REASONS WHY WOMEN LOVE GO-KARTING

Just a few decades ago, you wouldn’t often see a woman who loves hitting the track to get some laps in. With women such as Danica Patrick and Alice Powell dominating the racetrack, however, more women are beginning to find the excitement and thrill in go-karting. In this blog, we share a few reasons why women love to go go-karting:

ADRENALINE

It’s true that more men would consider themselves adrenaline junkies than women, but there are still a number of ladies who enjoy chasing that feeling. Sitting in a go-kart can give women a sense of empowerment that can’t be found in any other setting. In addition, go-karting gives people the feeling that they’re invincible and free – and who doesn’t love that?

EVEN PLAYING FIELD

Once your helmet goes on, everyone is on the same level. It can be intimidating to enter the racetrack for a competition, but the only person who knows your skill level is you. Go-Kart racing is meant to be a fun competition for everyone, so leave your inhibitions at the door.

STRESS RELIEF

According to the American Psychological Association, women are more likely than men to report higher levels of stress. Go-Karting offers an outlet to relieve stress and do something that isn’t for work or school. Women who find serenity in a revving engine are likely to be attracted to the world of go-karting.

FUN FOR THE FAMILY

For women with children, it can be difficult to come up with activities that will be fun for both you and your children without breaking the bank. Regardless of age, go-karting is an enjoyable yet affordable experience for all. It gives children a moment to live out their racecar driver fantasy and adults a chance to goof off and feel like a kid again.

Looking for something fun to do with family and friends? Come on over to MB2 Raceway to hit the racetracks! Call (866) 986-RACE for more information.

THE MYSTERIOUS HISTORY OF THE CHECKERED FLAG

There is perhaps no more iconic symbol in auto racing than the checkered flag. Every driver wants to see it waving overhead as they roll across the finish line first, signifying them as the victor. However, the history behind this tradition is somewhat cloudy, and its origins have been somewhat lost to the ages. On this blog, we examine a few of the stories and theories of where the checkered flag originated as part of auto racing.

SETTLERS OF THE MIDWEST

The earliest uses of the checkered flag are somewhat disagreed upon. Some historians believe the first uses of the checkered flag can be credited to the French, who would wave it at the end of bicycle races throughout the country, however this is not a popular belief.

A slightly-more popular but still largely contested theory dates all the way back to the initial settling of the American Midwest. One of the most popular sports on homesteads was horse racing, and events frequently also included a large public feast. Those preparing the meal would wave a large checkered-pattern tablecloth of the era to indicate that the racing should come to an end quickly and to come eat.

DAYTONA SPEED RACES

By the late 1800s and early 1900s, racing had become a sport for the wealthy, and the Ormond Beach Hotel, located roughly 10 miles north of Daytona Beach in Florida, had become a hotspot for auto races. In 1902, Random Olds (the founder of Oldsmobile), became one of the first land speed record holders when his car made a run on the hard-packed beach timed at 50 miles per hour. But whether he or Henry Ford (yes, the Henry Ford) was the first to cross under a checkered flag is a mystery: there is no photographic evidence as to whether or not the checkered flag was used for either of them.

The first evidence of this nature is a photograph of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race in Long Island, New York. That same year, Sidney Waldon of the Packard Motor Car Company used the checkered flag to indicate “checking stations,” or “checkpoints” along the route of the Glidden Tour rally race events.

EASE OF VISION

By this time, auto racing was coming into its own as a wildly popular sport across the country, with numerous races across dirt, asphalt, and sand being competed every year. The checkered flag took on a critical role in auto races because it was highly visible through the dirt and dust propelled into the air by cars, particularly in dirt track races. Dirt tracks were much more common than asphalt ones at this time.

DOUBLE-CHECKERED FLAG

The “double-checker” image, which has become an iconic part of the Indianapolis 500, one of the biggest auto races of the year in the United States, was first used in 1980 by flagman Duane Sweeny, who waved two different flags in sync to signal the winner, a practice that is still used today.

Have the urge to chase the checkered flag for yourself? Head over to the newest attraction in high-speed thrills in Minnesota: MB2 Raceway. At our Minneapolis indoor karting facility, we offer the excitement and intensity of high-speed, action-packed go-kart racing in a safe and friendly environment. We offer races in a daily arrive-and-drive format, as well as group rates for birthday parties, corporate events and more!

