SAFRA’s first-ever Go-Kart Challenge hit the track on 23 Feb 2019. Organised by the SAFRA Youth Network, the challenge is to engage younger NSmen through exciting and fun activities. Held at The Karting Arena of The Grandstand in Bukit Timah, SAFRA’s inaugural go-karting competition had an overwhelming support of 102 racers signing up for the event.
The Karting Arena features a tight circuit and high-tech electric go-karts. Racers would have to figure out the various overtaking points as their go-karts accelerate while negotiating the circuit’s tight and sharp corners.
The 102 racers were split into two categories: Advanced and Novice. The main difference between the two is the speed limit. Advanced participants could hit speeds of up to 50km/h, while Novice drivers were limited to a more leisurely 30km/h.
Off the track, the venue features realistic race simulators that are networked, allowing the racers and their 64 supporters to have a feel of go-karting together and familiarise themselves with the track layout before they hopped into the actual go-karts.
Unlike traditional racing where the winner is the racer who crosses the finish line first, the SAFRA Go-kart Challenge was held in a time-attack format: racers who made the best lap time would move on to the finals.
The squeals of tyres gave way to excited chattering as racers pulled back into the pit lane, filling the air with discussions of racing lines, braking and acceleration points and timings. Racers were also seen flashing thumbs up at each other as a way of thanks for a good run. Spinouts and mild incidents were not uncommon, and racers checked on each other after each incident.