Racer Boy: Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing or Don’t Own a Race Car, Don’t Have a License? You Can Race Anyway!
By Rob Krider,
Photos by Jeff Balliet[ASK Photography]
Most of us can’t wait to get to our next track day, autocross or drag race. But sometimes, when our racecar has a connecting rod oddly hanging out of the oil pan, we are far, far from our next competitive event. Never fear, you don’t need a racecar to race head to head against your buddies. You just need to get to Fast Lap.
Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing is a place where you can show up, pay your money, and race like crazy on a quarter mile twisty race track in gas powered go-karts. No trailering a race car, no all-nighter before the race fixing the motor, and no fresh set of tires required. You arrive, you race, you show everyone why you should be a sponsored driver in the Speed GT series, and then you go home. Real speed and victory could be yours for less than you would pay for the next Project Gotham Racing video game.
When it comes to cost, you really can’t beat the whole rent-a-racer thing. Go-kart racing at Fast Lap is insanely inexpensive compared to other sanctioned motorsports. With a coupon from the back of a taxi, or one of the magazines in a local hotel room you can get three ten minute race sessions for around $60 (their prices change occasionally and they have group discounts and corporate deals). Let’s do a little math here, 30 minutes of racing for 60 bucks, that’s $2 a minute. Compared to the money it takes to prep, haul and race a car in NASA Performance Touring road racing trust me when I say $2 a minute is a hell of a bargain. It costs over $2 a minute for a motorhome towing a racecar trailer to idle in traffic.
Fast Lap is the name of the business which is crazy enough to put an insanely quick, great handling, gas powered go-kart in the hands of pretty much any lunatic who has 60 bucks burning a hole in their pocket. They have their premier track in the famed city of sin, Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as another track in Mira Loma, California. Information, events, schedules and updated pricing can be found at www.fastlaplv.com.
When you’re looking for a quick adrenaline jolt, go-kart racing your buddies is about as fun as it gets. What other racing series can you actually race against your friends where each of you are in similar cars on a track at the same time? Don’t say Gran Turismo. Low to the ground cars + great lateral G’s + lots of traffic on the track = nobody walks out of Fast Lap without a smile on their face.
Good news: your car won’t suffer any wear at all (unless somebody keys the paint job while sitting in the Fast Lap parking lot). Your real car will be benched as you will be driving the “rent-a-racer” Sodi-Kart which is a gas powered rocket. Trust me, it’s plenty fast enough around the tight course for you to miss the braking zone prior to the hairpin and stuff the front of the kart right into the tires. Oh well, it’s not your car. These karts have 360 degree bumpers and can take a pretty good beating (although the folks at Fast Lap would appreciate it if you didn’t beat on it). Yeah, I know, you’re probably going to anyway.
First thing is first. Fast Lap is in Vegas Baby! This is a city most people will visit. In fact, as soon as one of your high school buddies knocks his girlfriend up, you’ll soon be flying into Vegas yourself for a little bachelor party debauchery. Bars, girls, black jack and some go-karts, it’s a wonderful combination.
Once you and your friends sober up, get to Fast Lap. You will watch a short video with rules telling you the usual stuff, no bumping, no aggressive driving, yada, yada, yada. If you want you can wear a racing suit, but I wouldn’t recommend it because the track is indoors and it’s pretty warm in there. You will be required to wear a provided helmet (don’t worry you germ-a-phobes they give you a head sock).
They will tell you which kart you will be driving for your first ten minute session of three sessions. The first one is practice (learn the turns and the lines). When the green flag drops the fun begins. You and your friends get to prove to each other once and for all who is the real Schumacher in the group. After the session is over you will get a print out of all of your laps. Remember, the clocks never lie, so let the smack talking begin.
While you take a breather and check your times, another group will race a ten minute session. If you show up with a larger group, 5-6 guys, you will probably get your own group for your sessions; which is good for on track shenanigans. Your next ten minute session will be the qualifying round and you will be put into a different car. Your time in this session will give you your starting grid position for the race (third session). You will get another breather and more results after the second session. Bring some cash because they have vending machines and you will be wicked thirsty after your sessions in the hot indoor track.
