‘Drivers, start your engines!’

| January 27, 2012 | 0 Comments
Chaz Lederer, a Honolulu resident, banks a hard right into an S-turn. Podium Raceway changes its track layout four times a year with adding more complex tracks for skilled drivers. The raceway offers a 10 percent military discount and a free 14-lap race for new members.

Chaz Lederer, a Honolulu resident, banks a hard right into an S-turn. Podium Raceway changes its track layout four times a year with adding more complex tracks for skilled drivers. The raceway offers a 10 percent military discount and a free 14-lap race for new members.

Story and Photos by
Lance Cpl. Matthew Callahan
Hawaii Marine

KAPOLEI — Looking to break away from relaxed and easy-going recreational activities the island has to offer?

Take a ride on “Hawaii’s fast Lane” at Oahu’s high-speed go-kart facility at Podium Raceway, here.

Toting an indoor racetrack with electric karts that scream at 45 mph, Podium Raceway offers an approach to go-karts more on par with real world racing which you won’t find karting at a child-oriented theme park.

Top speeds, revolutions per minute and best lap times are all documented electronically to provide an in-depth look into performance on the track. Comparing scores and speeds offers an addictive competitive atmosphere to improve your racing skills.

Racers throw up the shaka before starting their race. New drivers are briefed on the rules and safety regulations before they can  begin racing, something that Podium Raceway prioritizes to make sure everyone stays safe.

Racers throw up the shaka before starting their race. New drivers are briefed on the rules and safety regulations before they can begin racing, something that Podium Raceway prioritizes to make sure everyone stays safe.

At the end of the month, racers who complete the best lap times are invited back to the Podium Raceway to participate in a complimentary race for bragging rights among the tracks’ regulars.

Before getting behind the wheel, racers must sign a waiver and complete personal profiles at computer terminals prior to racing. Once a racer’s information is in the system, they are displayed on widescreen televisions in the observation area. Participants can watch the races or play in a video arcade while waiting for their turn to hit the pavement. Monitors display upcoming heats and previous race results including best lap times and finishing places.

“Everything we do here revolves around a passion for racing,” said Kahlle Stardiford, sales director for the raceway. “Everything in Hawaii is focused on the outdoors. We bring something fun and different and people are excited about it.”

A state-of-the-art facility requires strict safety rules to be enforced ensuring the protection and maximum enjoyment of everyone who participates.

New drivers are given a detailed safety brief about rules and regulations while racing including flag rules, operation of the vehicles and guidelines to avoid collisions and promote proper racing etiquette.

The karts are remotely controlled, allowing the operator to disengage all the karts in the event of an accident or violation of safety procedures.

Whether you’re planning a birthday party, social event or looking for a thrilling weekend activity, Podium Raceway is an excellent place to start. The raceway offers a 10 percent military discount and a free 14-lap race for new members.

See you on the circuit.

The ride of your life

Try something different – strap on a racing helmet, put the pedal to the medal and race around one of the island’s racetracks:

  • Indoor go-karts 
    Podium Raceway is located at 91-1085 Lexington St. in Kapolei. Call 682-7223 or visit www.podiumraceway.com.
  • Outdoor box car racing
    Race World Hawaii is a gravity-powered raceway located at 94-711 Kupuna Lp. in Waipahu. Call 382-5653 or visit www.boxcarracing.org.

(Editor’s Note: This feature article originally appeared in the Jan. 13 edition of the Hawaii Marine newspaper. You can access the Hawaii Marine at www.mcbh.usmc.mil/news/news.htm.)

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