For more information about our racing experiences, call MB2 Raceways today at 866-986-RACE.

5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LAP TIMES

At all of our MB2 locations, drivers often ask us how they can make it to the top of the leaderboard. While practice is the key to a faster lap time, there are a number of techniques you should use to help achieve the optimal time.

1. STEER SMOOTHLY

If you’re trying to improve your lap time, sliding tires are your #1 enemy. Instead of flooring the accelerator at every opportunity, focus on steering smoothly and reducing your slides. Your goal should be quickness, not flat-out speed.

2. MASTER YOUR CORNERS

When you enter a corner, it’s best to start on the outside and tighten the turn as you hit the apex. When coming out of a turn, the kart will naturally pull wide – don’t fight this! Taking your turns wide and smooth will help you prevent sliding tires.

If you’re truly dedicated to a better lap time, spend more time on the track. Master your technique for each individual corner, and you’ll quickly find yourself at the top of the leaderboard!

3. IDENTIFY THE POWER BAND

Like any other motor-powered vehicle, karts produce the bulk of their power at a certain RPM range. While indoor karts aren’t equipped with a tachometer, you can get a feel for how much gas is required to produce optimal power. This well help you balance your acceleration and your braking, leading to faster lap times.

4. IF YOU’RE PASSING, TIME IT WELL

Passing a slower driver will obviously help you avoid a slower lap time, but only if you do it properly. At MB2, we frequently see drivers attempting passes at awkward times, and get stuck bumping into the other driver as a result. Plan ahead, and make your move at the perfect time.

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO HIT THE BRAKES!

When trying for the fastest lap time, it may seem counterintuitive to use your brakes. If your kart is in danger of sliding, however, using the brakes can help you avoid fishtailing and sliding out. The key to a quick lap time is using the brakes sparingly, but at the perfect time.

Kart racing at MB2 is the perfect activity for birthday parties, corporate events, or just an afternoon of fun! Contact us today to learn more.

BASICS OF A QUALITY RACING LINE

One of the biggest factors in your ability to be a fast racer around our tracks here at MB2 Raceway is your ability to choose and stick to an optimal racing line. A “line” is what drivers call the path that you take around the track on each lap. Essentially, the track is a path itself, but there are still fast ways around it. On this blog, we offer a few tips for finding the fastest line around the track, which can improve your lap times and help you win more races.

YOUR LINE DEPENDS ON YOUR DRIVING STYLE

Before we get to the specific tips, there is one important thing you should know: everyone drives slightly different, and how you drive will influence what line is your best. If you are driving the same line as a friend but still feel as though they are faster, change up your strategy in areas where you are losing time and see if it helps you.

TAKING THE INSIDE OF CORNERS

All corners have an “inside” and an “outside.” The inside is the shortest distance around the corner and therefore usually (not always) the fastest way through it. Ideally, your ideal racing line on our tracks will shift from the inside of one corner to the inside of the next. This is the shortest possible distance around the track, which in theory should be the shortest lap time. But keep reading, there’s more to it.

THE INSIDE IS NOT ALWAYS THE FASTEST

As stated previously, the inside of a turn is not always the fastest. Getting down on the inside edge may be the shortest distance around a corner, but might force you to lose too much speed to maintain control. If you feel as though you’re losing too much speed in a corner, experiment with taking a wider line through it. The distance may be further, but you may not have to lose as much speed, so you may actually make it through faster. This is particularly true for wider-radius corners.

THE SHARPER YOU TURN, THE SLOWER YOU GO

You will need to lose speed in order to turn your kart while maintaining control, and the sharper you have to turn, the more speed you will have to lose. Part of being a great racing driver is losing as little speed as possible to make it through corners. This allows you to both make it through the corner faster as well as keep you as close to full-speed as possible for straightaways; the less time your car has to spend accelerating, the longer you spend at top speed and the faster your lap times will become.

