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Hot Laps & Practice

Opening for the 2023 Season on ____________

Hot Laps & Practice is your chance to ride a real racing go-kart? Not the kind they have at amusement parks that just putt along, but the kind that rolls along at racing speeds. Sugar River Raceway rents go-karts to try out the great sport during Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practice sessions. The karts are rented in 15 minute or ½ hour segments and are intended so our customers can get a feel for what it is like to ride a racing go-kart. We don’t allow racing during these rentals, but we don’t limit the speed either. Check out our most frequently asked questions about our Hot Laps & Practice sessions below. See you at the track!


Mom’s 1st Question; Is It Safe?

  • Wow, will you live through your first go kart ride? We’ve had nearly 40,000 guests who have rented a kart and become a race driver for a day. Yes, like other exhilarating sporting events the potential for injury is there. Past go kart injuries divided by participants reveals a .025% injury rate. We aren’t sure how highway safety data compares, but your drive to the track may be more of a risk. Drivers are required to sign a release waiver to participate. Now with that said, let’s make sure everyone understands our mission; we want to provide a ‘Real Racing Go Kart Experience’, which means we are not an amusement park. And if you’re looking for an activity for minor drivers please understand that this isn’t an equivalent to a birthday party at Chucky Cheeses. When you agree to the terms of the rental you are also agreeing to assume the risk associated.

  • Who can rent a go kart?
    The state of WI has regulations for this kind of activity that dictates that drivers under 56″ tall can only rent a go kart that goes 8 MPH or less! So our age limit is actually a height limit of 56″. That likely equates to 9-10 years old. Minor drivers drive their own kart, but a parent must accompany them to the track so the proper insurance waivers can be signed. If Uncle Joe is bringing the minor driver out for some laps then you’ll need to get the ‘Minor Release’ form done in advance. We will have to have you pick this form up at the track or have us snail mail it to you. Sorry that we can’t just put it on a clickable link, but our insurance carrier is worried about how easy it is to change the wording of the form in photo shop or some other software. A parent can fill this out ahead of time, but it must be witnessed by a ‘Notary Public’ and stamped. Then Uncle Joe can sign our minor driver in at the track, sorry no exceptions.

  • When can I rent a go-kart for a Hot Lap Session?

    1. Wednesday Noon until 8 PM. (be advised that Wednesdays after 5 PM can be quite busy)

    2. Thursday Noon until 7 PM.

    3. Friday Noon until 5 PM.

    4. Some Saturday’s may have time available when not booked for a private race group. Call during the week to check Saturday Hot Laps availability.  This usually only happens at the beginning of the season in April, and at the end of the season in October.

    5. Call the track (608-897-2898) to make sure a rent to race group hasn’t blocked out time during a Thursday or Friday practice session.

  • Is there a size/height limit on drivers?
    As stated above drivers must be a minimum of 56″ tall to ride. This was changed in 2012 and is driven by state of WI regulations.

  • What do I do when I arrive at the track?
    Park your car on the south side of our building and follow the signs to the “Pit Stop” kart shop. It is located in the basement of our building. You’ll enter track side. Come on in and announce yourself and your intention to rent a go-kart. The paper work takes only a minute or two.

  • What kind of instruction do I get before I drive?
    We have a great instruction video for you to watch before your on track session. We will spend time with you before your rental period begins getting you fitted to a kart and safety gear. If we have a driver who is still uncertain about the first lap one of our staff will take a kart out and lead the new driver around the track at slow speed to show them the route and to help create some comfort zone.

  • Do I need any special clothing to rent a go-kart?
    We require lace up shoes and socks that cover your entire foot (no sandals or flip flops as these are unsafe). In 2020 COVID changed how we handle our safety gear. We still provide helmets, gloves and balaclavas. We have a good system for keeping these items clean for our customers. We used to provide a karting jacket for our customers, but have quite because we can not keep them as clean as they need to be in our COVID world. We ask that customers bring a coat to ride in. It should be at least the weight of a hoodie (could be a hoodie) to protect drivers from the heat of the engine. If you have your own motorcycle helmet, (full face, Snell 2015 rated) jacket and gloves you’re welcome to use your own.

  • How fast do the go-karts go?
    At the fastest point on the track you may achieve 30 to 50 MPH (depending on whether you’re renting a 6.5 or 9 HP kart)! Much faster than the typical Wisconsin Dells type of concession kart. The speed on the straight isn’t what will thrill you the most though. The high cornering speed and g-force will be very exciting.

  • What kind of go-karts are these?
    The karts are purpose built by Sugar River Raceway for rent to race service. They are equipped with either 6.5 or 9 HP Honda engines (9 HP karts are for drivers over 18 years old only). The karts have racing slicks all around to grip the track, and full form racing seats to hold you in the turns.

  • How long does a rental last?
    We rent for 15 minute or ½ hour periods.

  • How much does it cost?
    We have two different karts available.  A 6.5 HP kart for our minor drivers and the 9 HP rent to race kart for our adult customers. 6.5 HP rates are $20/15 minute session or $30/30 minute session. 9 HP rates for adults are $25/15 minute session and $40/30 minute session. Everyone must have their own kart; sorry, no splitting the sessions with your buddy. We don’t rent for periods longer than this due to the fact both the driver and go-kart will need attention at the end of ½ hour. If you wish to rent another ½ hour segment you may after a rest stop for you and a pit stop for your kart. On busy days this means you’ll have to wait for karts to become available again (usually not a problem, as our drivers always need longer pit stops than the karts do).

  • Can I race my buddy?
    No, the intent isn’t to turn you lose for a ½ hour of wheel to wheel battle with your buddy. This is a chance to experience the feel and sport of go-karting. You will encounter others on the track while you rent, but we discourage all out racing. Why? 90% of our renters have no race experience, and you’ll be traveling near race speeds. You can also guarantee yourself that a ½ hour of racing wheel to wheel with your buddy in a grudge match will end with a wreck. Inexperience, fatigue, and your ego will guarantee this outcome. If racing is your desire, check out the ‘Turn Key Thursday’ or Endurance Race portion of our web site. Racing costs more than the ‘Hot Lap’ session for good reason.

  • Am I insured while renting a go-kart?
    Yes, SRR carries insurance for each of our rental customers. It is a policy that provides limited secondary (becomes primary coverage if none is carried by insured) medical coverage, limited death and dismemberment coverage, and liability coverage for SRR. A copy of the coverage is posted at the track.

  • What if I damage a kart?
    Each renter will be asked to sign a damage waiver which implies your agreement to pay for up to $80 in damage done to the kart you are driving. This is treated on a no fault basis, so if your kart is damaged due to accident you didn’t cause, you’re still liable for up to the $80 damage limit on your kart.

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