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FrontRunners: Kart Dart

Fluto Shinzawa

The g forces at 80 mph are so strong that my chest tightens and I gasp for air. A hairpin left approaches, so I ease off the gas and begin to brake. But as I enter the turn, my left foot still squeezing the brake, my right foot inadvertently hits the gas pedal, causing my vehicle to smoke, skid, squeal, and spread two black streaks of Bridgestone on the track.

The breath-stealing, rubber-smudging machine is the Rotax RM1, a $7,995, 34 hp, 125-pound kart built by Bombardier and distributed by SSC Racing (760.864.1320, www.sscracing.com). The RM1 reaches speeds of 100 mph, while its tight hand-ling and low center of gravity allow for high-speed turns—albeit for drivers with greater skill than this amateur.

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