get out on the track at least once per day to interact with
customers and to stay energized.
After one race
around the course, I am definitely itching to improve my race track