Go-karts allow people to experience the thrill of driving without having to hear radio ads for pungent soaps or look at four empty seats that remind them of the time someone stole their family of mannequins. Keep thrills pure with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of racing and games at Malibu Raceway in Beaverton.
Malibu Raceway's track tests drivers' courage and precision-steering ability with half a mile of sharp turns. Visitors wielding a driver's license or those 14 and older who've completed the Malibu Raceway Car Control Clinic can fly around the course in the Indy-style Virage ($18.95 for seven laps)—powered by an 18-horsepower Briggs & Stratton, the kart can reach speeds of up to 60 mph and utilizes a fully independent wishbone suspension to help riders hug corners. Younger racerfolk can get behind the wheel of the 9-horsepower Sprint ($18.95 for seven laps) and rocket down the straightaway at 30 mph or ride along with a licensed driver in the Grand Virage ($19.95 for seven laps), a two-seater that produces twice as many windblown hairdos as the Virage.
In addition to rubber-burning excursions, Malibu Raceway offers plenty of nondriving challenges inside its game room. Patrons can stock up on tokens ($0.25 each) and play popular arcade games, shoot pool, or start an air fistfight during a round of air hockey.
While many go-karts look like miniature versions of Formula racecars, the similarities usually stop there. This isn’t the case at Malibu Raceway. Atop a fully independent wishbone-suspension design, Malibu’s Indy-style Virage rumbles with an 18-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine inspired by its professional, full-sized brethren. Youngsters that didn’t get Playskool’s My First I.D. Forger for Christmas can whiz around the half-mile outdoor track in a 9-horsepower Sprint kart, which keeps little riders safely strapped in with a four-point, race-style harness. Blinking battalions of arcade machines stand guard over a game room underscored by the din of clacking pool balls, and a snack bar sates cravings with corn dogs, cotton candy, and popcorn.