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Go-cart racetracks let you make your own Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.   |   Times (2004)

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times (2004)

Do you have racing fever with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in town? Get your speed fix at these go-carting locations, for both hard-core and casual racers.

Lyra Solochek, Times staff writer

Tampa Bay Grand Prix

12350 Automobile Blvd., Clearwater; (727) 527-8464;

Track: This 1/4-mile indoor concrete track is surrounded by a TecPro barrier system for protection. The high-torque electric carts have two sizes: adults (minimum height of 56 inches, up to 45 mph) and kids (minimum height 48 inches, up to 20 mph). The computerized scoring and timing system keeps track of how you're doing, and you get a printout of your lap times at the end. Annual license required to drive ($5 at the track). Helmets, head socks and neck braces are provided. Waiver forms, available online or at the track, must be signed.

Prices: Adults $16 for 14 laps, kids $12 for 10 laps. Other packages: Lunch Hour: $12 for 12 laps; Buy Two Get One on Wednesdays and Thursdays; three-race package: adults $39, kids $29; Ladies Night after 6 p.m. Fridays $10 for 14 laps. Check their social media sites for more other deals.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Ambassador Racing School

14840 Speedway Drive, Wimauma; (813) 634-1076;

Track: This 1/10-mile banked oval asphalt track is like a mini Martinsville, with arrive-and-drive racing on Tuesday nights, weather permitting. Drivers must be 18 or older, and can be of any experience level. Closed-toe shoes and long pants required. Helmets and neck braces are provided. Waiver forms, available at the registration desk, must be signed.

Price: $30 for five 10-lap races

Hours: Sign-in begins at 6 p.m. Racing begins at 7. Tip: Call on race day to check on weather.

Andersen Race Park

101 U.S. 41 N, Palmetto; (941) 723-3900;

Track: This 1-mile asphalt course has 13 wicked turns and a long front stretch where you can speed up to 47 mph in the Birel Rock Kart rental carts. These handle much like competition carts with a 9 hp four-stroke engine. Drivers must be 16 or older. (Twelve- to 15-year-olds may take a minor class to get a license to drive. Call for details).

Price: $5 insurance fee required, $25 for one 15-minute session, $65 for three sessions (not available on Saturdays).

Hours: Rental days and times vary. Check the track's online schedule for details or see Andersen Race Park Facebook page for updates. Also Friday Night Club, 5:15 p.m. Fridays ($25 member fee, $50 member, $75 nonmember).

Other: Lessons and clinics are also available. Check website or call for details.

Grand Prix Tampa Family Fun Center

14320 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; (813) 977-6272;

Track: Two tracks are available at this fun center. One is the Family Track, a meandering course for the younger ones or beginners. One- and two-seat recreational carts are available (54-inch minimum height for single, driver of the double must be at least 58 inches tall and passenger 42 to 54 inches). The Big Track is a challenging 1-mile course with 20 hairpin turns and is suited for older teens and adults. Drivers must be 58 inches or taller.

Prices: Family Track (single/double): $6.25/$7.25 for a 4-minute race, $17.50/$19.25 for three races, $38.75/$42.50 for seven races, $55.75/$62.50 for 11 races. Big Track: $5 one race, $13.75 for three races, $30 for seven races, $44 for 11 races. Each race is one lap.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday. Carting and some attractions open later. Check schedule for details.

Other attractions: Bungee jump, miniature golf, batting cages, arcade games, paintless paintball, Highway 66 bowling.

Celebration Station

24546 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater; (727) 791-1799;

Track: This 1/4-mile go-cart track is suited for families and kids. Drivers must be at least 56 inches tall; passengers 36 to 56 inches.

Prices: $6.50 per ride for driver ($2.59 for passenger), $17 for three rides, $24.99 for an all-day pass.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Other attractions: Arcade games, laser tag, bumper boats, miniature golf, batting cages.

Fun and Wheels

9227 County Line Road, Spring Hill. (352) 345-2918.

Track: Drive a one- or two-seat Honda go-cart around the 1,000-foot track. Drivers must be at least 56 inches tall.

Prices: $5.50 per cart for 10 to 12 laps, $10 per cart for 20 to 24 laps.

Hours: 2-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

Other attractions: Batting cages, miniature golf, paintball, inflatable bouncers and slides, arcade games.

Go-cart racetracks let you make your own Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:42pm]
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