The best racing drivers will choose a line that has them turning as little as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to start corners near the outside and brake as late as possible before shooting down to the inside of the track, getting to the very inside of the corner at what is called the “apex,” and then swinging back out wide again on the exit. This technique, called “apexing,” allows you to carry the most momentum and speed through your corners, lowering your lap times.

Are you ready to get out and practice your lap times? Head over to MB2 Raceway, the all-new Minneapolis indoor karting center. Our fully-electric European-style go-karts provide you with all of the thrill and action of wheel-to-wheel kart racing in a safe, sustainable, and environmentally friendly environment that is available all year-round. We offer daily drop-in races as well as birthday parties, corporate events, and other special group packages.

For more information about our brand new facility in Minneapolis, call MB2 Raceway today at 866-986-RACE.

5 MISTAKES TO AVOID ON THE GO-KART TRACK

MISTAKE #1: PEDAL TO THE METAL

One of the biggest mistakes new kart racers make is flooring the gas pedal, then slamming on the brakes when they need to slow down. Instead, you want to use the kart’s natural deceleration when going into a turn, then accelerating more gently as you exit the turn. When you get a feel for the kart and learn to time this properly, you’ll quickly improve your lap times.

MISTAKE #2: PUTTING YOUR HANDS OUTSIDE THE KART

This seems fairly obvious, but drivers sometimes try to grab or push their friends in adjacent karts. Not only will this quickly bring your race to an end, but it could also leave you seriously injured. Like they say at amusement parks – keep your hands and legs inside the kart at all times until the race is over!

MISTAKE #3: IGNORING SAFETY FLAGS

We use a variety of flags at MB2 – some of these start or end the race, while others are used for safety purposes. One of the biggest mistakes you can make on the track is failing to follow these flags. If you don’t stop when a red flag is being waved, you may find your racing at an end for the day.

MISTAKE #4: INTENTIONALLY BUMPING OTHER DRIVERS

At MB2, our go-karts are finely tuned electric racing machines – they are not bumper cars. While excessive bumping can damage the cars and slow your lap time, the biggest concern is safety. When drivers get too aggressive, they can force other drivers into walls, or even other karts!

MISTAKE #5: TAKING TURNS TOO TIGHT

Since you travel less distance in a tighter turn than a wider turn, many people think that tight turns are the best way to achieve a fast lap time. In reality, there’s a healthy middle ground. Depending on your speed, the design of the track, and the sharpness of the turn ahead of you, it’s typically best to start wide and steer toward the apex of the curve.

Want to improve your lap time in a fun, safe environment? Get some laps in at MB2 today! Call (866) 986-RACE to learn more.

THE STORY OF THE VERY FIRST GO-KART

Go-karts have been such a big part of racing culture for so long, it’s hard to imagine the sport without them. The story of the very first go-kart, however, actually came decades after the invention of the automobile and occurred right here, in California.

ART INGELS & LOU BORELLI

The story of the very first go-kart starts with Art Ingels who, in 1956, was working for the Kurtis Craft Company in Glendale. Ingels was a mechanic who worked on racing cars that were mostly shipped and professionally raced in Indianapolis… but he had another idea. An idea for a smaller, one-man racing vehicle that everyone could use.

Ingels shared his idea with his neighbor and friend, Lou Borelli. Borelli worked for a petroleum company and had some expertise when it came to engine systems. Together, the men set out to make the very first go-cart in Ingels’ Echo Park garage.

DESIGN & ENGINE INSTALLATION

For the kart’s design, Ingels turned to the same tubing that was being used in the racing vehicles made by Kurtis Craft Company. The frame was a simple prototype to house other elements: a three-spoke steering wheel, two drag links, the steering column, and a seat hoop.

Borelli was in charge of the breaking system and the installation of the engine. For the engine, the men had selected a West Bend 2.5 hp. West Bend engines were primarily known at this time for lawnmower and chainsaw engines—but after the go-karting caught on, West Bend began to supply engineers with its engines for the creation of more karts.

TESTING & DEBUT

According to the story, the first go-kart test drives were not entirely successful. While the kart was able to carry both men, it was unable to lift Ingels up slopes. Borelli upped the horsepower on those early models so that, even in the face of an incline, the kart had the muscle it needed accommodate an average-sized adult man.

