It had been quite a while since I felt the adrenaline rush of driving a kart and I missed it. Fortunately for me, Smaaash Mumbai invited me to experience their ‘Sky Karting’ facility and I just couldn’t resist.
So, there I was, on a Monday afternoon, at one of the most fascinating karting facilities of the country. I was greeted by the extremely polite Mr. Vinod, who gave me a tour of the entire facility. I had been here previously but, only as a regular visitor and so, I missed out on quite a few impressive things about the facility which were pointed out to me by the support staff.
It begins with the fact that the karts used at Smaaash are fully electric; they use the very modern Sodi E-Karts which produce 20 horsepower from an electric motor. I did notice that it was powered by electricity but I took for granted the fact that now, I wouldn’t have to worry about burning my hand by touching the engine on the side of the kart as there was no engine and the battery was inside the bodywork. Thanks to that, I was able to focus more on my driving rather than keeping my hand safe, which is a plus point for the amateurs.
Also, these karts can be reversed, which means that if you crash, you won’t have to wait until a marshal comes and rescues your kart from the barrier. This means that you won’t have to waste any time, thus, you can complete more laps and have more fun!
The part that amazed me the most about these karts was that their speed can be digitally controlled by the control center. As you cross a certain lap time, you get a speed boost and your kart performs better. Also, the speeds can be slowed down for safety reasons, for instance a big crash taking place, blocking the track. Besides, if a driver drives rashly, his kart can be slowed down and disqualified from the event, cutting his drive short as a consequence.
Furthermore, the Sodi E-Karts have adjustable seats, pedals and steering wheels, which means that you can position these parts to your comfort so that you don’t feel uncomfortable while driving the kart. This feature really impressed me as even the slightest of unease while driving can cause lap times to fall drastically. The karts also have night lamps for driving after dusk, when the track is beautifully lit up by neon LEDs.
Now, we will move on to the racetrack. The circuit is very versatile and has almost all the features of a racetrack; it has a hairpin, a chicane, an uphill climb, a downhill drop, 90 degree corners, narrow turns, wide corners, fast turns and a some slow ones too; this makes it one of the most entertaining karting tracks that I’ve driven on. Racing is possible here but sadly, the rules state that racing others isn’t allowed. This doesn’t affect the pleasure of driving though as the track offers the complete joyride experience and is certainly perfect for the enthusiast.
Arguably the most underrated feature of this racetrack is its spring barriers. Ordinary karting tracks have tyre barriers at corners for safety reasons; these barriers absorb the impact and as a result, the karts get stuck into the barrier. The barriers at Smaaash have springs which push the karts back onto the track in case of a crash. Combined with the reverse feature and this makes it absolutely convenient for the driver.
Karting at Smaaash is a unique experience which, I believe that everyone, including the people who don’t have any particular interest will enjoy a lot!
But karting is not the only thing to do at Smaaash. They have a wide number of games, including bowling, indoor cricket, free fall, an ice park, soccer shots, a big video game arcade, a ball pool for children, a banquet hall, several competitions, VR Games and their very own R&D team which comes up with new games very often so that the visitors always have new games to try out.
The hospitality at Smaaash is also very impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire visit. There is a lot to do here and it is the perfect place for a day-long excursion!