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“Unsafe at Any Speed”

Autobahn Indoor Speedway
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Jessup
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Now Open!! Experience a thrill like no other! Speed-lovers, be prepared for the newest attraction taking over the Baltimore / Washington DC area; European style indoor go-karting! Our almost 70,000 square feet state-of-the-art facility in Howard County, MD is completely indoors for perfect racing conditions every day. There are two Grand Prix style tracks for two completely different racing
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unsafe at Any Speed”
Reviewed 17 March 2014

My brother and I went last Saturday for the first time. Our first disappointment came when the advertised price of $50 turned into $62 ($6 to join – no option not to join –and another $6 for whatever). Our first race was fantastic and lots of fun for me, however someone spun out in front of my brother and couldn’t get his cart running. My brother looked at the flagman who was texting on his phone, meanwhile everyone was running at full speed. My brother was waving his arms and shouting to get the flagman’s attention when someone finally came over and got the stalled driver going. At the end of the race my brother tried to complain to the guy at the pit desk, but the guy just said “yeah, we know, we talked to him”. My brother had strapped his Contour camera to the cart and we watched the video when we got home, it took 30 seconds for someone to respond to the stalled driver.

At the end of the first race we were told we were in the second race, however all of the other drivers were already on the track. They put me in cart #7, I had cart #12 for the first race, and the first thing I noticed was that three screws holding the steering wheel on were loose. I called the guy over and showed him, all he said was “that’s okay”. When I went onto the track the cart acted like I was driving on ice. I slid around every turn and kept hitting the barriers. Twice I spun sideways and blocked oncoming carts. I tried to find a place to exit the track because I didn’t feel it was safe to drive the cart, however there is no exit and the safety video doesn’t address what to do if you need to leave the track. I tried to get the flagman’s attention, but he’s positioned at the fastest part of the track on the side where experienced drivers would be. If I stopped in front of him I could have been rear ended so I kept going around looking for an exit. The only thing I saw was the place where we entered the track, so my next time around I tried to exit there, not knowing it had been locked closed. When I finally got the cart parked and went up to the pit desk I told the guy the cart wasn’t safe, he just handed me the Race Results for the two races. I then asked to talk to the manager. I told him what happened and suggested he remove cart #7 because it wasn’t safe. I also told him that if an inexperienced person drove cart #7 they would most likely think they weren’t cut out for go-carts and give up, never returning. He just said “okay” and walked away. He didn’t seem to care about safety or return customers.

I waited for the third race which seemed to take a long time. When my brother finished a race I saw him having a heated conversation with the pit desk guy. The flagman was still texting. Turns out I was kicked off the track and not allowed to run the third race, however nobody ever told me that. Not sure why the safety video doesn’t tell you what to do if you need to exit the track in a case such as mine and I couldn’t understand why the people were so arrogant. When we left, there were at least 25 or 30 people in the lobby, which tells me that business is so good that they don’t have to worry about safety or return business. We’ll never go back!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
15 Thank Vernon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AutobahnSpeedway, General Manager at Autobahn Indoor Speedway, responded to this review, 21 March 2014
Hi Vernon –

Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your comments and apologize for the experience you described in your post.

Since opening our doors in May 2013, the team at Autobahn has prided ourselves on our dedication to customer safety and satisfaction. Because all of our customer’s opinions are important to us, we wanted to take this opportunity to address your concerns and share with you the ways in which we are working to continuously provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for our customers.

Regarding the cost to race, our pricing and available discounts are listed on the menu screens in our front lobby and on our website at: http://www.autobahnspeed.com/pricing-and-specials/ In addition, we are required to collect the 7.5% state amusement tax (similar to a sales tax).

In addition, we regret the behavior of our race marshal who failed to honor his duty to keep a constant watch on the track, as well as his delay in response to you and your brother's needs. Each of our employees undergo extensive training for each specialty area of race operations when they join the Autobahn team, in addition to participating in quarterly team member assessments. This employee no longer operates races and has been reprimanded for his behavior.

