Karting is ready, set, go in Douglas from this Sunday

ON TRACK: Karting comes to Douglas, behind the Grandstand, on Sunday

ON TRACK: Karting comes to Douglas, behind the Grandstand, on Sunday

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Karting at the TT Grandstand in Douglas will open to the public for the first time on Sunday, December 16, after proposals for the new leisure facility were given the go-ahead by Government planners.

Duke Track Days, which has operated karting at Jurby for the past 10 years, applied for permission to create a temporary track behind the Grandstand for the winter.

Earlier this week, the planning committee agreed the project could go ahead.

Duke staff have been busy creating the karting track, which involves water-filled barriers, a portable cabin reception area, low level flood lighting and security fencing similar to that seen around the area during the TT.

A few test sessions are planned ahead of the public launch, which takes place on Sunday. Grandstand Karting is open to all, with an ‘arrive and drive’ offer which means you can just turn up and have a go for as little as £10 for a 10-minute session.

There are junior karts available, so budding racing drivers as young as eight years old can have a go (minimum height restriction 1.25 metres).

The track can also be reserved for group bookings, and already companies have been in touch about booking Christmas staff outings with a difference.

Duke managing director Peter Duke said he was delighted with the outcome of the planning application.

‘When this idea was first suggested, our primary concern was to ensure we would be good neighbours, which is why we carried out a series of noise tests at the Grandstand and at our existing kart circuit in Jurby,’ he said.

‘We were confident this facility would not inconvenience nearby homes, and were very pleased the government’s environmental protection unit conducted independent investigations before concluding “this facility is unlikely to cause any noise nuisance to local residential premises”.

Mr Duke added: ‘We have already received a number of inquiries about “arrive and drive” and group bookings, both from companies and party organisers.

‘In bringing this new leisure activity to Douglas we are in a small way extending the tradition of motorsport at the TT Grandstand. It will be pleasing to see the area busier in the winter and I hope the park restaurant and café benefit from the extra visitors.”

‘I wish the idea of making use of the Grandstand during the winter months had been explored earlier. There has been significant investment in the surface, access and facilities like the toilet block, but for most of the year it lies unused.’

Grandstand Karting will replace the Jurby facility until Easter 2013, when the operation will move north again for the summer, with plans to return to the Grandstand for the 2013/14 winter season.

‘We have some extremely exciting plans for Grandstand Karting, including special promotions, work with youth and charity groups and a karting league,’ Mr Duke said.

The track will be known as Manx Telecom Grandstand Karting and will operate throughout the winter months and into early spring.

The phone company will give its mobile customers loyalty discounts.

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