For the third and final session, the race, you will start in your qualifying position. The green flag will drop and all of the B.S. will stop. You and your buddies will battle on track until the checkered flag falls and one of you is crowned the champ.
You can find anyone and everyone racing at Fast Lap. The only requirement is that your ATM card doesn’t get denied and you’re all of 5 feet tall (What-you-talkin-bout Willis? That’s right Gary Coleman, you don’t get to drive). You’ll race against teenagers having birthday parties, guys from bachelor parties (remember this is Vegas!), corporate team building (Hey ladies!), real racers, wannabe racers and video game racers. Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned go-kart race?
If you win, Fast Lap will honor you with a plastic medal and put you up on the podium (bring your own camera to capture your glorious moment in motorsports history). No, it’s not like winning Indy, and no, there are no trophy girls (it’s B.Y.O.B. –Bring Your Own Broad). The trophy isn’t exactly something you want to display in your glass covered case with your drag racing accomplishments, but at least you are actually competing for something other than just bragging rights. And speaking of bragging rights, they keep a tally of the top laps of the day so you can see how you stack up against other racers.
OH, YOU WANT TO WIN, DO YA?
To win, it’s all in the name, Fast Lap. The victory comes down to the fastest lap time, not the driver who actually crosses the finish line first. I found this out the hard way, after I went under the checkered flag with the lead, and raised my fist in the air for victory (I had crushed the shmucks I dueled with on track). After my little celebration, that was when I found out our photographer had completed the fastest lap of the race (fourth place finish –but fastest lap) and was crowned the winner. He picked up the trophy while I stood there like… well one of those shmucks I was describing earlier.
The number of laps completed doesn’t mean squat. Racing and dueling with another driver, which involves blocking, passing, and unusual lines through the corners, will cause your lap times to suffer. If you want to win Fast Lap, when the green flag drops, just wait. Let the testosterone filled bachelors battle it out and crash into each other. You hang out in the back, race on a clear track, concentrate on your lines and get the best possible lap you can without any interference.
Some luck will play into winning. Doesn’t it always in racing? The cars at Fast Lap aren’t exactly built equally. Sometimes you get the fast car; sometimes you get the one which has taken one too many hits to the tires. Good luck wining with that P.O.S. It is luck of the draw, they don’t allow you to pick your ride.
RACER BOY GAUGE
Let’s review the Racer Boy gauge cluster here:
FUEL (Cost): The fuel gauge is just a hair below full because compared to other motorsports, you actually still have money in your pocket after a race (try that after a 24 Hours of LeMons race).
RPMs (Adrenaline): The tachometer is at 3,300 RPMs because your adrenaline begins to pump as you start racing your buddies deep into the corners. The speed feels good and the go-karts get around the track plenty fast for the course layout.
MPH (Danger): The speedometer is around 25 mph because this safe competition (compared to running 200 mph at Bonneville). Fast Lap provides you with a helmet to wear and the go-karts have seatbelts. The track is lined with soft tires. Your biggest danger is burning your hand on the motor or the exhaust as you exit the car. Lesson here: If it’s hot, don’t grab it and use it as a handle, Genius.
VOLTS (Time): The volts gauge is nearly maxed since this doesn’t take much time at all. You arrive, you drive, and you go back to doing your thing, with no racecars to clean, no motors to rebuild and no roll-over damage to fix. You can be in-and-out within an hour or so.
MILEAGE (Car Wear): You’re not using your car so car wear is nothing to sweat. I’ve got the mileage listed at 1 mile because that’s how far Fast Lap is from my favorite bench racing bar, the Nine Fine Irishman pub in the New York-New York Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
We all find ourselves in Las Vegas sooner than later. When you arrive you will have a couple of choices and both of them involve the word lap. The first being a lap dance. You can put 60 bucks in a strippers g-string and see what you’ll get for that (about a song and a half lap dance, a fake name, and a date with a cold shower). Or you do the other lap, Fast Lap. Take your $60 and race your ass off. Trust me when I say you’ll get much more “seat time” at Fast Lap.