When Ingels and Borelli thought their invention was ready, they debuted it in public in public lots at the Pomona sports car races of 1956 and the Rose Bowl parking lots in Pasadena. There, spectators and passersby were instantly hooked by the invention—and racing history was made!

Ingels and Borelli went on form the “Caretta” kart model and make five more karts. While other companies carried the legacy from there and eventually mass-produced different models, their indelible impact on racing, sports, and entertainment had already been made.

At MB2, we’re passionate about go-kart racing and the excitement and fun it brings to enthusiasts of all backgrounds. Whether you’re a beginner, novice, or have been racing all your life, MB2 strives to provide an unparalleled racing experience for one and all. Call today to learn more about our facility and events.

DRIVING TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR LAP TIMES

Racing technique is something that every driver who wishes to be competitive will practice as often as possible, from those just starting out to even the most seasoned veterans. While making your car (or kart) go fast with its technical setup is paramount to your performance, the best drivers can still win on race day even without the fastest car on the track thanks to refined driving skills that allow them to move their car around the track in the most efficient manner possible. By following these few quick tips, as well as getting in a few practice laps from time to time, you can see your lap times at your local MB2 Raceway location improve dramatically.

FOLLOW AN OPTIMAL LINE

An efficient race line is vital to your success on not only our tracks, but any race track in any vehicle. While a track is a circular path on which you race, think of a race line as a sort of secondary path within the track itself that allows your car to move around it in a fashion that maximizes your efficiency not only in distance traveled but speed maintained.

While it is common knowledge that the shortest distance around a corner is right next to the inside edge, that route is not always the fastest in auto racing. G-forces and required braking may force you to actually lose more momentum and speed by sticking to this edge than you would by taking a wider route for part or all of the corner. A skilled racer will often use a technique called “apexing” a corner, which is following a racing line that allows them to get as close to the inside of a corner at its peak, or apex, while moving smoothly to and away from it. This allows the car to carry as much momentum as possible through the turn, reducing the time it takes for you to reach top speed upon exit of the corner. Following a strong race line is the single best thing you can do to help improve your lap times.

SMOOTHER IS FASTER

You may not look like you’re moving really fast around the track, but in many cases the driver who is making the smoothest turns and appears to be taking every corner gradually and deliberately is the fastest driver on the track. Smooth drivers will make very few sudden-jerk turns of the steering wheel or have to slam on their brakes. Every move will be considered ahead of time, making execution simple. When you have finished with one corner, immediately start scouting the next one to help you plan out the smoothest line through it.

CARRY YOUR MOMENTUM

In general, a smooth and efficient race line will help you by allowing your car to carry as much speed and momentum as possible through a corner, thus reducing the amount of work your engine (or electric motor in the case of our MB2 karts) must do to get you back to your optimal speed. Cars that carry more momentum through corners see higher overall speeds on straightaways and give themselves more momentum to carry through the next corner. That being said, knowing when and how much to apply your cars brakes is also vital to a good lap time, as no car is going to be able to carry itself through a tight corner at full speed, but maintaining as much momentum by braking as little as possible through a corner will help your lap times shrink significantly.

KEEP YOUR WHEELS GRIPPING

While this is not always true, “drifting” your cart around the corners is not the fastest way round the track the vast majority of time. This is especially true with go-karts that have very little weight and an already extraordinarily low center of gravity. These features make them capable of turning very sharp at high speeds, but make them not very effective drifters. You’ll lose a lot of speed by drifting, and your kart will have to work extra hard to get all that momentum back, which in turn will cost you time out on the track. Take your turns smoothly, keeping all four wheels firmly gripping the track surface and you’ll see a nice drop in your lap times.

AVOID CONTACT

This one is really pretty simple. You obviously don’t want to hit anything dead-on as this can not only cause you to lose significant speed and momentum, but it can also injure you and cause significant damage to your car. But beyond that, even just slight rubbing contacts with things such as walls or other racers can cause you to lose speed and therefore slow your lap times down. In short, rubbing against something creates friction and friction slows you down. So while bumping and rubbing might make for some exciting, action-filled racing, it’s definitely not the fastest. When battling for position on the track, avoid making contact with your opponent and the retaining barriers as much as possible and you’ll have a much easier time chasing them down.

