Listening to the delicate sounds of a piano being tuned is like getting a speeding ticket; it’s not going to happen at a racetrack. Bask in the orchestral roars of engines with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of kart racing at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, on South 10th Street.
Zip your way through the 11 twists and turns of Lehigh Valley Grand Prix’s quarter-mile track in a state-of-the-art racing kart at up to 45 adrenaline-fueled miles per hour. Newcomers to the region's largest indoor track can opt for a single race ($24/adult or $22/junior) or sign up for a membership ($30) earning them one complimentary race in addition to discounted rates on subsequent races ($19 for one race or $54 for three).
After a brief safety video, all automobile-athletes over the age of 10 are outfitted with a helmet, a neck brace, a racing suit, and an aerodynamic American-flag cape and strapped into a GT5 Sodi Kart. The professional-grade racing machine is maintained by the careful mechanics at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix to remain within three-tenths of a second of the other vehicles, making it an ultimate competition-creation. Up to 10 motorist-maniacs zoom through the serpentine track for a timed eight minutes, speeding over the finish line 10 to 12 times, and covering approximately 3 miles of blurred asphalt.
More than 1,300 Goodyear Tires from a single NASCAR race in Chicago lie stacked along the track to cushion wayward racing karts and prevent enthusiastic fans from storming the track. Recorded within a thousandth of a second, racer’s times are displayed on action boards, allowing speedsters to compete with their personal bests, snag a competitor's place, or contemplate the unstoppable forward marching of time.
Lehigh Valley Grand Prix
In a go kart, you're much closer to the source of horsepower than when you're riding in a car. All that invisible force leaps to life when you hit the accelerator, gently pushing you back into the seat. Drivers at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix feel that pull as they whip around a quarter-mile racetrack in gas-powered Sodi GT5 Proline karts. They slip past one another while making 11 brake-stomping turns, all with a vantage point not afforded by watching races on TV.
The karts feature air-intake units that trap their exhaust and keep the atmosphere fresh, and the track—constructed from 1,300 used Goodyear tires and the shredded remains of Mario Andretti's learner's permit—is outfitted with three observation platforms for track marshals to regulate each lap and guarantee riders' safety. Three-point safety belts, roll bars, helmets, and neck braces also protect racers during their white-knuckle trips around the track. A full-time mechanic keeps finish lines crowded by calibrating karts to run within three-tenths of a second of one another and hanging hundreds of piñatas from the checkered flag. At the facility's bar, Octane, racers can refuel with drinks and food while watching stock-car races on the five 42-inch TVs.