I am not quite sure how we ended up here, but for the past few weeks, my family finds itself at the Dubai Kartdrome every Friday and Saturday morning. So keen are we that yesterday it felt like we arrived before the staff! DS1 is crazy about speeding around the track. DD enjoys it, but is not as obsessed. As the first ‘drivers’ there, DS1 and DD got the first slot. We thought DS1 and DD would just be racing against each other and the clock, aiming to beat PBs.
BUT, to make it more interesting another 7 year old boy showed up. He emerged from the changing room looking more like a mini Sebastian Vettel. He was wearing his own racing overalls, shoes, gloves, balaclava and helmet (starting price for this piece of equipment is AED2,500/Euros500/GBP450). Perfectly perched on the top of his helmet was a camera. This left me speechless. Instinct told me he knew what he was doing and my son might not be too happy leaving the track.
My instinct was right.
The ‘camera wearing’ chap was a lightning bolt around the track. Sure he bumped into the plastic barriers at every bend but his fearlessness just seemed to spur him on. Standing in the middle of the track giving directions was his Dad. ‘Turn tight’, ‘Slow down’, ‘Speed up’. ‘Natural + hot housed’ = success.
Given the lack of karting technical input from me and DH, it is a wonder DS1 could keep up! All I could think was ‘did Lewis Hamilton have this level of pressure/analysis at the age of 7?’
In a way, he probably did.
Needless to say DS1 was not happy at being beaten. So he begged DH to take him again today. DH relented and for a second weekend day in a row, we found ourseleves at the Kartdrome. DS1 was keen but DD’s interest was waning with each lap. Even still, DH walked them around the track explaning how to drive the line, how to turn the bends without losing speed/time etc.
It seems DD was the only who listened. She knocked a second off her PB. DS1 drove a half a second quicker even though he didn’t seem to grasp the ‘time saving’ corner technique.
Cue DH having many hissy fits, and threatening to get into a car himself to show DS1 how it’s done….and prove a point!
Even though the camera touting boy’s Dad commented that DS1 was one of the only kids to come close to his son’s time on the track, DH was still not particularly happy.
‘Get in the car yourself and show DS1 what you mean’, I urged.
‘Hug the corner’, ‘Take the corner tight’, ‘Wide in and then tight’ are concepts a 7 year old does not understand.
‘You need to show him’, I explained.
Well, lo and behold, DH donned a red and black jumpsuit, borrowed DD’s balaclava and shunted on a helmet over his skinny bonce whilst somehow managing to keep his specs in place. My call for a mentor for DS1 was a double edged sword; I wanted DH to show DS1 how to drive the track but didn’t want DH to enjoy it so much that I would be a karting widow and DS1-less on the weekends!
Thankfully my prayers were answered!
Even though it has been 12+ years since DH was on a go-kart track, he had a blast, raced the best time but found it so exhausting in nigh on 40 degree temperatures (imagine the added heat from engines and burning rubber on an indoor track!), he does not feel the need to practise to better his time! Maybe when the weather cools down…….