Since 1976, kids of all ages have gotten revved up about motor sports through Blue Max Kart Club.
This family-oriented organization meets at 24998 Pole Line Road, just north of Covell Boulevard, where youths and adults enjoy driving small, open, four-wheeled karts around the half-mile-long outdoor track with 11 turns, multiple apexes and two straightaways.
Karting is considered a great introduction to car racing and also great fun for the whole family.
“(Karting is) a great stepping stone if you’re a family who loves sports and outdoor activities to do together,” said Leo Refsland, president of the Kart Club’s board of directors.
“The entire family can go and race all on the same day,” added Lisa Caceres, a kart coach, who regularly works with patrons at the Kart Club. However, due to safety, the younger racers are able to take to the track for just part of each hour.
Steve Stein is not only the go-to guy for kart and track maintenance at Blue Max Kart Club, he also is a karting dad and a karter himself. A few years ago, both of his sons got interested in karting, so he took them down to the Kart Club to check it out. They got settled in and haven’t left since.
“I thought it was great they both got involved,” Stein said.
While his younger son is still into karting, Stein, who lives close to the track, is often there making sure the track is maintained well.
“I’m more interested in assisting at the track rather than becoming a board member,” Stein said.
Children as young as 5 years old can begin in their very own “kid kart,” designed for youngsters ages 5-7. They are smaller and narrower than regular-sized karts, with smaller engines, making them easier for youngsters to maneuver.
Youngsters ages 8-11 can participate with “cadet karts,” the next size up.
Teens ages 12-15 level up to full-sized karts. From then on, the karts are designed for the different weights and sizes of the racers.
While anyone is more than welcome to sign up for the $280 annual family membership, or pay a per-use fee of $20 and just start racing, coaching and mentoring is available at Kart Club.
Caceres, or “the Kart Lady,” as she is called, is a karting coach who works with all ages, from 5 to 70. She has not only been a karter since 1986, but also a professional race car driver.
While some parents may be hesitant to sign up their young children, Caceres says “it’s amazing what the kids can learn. You’d never believe that you can teach a child at 5 to use and drive a race kart,” Caceres said.
“They (the karters) always make you feel like they truly like and appreciate you. I don’t think there’s a better job in the world,” Caceres said.
While karting isn’t one of the most popular recreational sports, Caceres hopes people will at least check out the track.
“You can make friendships that will last a really long time,” she said, adding that at Blue Max Kart Club, the entire family can have good, safe fun.
Refsland agrees. “Safety is number one; we have a fully staffed ambulance on the course, a crash cart and five extinguishers.”
Refsland also noted that the Kart Club uses a system of penalties in case members get too rowdy.
“We pride ourselves in teaching kids the flags and having a safe event,” Refsland said.
To join Blue Max Kart Club, those interested may download a membership application from www.bluemaxkartclub.com and either mail it to Blue Max Kart Club, P.O. Box 362, Davis, CA 95617 or hand it in on a weekend. Once the application is submitted, a key for the track and membership cards will be issued. Once a member, karters can practice any day besides Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information about Blue Max Kart Club, email [email protected].