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Indoor racing comes to Reno
by Dan McGee - Special to the Tribune
Jan 20, 2014 | 1348 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Need2Speed owner Boris Podtetenieff stands by the line of karts that can be used at his indoor track. The facility can operate in all types of weather for those interested a real racing experience.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Need2Speed owner Boris Podtetenieff stands by the line of karts that can be used at his indoor track. The facility can operate in all types of weather for those interested a real racing experience.
slideshow
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Drivers at Need2Speed race each other at the indoor track lined with safety barriers.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Drivers at Need2Speed race each other at the indoor track lined with safety barriers.
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RENO - A new racing venue, Need2Speed, opened in the Truckee Meadows before the holidays. Unlike at most venues, weather is not a factor because it is indoors.

Owner Boris Podtetenieff brought the business here from Redding, Calif.

"I opened in Redding in 2008 after racing cars for 11 years," he said. "I love motor sports related things and every time I was out of town racing I'd find a kart track to race with my buddies."

Then in 2007, he saw an electric kart track and the lights went on.

"This was what I wanted to do," he said. "It has no fumes or gasoline and was good, wholesome family entertainment. And you get to meet all kinds of people."

Back in Redding, business was good until the economy weakened.

"Redding is a small town with no industry, no corporations and no tourism. So for the next four years business just got slower," he said.

As things went downhill, Podtetenieff began looking for another town to move his business to. He looked at Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City and Reno.

"Reno's market for tourism and corporate business is growing but it still has that small town feel to it," he said.

He found his present location when he tried to buy a building in a shopping center on South Virginia Street.

"I was outbid by National Stores but later talked with them and leased part of the building they weren't going to use," he said.

Locating to Reno was the result of a frustrating time for him. In 2012 he closed his kart racing business and sold his assets that included both a screen-printing and embroidery enterprise. At that time he had been negotiating seven months for a location in Salt Lake City but around the time the agreement was supposed to be signed, the other party backed out.

Salt Lake City's loss proved to be Reno's gain.

He took possession of his current location on Nov. 1 and began a 49-day saga of working from 18 to 22 hours a day so he could open right before the holidays.

Finally, on Dec. 20, he opened his doors for business and the rush was on.

"It was full throttle from the day we opened. Christmas is the busiest time of the year but now things have settled down," he said.

In fact it's been so busy, especially with all the attention from our local TV stations, that he really hasn't had time for an official grand opening.

"We had a great response from the community and we're excited to be here. What other type of business has people coming and thanking you for bringing this here?" he said.

The layout of the track within the building is a mix of turns with some fast sections. Safety is also a consideration as every driver is issued a helmet, they are strapped into a kart that has a roll bar and safety barriers line both sides of the track.

"They are electric so there are no fumes and these are state-of-the-art Italian karts," he said. "Since they are electric, torque comes on right from the start, they're quick, have 20 horsepower and are capable of reaching speeds of 45 miles an hour."

It's an "arrive and drive," program where the karts are always kept charged and ready to go. Drivers need to sign a release, pick up their helmet and strap into their assigned kart.

After being sent onto the track one at a time, when the first kart reaches the start, the green flag waves and they're off. During a race every driver's lap times are recorded and shown on video screens.

The power to each kart can be regulated, especially if someone is getting too wild or out of control. If a youngster is driving, power will be reduced to match their skill level.

And at the end of a race, everyone's lap times are recorded and they can get a print out.

One possible future improvement is another type of barrier, one that's spring loaded. Right now the barriers, if hit too hard, have to be pulled back into place so the other type would make it easier for the course to be maintained.

And the course will be changed at certain intervals.

Podtetenieff has also got some traction both from his website, Instangram and people bringing their GoPro cameras and posting videos on You Tube.

Looking ahead, he plans on creating racing leagues for those that might want to do this as well as staging charity events to help the community.

"And we'll look at some things we can use for fundraisers, plus we have a party and conference room," he said. "It could also be a good place for a bachelor or bachelorette party."

While, sometime in the future, he might consider expanding the business, right now Podtetenieff is busy with his staff dealing with the challenges and opportunities any new venture offers.

"I'm excited to be here and feel Need2Speed is a good addition to the community," he said.

Those wishing information should check the company's website at, www.n2sreno.com.

OTHER RACING NEWS

• Once again, weather permitting, Exit 28 will host practice session from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the course has been changed so riders will have new sections to practice on.

• Unfortunately, due to expenses and lack of financial support Brian Sjogren had to withdraw from racing in Supercross. He's now focusing on school and work but will probably continue to race locally.

However Aaron Siminoe is still competing and at Saturday's event at Anaheim he was third in the 250 B second practice and finished eighth in his heat race. In the 250 SX West main he started 16th, was running 15th early but his bike's fuel pump failed dropping him to a 21st place finish.

His next race is in Oakland on Saturday.
Comments
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charlie martin
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January 21, 2014
I did not see an address or phone number my Grand kids love you in Redding i want to go race but cant find you
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