Miniature Mallala kart track set to open
Thursday 3rd March, 2022 - 2:52pm
Mallala Motorsport Park is set to add hire 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 venue within the confines of the existing circuit.
The recently laid asphalt is an exact scaled-down replica of Turn 1 through to Turn 4 of the 2.6km-long Mallala Motorsport Park, including the western ‘banana’ (pictured above).
The kart circuit utilises part of the back straight, the esses, and a small section of the front straight.
Totalling 880m, the course will be primarily used for hire karts, although competitive kart meetings are a possibility too.
Speaking with Speedcafe.com, the dual circuit owner 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,” said Shahin.
“It is a feeling you get at very few motorsport facilities, not just in Australia, but anywhere around the world when you stand there at a facility and you feel something – and you certainly feel something at Mallala.
“The key from the start was how to bring that almost holy experience of the historic Mallala race track to a go kart user. The answer was to use as much of the existing race circuit as possible and to miniaturise the remainder of the race circuit, and this is what I’ve done.
“This karting circuit will give a novice or an experienced karter, the exact experience as somebody who has raced on the Mallala race track. The result is a terrific facility that I’m incredibly proud of.
“There’s something very special about driving a go kart on an actual race track. It’s not an experience that is available anywhere as far as I am aware, purely because the requirements are different and the lengths are very, very different.
“The opportunity to use a large proportion of interesting race track and completed with a miniaturised scaled-down version of the exact geometry of an iconic race track was just too good to let go ahead. I’m so proud of the result.”
Shahin said he’s learnt a lot from his 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 that are capable of reaching up to 70km/h.
Mallala will begin 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 recognises its place in getting the next generation into the sport.
“It is an absolutely terrific sector of motorsport, it is the absolute holy grail of grassroots motorsport,” he said.
“I have absolutely loved being involved in learning more, and becoming more educated about not just the art of karting, but the significance of karting to Australian motorsport and global motorsport in general.
“It is absolute grassroots motorsport, and I want to support it, encourage it, and build on it in every way possible.
“It’s a genuinely moving experience watching young kids in go-karts,” he added.
“And yes, for a lot of those they will not end up either professionally racing go-karts or being involved in go-karting, you know, in a serious manner, but there is a far greater pool that want to enjoy go karts as a fun hobby or a sport.
“The hire kart route just gives the largest number of people the opportunity to experience it. For those that decide then to persevere, or continue and take it up as a more serious predisposition, then there are well-established pathways.
“I think it’s the first step is just to get them in a go kart, have a go, have some fun, and from there, it’s their choice.”
Shahin said he is also on the hunt for a full-time 2IC to work alongside the venue’s manager to handle the day-to-day running of the kart facilities.
Mallala Motorsport Park is targeting a mid-April opening of its hire karts.