Review of Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing
When NASCAR pro Kurt Busch is in Las Vegas, this is the place he comes to play. Tucked away on a dead-end street in a mostly industrial part of town near the Strip, this is a no-frills go-kart experience, with a short track filling a former warehouse space that still looks like a warehouse. The gasoline-powered karts are equipped with 200cc Honda motors, allowing you to push the little monsters up to 50mph (if you dare) as you battle in 10-minute-long races (as many laps as you can get) against other drivers. While bumping and other unsportsmanlike contact is officially frowned upon, in reality this is a grown-up (mostly testosterone driven) sport. So put your foot on the gas and see if you can be first to the checkered flag! Note that you must be at least 5 feet tall to participate, and children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Fast Lap Indoor Karting now has mountable Video/Audio and photo cameras available for rent or sale with your karting experience! Go Pro has joined forces with Fast Lap to give you an unforgetable racing experience! For only $25 Fast Lap will provide use of the Go Pro Motorsports camera for use during your event at Fast Lap. When your event is over Fast Lap will give you the Sandisk or a CD to take home and share with your friends and Family. Fast Lap will also have the Video recorder on hand to sell at a special price. These units are for sale at $299 each(but ask for our special) Available when you arrive or you can purchase over the phone and we can mail one to you! Call Lew for more information @ 310-753-0955
HD Motorsports HERO
Availability: In stock. Usually ships within 24 hrs.
GoPro’s HD Motorsports HERO is the world’s highest performance 1080p HD on-board video and still photo camera. Professional quality 1080p, 960p, and 720p HD resolutions record at 30 frames per second (60 fps in 720p). The HD Motorsports HERO easily mounts to any helmet, motorcycle, ATV, car, plane, jet ski, boat, snowmobile or other vehicle. The camera’s quick-release mounting design makes it easy to re-position the camera around your vehicle for professional quality HD video from several angles.
Record up to 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 9 hours total on a 32GB SD card (not included).
Included are mounts for two helmets and three vehicles, as well as a suction cup for maximum versatility and convenience. The housing is waterproof to 180’ / 60m.
GoPro’s obsession with sound has conquered the wind. At 85 mph on a motorcycle, you’ll enjoy the throaty sound of your motor, not the wind. Inside even the quietest street cars, hear the pull of your motor…not the drone of the wind and road.
Included is a 1100mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 2.5 hours of constant recording. With optional accessories, you can also plug the camera into a wall outlet, cigarette lighter, or with any USB-compatible power adapter, wire it directly to your vehicle’s electrical system. The battery will charge while you record.
The camera can also shoot automatic 5MP photos at 2/5/10/30 and 60 second intervals during your drive or ride, hands free. Press the shutter button once and record up to 2.5 hours of poster-print quality photos.
