What a day!
I first heard about kartSTART on the wildsau.ca motoring blog. I phoned as soon as I could and booked two morning sessions for my wife, 12 year old daughter and myself.
We arrived in plenty of time for the session on the first day and were fully taken care of from the moment we arrived.
I was not expecting the level of professionalism and attentiveness that Russ Bond and the staff displayed. It was clear to me that when each kartSTART staff member connected with the attendees, it was important that they were happy and getting all they could from the experience.
My daughter was nervous before she arrived, having never driven anything before, but that fell away and by the end of the session she was bouncing with excitement. Thanks entirely to the training and patience and attitude of the kartSTART staff.
We had to move our morning to the afternoon due to a scheduling conflict at the track, so the group of people that afternoon was considerably larger that the previous session.
I got off the track with a peculiar mixture of calm, relaxed and excited. I realised that even with, perhaps, three times as many people in the session there were no delays or obvious problems with the kartSTART staff coping with the larger group of attendees. The whole experience was seamless. I was not expecting such a high level of preparedness for a travelling show. As with the previous day, the schedule was announced and adhered to.
The explanation of the Toyota's Star Safety System sounded too good to be true. The opportunity to drive SUVs and trucks on a road/race track was an unexpected treat. The comment that Russ made about the only times we go into a dealer is when the car is broken or we need a new one rang true. There were no high pressure sales tactics, just an encouragement to go out and have fun, safely. So we did.
The braking and stability safety features were genuinely shocking. It really worked. I could brake hard enough to lock the wheels, skid on a wet road while I was steering and then stop in just a few feet. Then I pulled away safely and calmly. It defied my experience and logic. Thanks very much for the experience and a new way of looking at driving and safety.
Just like the new karts, kartSTART is a well oiled machine. Thanks very much to Russ and Gloria and all the staff at kartSTART. See you next year.