Starting something new is, usually, hard. Just as hard as it was to write this article or achieve my childhood dream. I'll try to describe the situations which helped me turn my dreams into reality. It all began when we were expecting the end of the Hardtail category (suspension fork, rigid frame) during the Slovak cup in DownHill bike race, where I was racing. Back then I started thinking about a new Full Suspension (suspension in the front and also rear frame) bike I'll buy. Based on the prices of high-quality bikes in this category I started thinking if there is something else out there that I could try, something that I wanted to try for a long time, something that can fulfill my secret dreams. That something was Motor Sport. I did some research about motorsports in Slovakia and its surrounding countries, how it works, what are my options. I asked my friends about it and I found a contact in Branislava Lapínová. Her father told me some useful general information about karting (go-karts). I got given a contact for an amazing manufacturer of go-karts based in the city of Lučenec, Zolo Drugda - owner of the company El.Zet.. After several meetings, I knew, that this was my way into the world of Motor Sports. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone, who was with me in the beginning and helped me with smaller or bigger problems. Special thanks goes to my nearest & dearest family, Peter Pongó, Lukáš Tóth for awesome photos, Peter Tóth for tips, advice, and patience with a newbie and of course to Zolo Drugda for all of time and effort, giving me the skills and important tips needed to race. It was the 17th of May, in the afternoon and I was experiencing the most intense feeling of happiness, and pride when I reached my goal and saw the result of my hard work. My new toy, a go-kart, which we can call as - the Beast.
I was missing some information about what I should actually do with a go-kart and how to care for it because I was able to do only one thing, looking at the beauty of the chassis, engine, the paint job and basically a whole picture of it.
When it came to the technical side, it is really a powerful machine, weighing around 100kg, the engine having 125cm3 with 50-55 horsepower (it depends on settings of the engine) with a dry clutch and 6 semi-manual gears. I was very excited for my first ride around the circuit but also scared if my theoretical skills will be good enough for a fairly decent beginner in the first round. After two days I was on the only circuit located in East Slovakia, which is used for racing in the Slovak Karting Cup in Vechec, also called the T1 Ring. It is a difficult circuit with technical parts, which is hard not only for the beginners but also for skilled drivers. No wonder the drivers call it: “small Monaco”, similar to the Formula 1 world. Monaco circuit is known as a circuit with slow, tight corners and there are not many opportunities, where you can overtake someone. Exactly as in the T1 Ring. As it happens, my beginnings with a go-kart didn't go without some technical issues. I had a problem with a drowned carburetor but was lucky and Peter helped me resolve all problems so I was able to jump into my first rounds, first meters and first shifting.
It is impossible to describe each of my feelings, which I had during these moments. I was even trying to look for the right words which I could use to describe these moments but I failed each time. Sitting in my beast of a go-kart was simply the best feeling in the world. First rounds were of course not without some big beginner mistakes. It took a long time until I successfully learned how to correctly hear the RPM, how to feel when is the engine in the right RPM to have massive amounts power and what are the actual limits I can reach with it. But this is the reason why we are here after all. To improve and keep improving, right?