Waterproof to 180’ / 60m and protected from rocks and other hazards thanks to its removable polycarbonate housing. Replacement housings and lens kits are available, making repairs or refurbishing your HD HERO camera affordable and convenient. It’s a GoPro…go for it.™
- 1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
- 1 Rechargable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
- 1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60 m)
- 3 Flat, 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
- 2 Curved, 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
- 2 Quick-Release Buckles
- 1 Vertical Surface “J-Hook” Buckle
- 1 Suction Cup Mount
- 1 Three-Way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
- 1 USB Cable
- 1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
- 1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
- Warranty: One Year
- Lens Type: Fixed Focus (2ft/.6m – ∞), glass
- Aperture: f/2.8 (high performance in low-light situations)
- Angle of View: 170º ultra wide angle in WVGA, 720p, or 960p mode
- Angle of View: 127º wide angle in 1080p mode
- HD Video Resolution Modes: (subject to change, pending final firmware release)
- 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
- 960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3), 30 fps, 12 Mbit/s data rate
- 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
- 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate
- WVGA = 848×480 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate
- Sensor Type: 1/2.5″ HD CMOS, 2.2µm-sized pixels
- Light Sensitivity: Super low-light sensitivity (>1.4 V/lux-sec)
- Video Format: H.264 compression, saved as Windows- & Mac-compatible MPEG4 (.mp4) file
- Exposure Control: Auto with user selectable center weighted average and spot metering settings
- White Balance: Auto
- Microphone: Built-in, mono with AGC (automatic gain control)
- Audio Format: 48 kHz, AAC audio compression
- Resolution: 5 megapixel
- Capture Modes: Single shot, photo every 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 secs.; 3 photo burst; self-timer
- Memory: SD card, up to 32GB capacity (SDHC)
- Average recording times (using 32GB SD card):
- 1080p (30 fps): 4h 21m
- 960p (30 fps): 5h 26m
- 720p (60 fps): 4h 21
- 720p (30 fps): 8h 09m
- WVGA (60 fps): 8h 09m
Camera Connectors & Cables
- PC Connection: USB 2.0 (data connection and battery charging)
- HDTV Out: HD NTSC & PAL (component cable incl.)
- Audio Out: Combo 2.5mm jack with stereo audio and composite video out
- PC Compatibility: Windows® Vista or Windows® 7; Mac OS® X 10.4.11 and later
Power & Battery
- Battery Type: Rechargeable 1100 mAh lithium-ion
- Battery Life: Approx. 2.5 hrs
- Charging: via USB to computer or optional power adapter
- Charge Time: 80% capacity after 1 hour with optional power adapter; or 2 hours with a computer’s USB port
Waterproof Camera Housing
- Depth Rating: Up to 180 feet / 60 meters
- Construction: Polycarbonate and stainless steel
- Hardware: Stainless steel
Size & Weight
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm)
- Weight: 3.3oz (94g) incl. battery, 5.9oz (167g) incl. housing
- Additional Rechargable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
- Full Line of Mounting Accessories
Staring this week Fast Lap Indoor Karting will add additional time to all races Monday through Friday to give you an additional 3 to 4 laps. In Las Vegas each driver would get between 16 to 21 laps depending on their skill level, with the added time you can now count on getting 19 to 24 laps in Las Vegas. In California you’ve always got one warm-up lap plus 15 to 18 laps of racing, with the newly added time you can count on one warm up lap follwed by 18 to 21 laps of racing. No one beats our locals pricing of 2 races for $25, 3 races for $36 or a 3 hour race pass for $50! Our newly refurbished Las Vegas Track looks great and the racing is even better. Remember Fast Lap Las Vegas is only 3 blocks from the new Aria and Cosmopolitan Hotels… We had two groups walk over today and said it took them 5 minutes. Our Mira Loma track is only 5 minutes from the Ontario International Airport, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona and only 35 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles and Disneyland. Call Fast Lap for more information.
Start out the New Year with a bang and let Fast Lap host your next company event, team building event, Bachelor party, birthday party or get together. Fast Lap Indoor Go-Karting has hosted 1000’s of events the past 8 years with most rebooking time and time again. We simply have the best racing at the best price. We will honor all competitors coupons and will beat all competitors private event rates, not by just a few bucks either. Fast Lap has two beautiful facility’s located in Las Vegas justs steps from the strip and in the Inland Empire in California just 35 minutes east of Downtown Los Angeles and 35 minutes northeast from Disneyland in Mira Loma/Ontario/Corona. Fast Lap is family owned and we have NO investors to pay or amswewr to so you can always count on great racing with the best prices. Check us out and call Lew Arlington (Owner) directly for more information @ 310-753-0955 You wont be talking with someone who will have to get back to you!(He may have to check the calendar though for closed private events)
Book your next Team Building event, company party, bachelor party or get together at Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing. These next 6 months are some of our busiest, so if you want to take your team out for a great time as a reward for a job well done book it now. Fast Lap Karting has the best racing at the very best price, we realize that most companies have tight budgets so we are always willing to work to meet your goals….. Just don’t get too crazy, we already have the best price in both our markets. So if your looking to give your staff a reward Fast Lap is the place to do it! Call Lew dirtectly at 310-753-0955 Lew is one of the owners and will do his best to give you the best event at the best price possible. Lets Race!
