AUSTIN, Texas — If you are already tired of the traffic returning on Interstate 35, take out your pent-up frustrations at the race track at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The go-kart track, that is.
The KVUE Daybreak team could not get to COTA Karting quick enough! We were pumped to take on this adventure next to the only Formula One track in the U.S.
The Weekend Daybreak team, Shane Hinton and Hannah Rucker, even joined in on this one. A face-off between weekday and weekend crews? Let the competition begin.
Hannah is full of energy so, unsurprisingly, she wanted to get us in the mood.
"We should get pumped up. Let's jump in a circle," she said.
That is exactly what everyone did before we got race-day ready.
We put on our headgear, got in our karts and waited for the green flag to wave.
Blythe and Tori came in hot with a lot of trash talk before the race. Clearly, the two are a bit too competitive.
"You're going down!" Blythe yelled at Tori.
Meanwhile, everyone else was just ready for some fun. It was go-time.
Each race is 10 minutes long and each lap consists of 15 gripping and tough turns.
While there is a lot of karting in Central Texas, what makes this experience unique is the speed. The karts go up to 55 mph!
"The first time I did this, I was a little bit intimidated because I was like, 'My gosh, these things just fly down that straightaway.' Just exciting," said Matt Hughey, the senior manager at COTA Karting.
While you would think the goal is to cross the finish line first, that may feel good, but it is not how you win.
"It's basically based on your best lap time," Hughey said.
During our first race, everyone needed to adjust to the track and the speed of the cars.
Once we got settled, Shane and Tori battled for the lead. Blythe and Hannah always followed close behind.
Mariel and Yvonne were enjoying the morning air and wind in their hair (not really – we had helmets), but they were never quite in the race.
As we returned to the pit, Tori topped the timesheet for Round One.
Yvonne felt a little queasy, so she found a new role for the second race, where everyone else was fighting for redemption.
As we took off, we heard words of encouragement coming from the speakers.
"You've got this, sweetie!"
That's right. Yvonne found the microphone and became the race announcer. She had a tough time figuring out who was who, but she kept us motivated nonetheless.
After circling the track about 10 times, race two came to an end. Shane clocked the best time of that race and of the entire day, which means he took home the trophy.
While one of us – Tori – was bitter because she lost by one second, it was hard to be too mad on such a fun day.
"We want it to be just a family fun experience where you come out with a date, come out with your family, but you can also come out if you want to be kind of competitive," Hughey said. "We want that full-spectrum so everyone has a chance to really enjoy and experience this event."
To book your races at COTA Karting, click here.
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