If you’ve got the itch for some high-speed racing action, head on over to MB2 Raceway for a heart-pounding indoor go-karting experience. Whether you are a seasoned racer or have never rolled around a track in your life, all drivers who are over 57” tall and at least 12 years old can have fun experiencing the exhilarating high-speeds of our fully-electric European-style go-karts. Public races are available daily at any of our five locations, and all safety equipment is provided.

Call us at (866) 986-RACE today for more information or contact us online with any questions regarding our state-of-the-art public racing facilities.

WHY INDOOR GO KART RACING IS PERFECT FOR TEAM BUILDING

At MB2 Raceway, we frequently host corporate events for businesses in a wide range of industries. These events are fun, exciting, and encourage team building through friendly competition. Whether you’re looking to improve office morale, or are looking for a great way to reward your employees for all their hard work, indoor kart racing is the perfect choice for your next company outing!

Give your team an experience they’ll truly enjoy. Contact us today to book your event.

KART RACING IS ENGAGING & FUN

When many people think of corporate team building, they think of silly trust building exercises and hours spent discussing ways to improve morale. Kart racing, on the other hand, is a fun activity that will help get your team excited and motivated. Take your team kart racing, and they’ll be talking about how much fun they had for days or weeks after.

KART RACING HELPS BREAK DOWN WALLS

One of the best aspects of kart racing is that it puts everyone on the same level. It gives employees the opportunity to take on their bosses in a friendly competition, departments can challenge each other, and you can even bring clients in on the fun. This friendly competition helps your employees feel more comfortable around each other, improving communication and the office environment.

INDOOR KART RACING IS CLEAN, SAFE, AND RELIABLE

At MB2, our go karts are 100% electric and run on our challenging, expansive indoor track. This means that when you schedule a team building event with us, you won’t need to worry about checking the weather report. The karts are built for both speed and safety, and each race is carefully supervised by our professional staff. The facility is climate-controlled, and there are no harmful emissions to worry about!

We have four convenient locations serving Sylmar, Thousand Oaks, Clovis, and Lexington. Click here to learn more.

UNDERSTANDING GO-KART BASICS

Thinking about your first trip or event at MB2 Raceway? Never driven a go-kart? Worried that you won’t know what to do? It’s normal for beginners to believe that indoor go-kart racing is too difficult to try or that they do not have the know-how to participate.

The truth is that indoor go-kart racing can be safe and fun for anyone ready to learn some simple rules and become acclimated with best racing practices. Our staff and track marshals are always ready to assist beginner racers make the most of their time at MB2 Raceway, but for those still undecided about attending MB2 Raceway or hosting their own party or event with us, we’re ready to share a few basic tips to make you feel more at home behind the wheel.

Understanding a few essential go-kart basics:

“How fast will I go?” Go-karts are not remotely operated at a fixed speed like some amusement park rides—drivers independently operate both a throttle and a brake. For beginners, it’s recommended that you use your first few races to learn the machine and the track. And for those worried about going too slow, MB2 keeps our karts in optimal condition so that no matter which you choose, you have a competitive chance at winning your next race.

It’s not bumper cars. Some beginners assume indoor racing is akin to a motorized ride. While some light, incidental contact on the track can happen, the point of indoor racing is to complete a circuit as quickly as possible—not disrupt your fellow drivers. Intentionally running into other drivers can result in a black flag and end your chances of winning your race.

Don’t push yourself. Indoor racing can be physically demanding. If you suddenly feel too tired or ill to continue your circuit, it’s best to slow your vehicle safely at the pit and pause your race. Continuing to try and face when you are not feeling 100% only puts you and other drivers at unnecessary risk.

Stay vigilant. Just like other forms of driving, it is important that drivers stay vigilant of others on the track. Our marshals do all they can to keep drivers compliant and safe, but staying aware is the best way to ensure a fun and competitive race.

Have fun! There are rules to follow on the track, but, ultimately, the point of indoor racing at MB2 Raceway is to have fun. Know the flags, stay alert, and enjoy!

Have more questions? Call our team at 866.986.RACE today with any inquiries and bookings.