A new indoor go-kart racetrack is pulling into Howard County May 3.
Autobahn Indoor Speedway LLC
is building two Grand Prix-style tracks and Formula One-inspired Italian-style electric cars that can go as fast as 50 miles per hour.
General Manager Bill Harris says the company is spending $1.75 million to lease and renovate the Jessup building, buy the go-karts and mechanical equipment and install technology. Autobahn leased the 60,000-square-foot building in January and will complete its renovations this month.
Harris says it chose the site because of its proximity to Columbia, Washington, D.C, and Greater Baltimore. Research shows that customers will come as far as 25 miles to come to a go-kart racetrack.
The speedway is the first facility of the corporate Autobahn Indoor Speedway, based in Tampa, Florida. There is an indoor go-kart facility in White Marsh, Baltimore County, that is not affiliated with Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Grand Prix is a style of racing that customers will recognize. Harris says that two of the partners in the corporation were from this area and suggested it as a site.
The facility has a 50,000-square foot racetrack area, with the remaining space divided among spectator areas, a meeting room that seats 40 and a party room that seats 20. While individuals can purchase race tickets, the marketing effort is geared toward birthday parties and corporate events. The speedway is also setting up a racing league with cash prizes.
“One of the reasons we selected this area is because there are so many corporate businesses and regional offices in the private sector, government agencies and military installations like Fort Meade,” says Harris, who says that the speedway has already booked a number of corporate events for May and June.
The speedway has 50 go-karts, of which 10 are “junior karts,” for children. Outdoor go-kart racing is a popular sport but indoor racing has been limited by the fact that go-karts are gas-powered.
“That doesn't lend itself to an indoor sport but recently a way was found to convert the go-karts to electric,” says Harris.
Autobahn Indoor Speedway has a staff of 20 at its Jessup location. Harris says the goal is to generate $2 million per year in sales during its first 12 months of operation.
Writer: Barbara Pash
Source: Bill Harris, Autobahn Indoor Speedway LLC