North karting enthusiasts were able to return to the race track yesterday for the first time in months for much needed escapism from lockdown woes.
While many Scottish residents have been content with a walk around their local area for some fresh air, people in the Elgin area have been able to book their slot to drive around a race track.
The reopening of the Elgin Kart Raceway has been hailed for bringing some excitement back to people’s lives after months of constraints on their movement.
It comes as the Scottish Government guidance, with the “stay at home” message is replaced by the less restrictive “stay local”.
This means that people across mainland Scotland can now make non-essential journeys within their local authority area.
And bosses expect demand for bookings to surge as more people searched for outdoors activities to get out and away from their homes.
As they announced the return of the popular centre, management stressed that people must follow the strict Covid-19 measures to ensure everyone has a safe and fun experience.
In dry conditions, a steady stream of families beamed as they experienced the thrill of driving fast petrol powered karts around a 500 metre outdoor track for the first time in months.
As well as customers having to book their racing slot over the phone, there has been frequent cleaning of equipment before every use and at the start and finish of every day.
Balaclavas are also being issued on arrival and must remain on for the duration of people’s visit to the kart centre.
Elgin Kart Raceway reopened
Elgin Kart Raceway manager Andrew Smart said: “It is so great to be reopened and the centre has always been a popular place in Moray.
“Karting is what people need which is something safe, exciting and outside during these uncertain times and recover from the lockdown struggles.
“We have safety measures in place to protect our customers and staff.
“Elgin Kart Raceway and Activity centre wants to thank everyone for their cooperation during these times and we look forward to seeing you at the track.”
Surge of bookings for karting expected
Mr Smart anticipates there will be a surge of bookings for the centre just outside Lhanbryde as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
He added: “Bookings have been pretty good so far and the phone keeps on ringing.
“I’m sure we are on the same boat as everyone else that the pandemic has had a negative impact and now we are reopened the demand will be there.
“At the minute, obviously it will be people coming from Elgin and surrounding areas as the stay local message has been enforced.
“Once travel restrictions are completely lifted, we are sure the business will take off even more .”
Elsewhere, the Crimond Raceway is set to reopen on Sunday for junior tests.
Meanwhile, the Grampian Kart Club based near Banff is planning for a return to racing with the first round of their Boyndie Drome Open Challenge excepted to take place on the Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9.