DAY 216: Mini GP go-karting

4 Apr

IN my flashback I’m seven years old, on the dodgem track. I’ve insisted on having a go because my brother is, but I’ve immediately driven into a bank of empty bumper cars and I’m stuck. I can’t reverse. My plaits flap around my head as I try to attract help without having to yell.

“I probably shouldn’t tell you this,” chuckles photographer Leigh when I mention my lack of motor skills, “but a woman got killed here a few years ago.”

My mate Zo’s invited me along to a go-karting shoot for her magazine Veri Live, with handsome young tykes Dead Letter Circus. The Brisbane boys turn up pumped and ready for blood. With the exception of drummer Luke, who’s more worried the breathalyser will pick up the morning’s vodkas, each one of them is totally focused on the goal. I’m going to get flattened.

We’re warned that these aren’t dodgem cars (oh good), and that an amber or red light will flash if someone stacks it, depending on the severity of the case. When I see that these aren’t soapbox-style go-karts I have a minor hyperventilation in my helmet, but we’re pretty quickly strapped rigidly in and cranked up like so many deadly lawnmowers.

As we take off, I’ve got two bits of advice in mind – Zo’s ‘motorcycle rule’ of always looking ahead to where you want to go rather than at what’s going on in the periphery, and my mate Emmo’s general instruction to accelerate out of a corner, as soon as you find your equilibrium or something. These go-karts drive like washing machines around tight corners, though, shuddering like they’re on spin cycle.

I’m quickly overtaken by the entire band, Zo, and a journo – which leaves no one – but bear in mind the band are out to slay each other, Zo’s got a race car in real life, and the journo’s running on fear-spiked adrenalin. He gets a nudge a few laps in and limps out of the race, crying whiplash.

The more laps the rest of us do, the more competitive the band get. We reach speeds of 60kph and on one corner all five of them barge me within seconds of each other, one shooting me an apologetic, country-style wave over his shoulder. I might be driving like a nana, comparatively, but I reckon I’m the only person not to stack it into tyres. Zo even gets a nudge that sends her flying with all four wheels off the ground. She lands partially on bassist Stu’s kart and the pair hold hands for a mo across the track as they get a bollocking from the authorities. That’s nice.

I come in lucky last in the end, but I’m pleased enough that I didn’t touch the brake once and accelerated like a bastard coming out of those corners. Effort: fair.

You would, too.

Keeper? Yes! Thanks for the pics, LEIGH WILKINS.

2 Responses to “DAY 216: Mini GP go-karting”

  1. emmo at 10:53 am #

    Nah, i said stay on full throttle, or hard on brakes, don’t back off!
    You nor rissen!

    • Hey! at 10:59 am #

      What’s a nor rissen? Does it hurt?

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