Lastly, over the course of the 10 months we have been in operation, Autobahn has safely run more than 28,000 races and serviced more than 145,000 racers. Our European-style electric karts undergo daily maintenance to ensure their reliability and safety, and we apologize that you felt unsafe at any point during your visit to Autobahn. The reason the kart felt as though it were slipping during your second race was due to the track surface. Our Monaco track is set up for a drifting experience, while the Lemans track has a more traditional grip. However, we are currently in the process of converting the Monaco track back to the higher grip surface due to the difficulty you described for yourself and other new racers.

Again, we thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention, as we continuously strive to improve our service and offer racers of all ages and skill levels a fun and exciting race experience. We hope to see you again soon.

Thank you.
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
98 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Indoor go kart makes my heart race!”
Reviewed 24 January 2014 via mobile

I took my office staff for an office fun day at the Autobahn Racing.
One of the best team events we have done.
The go karts are electric so no gas smell or the law mover sound. The cars are fast and you can pick from two tracks.
Great times.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Masoodclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AutobahnSpeedway, Managing Partner at Autobahn Indoor Speedway, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
We are always so happy to see the faces of team members as they enjoy a company outing at our facility. Glad everyone had a great time! We you get the chance to 'get your heart racing' on our two indoor tracks again soon. Thanks!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
washington dc
Level Contributor
102 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Inconsistent. Disappointing.”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

I took my daughter here a month ago and we had a very good time. It wasn't too crowded, and the cars and track worked great. Then we went back yesterday with more family members and had a much less enjoyable experience.

Plusses: Tracks can be fun when you're allowed to drive. Helmets and head socks fit well. Enthusiastic staff.

Minuses: 1) They booked us on the wrong track after we had waited 45 minutes for the other track. They said we could go back up front and start all over, but there was no way we were going to wait again. 2) My kids were in a heat that included a kid who just could not drive. He crashed every 30 or so seconds (not joking) and they still did not remove him from the track. This meant that every 30 or so seconds every single car on the track lost power while they extricated this kid from the barriers. The group didn't get up to full speed for any single lap. So after this, my kids asked to re-race. They were turned down. When my husband and I finally got to the desk, we asked again and the guys said that the girls had a full 12 laps so they couldn't give them a refund or a new race. At $20 a heat, that's ridiculous. Not the way to make friends. 3) During our race (on the wrong track), they kept cutting power off the car so that you couldn't take the turns at full speed. When I went last month, there was none of that.

We won't be returning.
We wil

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank evieao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beltsville, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Autobahn”
Reviewed 18 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

The track was fun but the wait was really long - almost 2 hours. I downgraded this review because of that.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Almondcooky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Hanover, New Jersey
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Pluses and minuses but overall fun”
Reviewed 15 October 2013

i organized my best friend's bachelor party here this past weekend for a few of us. the facility is very clean and the cars seem well maintained. i did not have any issues with the head sock stinking... We booked the Adult Championship package so we were there for about 2 hrs. after leaving, i realized that we didn't get our t-shirts and or medal ceremony but it wasn't a big deal for us...

The negatives i experienced are related to the track conditions... the track was too narrow... even taking the widest line into the turn, i found myself on the wall a few times when exiting the apex or taking a few of the 180* they had... not sure if it had to do with turning radius of the kart, traction on the tires, or just plainly not enough space... the karts semmed powerful to the point where you could drift the turn, but you obivously lose time this way (it's fun tho)...

also because the track was too narrow, there was no possibility for passing unless the track marshall granted you a passing flag... since we essentially had 3 qualifier races in the championship package, i asked the manager if he can place us for the final (fouth) race. he declined because the track was too narrow to accomodate any passing and anyone in the pole position would win (i did not have this issue fulfilling this request in any of the other go-kart locations i have organized group events for in the past i.e. Grand Prix NY or the Pole Position franchise).

in the end everyone had fun and our group made the most of what it was... this place is perfect for a couple of friends to arrive and drive to time race, but not sure how it could handle large parties of 10+ on such a small track when you want to position race... it was not the best karting place i have been to but well above the worse place i have experienced... i'd stop by again next time im in town...

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank kamlung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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