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Photos: Brandon McGhee

Trend Watch: Go-Karting Under the Pearl Tower

By May 15, 2019 Sports & Recreation

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Formula 1 is over but the next major race has already begun: there’s a new go-karting circuit underneath the Pearl Tower! Opened in April with a spot from one-time literary bad boy and race car driver Han Han, it has yet to be wanghong’d — that means no lines and no waiting to race around Lujiazui at ground-level.

Shanghai"

Shanghai"

The Segway Ninebot karts they use have a top speed of 15mph (about 24kmh). Does that mean it's road-legal without a license? If I buy one from the store downstairs (naturally), can I drive this thing to work? Anyway, the record speed is 24 seconds per lap, set by a kid. The staff will be happy to time you if you ask, but don’t get your expectations too high. The little brat's been training since he was four.

Shanghai"

Shanghai"

Before they let you on the course, but after you’ve paid your 90rmb for three minutes or 120rmb for six minutes (maybe the reason it’s not so busy), the staff gives you a quick walkthrough: here’s the accelerator, there’s the brake, and pro tip — don’t step on them both at the same time. If you already know that, then I guess you are a pro, and will want to ask about drifting; the Ninebot is the first go-kart to have a dedicated handbrake just for that purpose. But you have to ask.

Shanghai"

How is it? Well, it makes you crave speed and fear bumping into the barriers (an ego thing). It’s a good confidence boost, an adrenaline rush and a fun way to spend six minutes in Lujiazui.

Ninebot Gokart, Gate 2, 1 Shiji Dadao, near Lujiazui Huan Lu.

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