Driver's licence not needed to kart

It is quiet on the track. All I hear is muffled radio talk from the circuit staff's walkie-talkies and my own breath against my helmet's visor.

The lights change and a green flag is waved.

I step on the accelerator - but only halfway - so I do not bump into the kart in front as the six of us make our way out of the pit lane.

Once we are on the track, the race starts for real.

The karts accelerate quickly and it is not long before I am flooring the pedal, wishing that I could go faster than the legal 30kmh.

Since I do not have a driver's licence, that is the fastest I can go. The maximum karting speed is 50kmh.

But seriously though, there are people who can run faster than 30kmh.

After the first couple of laps, I do not bother taking my foot off the pedal any more.

At some turns, the tyres screech. I can also feel and hear the gravel shooting up into my seat and tapping onto my visor.

All this is not in vain. Each time I race past the scoreboard, I see that I am coming in faster with each lap.

Just as my hands start to ache a little from gripping the steering wheel, I see the checkered flag signalling that it is my last lap.

But the driver in front refuses to let me pass and the pedal refuses to budge any further. Just as I am about to overtake him, a black flag signals for us to slow down and pull into the pit lane.

We climb out of our karts and head over to the scoreboard.

I was placed second for the last lap - my fastest out of seven.

As I take off my helmet, I decide to be proud of this, ignoring the fact that an 11-year-old beat me.

This article was first published on September 25, 2015.
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