Electric kart racing operator speeding into Noblesville

August 7, 2013
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Electric go-kart operator K1 Speed Inc. is asking the city of Noblesville to allow it to transform a vacant industrial building into an indoor racing center featuring a pair of high-tech tracks.

K1 Speed's "Arrive and Drive" kart races"Arrive and Drive" races cost about $20.(Photo courtesy of K1Speed.com)

Its sights are set on the former Helmer Scientific headquarters at 14395 Bergen Blvd., in the Saxony Corporate Campus near Interstate 69. Helmer, which makes laboratory equipment and refrigerated products, moved to a larger facility across the street last year.

California-based K1 Speed runs 17 kart racing centers, mostly in its home state and Texas. The closest to Indianapolis: two in suburban Chicago .

The Noblesville location—its first in Indiana—is expected to open in late September, pending necessary approvals from the Noblesville Plan Commission and the city’s Common Council.

The 71,000-square-foot building wouldn’t need any structural modifications, according to K1’s request for the so-called “special consideration” required for indoor recreation uses in the industrial/office area.

In an application letter, company owner David Danglard described a “state-of-the-art” racing facility with two tracks, each about a third of a mile of twists, turns and speed-building straight-aways.

The Italian-made, high-performance karts are capable of going much faster than the 30 mph maximum speed, he wrote, but the limit is enforced electronically. Every lap is monitored, and operators can remotely controlling every kart on the track when needed for safety.

Computerized timing and scoring systems let drivers track their progress—and their competition. And the electric karts emit no fumes. Or noise.

K1 Speed typically targets industrial areas to be close to its biggest clients: corporations that use the facility for team building and special events.

When the center is not booked for a private party, it’s open to the public for 10-minute “Arrive and Drive” sessions. Both a 14-lap adult race and a 12-lap junior race (for drivers younger than 18) cost about $20, according to the company’s website. Discounted multi-race packages are available, too.

Like its brethren, the Noblesville facility also will sell refreshments (prudently non-alcoholic), racing apparel and memorabilia. It is expected to employ 40-45 people.

K1 Speed’s  proposal is set for a public hearing at the Noblesville Plan Commission’s Aug. 19 meeting. Commissioners will make a recommendation to the council, which makes the final decision.

So what’s your take on the idea, North of 96th-ers? Do you feel the need for speed?


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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?