After what seemed like an eternity, we can finally welcome a proper electric karting facility to our wonderful city. Unfortunately the increase in quality comes a drastic increase in price - $25 CAD for one race compared to the old $29 unlimited racing for the GPK facility.
On the one hand the actual track is a lot nicer. Where a decent karter could manage 21-22 second laps in the old layout, this new layout looks to be in the high 30 second range thanks to the removal of most of the high speed sections. Very Tilke-like especially the chicanes which resemble closely Baku or some of the Formula E circuits.
For those not in the know: sector 1 now slows down into a 270 degree boot instead of the old high speed right hand sweeper into a hairpin. Sector two is essentially flipped resulting in the loss of the old high speed third sector which brought you on another sweeper past the pits and down the front straight. Overall the track is a slower but the mix of newer karts and smoother track surfacing should provide a neat experience.
Those never been to Toronto would have no idea how poorly kept the old GPK facilities were. While I had great relations with the staff, the surface was slick and uneven to the point of potholing at times. Barbaric plastic barriers and spent kart tires were all that kept you from careening into opposing traffic.
The old karts themselves were old but functional, and IMO were among the fastest and best value if you could man-handle them well enough. Tires were often inflated to what felt like random quantities and nearly all karts slid out with different degrees of violence under sudden braking.
Nevertheless here’s a roughly 1 hour supercut of my last session at GPK. I hope to visit the new K1Speed arena sometime the following week.
More details available here: http://k1speed.ca
Update: it has been confirmed that the new karts are OTL’s Storm latest electric karts which can reach 72 km/h, or pretty much the local speed limit.