Monza Karting At Foxwoods: 1,500 Feet Of Hairpin Turns

If gambling doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, a race car definitely will.

After a couple weeks’ delay, Foxwoods Resort Casino has finally unveiled the next phase in its campaign to become a family-friendly resort destination. Monza World Class Karting at Foxwoods, a state-of-the-art go-kart track, with twists, hairpin turns, multiple levels and nine-horsepower cars that reach up to 40 mph, opened to the public on Sept. 5. It was scheduled to open to the public on Aug. 3, but was delayed. No reason was given.

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The track was tested in July by none other than Joey Logano, the NASCAR driver from Middletown, and two of his Team Penske teammates, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney. They gave the track a thumb’s-up.

“Some areas are really fast. Some areas are really technical. I think that’s kind of a cool mix,” Logano said.

“The facility is really, really nice. The track is a lot of fun,” Blaney said.

An eight-minute session on the 1,500-foot track with other drivers costs $30 (across the board, adults and kids). Depending on how fast the car is driven, those eight minutes could mean as many as 12 laps — at a press preview, Logano (not surprisingly) led the pack, with a 39.331-second lap — or as few as seven or eight laps for slower drivers.

But slower drivers beware: The fast drivers aren’t going to let you off easy. They’ll zoom past you, making you eat their dust. They may bump you. They may drive you into the wall.

“You can drive at whatever speed you want. We only ask that you don’t drive above your ability,” said Chris Tyrrel, co-designer of the track, which is in the basement of Fox Tower.

Safety is paramount. A waiver must be signed. All drivers are fitted with a neck brace, a head sock and a helmet. They are taught what all the flags mean. During the drive, four corner marshals keep an eye on the action to make sure that everyone is OK and that no driver is taking too many dangerous risks.

All the safeguards notwithstanding, driving the car is a rush.

“You put that helmet on and it cuts off the blood circulation or something and your mindset changes completely,” Logano said.

Ages 8 and older, 48 inches or taller, can ride. Kids’ cars top out at 22 mph.

Tyrell and his brother own On-Track Karting, which also has a facility in Wallingford. They teamed with an Italian firm, PGK Design, to create the Monza track.

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“Most tracks that do elevation changes, you go up a level and then turn, or down a level and then turn. Here, you climb and turn at the same time,” Tyrell said.

He also pointed out the trackside barrier system and flooring as hallmarks of the design.

“Unlike concrete flooring, this flooring has greater grip, for more g-force.”

The karting track joins two other recently opened attractions — the Thrill Tower and HighFlyer Zipline — as Foxwoods tries to rebrand itself from a gambling mecca to an all-inclusive vacation destination.

MONZA WORLD-CLASS KARTING is at Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Line Blvd. in Mashantucket. It is open 10 a.m. to midnight daily. Admission is $30 for all ages for an eight-minute session. foxwoods.com/karting.

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