I have come to a very sad realization as of recently: I am no speed demon. No, I’m ashamed to say that just days ago, I clutched my driving wheel in terror as my dreams of having an innate Initial D-like sense were hopelessly dashed and I spun, at what must of been a sound breaking 15 miles per hour, into a barricade of tires. Luckily, it was all on a go kart track.
Stampede Karting is a spanking brand new driving track in the Bailian Zhong Huan Shopping Center (locals call it 中環百聯 – zhong huan bai lian) in Putuo District – so new it hasn’t actually opened yet, though it’ll officially hit the ignition this coming Tuesday, March 9.
The story behind the place: several friends who had already been in Shanghai for a while, racing go karts at Fu Shi Da And Disc Kart and their real cars at the F1 track were struck with the idea to start their own place – with a classier vibe than offered at the current options. They laid out the plans, got the funding and – boom – Stampede Karting, named after their racing team, was born. And from the looks of it, they dreamed pretty big.
The area boasts a 5000 square meter track, which they said was currently the biggest in all of Asia and 12 brand new karts for racing. Each run costs 85rmb for 7 minutes of driving, and you get a printed score sheet afterward detailing how long each of your laps took. I had, like, five to my name maybe – but apparently if you actually know how to drive, you can loop around eight to nine times. “Go Kart driving actually helps you learn to control a car better in real life driving,” one of the owners, Henry Fan, assured me. They’re nice people.
If you’re not interested in more racing, there’s also an extensive lounge area replete with leather seating, bead curtains, sleek black chandeliers and race track paraphernalia. Oh and drinks and food too. A Heineken bottle will set you back 35RMB and a draft is just 10RMB extra. Tsingtao is 25RMB a bottle. The food, which will be available as a limited menu at first, included things called “Pit Lane Chili” and “Blow Out Potato Skins.” They’ll also have a burger that Fan assured me would be “like the burger at In-n-Out… have you tried it?” OH HAVE I. Unfortunately, at sneak preview time, it wasn’t available so I haven’t been able to confirm this factoid.
But you can, Tuesday onwards.
Stampede Karting is located at the Section C basement of Bai Lian Zhong Huan Shopping Center (百聯中環） on 1288 Zhen Guang Lu (真光路1288号) in Putuo District. 85RMB buys 7 minutes on the race track. Current opening hours are 6:30pm to 1am, but may change in coming months. Telephone: 6139 5095