In a civilised society, drivers must adhere to certain rules of the road – do not overtake another car on a bend, do not take a hairpin turn at a speed that may cause you to spin out, and definitely do not race your friends in a head-to-head time trial. Which is probably why go-karting has become such a popular pastime.   

In the controlled environment of karting, you can call upon your inner Lewis Hamilton as you whiz around a track in a ground-hugging vehicle that does its very best to keep you on the road, even when the conditions, and other racers, conspire against you. The Lochter Activity Centre in Oldmeldrum offers one of the most challenging outdoor racing experiences in Aberdeen, with a one kilometre asphalt track that replicates the famous Silverstone circuit.

Having never tried outdoor karting before, I decided to book a session at Lochter with the one group of people I knew I could trust to go easy on me – my children. After a thorough safety briefing from the experienced supervisors, we donned our racing helmets, lowered ourselves into the karts and revved our engines.

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As someone who has been driving for almost thirty years now, it took a few laps before I was able to relax into this new form of driving but once I managed to do that, the adrenaline took over and the fun began. Soon the long and short straights were going by in a flash while my feet worked out the best balance of acceleration and brake for taking the corners without losing control. Of course, my children somehow worked all of this out much quicker than I did so, not surprisingly, I came in last in both the time rankings and the head-to-head race, but that did not diminish my enjoyment one bit.

Go-karting could prove to be quite addictive, because every lap you drive reveals something you can do better in the next lap to improve. I guess that means a few more sessions at Lochter for me, and then my kids had better watch out.

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