It's only natural that with all its glass and chrome high-rises, the Millennium City thinks vertical. Always raring to rocket up, sky is the limit for this city. Which, of course, explains the fact that instead of terra firma, the city's latest adventure destination happens to be on a rooftop. What we normally know as Go-Karting is called Sky-Karting here.
A first of its kind in the NCR, the karting arena, an initiative of SMAAASH (entertainment and gaming zone) is multi-level, literally taking the sport to a whole new level. Stationed at Gurgaon’s Sector 29, the 500-metre track (built by Spain- and Germany-based firm Protex Karting) comes packed with a high-on-tech spring barrier system that ensures you won't meet the fate of Brazilian F1 racer Ayrton Senn. Even the machines are different: Electric-powered, environment-friendly karts sourced from market leader Sodikart.
I was relieved to find when I went to attend its launch last weekend that the track was open to kids as well — anyone who is above 4 feet in height can participate with special kiddie karts. Else, my 9-year-old daughter would have been bored to death, reduced to being a mere spectator watching mom and dad race. However, I must admit that I was also a bit worried once she, reinforced by helmets and protective gear, was on track. Would she be able to manoeuvre the steering? What if she pressed the accelerator too hard? Would she be able to apply the brakes? What if she got rammed by other high-speed racers along the track?
But then there were these watchmen at every turn, shouting out instructions to the stranded ones. My little one had so much fun that she wanted to race again once her time was over. Equipped with exclusive speed control, the track operators ensured total safety. “With dramatic elevations our Sky-Karting facility is the most advanced karting centre in India," Ashok Cherian, Chief Marketing Officer, SMAAASH, made a grand statement.
And you tend to believe him. Bathed in blue LED lights, the track looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. And when you see that your name and photograph are displayed on the monitors, you totally feel like a celeb racer. And the results are sent via mail.
Karting is just half the fun. For the arena comes attached with a brew pub and restaurant called Pitstop, offering you handcrafted beers and a variety of international cuisine. Designed like a truck, the 160-ft-long restaurant is built inside a cargo container and features rustic interiors, cosy amber lighting, contemporary furniture and quirky decor elements. Worn-out walls and old, rustic metal panelling certainly gives it a factory-shed ambience. But don't drink and drive. You are not allowed to race if you have had a peg or two. First do the racing and then celebrate your victory with drinks.
With my little one insisting on another trip, I am sure I will land up there soon. Speed thrills, after all.
Locational landmark: Behind Huda City Centre Metro station and adjacent to Oysters Appughar.
Price: Rs 450 on weekdays and Rs 550 on weekends, for a five-minute lap.