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I first took up karting after coming back from a weekend at Eastbourne back in 1984, where I had enjoyed the sea-side Go Karts. This was the first time that I had tried Go Karts and was so taken back by the experience that when an opportunity arose to buy my own, I could not let it pass by. My first 100cc kart was old, it only cost £250, but it was enough to get me started.

I took my new toy to the London Kart Club, Tilbury Raceway, where I prepared to practice for the first time ever. I was not prepared for the overwhelming experience to follow. After initial problems starting the engine I was pushed out of the pits onto the track, without thinking and only being 17 (inexperienced with cars) I proceeded to floor the pedal. Big mistake, I was not prepared for the unbelievable acceleration (0-60 in 2.8 secs !). My head lashed back. I could not see where I was going. As my head went back my body went forward, keeping my foot wedged on the accelerator. After several seconds, which seemed like minutes I regained my seating position, lifted my head and eased off he pedal. I did not complete the lap, I was so shocked that I decided to go into the pit, where my family stood puzzled as to my quick return. I exited the kart removed my helmet and the whiteness of my face said it all. What a rush !

Karting has been the most profound experience of my life, the forces applied to your body while driving are incredible. So much so, that I broke a rib just by the pressure applied to my body when cornering !. Now I have the appropriate rib protection (Tillett Rib Tec) and a seat that is more snug, this could not happen again. Recently I went on all the rides at Blackpool including the Big One rollercoaster, but nothing has compared to Karting. I now own a brand new 125cc Rotax, my previous 2 karts now scrapped or sold on, but am still not much faster as I have put on 50 lbs. since first starting karting all those years ago.

By the way if any one calls 100cc/125cc karts, Go Karts, then I and all the other Karters will be offended. There is a profound difference, which I did not appreciate at first. DO NOT confuse the two.

I tend to stick to practice sessions, as racing professionally costs too much, especially now I'm a family man. Generally I hire the use the Tilbury raceway, owned by the London Kart Club at weekends for £35 a day. Buckmore Park is more expensive but the track and facilities are fantastic. The track at Buckmore is physically more demanding, I'm lucky to manage 10 laps before I need a rest. I look forward to trying Rye House in the near future. Kart parts can also be a little expensive but would recommend Zip Karts and Dartford Karting for their excellent karts, spares and customer services !s