Fast and Furious: Jiading Drift

By Bo Brennan, Mar 27th, 2012 | In Activities

One of the biggest sporting events of the Shanghai year is coming up, with the Formula 1 Grand Prix on April 13-15. Oh, hey, look at that -- tickets are still available here, but if you wanted a little warm-up, a little practice session to get you in the mood, then you can head out to the F1 circuit in Jiading where there’s also a karting track within the grounds -- SIC Kartingworld -- track, so you can kinda, almost, sorta race in the same place the big boys do.

The bottom line: it’s “pro” go-karting. With tops speeds of 120km/hour.

SIC Kartworld’s track is 1,234 meters long and has 18 corners. Red and white rumble strips line some of the sharper turns, which makes it feel extra authentic. And there’s a split-second timing system so you can gloat to your friends about how you’re “as fast as Michael Schumacher. Like, not even kidding bro.”

SIC has three types of go-karts: The fast kart, the dual seat and the professional kart. The fast kart is the standard issue. The top speed is about 60 km/hour, so nothing too crazy. The dual kart is pretty much the same, except with two seats. Great for a parent with a child or speed-freak couples. They go a bit slower (about 40 km/hour). The real winners, though, and the main reason to trek out all the way to Jiading, are the pro-karts, which have a top speed of 120 km/hour, (Americans, that’s about 75 mph), though there isn’t a long enough straightaway to get up quite that high. Still, it’s a knicker-wetting experience, with unforgiving cement inches away from your ass as the world skids past in a blurry green-grey mess.

To ride in the pro-karts, you need some training with coaches, and it’s advisable to practice a few times with fast karts to get adjusted to the course and how to handle the corners. We’re told crashes are fairly uncommon and injuries even less so, but you’ll still have to sign a waiver just in case you go careening off the course in a spectacular fireball. For anybody but the thrill-seeking crowd, the fast and dual karts are more than powerful enough. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump out of airplanes and snowboard the double blacks, then you’re going to want to try out one of pro-karts.

How to do it

The F1 track is in the wild hinterlands of Jiading. The easiest way to get there is to hop on Line 11 all the way to the Shanghai International Circuit stop. The line splits at the station right before the circuit, so make sure that you’re on the correct train. Once you reach the station, it’s a little difficult to find the kart track, but if you call ahead they’ll send a driver to pick you up at the Metro station. A taxi from downtown is going to be over 100rmb, and even then it just gets you to the edge of the circuit, not the actual SIC kart area inside.

The track is open seven days a week, 9am-6pm. When I went on a Wednesday afternoon I pretty much had the place all to myself but it’s busiest on the weekends and they only allow about 15 people on the track at one time, so if it’s really busy there might be a wait.

Amateurs are more than welcome, but this is definitely a place for serious karters. If you become a part of their membership program, you get benefits, like you can store your own kart in their garage, work on it there and lounge around chatting about pressing go-kart related issues.

They can also host parties and corporate team-buildings days and there’s a rooftop terrace where you can watch the karting. You can consume alcohol there but they’re pretty strict about not letting anyone drive after they have been drinking.


This is not a sport for poor. The fast cars are 150rmb for eight minutes, 180rmb for eight minutes in the dual car, and 250rmb for eight minutes in the pro-kart. So, for most folks, this is a special occasion kind of place, like a birthday party or a hot date. However, you can get cheaper tickets on Chinese Groupon clone, Lashou

Worth it?

Definitely. One of the more entertaining things I’ve done in Shanghai, especially driving the pro-karts. The track is challenging and it really does feel like you’re driving a on Formula 1 course, but it’s still easy enough so inexperienced drivers won’t have too much difficulty. If you’re really into go-karting, this is the Promised Land. For everyone else, it’s a great place to spend a day with a group of friends. Save up some red notes and go get your kart on.

All photos by Joshua Tinter.

PRoy, Apr 6th, 2012

How long usually is the training with coach? Do we have to pay every minute of the training just as much as the usual "fast cars"? Thank you!

botad, Apr 29th, 2012

6 of us went yesterday. We did the fast karts once (150RMB) and then moved up to the pro kart (250RMB) without anykind of training whatsoever.

Also note, the pro karts have slightly smaller seats than the fast carts. If you're pleasantly plump (respect), then you may have a hard time squeezing into the drivers seat.

Post a Comment
Signed in with: Not signed in

Please sign in or register to comment

Hassle free ticket purchasing and delivery for Shanghai's cultural and concert events:

The Classic Buskers

Jun 13-14
at Shanghai Children's Theatre

Elvis Tribute

May 13
at Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Killswitch Engage

Apr 30
at MAO Livehouse

JZ Spring Festival 2015

Apr 30/May 1-2
at Shanghai Centre Theatre


May 19
at Arkham

Brawl On The Bund

Jun 6
at Kerry Hotel (Pudong)

4.48 Psychosis

Jul 23-Aug 9
at Dramatic Arts Center

2015 KIA World Extreme Games

May 1-3
at Jiangwan Stadium

I Musici Workshop

May 31
at Shanghai Children's Theatre


May 1
at Bar Rouge

Joyce DiDonato Recital

May 8
at Shanghai Grand Theatre


May 31
at MAO Livehouse

Monte Carlo Philharmonic

May 17
at Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Refracted Shadow

Jun 9-21
at 1933


Daily 7.30pm
at Shanghai Circus World

Ghost The Musical

May 28-Jun 14
at Shanghai Culture Square

Backstreet Boys

Apr 28
at Shanghai Grand Stage

Heaven And Hell

May 16
at The Pearl

Basix 2015

Apr 26
at QSW Culture Centre

Shanghai Comic Convention

May 16-17
at Shanghai Convention & Exhibition

Final Stair

May 22
at MAO Livehouse


May 1-2
at Shanghai Children's Theatre

DJ Dannic

May 8

Gorillaz Sound System DJ+VJ set

May 1
at M2 (Hong Kong Plaza)

Longines Global Champions Tour

May 8-10
at China Art Palace

The Ugly Duckling

May 23-24
at Shanghai Children's Theatre

Paul van Dyk 2015

May 30

Beyond Time

Jun 19-20
at Shanghai Culture Square

More on SmartTicket »