Capital inaugurates karting track

news: Capital inaugurates karting track

LISBON CÂMARA launched the city’s first go-kart track last week. The latest multipurpose leisure attraction in the council’s crown jewels was officially unveiled by its vice president, António Carmona Rodrigues.

The 10-kart track is located in Avenida 24 de Julho (next to the IADE) on a 600sqm area. The attraction is incorporated within a larger 10,000sqm space, which has a driving school course, party zone, restaurant, bars and public seating for around 300 people. The electric motorised go-kart project was developed because there was nothing of its kind in Lisbon for the general public. Known as ‘Kid-Racers’, they have a maximum speed of 4km/h and are made for children between the ages of three and seven.

Carmona Rodrigues, who opened the track by taking a few turns himself in the karts, said: “It came as a great surprise that they are driven in a very specific manner that is not unlike driving my own car. They handle well, are safe and seem quite powerful – it’s great fun!” Making an aside to the Christmas launch of Lisbon Câmara’s nearby LX Skating Rink, he quipped: “That’s great, ice skating in the winter and go-karting in the summer!”

Câmara officer, António Monteiro, said that the initiative started young children on the roads to adopt a more civic and civil attitude to driving – the bête noire of Portuguese behaviour. “They can respect other users and drive without polluting the city, which is a positive technological development,” he said.

The Câmara’s Youth Driving School should be up-and-running later this year to teach young people how to behave on the roads. There are already two such schools in Lisbon, one in Monsanto and one in Bela Vista, in which children, with the help of bicycles, can learn how to interpret traffic signals.

• The go-kart track is open from Tuesdays to Thursdays, between noon and midnight, Fridays and Saturdays between noon and 2am, and Sundays between 10am and midnight. Tickets are not cheap, costing five euros to enter the site and a further 10 euros to rent the cars for only 10 minutes. Chris Graeme