Mallala Motorsport Park is expected to add rental karts to its operations next month as part of a $1 million investment in the circuit.
A new section of track has been established at the eastern end of the site within the boundaries of the existing circuit.
The newly laid asphalt is an exact scaled-down replica of Mallala Motorsport Park’s Turn 1 to Turn 4, 2.6 km long, including the western ‘banana’ (pictured above).
The kart circuit uses part of the back straight, the esses and a small section of the front straight.
Totaling 880m, the course will mainly be used for rental karts, although competitive karting meetings are also possible.
Speaking to Speedcafe.com, the owner of the dual circuit said the concept was to recreate part of Mallala and give kart users the closest experience to racing on the historic circuit.
“Mallala is an iconic circuit and it really has a soul,” Shahin said.
“It’s a feeling you get at very few motorsport facilities, not just in Australia but anywhere in the world when you’re standing there in a facility and you feel something – and you certainly feel something. in Mallala.
“The key from the beginning was how to bring this almost sacred experience of the historic Mallala race track to a kart user. The answer was to use the existing race circuit as much as possible and miniaturize the rest of the circuit racing, and that’s what I did.
“This go-kart circuit will give a novice or experienced go-kart user the exact experience of someone who has raced on the Mallala race track. The result is a terrific facility that I am incredibly proud of.
“There is something very special about driving a kart on a real race track. It’s not an experience that’s available anywhere as far as I know, simply because the requirements are different and the durations are very, very different.
“The opportunity to use much of the interesting race track and complete with a scaled down miniaturized version of the exact geometry of an iconic race track was just too good to pass up. I’m so proud of the result.
Shahin said he learned a lot from its sister venue, The Bend Motorsport Park, which has a multi-purpose circuit used for karting and drifting.
Like the Tailem Bend track, Mallala will use SodiKart machines capable of reaching up to 70 km/h.
Mallala will start with 30 of the karts, which are powered by a 390cc Honda engine.
Shahin said karting plays a crucial role in grassroots racing and he recognizes its place in bringing the next generation into the sport.
“It’s an absolutely great area of motorsport, it’s the absolute holy grail of grassroots motorsport,” he said.
“I absolutely loved being involved in learning and becoming more educated on not only the art of karting but also the importance of karting to Australian motorsport and world motorsport in general.
“It’s an absolute grassroots motorsport, and I want to support it, encourage it and build on it in every way I can.
“It’s a truly moving experience to see young children in go-karts,” he added.
“And yes, for a lot of them, they won’t end up doing professional karting or being involved in karting, you know, in a serious way, but there are more people who want to enjoy karts like a fun hobby or sport.
“The kart rental route simply allows as many people as possible to experience it. For those who then decide to persevere, or to go on and adopt it as a more serious predisposition, then there are well-established paths.
“I think the first step is just to get them in a kart, have a go, have fun, and from there it’s their choice.”
Shahin said he was also looking for a full-time 2IC to work alongside the site manager to manage the day-to-day running of the karting facilities.
Mallala Motorsport Park is aiming for a mid-April opening of its rental karts.