Skellefteå Karting Arena
– I don’t know if I’m up for it, says Mio, pressing his face against the fence.
Inside the fence, things move fast. Karts zoom along the track that is just over 1,000 metres long, at high speeds. Nearly 70 kilometres per hour on the straight sections. Tyres squeal. Engines roar.
Mio is seven years old. 128 cm tall. That means that he actually can’t drive, not even if he would have wanted to. Not alone and not on the big track at least. For that, you have to be at least 150 cm tall. Luckily, there are double-seated karts in which a child and an adult can ride together.
The Skellefteå Karting Arena is considered one of Europe’s best karting tracks, according to Benny Östholm who is responsible for rental karts at Skellefteå Motorsällskap, together with Sune Qvarnlöf.
– Because we are visited by professional drivers who also race in many other locations throughout Europe, we know that our arena is of a very high quality, even by international standards.
Mio’s cousin Alfred rides together with his mother on the big track. It is fast, sometimes too fast and then they get help from the staff to get back on track again. Lap times are registered by a sensor in the kart and after you have finished your race you can see how you fared.
– Awesome, Alfred says with a smile as they finish. I want to drive more.
One race takes nine minutes. That might not sound so long but nine minutes of total focus and the pedal to the metal is quite intense. Alfred’s mother has to rest. That’s no problem, says Mio, because he has just discovered that it’s possible to actually drive your own kart, even if you are not very tall
The children’s track is oval. Like a NASCAR track, but here there’s almost no age limit, as long you can reach the pedals. Alfred goes first, then Mio. On the children’s track you race one at a time, for six minutes. The karts reach a speed of nearly 30 km/h and when you push the pedal to the floor it feels great.
– You went so fast, Alfred says as Mio crosses the finish line. He managed to impress his big cousin.
Mio is bursting with pride.
Sweet summer fun
Karting is a popular summer attraction. Especially after warm days spent on the beach, then it’s great to race the excess energy out of your system. Despite the fact that the arena often has many visitors, queues are rarely long. There is also a café at the arena where you can buy soft drinks, ice cream, hot dogs and hamburgers whilst you wait.