The revamped Kambol Kart Raceway’s go-kart track in Kandal province officially opened on Sunday with a call to those who drag race around Phnom Penh’s streets to get their fast-driving fix more safely.
“Our purpose is to promote motor sports…so they don’t have to drive wildly in the streets of Phnom Penh,” said Bridget Ding, the track’s new Singaporean manager.
Although Cambodia’s go-karting clientele has been primarily foreign in the past, co-manager Anthony Ding said he hopes the new track will attract a younger generation of middle-class Cambodians to racing.
“We believe that with a proper track, the youth can exert their energy without racing in the streets,” he said at the opening ceremony on Sunday.
A dozen laps around the 980-meter circuit in Kambol commune’s Ang Snuol district costs $10 in one of the new, Chinese-made 200-cc karts, which can reach 60 kph, Singaporean go-kart dealer and mechanic Kenny Yip said.
There are also more powerful options: For approximately $6,000, track members can buy their own European-made, two-stroke, 100- or 125-cc racing kart with up to 32 horsepower, hurtling drivers to maximum speeds of around 140 kph.
Four-time Cambodia champion Paul Blanche-Horgan, who is the general manager of the Online.com internet service provider, said he had one car and his company had sponsored another.
“It’s a bit out of town,” he said of the track’s location past Phnom Penh International Airport, where cows roam in fields unfazed by the buzz of the tiny cars. “But it’s worth coming,” he said.
The Dings plan to market the racetrack as a place for family and corporate outings with a swimming pool, restaurant, volleyball court and petanque, while also opening it for night driving under floodlights with music blasting and drinks flowing to create a dance club atmosphere.