The 2010 E3 500

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Denver, CO

6:15PM MST

38 degrees fahrenheit 

Track conditions: fair

Here we go. Visors down, both hands on the wheel, rev the engine, wait for the signal, and GO! Elevated third's 2010 christmas party is underway! Thanks to Unser Racing, E3 had literally its fastest company christmas party to date. This isn't your mom's go-cart racing track either. There isn't any ball pits in the other room. The only arcade game they had was time crisis, and one of the lightguns didn't even work. These unnecessary accoutrements were merely a place to sit down and reflect on your last race, as well as concentrate on the next one. Boasting carts with a 45mph max speed, you're dang near street-legal driving these monstrosities. This also isn't your sit-in-the-cart-and-wait-for-instruction kind of course. They take you into a private room, they sit you down, they give you a presentation on the serious personal health hazards involved in negligent driving. 

On the course, you quickly realize the difference between these carts and say - state fair carts, you have a brake because you need one. Slow in, fast out. Without that philosophy, you'll find yourself skidding 180 degrees in the wrong direction, watching a fellow racer coming straight at you.  This isn't your typical plainclothes course either. Equipped with professional grade helmets with clear plastic visors, head socks to keep your hair out of your face, and a full body racing suit, 'in it to win it' is a phrase that makes a little more sense. 

A facility like this couldn't function without a knowledgeable staff, and Unser has one of the best. No slackjawed teenagers here. These guys are professional and knowledgeable in their craft, and they take your personal health as seriously as you should. They're also fun to talk to, and quick to respond if you find yourself in the compromising position of stuck at a wall, watching your fellow racers pass you by, pointing and laughing.

After your first race, it becomes clear how state-of-the-art these carts really are. You come into the post-race room for refreshments, revelry, and a racing reputation boost, finding the most thorough stat tracking since F1. Average, total, and top RPMs, two graphs representing your lap times and position, and most importantly, your standings in the race. It's almost as much fun gloating and laughing with your friends after a race as it is racing, almost.

Bruised shoulder blades, sore arms, and a somewhat queasy feeling in your stomach are no match for 40+ mph, sitting in a rocket-equipped chair 4 inches from the ground. Unser racing makes you appreciate racing as a sport, but even more as a leisure activity. Just make sure to use the word leisure sparingly.

 

Oh, the pizza was great too.