New go-kart track to open in Hillsboro later this year
On your mark, get set, go!
Adrenaline junkies get ready. Western Washington County is about to open a state-of-the-art go-kart track in north Hillsboro later this year.
K1 Speed, a popular go-kart operator based in California, is planning to open an indoor track near TopGolf within the next few months, according to K1 Speed spokesman Ryan Jurnecka.
Located at 5579 N.E. Huffman St., off Brookwood Parkway, the track is located next door to the popular golf center, something Jurnecka said the company hopes to capitalize on.
"Things are really picking up in that part of town with TopGolf there," Jurnecka said. "We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity ... Hillsboro seems like a burgeoning part of the town. With Top Golf next door, we are a great pairing for people looking for an attraction that's a little different than the norm."
The Portland area is home to plenty of race enthusiasts, Jurnecka said, with the Portland International Raceway in North Portland and the World of Speed racing museum in Wilsonville, but there are few options in Washington County. The county's only other go-kart track, Sykart Indoor Racing, is in Tigard, and Banks is home to the Sunset Speedway, a popular destination in the summertime.
The Hillsboro center is expected to draw racers from across the greater Portland area, Jurnecka said.
"It's a totally different kind of rush," Jurnecka said. "Unless you've spent time on a track, most people don't know what racing a car feels like, expect exploring the speed limits on the highway."
Racing down the track, Jurnecka said, is a great way to escape from everyday life.
"Once you're in the seat, you can feel the adrenaline through your system," he said. "It's a very liberating experience. You shut out the outside world and blow off some steam and get a good release."
The 11-turn track is "guaranteed to challenge both seasoned racers and inexperienced beginners alike," company officials said. The center will also feature an arcade, complete with pool tables, as well as lounge offering food and drinks for all ages.
A collection of motorsport memorabilia will be on display throughout the center, as well as meeting rooms for birthday parties and corporate events.
K1 launched its first go-kart track 15 years ago outside of San Diego, and has exploded in popularity since.
The company boasts 30 locations across the country, as well as operations in Mexico, Canada, South Kora, Puerto Rico, Italy and France.
Hillsboro will be its first Oregon location, Jurnecka said.
"In the past, people have had to travel up to Washington or down to California, and we wanted to finally close the gap we had in the West Coast and include Oregon," Jurnecka said.
The go-karts have plenty of power packed into their small frames, Jurnecka said. K1 uses all electric vehicles imported from Italy, which are able to accelerate faster than traditional gas-powered go-karts. The carts can race at about 45 miles per hour.
"We have zero emissions, and people don't have to worry about the smell of gas sticking to your clothes when you leave," he said.
No official date has been set for a grand opening, but company officials expect the center to open within the next two months.
By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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