Places to race go-karts in/near NYC
July 2, 2012 4:02 AM   Subscribe

I thought it might be fun to race around like giddy kids with my wife for her birthday. she loves Formula one and has expressed an interest in racing go-karts. We both can drive but do not own a car as we live in brooklyn and have no need. Any ideas on where to race go-karts near nyc? (I found this place:, and it seems to fit the bill..but are there other options?) Anyone else had any similar experiences trying to find place to race? Extravagant test-drive a real car on a track option? f1 model kit? (thank you as always) -birthday panic!!
posted by 5lbauthority to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I went to GPNY for my bachelor party, and it was really fun. The carts feel very fast and the track is challenging. We did a group package and so had the track to ourselves for three races against each other. Everything is indoors, so you are comfortable even in your helmet and jumpsuit in the summerheat. They also have food, a bar, bowling, and arcades if you're into any of that. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
posted by no1hatchling at 4:32 AM on July 2, 2012

Manhattan Automobile Company (11th Av & 54th St) has a "rooftop off-road test track" nine stories up. Maybe you can test-drive a Land Rover in the sky. (I only know about this because that's what they did in this New Yorker podcast.)
posted by moonmilk at 5:16 AM on July 2, 2012

If you're able to borrow a car, I know of two within a half-hour of the city...

Velocity 17 is on Route 17 near Garden State Plaza, and there is now a new one out by exit 14A (bayonne) on the turnpike extension, Pole Position.
posted by exparrot at 5:42 AM on July 2, 2012

Around Toronto there are "professional" tracks where you can race around in their cars. You might look for that in your region.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:46 AM on July 2, 2012

Can you get to the B, D or N trains to Coney Island? Try this place!

Have fun, Happy birthday to your wife!
posted by Yellow at 5:57 AM on July 2, 2012

Oops, I just looked up the directions and it say W train to Stillwell Ave. Sorry sorry!!
posted by Yellow at 5:58 AM on July 2, 2012

Any ideas on where to race go-karts near nyc? (I found this place:, and it seems to fit the bill..but are there other options?)

Indoor karting places like GPNY are super fun. But for some next level shit, she'll want to take a shifter kart class. The GPNY karts can go up to about 40mpg, but shifter karts can go 80-100mph (depending on whether or not they're tuned down for beginners). This is what F1 drivers grow up driving through their teens. Lots of race tracks have beginner classes that provide a few hours of track time for about $500. I'm only familiar with the race schools out west, but looks like there is a kart school in upstate NY.
posted by mullacc at 6:55 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ignore the Coney Island Karting, those things are poop.

Basically, for karting, you want anywhere that does public racing or has a race series. That shows the karts are a bit more serious and have decent speed - anything linked to a theme park or similar is usually crap as they are about entertaining kids, not adults. Indoor karts are always slower than outdoor karts - if you can find an outdoor place (especially something that hosts proper karting events) then that is key for quality. Single speed karts are perfectly fast enough for a novice.

Shifter karts are fantastic pieces of kit, but are seriously hardcore. I'd maybe try out the GPNY thing as the first level unless you both have any experience in karts or race cars, then move to outdoor karts then shifter karts after that. Shifters are pretty damn fast and to be honest, you'd not get the most from a shifter kart as they would be sensory overload for you - everything happens so fast that you need longer than the usual experience time length to get used to them. I instruct on race tracks in performance road cars and have some driving experience in race cars, but it is still a proper brain retrain for me for an hour before I can get close to the best from them. They're like fireworks on wheels.

If you go to an indoor place, also key is to make sure you go at a time that is less likely to include kids. The evening stuff is often faster than the day time stuff so no-one punts some poor 10 year old over the nearest wall. Check with the staff over the phone if the evening stuff is faster or after a certain time and how they segregate kids.

From what I can see from online (videos and websites) the GPNY and the two tracks linked to by exparrot seem fine for what you want. If you want to drive a performance car (Rather than a kart) then you'd need to go to a proper track. I think the closest to you would be New Jersey Motorsports Park then Lime Rock Park. Lime Rock park, particularly, would be great for a nice weekend away anyway (gorgeous area) with a day at a race school thrown in?
posted by Brockles at 8:55 AM on July 2, 2012

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