When you arrive to the location, it doesn’t look like your usual go kart amusement place. This is the real deal. Unlike the other places in the area, Fast Lap is well known to the pros and celebrities. It’s secluded, away from the strip and other commercialized/tourist sightings. It’s not kid-friendly, so you can be sure this is serious sh*t.
Once inside, you’ll sign a waiver that pretty much states you’re aware of what you’re doing and Fast Lap is not liable for any injuries and etc. that may happen. Nothing to worry about, it’s just procedures. Even the place I rock-climb at makes me sign a waiver. **TIP: Local specials – buy one get one FREE!!!** So be sure to show that you’re a local. You can either save the free use for next time or you can double the joy that day! I always combine it for that day’s fun.
After the paperwork and paying the front, you’ll go in the back room where you’ll watch a little video. They will go over the instructions and rules. They will show you how to wear you head mask underneath the helmet and your racer jumpsuit. Yes, like I said before… this is serious sh*t. Not a kid-friendly place. The jumpsuit is optional but fun to throw on if you’re with a big group of friends. You’ll then go out back to the main area to pick your helmet and wait your turn to go on the tracks.
You have a choice to either do a race against the other drivers or just drive your laps. We always do our laps and not race, only because we have more fun practicing on our own. The course is really great! They have about 7-8 turns (give or take) with a few sharp turns. I loved the turns, because I am all into practicing my drifting skills!! Now… drifting is not allowed per the rules, but the people are so cool at the times I’m there, that they let me do it. Sometimes they’ll even join in with us and show us their skills.
At end of your session, the guy will checkered flag you in and they will show you a print out of your times on each lap. It’ll also show a comparison with other drivers that day, and those that drove with you.
The staff are mad cool and great people. This is a great place for an adrenaline rush. It’s relaxing to me and I just love the rush~! Every time I’m there, I never want to leave!
This is by far the best go-kart track in Vegas. Gas powered karts – not electric ones like the other tracks – give you that real racing feel. They are MUCH faster than the track, so you really have to drive. You can’t just floor it all the way around the course like at the kiddie cart tracks – this place is for adults who want to act like kids for a while, not snot-nosed toddlers.
Staff is always helpful and friendly, track is perfect for all skill levels (not too easy or too difficult) and it’s a great bang for your buck. Just about anytime I have friends or family visiting me in Vegas and they ask to do something non-traditional (i.e. not gamble, get trashed, hit the strip clubs or spend hours throwing food down our throats at a buffet) I take them to Fast-Lap. Not once has anyone I’ve taken not been thoroughly impressed and had a great time. It’s a blast – try it!
On behalf of our company I would like to thank your staff for an outstanding event on Saturday. The service your staff provided was excellent, they worked really hard with me to get everyone situated and ensure our party was memorable. Furthermore, my executive management team was very impressed with the location and our entire staff will be talking about your place for some time. I ask that you share this e-mail with your staff and tell them that I am grateful for all their help making this an event to remember. I will be sure to recommend your company for future events.
A million thanks to you and your staff…. E. Cordova
We do it right at Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing! Plan your next Company party, Team building event, Bachelor party or just get together at Fast Lap in the Inland Empire just 35 minutes east of Los Angeles or 35 minutes northeast of Disneyland in the city of Mira Loma (Now called Eastvale) just 2 minutes from Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Corona. And our Vegas track -alking distance from the Aria Hotel and Casino. Call us at 702-736-8113 opt 3 or at 951-681-3601 See you in the winners circle!